Óbidos is a picturesque medieval village that you should include in your itinerary through Portugal. This is a guide of what to see one day on Christmas season and how to do the day trip to Obidos from Lisbon on your own.
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How to get to Obidos from Lisbon
Óbidos is a small town very close to Lisbon, so you can easily do the visit in a few hours. It is very photogenic so you will find charming spots at every step.
The best way to get there by public transport is by using the bus. In Lisbon, the bus line that operates this route is Rapida Verde. It departs from Campo Grande station.
This station is quite far from the city center so you have to take the subway to get there. The subway station where you must get off has the same name, Campo Grande.
I made a mistake and we got off at a metro stop before this one and we had to walk very fast (with fear of losing the bus) to get there.
This is not a proper station with a building, but a bus stop. You will see the stop with the schedules and the name of Rapida Verde. The bus will show as final destination Caldas da Rainha. If you are in doubt ask the driver before boarding the bus.
You can buy the ticket on the same bus, but you can not book in advance. To return from Óbidos to Lisbon is the same, you will have to buy your ticket on the bus, so be aware of the latest departures. You can check the schedules here (only in Portuguese).
What to see on a day trip to Obidos from Lisbon
As I mentioned before, the advantage of Óbidos is that it’s a small town and you can see its attractions in a few hours. That’s why it’s an ideal day trip. Yet, it is a town with a lot of charm for its location and medieval architecture.
It may also interest you this post: what to see and do in Lisbon in a week.
Porta da Vila
The first thing to see in Óbidos is its access gate called Porta da Vila or Porta da Senhora da Piedade. This is one of the 3 still standing gates of 5 that the town had. Inside it has some images in white and blue tiles representing the passion of Christ.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to see the images on my trip, because they seemed to be under restoration. It’s the bad thing about visiting in winter. The good thing is that there were almost no people and we had the town to ourselves.
Obidos Medieval wall
The wall is impressive since it’s almost totally complete. It’s the first time I see a wall so well preserved. Also because the town is small and it’s easy to appreciate the perimeter of the walls.
It’s the main attraction to see on a day trip to Óbidos. If you have a good condition, you are not afraid of heights and like to take risks, you can climb and walk the wall.
It will not take long, but it has no protection at all so it’s not recommended for everyone. You have to be especially careful if you bring children with you.
If you decide to climb, the reward will be incredible views of the village and the landscape surrounding Óbidos.
The perimeter of the wall is approximately 1,565 meters and the height reaches up to 13 meters in some sections.
Muslims began to build the castle around the 8th century, but it’s in the 12th century that became more important and some expansions were made. It has several architectural styles such as Romanesque, Gothic and Manueline.
Unfortunately, the castle is now private because it became an inn. I really think it’s a shame since the only way to enter is by staying a night in it.
It’s possible to enter an interior yard and see the other side of the castle. But of course, it’s not free. Sometimes they celebrate a Chocolate Fair here, and during the Christmas season they set up a Christmas Village.
Obidos castle on Christmas
Since we were here during the Christmas season, we decided to go and see the Christmas village. Besides, that was the only way to see the castle from the inner yard.
The ticket cost €7.00. Inside, besides the typical Christmas decorations, there were many attractions for the kids. For example a skating rink and a carousel. Also several food stalls and some more to buy gifts and crafts.
There was a theater with a puppet show. But it was in Portuguese and, of course, I didn’t understand anything haha 😀
Price was a bit high for only getting access. We really didn’t enjoy it much. The castle, yet, looks very nice from this side but… I don’t think it compensates for the price.
I wouldn’t recommend the Christmas Village to adults, but if you have kiddies, it might be worth it. Most of the attractions inside must be paid separated so, my advice is to spend those 7 euros in a souvenir or pasteis de nata.
Anyway, the castle is a recommended attraction to see on a day trip to Óbidos.
Stay at the castle
By the way, you can also stay at the castle, if you decide to stay longer and not do the day trip to Obidos.
Some rooms have stone walls in the style of the castle, others are more modern. In the common rooms, the decoration is medieval. Prices range from €200 to €500 per night.
Another attraction to see on a day trip to Óbidos is the aqueduct. It was built around 1570 by order of the queen of Portugal Catherine of Austria.
This aqueduct transported water from Usseira (located 3 km away) to Obidos.
Other suggestions of what to see on a day trip to Óbidos.
I recommend you to walk and explore the streets of this charming medieval town. You will have enough time. Other recommendations of what to see in Óbidos are churches, a few museums, and shops.
You will not find great cathedrals in Óbidos, but I assure you that churches can give you a pleasant surprise if you enter them.
Santa Maria Church
The main church in Óbidos is the church of Santa María, located in the square of the same name. It was built in the 12th century over the foundations of a mosque, which was also built on a Visigoth temple ruin.
The church mainly has a Renaissance style. Inside, the walls are covered with blue tiles. They were hand painted with plant motifs in the 17th century.
Besides, there are 20 oil paintings made by different artists. Unfortunately, they were restoring the church on my visit.
Other churches that you can see on your day trip to Óbidos are the Misericordia Church, the Church of São Tiago and São Pedro Church.
I entered the Misericordia church and it’s also decorated with blue and yellow tiles of the 17th century.
It was founded by Queen Eleanor in the 16th century and has a beautiful baroque portal from 1596. Outside you’ll see a stone cross providing a bewitching medieval image.
São Tiago Church
The church of Sao Tiago is located next to the entrance to the castle and has a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical styles. It was built in 1186 and rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake.
The Royal Family used this church during their stay in Óbidos so it was connected to the interior of the castle.
São Pedro Church
Finally, you can visit the São Pedro or St Peter Church. It has this name because it houses a baroque altarpiece of St Peter receiving the keys of the heaven from Christ, dating from the late 17th century. This church was also rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755.
And believe it or not, there are also a couple of museums to see on a day trip to Óbidos. One of them is the Municipal Museum that houses some artworks that belonged to the churches.
They display a collection of paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries mostly works by Josefa de Óbidos and André Reinoso. The museum is inside a 17th-century house. It’s located in the Santa María square and the price is € 1.5 euros.
Another museum is dedicated to the artist Abílio de Mattos e Silva. This plastic artist despite not being born in Óbidos lived and was raised here. His wife María José Salavisa created this museum to exhibit his works.
The shops in Óbidos have the same medieval charm of the town. Thus, even if you do not intend to buy, at least enter to browse. Although you’ll hardly leave empty-handed.
You’ll find the typical Portuguese souvenirs, such as ceramics, mosaics, textiles, magnets, and postcards. But there are also toys and objects of medieval inspiration, such as swords, shields, knights, and medieval clothing.
On Christmas season you can find decoration and products related to this celebration. And the stores are traditionally decorated so everything looks nicer.
They also sell books, plants, seeds, the famous liquor of Ginja and chocolates.
Eating and tasting
And speaking of Ginja liquor, this is a very popular and typical sweet drink from Óbidos. It’s made from a fruit similar to cherry.
You can taste it in one of the Ginja stalls in the town. it is served traditionally in chocolate cups that you can eat after drinking.
Although I don’t drink alcohol, I bought a bottle that included 3 chocolate cups to give away. It cost €7.00 euros, but there are many sizes and prices.
In Óbidos there are some restaurants where you can try Portuguese food. There are some bakeries where you can eat a pastei de nata with coffee as well.
We ate at a place called Capinha d’Obidos. We ordered a vegetables pizza (we ate between 2), two cakes and 2 coffees. In total, we paid €14.50 euros.
And if you travel to Portugal in summer, another popular event to see on a day trip to Óbidos is the medieval fair and market. This year, 2019, will be celebrated from July 18 to August 4. This is the official page of the event on Facebook.
In this fair, are held medieval activities such as tournaments and musical shows. Besides they sell alcoholic drinks, roasted pork, and local crafts.
At spring you can see and attend the international chocolate festival in Óbidos. In it, you can see sculptures, courses, workshops and exhibitions of famous chefs. On the official page (Portuguese), they have the program of each year.
conclusion of my day trip to Obidos
Despite being a small town there are much variety of things to see on a day trip to Óbidos. Depending on the season you come, there are activities for all tastes.
If you don’t like planning day trips or you don’t want to take public transport, you can take a look at the following tours departing from Lisbon. Most of them include other destinations besides Óbidos.
By the way, if you need more reasons for you to come to Óbidos, the Castle of Óbidos and its walls have been declared one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.
What do you think about this medieval town? Have you already come? let me know your experiences and opinions (or questions) in the comments section below.
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Until next post and bon voyage!