Óbidos is a pretty, small medieval town not far from Lisbon (about 80 kilometres / 50 miles), which makes it a perfect day trip from the city. Here’s all the information you need to visit it.
You can go directly to Óbidos or combine other sights with Óbidos, such as Fátima, Nazaré, monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha , both Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Unfortunately, bus connections between these sights are poor. Also, the railway stations are a bit far, so the train is not a good transport option. Combining other sights with Óbidos requires taking a guided tour or driving.
How to Get from Lisbon to Óbidos by Bus
The RDO – Rodoviária do Oeste bus company runs frequent buses to Óbidos (Rápida Verde) from Campo Grande bus station in Lisbon, which is connected to the metro. The journey takes one hour with only one stop in Bombarral. You can buy your tickets from the driver (cash only) or at the ticket office (cash or debit card). An adult one-way ticket costs about €8.
Bus timetable and prices: rodoviariadooeste.pt
How to Get from Lisbon to Óbidos By Car
With a rental car, it takes 40 to 50 minutes to get from Lisbon to Óbidos on the A8 motorway (about €9 in tolls). Get out on exit 15 and follow the signs for Óbidos.
The walled town is closed to traffic. You’ll find car parks conveniently located outside. Bring coins for the parking meters (paved car parking areas only).
What to See and Do in Óbidos
- Castle: It has Roman origins, but was later rebuilt under Moorish occupation. After the Christian conquest in 1148, the castle underwent several renovations and expansions. Its palace was severely damaged during the 1755 earthquake. The current building was restored in the 20th century to house the luxury Pousada Castelo de Óbidos for those who decide to stay overnight.
- Rua Direita: It is the main street of Óbidos. Venture along the cobbled lane that will take you to the castle. There’s no way of escaping the crafts and souvenirs shops with their street stalls where you can sample the ginjinha, a cherry brandy similar to the one served in Lisbon bars but here usually served in a chocolate cup instead.
- Churches: There are several churches and chapels in Óbidos. The main church of Santa Maria is in a square midway to the castle, just below Rua Direita. It was a mosque during the Moorish occupation, adapted to the Christian cult, and later in the 15th century renovated to the Baroque taste, which introduced the beautiful painted ceilings and white and blue azulejos (tiles) that decorate the walls.
- Aqueduct: Built to provide water to the town’s main fountains, the 16th-century aqueduct outside the wall is 3km long.
- Festivals of Óbidos: You might get lucky and visit Óbidos during one of its many festivals – Chocolate Festival (around Easter), Ginja / Cherry Brandy Festival (a weekend in late June), Medieval Festival (last two weeks of July), Literary Festival (late September through early October), and the Christmas season. It can get a little crowded, especially on weekends.
Where To Next?
If you’re travelling by car or on a guided tour, you can combine other sites with Óbidos. You can make an onward trip to Fátima (about 90 kilometres / 56 miles from Óbidos) via Nazaré, known for the largest wave ever surfed, and the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha.
Peniche might be an alternative to the religious and pilgrimage site of Fátima. A boat trip to the nature reserve of Berlengas Island and the many beaches are some of the reasons to visit the fishing village of Peniche.