Óbidos is a small medieval town tucked away in the Portuguese countryside. The castle of Óbidos is also known as one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. Year after year, the castle has people come from all around the world. They walk the famous Óbidos Walls and to taste the chocolates and sweets from the annual chocolate festival.
Óbidos isn’t your ordinary castle… There are so many things to do in Óbidos. It starts with the unique campsite right outside the city center and continues to all the different shops that are actually inside the castle walls.
Inside the castle walls of Óbidos, you’ll find everything from standard tourist shops to some of the best restaurants and even one of the fanciest hotels we’ve ever seen. The castle is really straight out of some medieval movie and the best part is just getting lost in the narrow cobblestone streets between all the historic buildings. It’s definitely not hard to see why Portugal has named Óbidos Castle as one of its 7 National Wonders!
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Visiting Obidos and Obidos Castle
Below you can find everything you need to know to visit Obidos and its castle.
Where is Obidos and how do you get there?
Where is Obidos Portugal on a map?
If you look on a map of Portugal, Obidos is located quite central in the country close to the western coast of Portugal.
Óbidos is only a short 1-hour drive from Lisbon or a 30-minute drive from the coastal city of Peniche. Because it’s so centrally located on the coast, there are tons of different ways you can get to Óbidos from Lisbon or anywhere else in the country.
Most people fly into Lisbon and start their Portugal trip from the capital city of Portugal. One of the options we recommend is renting a van and making a nice road trip out of it. There’s even an awesome campsite right outside the walls of Óbidos Castle.
Below you can find the most common ways to get to Obidos: by a guided tour, renting a car, van, or public transport.
By a guided tour:
One of the options that are worth considering if you’re going on a day trip from Lisbon to Obidos is looking into a guided tour. Once you add renting a car, paying for highway tolls and all that the costs (and time spent) add up. A guided tour of Obidos is just a nice way to see this medieval city and castle without all the extra headache of organizing everything on your own.
By renting a car:
If you enjoy going on your own though we recommend renting a car at Lisbon airport. It’s probably the cheapest and most convenient way to rent a car if you’re flying into the city. You can see the prices for car rentals in Lisbon here.
It’s probably our favourite way to travel around the country, by campervan. We were lucky enough to cruise around Portugal by Van from Lisbon for just over 2 weeks and it’s such an easy way to go from one place to another. And the drive to Óbidos is beautiful!
Thankfully, Portugal is super campervan friendly and even medieval castles like Óbidos has a campsite right outside the castle walls. So it’s super easy to come to Óbidos by van. You don’t have to worry about finding a decent parking spot because there’s designated ones for vans!
By public transport:
Lastly, public transport! Most of the time public transport in Portugal is the cheapest option. Especially if there’s only 1-2 of you travelling together.
You can actually go from Lisbon to Óbidos by either bus or train. Both options cost roughly the same (€9) and take you directly from Lisbon to Obidos. The only difference is how long it takes: by bus, it takes just over 1 hour and by train, it takes just over 2 hours.
You can book your train tickets to Obidos here and your bus tickets here. We personally would go for the bus if you’re just doing a day trip because it’s faster. If you’re planning on staying a night or two in Óbidos then consider taking the train because the Portuguese countryside is stunning.
Things to do in Obidos
I think one of the things we were surprised most about Óbidos is the amount of things there are to do within the castle walls. Most of the time you go see a castle, snap a few pictures, and that’s it. Óbidos is different since there’s a whole city inside the castle walls.
One of our favourite things we did in Óbidos was trying out the Capinha de Óbidos Bakery. Right on the main street as you walk the castle grounds. If you love sweets and traditional Portuguese baked goods you have to give this little bakery a try. Capinha de Óbidos make everything in-house and have some of the most delicious sweets imaginable inside.
There’s also other fun things to do like walking the castle wall (if you’re not scared of heights). Or finding the hidden swing with an amazing view of the city. You can check out this list of all the things to do in Óbidos Castle for some inspiration before you go!
You may also be lucky and some sort of festival or event may be going on while you’re in Óbidos as well! The castle is quite known for hosting theatre plays, markets, and festivals such as the Obidos Chocolate Festival or the Obidos Medieval Festival.
If you visit Obidos in late November or December, you’re in for a real treat as you’ll get to check out the Obidos Christmas Village.
Where to stay in Obidos
Hostel Argonauta (budget-friendly)
Hostel Argonauta is a charming and cozy hostel located 2 minutes away from the castle wall. It has everything you need to enjoy yourself for a day or two in Óbidos.
Once you’ve explored the castle for the day Argonauta is a nice place to come back to and relax for the rest of the night. You can’t beat the location for the price!
Casa de S. Thiago do Castelo
Casa de S. Thiago is centrally located. Even if you don’t end up staying here you’ll most likely walk by it and take a picture of it because of how cute the house is.
The “hotel” is located right in the old town of Óbidos. It’s walking distance to absolutely everything – and it comes with breakfast which we love. If you want to be in the center of everything Casa de S. Thiago is the place. You definitely get your money’s worth with this place!
Pousada Castelo de Óbidos
Pousada Castelo de Óbidos is hands down the most famous hotel in Óbidos and there’s a reason for it. This beautiful hotel is actually inside the actual Óbidos Castle. The views from the entrance of the hotel are incredible so I can’t imagine what it’s like from the windows inside.
If you want a fancy experience inside a medieval hotel, Pousada Castelo is exactly that. It’s a little pricey but not as expensive as you’d think for a night inside a castle. Next time we’re back in Óbidos we’re definitely going to try out staying at Pousada.
It’s quite a fun story but the reason we found Óbidos was actually because of the campsite right outside the city wall. While on the app Park 4 Night we discovered this cool campsite right outside of a castle and said we have to check this out.
We have a whole post on the Óbidos campsite, but if you’re travelling around Portugal by campervan you really have to check it out. It’s not your ordinary campsite. It doesn’t have all the amenities but it’s a unique and cool experience for a night.
How to get around Obidos
It’s so easy to get around Óbidos since it’s quite a small town – and it’s surrounded by castle walls. So no matter what you want to see and experience, you can get around on foot.
It’s so small that it’s not worth bringing your car in there! Instead, we recommend parking it just outside of the castle walls.
Where to park in Obidos
If you do end up renting a car in Lisbon or are driving your own then thankfully Óbidos has the biggest parking lot known to humankind (at least that’s what it feels like) and it’s perfectly located. You can see the Óbidos parking lot here. It’s basically right outside the front gate and only a 1-2 minute walk from the castle. It is not free but it’s roughly €1/hour.
If you’re like us and have a campervan or rented one from Portugal By Van then there’s a specific parking lot (camping spot) where you can park your campervan. Even if you’re not staying the night you can still park your campervan at the Óbidos campsite. If there’s room of course!
Both parking spots are basically right next to each other. The main parking lot in Óbidos for the cars is huge and impossible to miss. The parking lot for campervans is just behind it and much smaller. There is a blue sign with a campervan logo so you shouldn’t miss it. In case you can’t find the campervan spot it’s here on Google Maps.
Where to eat in Obidos?
JamonJamon is one of the more well-known and locally run restaurants in Óbidos. The restaurant is known for having amazing service and delicious food. If you like Spanish tapas then you will love this place. They take the concept from Spain but add their own Portuguese twist to it, Portuguese tapas!
Capinha de Óbidos
Capinha de Óbidos is a great place for breakfast and coffee (or hot chocolate). They have tons of different pastries and goodies. If you want to treat yourself to a yummy and sweet breakfast you can go early in the morning and get some of the freshest pastries you’ll ever have.
At Apostolos, you can sit outside while you watch your thin-crust pizza get made in the oven through the window. It’s a nice cozy spot with great customer service and good outdoor seating. The Italian-inspired food is delicious and the restaurant is conveniently located in Óbidos.
When to visit
When should you visit Óbidos? There really isn’t a bad time to visit, but if you come during the months of April-May you may be lucky enough to see the famous Óbidos Chocolate Festival. The festival has people from all around the world bringing in their custom sweets and chocolates.
The summer is also beautiful in Óbidos but gets extremely touristy especially up on the castle wall – and it is definitely not very pleasant walking on the wall when it’s filled with people. But on the flip side, the summer weather in Portugal is amazing so you can sit outside, drink some wine, and enjoy the beautiful sights while soaking up the Portuguese sun.
If we had to choose the best time to visit Óbidos it would be during late summer and early fall when tourism dies down and the castle grounds aren’t as busy. This way you can enjoy the whole castle, take pictures, and see everything without a bunch of people around. It will still be busy but not as touristy as other months.
We visited Obidos in November and it was surprisingly nice. The weather was warm, the sunset was gorgeous, and there were barely any people there. The city was preparing for the annual Christmas market so there was Christmas decorations and pretty lights everywhere!
With all that being said there really is no bad time to visit Óbidos! There are always markets and themed events going on in the castle grounds. It’s such a beautiful place that as long as it’s not pouring down rain we’re you’ll have a great time exploring this medieval castle.
Óbidos is a UNESCO heritage site, one of the 7 wonders of Portugal, and also hosts an annual chocolate festival so there aren’t many times of the year where Óbidos isn’t filled with tourists and crowds.
We would definitely say that the city can handle its tourists and for the most part even if it’s busy there’s still places to eat and hotel rooms available. The only downside is maybe walking the castle walls because when it gets busy it can take a while for people to pass. Especially since you have people walking in both directions. Add in a steep drop with no railing you can hold onto and it takes a while.
If you end up staying a night in a hostel or hotel in Óbidos then you’ll have a good chunk of time in the morning where the castle isn’t as busy. Lots of the guided tours and buses come from Lisbon closer to lunchtime which leaves the morning quieter.
At the end of the day, Óbidos Castle is busy for a reason and no matter the crowds and tourists we’re sure you’ll have a great time eating, walking, and enjoying the beautiful sights of Óbidos Castle.
Other information about visiting Obidos
How many days should you spend in Obidos?
It’s quite common to go on a guided tour from Lisbon and spend just the day in Óbidos but if you have the chance we recommend staying for at least one night in either Hostel Argonauta, Casa de S. Thiago, or Pousada Castelo de Óbidos.
This way you can enjoy a proper evening in Óbidos, try out one of the delicious restaurants, and then go for a walk on the castle wall while the sun is setting in the distance.
Then wake up the next morning, walk down the main street, and go grab a delicious pastry or two at Capinha de Óbidos while exploring the churches and shops nearby.
In a day and a half or two full days you can see everything there is to see in Óbidos and hopefully have all the photos you need from all the viewpoints around the castle.
We had a full afternoon of exploring before staying at the campsite next to the castle for the night. In the morning we did one more loop of the castle grounds before continuing our trip. We saw it all in the day and a half and had a really wonderful time in Óbidos.
What is the weather like in Obidos?
You can see the average weather for Óbidos in Celcius here and Fahrenheit here. Basically from October through March, it will be quite cool where you’ll definitely want to dress up a bit in pants and a sweater.
From April until the end of September most days will be quite warm where shorts and a shirt will be enough while exploring the castle. If you’re lucky even during the cooler months the afternoons can still get a little warm.
That being said, while we were in Óbidos in late November we were wearing shorts and t-shirts because it was so warm during the day! But you could definitely feel the crisp air when the sun was down.
You may also like…
- 9 Awesome Things to Do in Óbidos, Portugal
- The Most Unique Camping Spot in Óbidos
- The Best Ways to Get From Lisbon to Óbidos
Final thoughts on visiting Obidos Portugal
Óbidos is an absolutely wonderful place to visit! If you’re coming from Lisbon for a day trip you can easily see it all and enjoy the full day. If you’re cruising around Portugal by campervan then consider staying a night and seeing everything Óbidos has to offer.
Óbidos really is a special place not too far inland from Peniche and a quick drive from Lisbon. It’s one of those unique and special places in the world that blows you away down every street and every shop.
Take in the views, don’t get too scared of the crazy drop-offs along the castle wall, and just enjoy all the delicious Portuguese food you can find within the castle. Because it really is a special place and the whole castle makes for a magical experience.
Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures