The best independent guide to Obidos and Central Portugal

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Obidos Portugal Tourism Guide - Updated for 2018!

Obidos is the classic Portuguese fortified town, and is one of the most picturesque locations in Portugal. Obidos radiates Portuguese charm, from the narrow cobbled streets, the quaint houses, through to the imposing medieval castle, which once guarded the region.

The region surrounding Obidos is as equally fascinating, there is the working fishing port of Peniche, the pristine beaches of Lagoa de Obidos and even Europe’s largest collection of Buddha statues at the Buddha Eden. Obidos is a great base from which to exploring this enthralling region, and the town is rapidly becoming a popular destination for holidays or longer stays.

This article will provide an introduction to Obidos, either as a day trip from Lisbon or for a holiday.



Quick details for Obidos

Obidos town walls

Obidos town walls

Our honest and independent opinion of Obidos

Obidos is one of the best day trips from Lisbon but has succumbed from its own popularity. During the summer it is swamped with coach tours and day trippers, and the allure of the town is significantly diminished.
We always suggest visiting early in the day before the arrival of the coach tours, or to spend a night, which has recently become a popular option.

Day-trippers who visit independently should be aware that Obidos is only a small town and can be fully seen within a couple of hours. There is much less to see in Obidos than Sintra or Cascais, but this does not detract from the main appeal of the town; it’s charm.

Conversely, coach tours often do not provide enough time for Obidos (as they rush on to Fatima or Batalha), only allow enough time to walk along the main street to the castle, and grab a glass of Ginja.

Obidos may be small and is often crowded with summer tourists, but it is still one of the most magical places of Portugal, and we can’t highly recommend it enough. If you’re in Lisbon for more than five days, or travelling from Lisbon to Porto, plan to include Obidos.

Obidos as an independent day trip

Obidos is one of the best day trips from Lisbon, and is highly recommended for visitors who are having a holiday within the Lisbon region. The day trip is hassle-free and suitable for all, and there is a direct express bus service connecting Lisbon to Obidos. Obidos is compact and easy to explore, with sufficient sights to fill a half day of sightseeing.

The main advantage of visiting Obidos independently (instead of joining a guided tour) is that the day can be planned to avoid the main peak hours and a longer time can be spent within the town. If you are unable to avoid the peak hours our recommendation is to explore either side of the main street (Rua Direita). These side and back streets are much quieter and provide alternative routes to the battlements, without the throng of tourists.

Obidos can be easily seen within a couple of hours, and to extend the day trip, Peniche, Nazaire or the Buddha Eden could be added. For a day trip which takes in multiple towns a rental car is recommended, but there is a regular bus service between Obidos and Peniche (25km, 40 min €2.75 fare, see Another option with a car is to visit Mafra palace on the way back to Lisbon.

Organised tours to Obidos

Organised tours are great for visitors who are limited for time, while providing knowledgeable guides and removing the hassle of public transport. The standard of organised tours in Portugal has vastly improved over the last few years, and some of the better tours which include Obidos are:

Our suggested order for Lisbon’s day trip

The suggested order of day trips from Lisbon are: 1) Sintra, 2) Cascais, 3)Obidos (or Evora), 4)Setubal, 5)Mafra/Ericeira.

Sintra is the best day trip from Lisbon and should be visited before Obidos. Evora and Obidos are interchangeable as a day trip to a historic fortified Portuguese town; Evora has many more sights but the journey is much longer (1h45 bus journey).
For a full guide to Lisbon’s day trips please click here.

Obidos for a holiday or as part of a tour

Obidos is ideal for visitors who are seeking a calm and authentic Portuguese experience, far removed from the hecticness of Lisbon or the larger coastal resorts. Once all of the day-trippers leave Obidos, the town has an infectious relaxed and peaceful ambience, where long evenings are spent in the family-run restaurants eating traditional home cooked food.

Highlights of the Obidos region include; Peniche, Nazare, and a bit further are Fatima, Batalha and Tomar. To get the most from a holiday to Obidos a rental car is recommended, but there is inexpensive public transport to the main towns of the region.

Obidos has a very limited number of hotels, which makes accommodation always in high demand. This is especially true during the peak season when the town and surrounding region will be fully sold out. Our advice is to book accommodation as soon as possible, before the best locations are gone. For a guide to the best hotels in Obidos region please click here.

The following box shows all of the last-minute deals (if there are any!) for Obidos, found by
Interesting fact about Obidos

Up until the 15th century there was a natural harbour on the western side of Obidos and ships would moor at the base of the battlements. The coastline was altered dramatically from the 15th century due to tsunamis (formed from earthquakes) and ferocious winter storms.

These powerful natural forces formed sandbars that reduced the flow of water to the harbour and formed the present coastline which is 10km to the west of Obidos. From the city walls in Obidos there clear views over the much-depleted harbour, which forms the Lagoa de Obidos.

Obidos walls battlements

There once was a bustling port on the other side of these walls.....

In the Obidos region......
Buddha’s in Obidos

Hidden within the rolling farmland and vineyards of the Obidos region is Europe’s largest collection Buddha statues. This unique collection includes terracotta statues, pagodas and numerous statues of Buddha, all set amidst the grounds of a classical Portuguese farm.
The Buddha Eden should be included in day trip to Obidos for those visitors with a car and is found in the Quinta dos Loridos, 10km south of Obidos. The entrance fee is €3 and typical visits last 1 hour.

Obidos for golf

Obidos is in a region of outstanding golf courses. The West Cliffs Golf Links, which opened in 2017, was named the World’s Best New Golf Course, while the Bom Sucesso course is part of the exclusive European Tour Properties network. The links to the websites are:
• Bom Sucesso -
• West Cliffs Golf Links -

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What’s the best monument in Obidos?

The best monument in Obidos is the beautiful Porta da Vila. The Porta da Vila was the main gate into Obidos and is decorated by traditional azulejos tiles which depict the Passion of Christ.

Porta da Vila Obidos

The beautiful tile paints of the Porta da Vila

What’s the best activity of Obidos?

The best activity of Obidos is the walk around the town walls, which extend around the entire town. From the walls there are wonderful views over the tiled roofs and traditional painted house of Obidos. The walk around town walls takes about an hour but is only suited for the fit and healthy as the path is well worn with multiple trip hazards and verges on dangerous. For a list of all of the sights in Obidos please click here.

Don't miss a glass of Ginja

The Obidos region is famed for the cherry liqueur called Ginja de Obidos and no trip to Obidos is complete without savouring this sweet tasting drink in one of the town’s small bars.Ginja is produced by infusing Morello cherries in Aguardiente (hence the strength of the drink!) and is served straight with a cherry in the shot glass. Some bars even serve the drink in a chocolate cup.

Ginja de obidos

Ginja de Obidos is a deliciously sweet alcoholic drink

How long to does it take to visit Obidos?

Obidos is a very small town and all of the major sights can be seen within in a couple of hours. The main attraction of Obidos is the charming nature of the town and this may not be fully experience during a rushed visit. During the summer try to arrive earlier or later in the day to avoid the numerous coach tours.

Obidos castle

The mighty Obidos castle has been converted into a hotel

Why stay longer in Obidos?

The main reason to stay in Obidos for a night is to experience the town once all of the daytrip tourists have left for the day. During the summer the town can get crowded with foreign tourists and the allure of the town can be lost. There are many good restaurants and bars in Obidos and these are best experienced with a night’s stay. Obidos can make for an enjoyable alternative destination as part of a tour of Portugal. Obidos is surrounded by an interesting and scenic region and highlights include Peniche, Caldas da Rainha and the beach of Lagoa de Obidos.

Travel to Obidos

The best method to travel to Obidos from Lisbon is to catch the bus. The express buses depart from Campo Grande bus station, which is located on the green and yellow metro line. The journey takes 1 hour and a single ticket costs €7.10.

Rodotejo Obidos bus

The Rodotejo buses that connect Lisbon and Obidos

The express Obidos bus route is called the “Rapida Verde”, which connects Lisbon with the city of Caldas da Rainha and is operated by the RODOTEJO bus company. There are multiple daily services Monday to Friday but there are significantly less services at the weekend. There is a train station in Obidos but rail travel is not an option as the journey is much longer than the bus route. For a complete guide about traveling to Obidos from Lisbon please click here.

Driving to Obidos

Obidos is located close to the A8 express way and the journey takes 45 minutes. This section of expressway uses the expensive and over complicated toll system. There is a single car park in Obidos which is south of the walled city but cars should not be driven into the old town.

Why visit Obidos?

Obidos is one of the most picturesque towns of Portugal. The compact town centre is filled with cobbled streets and traditional painted houses, while the entire town is encircled by the solid city walls. Obidos was traditionally owned by the queen of Portugal and this has ensured that every house or shop has been lovingly cared for and maintained. There is no better example of a traditional Portuguese town than Obidos.

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