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Obidos as a day trip from Lisbon

Obidos is a pretty walled town, which can be easily visited as a day trip from Lisbon. The small size of Obidos means that it can be fully explored within a few hours and there is a regular express bus service between Lisbon and Obidos. This guide will detail a day trip to Obidos from Lisbon.

Obidos castle

Why Visit Obidos?

Obidos is considered as one of the most charming and picturesque towns of central Portugal, with traditional painted houses and narrow cobbled streets. Obidos has an extensive history, an imposing castle and wonderfully preserved town walls. For a guide to the major sights and activities of Obidos please click here. Obidos is a highly recommended day trip and is ideal for visitors who are on a longer holiday to Lisbon.

So why not join an organised tour?

There are many tour companies which provide excellent organised tours of Obidos. These day long tours combine Obidos with other destinations such as Fátima, Nazaré or Sintra. The advantage of an organised tour is that they provide knowledgeable tour guides, are hassle free and explore multiple destinations in a short time.

On the bus to Obidos

On the tour bus to Obidos!

The main disadvantage of the organised tours is that there is little flexibility with times. Obidos can get very busy during the summer and some of the appeal of the town can be lost if there are coach loads of other foreign tourists. By being independent you can arrive later in the day (after the mid-day rush has past), and spend as long as you like in Obidos.

The other advantage of visiting Obidos independently is that it is significantly cheaper; a return bus journey from Lisbon only costs €15.40, whereas the tours are around €60 per person.

How to travel from Lisbon to Obidos

A complete guide to traveling from Lisbon to Obidos can be found here. The Obidos bus departs from the Campo Grande bus station, which is on the yellow and green metro lines.For a link to the latest bus timetable and the exact departure location in Campo Grande (which is not clear) please see this guide.

Rodotejo Obidos bus

The Rodotejo buses connect Lisbon and Obidos

The bus tickets are purchased from the driver and a single ticket costs €7.20 (there are no return tickets for the route). The bus route follows the A8 expressway and the journey takes 1 hour.

Tour of Obidos

The main bus stop and car-park of Obidos are to the south end of the town and the tourist office is conveniently located close by. Outside of the town walls is the 14th century aqueduct which was funded by queen Isobel by selling the farm lands that surround Obidos.

Obidos aqueduct

The stone arches of Obidos aqueduct

The first sight is the Porto da Vlia, which was the main town gate of Obidos. The two gates are relatively small and are staggered to prevent a cavalry charge. In the centre courtyard of the Porta de villa are beautiful blue and white tiles which depart the passion of Christ.

Porta da Vila Obidos

The beautiful tile paints of the Porta da Vila

Once through the gates is a small bar and this is an ideal opportunity to try the traditional drink of Obidos, Ginja de Obidos, a sweet cherry liquor. One novelty of the drink is that it can be served in small chocolate cups.

Ginja de obidos

Ginja de Obidos is a deliciously sweet alcoholic drink

There are steps to the left of the porta da Villa which climb up to the town walls and there are great views over Obidos from this vantage point. Portugal does lack some of the health and safety features of other counties – there are no hand rails and there are multiple trip hazards on the climb to the top of the city gate!

city wall  Obidos

The beautiful view over Obidos, Portugal from the city wall

The street leading from the gate is the Rua Direita and is lined with interesting tourists focused shops, that sell a range of varied gifts and items

Part way along the Rua Direita is the Praca Santa Maria and the Santa Maria church. This church is historically important as in 1411 king Afonso married his wife Isobel, they were just 10 and 8 when they married.

The Santa Maria church in Obidos

The Santa Maria church in Obidos

In front of the church is the stone pillory, from which criminals were hung. This was a gift to the people of Obidos from Queen Isobel, after her son died in mysteries circumstances.

Obidos Pillory

The Obidos Pillory

Further along the Rua Direita is Obidos castle, which has been converted into an exclusive hotel. The original castle was constructed in the 12th century but the keep and town walls were constructed in the 14th century.

Obidos castle

The mighty Obidos castle

To the rear of the castle is the Old Arms Square which leads out on the Cynegetic Park. From here there are wonderful views over the countryside that surrounds Obidos. Obidos was once a major port and boats could sail right up to the base of the hill which Obidos is situated on. The inland waterways became silted during the 15th century and this is when the prosperity of Obidos waned.

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