Óbidos, Portugal is a completely walled town two hours north of Lisbon.
Prior to our visit I was excited to visit what many people describe as one of the best medieval walled cities in Europe.
Unlike Tomar, Óbidos felt very touristy to me. The tour busses outside the wall were the first hint, and the mobs of people inside confirmed my thoughts. Michael Jackson’s Beat It blared over speakers.
Here are some top things to do in Óbidos.
Explore the medieval walls in Obidos Portugal
Though Óbidos is surrounded by striking medieval walls, I was frustrated that I could not get a shot I really liked.
Walk the ramparts
You can walk almost the entire perimeter of the walls on the ramparts. Safety is not a high priority as there is no rail. Be careful.
Look at the castle
That’s about all you can do because the castle is now a hotel. So if you want to see the castle, book a room at Pousada Castelo.
Stroll Rua Direita
along with what appears to be every other tourist in Portugal. The route is lined with shops and places that sell…
About every 10 meters along Rua Direita someone is selling Ginja – a shot of local cherry liquor in a mini edible chocolate cup. And it’s only one euro. It tasted like cough medicine but you have to try it.
Visit St. Mary’s Square
As you walk Rua Direita you will pass this small town square. If you go down into the square you will see this fountain.
I am quoting from the plaque next to the square: “It is considered to be the most beautiful fountain of Óbidos”.
You can draw your own conclusion.
St. Mary’s Church
It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but I really liked the tile walls and hand painted barrel vaulted ceiling on the inside.
Get off the beaten path
Take a detour down any one of the side streets off Rua Direita to see the quaint whitewashed buildings with either blue or yellow or red trim – only those three colors. You will very possibly have the place to yourself.
Check out the aqueduct
only a couple hundred meters outside the south gate.
Summary: Things to do in Obidos Portugal
I was a little disappointed in Óbidos. Maybe it’s because I was really excited to visit the walled town and my expectations were so high.
Maybe it’s because it felt more touristy than I expected after Porto, Coimbra and Tomar did not feel touristy.
Maybe it’s because a lot of the whitewashed buildings were in need of a paint job.
Or maybe it’s because so many people disrespected the walls.
Though if you like medieval small towns, like I do, you still need to go to Óbidos. I am glad I did.
The crowds die down after dark (and are minimal early in the morning) so I strongly encourage you to spend the night in Óbidos, preferably within the city walls.