Tourist’s guide to Obidos – wedding city in Portugal

Obidos (Portugal) is one of the oldest and truly fabulous towns in the country. The settlement was founded by the Celts and during the heyday of the Roman Empire, the city was considered an important port. In the 12th century, during the reign of the monarch Alfonso Enriques, the settlement became part of Portugal. The architectural appearance of Obidush incorporated unique elements and details from different cultures, traditions and religions. Today the city is filled with flowers, snow-white villas, quiet, picturesque streets and paved paths.

Photo: Obidos (Portugal)

Photo: Obidos, Portugal

General information

One of the streets of Obidush
Obidush Street

Obidos has a unique feature – this is a gift city. At the end of the 13th century, King Denish I presented it to his wife in honor of the wedding. Since then, Obidos is known worldwide as a city of weddings. Newlyweds love to arrange wedding photo sessions here or spend several days of their honeymoon.

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The name Óbidos probably comes from the Latin term oppidum, which means “citadel” or “fortified city”.

Obidos extends from the Atlantic to the interior of Extremadura along rivers and lakes, the distance to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is 100 km.

Now the population of the amazing resort settlement is 3 thousand people, and you can walk along only two streets.

What to see

The Portuguese honor their history, so since the 13th century the appearance of Obidos has not changed. Local residents and authorities strongly support the atmosphere of the Middle Ages here – they hold thematic fairs and festivals.

Obidos – a town from a fairy tale
Obidush Street in flowers

Seven centuries passed, but Obidos changed little during this period, he remained a unique museum exhibit. People come here to plunge into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, walk along the streets where the car is barely squeezed, and, of course, visit souvenir shops and eat in a small, cozy cafe.

It is interesting! The city library, which is located next to the castle, is a hangar, a quite modern building, and books are exhibited in the open air along three walls.

City wall

It is better to come to Obidos in the afternoon, when there are no large crowds of tourists. The most magnificent building is the castle. Travelers can climb the walls, but it is important to exercise caution, since not everywhere there are fences and passages are quite narrow.

Obidos is popular not only with its amazing medieval atmosphere and ancient sights, there are many old shops, there are huge beaches and a climate that is comfortable for tourists.

Walking the streets, be sure to try the famous cherry liqueur, which is sold in a chocolate cup for only 1 EUR.

Obidos Castle

This is one of the most popular and visited attractions of Obidos. The castle is included in all tourist routes.

Interesting fact! The castle complex has two statuses – a national monument of history and architecture, as well as one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.

Construction work began in the 12th century, over the course of a long history, the appearance of the castle changed. The palace has a square shape with a length of 30 meters on each side. The height of the towers is 15 meters. The castle was built at an altitude of almost 80 meters and is decorated in the style of manueline. Construction was completed at the beginning of the 13th century.

Photo: Obidos castle
Obidos Castle

The castle is conveniently located in relation to the capital, so members of the monarchial family of the unit came here, held celebrations and balls.

However, in the 18th century the palace was forgotten, as a result it began to collapse, and in 1755 the central palace was almost completely destroyed after the earthquake. The castle was first remembered in 1932, and its reconstruction began.

Note! Entrance to the territory of Obidos Castle is free, and part of the building is a luxury hotel where you can rent a room.

The central gate of Porta da Vila
Photo: the central gate of the city
Photo: Azulejo tiled balcony
Balcony behind the central gate

The charm of the settlement begins with picturesque gates decorated with Azulejo ceramic tiles, traditional for Portugal. The gates are shaped and have double doors, like a traditional Portuguese castle.

Immediately behind the gate there is a staircase along which you can reach a hill and take picturesque photos of Obidos. Another feature of the gate is a small chapel with a balcony, organized in the wall. According to one legend, it was built by a local resident in memory of her dead daughter. On the balcony, the rulers of the city met honored guests.

It is better to come here in the evening to avoid a large crowd. There are gates within walking distance of a parking lot and a bus stop; getting here on foot is not a problem.

Temple of Santa Maria
Photo: St.  Mary

Another attraction of Obidos in Portugal is the Church of Santa Maria. This is an elegant temple decorated with a snow-white bell tower and a portal decorated in the Renaissance style. To get to the temple, you must go along the street RuaDireyta.

Construction work began in the 12th century, over the course of three centuries the building was reconstructed several times and the final appearance of the church, preserved to this day, dates back to the 16th century. The interiors are decorated with azulezos ceramics and paintings by a local artist. Also inside is an altar and a tomb decorated with carvings.

Curious fact! In the middle of the 15th century, it was in this temple that the future Portuguese monarch was married by cousin Isabella. A shameful pillar is installed near the entrance to the attraction.

central Street
Tourists on one of the city streets
Beautiful street in Obidos, Portugal

The main street of the city leads to the castle of Obidos (Portugal). There are numerous shops and souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, where for 1 euro they serve a delicious ginja – cherry liqueur in a chocolate cup.

Walking along the main street, be sure to turn into small streets, twined with flowers, with exquisite balconies and wooden shutters.

The street is closed for transport, rare cars call here to bring the necessary goods to shops and hotels. In the daytime, the street turns into an endless stream of tourists and guests of the city of Obidos.

Medieval Fair – Mercado Medieval

The reconstruction of the Middle Ages is a tradition that began more than 10 years ago to attract foreign visitors.

Holding a medieval fair

These days, the entire local population takes to the streets to lively feel the history of Portugal and the city of Obidos. Each vacationer can join the event, it is enough to rent a suit. For those who come to the fair in stylized clothes, a discount is provided. Of course, buying a ticket is not necessary, since on holidays Obidos is enveloped in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages – mysterious and a little frightening.

Every year in the summer, Obidos seems to be transported in time to the distant past – knights, ladies in old clothes, artisans, Templars and even executioners appear on its streets. The smell of a wild boar roasted on a spit, flavored with exotic spices, aromas of flowers soars here. Bagpipes sound, loud laughter and horse neighing are heard.

Photo: performance of knightly fights

The main events of the holiday:

  • pre-Columbian cuisine;
  • street theater;
  • performances of medieval musicians;
  • Knights tournament.

Guests of the holiday are offered to taste fried quail, stewed boar, monastery beer. To commemorate the fair, you can buy leather sandals and silver jewelry. Children will surely like to ride a donkey and enjoy the real hunting falcon. The dance in the town square will finally be transferred to a distant era and will make you forget today.

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Chocolate Festival

Photo: Chocolate Festival

Another annual event, known worldwide, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, is the Chocolate Festival, which is why the city of Obidos is called the Chocolate Capital of Portugal. An event is held in spring, enveloping the streets of the city with an incredible aroma of chocolate and coffee.

Useful information! The cost of tickets for adults is 6 euros, a ticket for children from 6 to 11 years old costs 3 euros.

In addition to chocolate, during the festival in Obidos you can try original liquors that are prepared only in this town.

Photo: chocolate castle

Confectioners from all over the world gather for the holiday, a company car arrives where you can buy the most delicious ice cream. Guests of the city and tourists are invited to workshops on making chocolate. Chocolate sculpture exhibitions are held, and even a fashion show where chocolate clothes are displayed. Every year, a certain theme is chosen for the chocolate festival – in 2012 it was Disneyland, in 2013 – Willy Wonka chocolate factory, in 2014 – the zoo of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, in 2015 – the festival was dedicated to love.

Note! Children are attracted to workshops where they are taught to make sweets, the ticket price is 7.5 euros.

Some useful tips:
  • buy tickets at the box office in front of the main entrance to the holiday or in stores, at the box office near the parking lot, as a rule, there are always a lot of people;
  • chocolate show on the last Saturday of the holiday is free;
  • Before going to the festival, get ready – take a hat and apply sunscreen on your skin;
  • if you want to attend a culinary show, try to be in the forefront, otherwise you just will not see anything and you will not be able to try the cooked;
  • be sure to try something new, such as chocolate cheese.

It is important! The festival lasts 4 weeks, but the main events take place only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

How to get to Obidos

The most convenient route to the atmospheric town is from the capital of Portugal. That is why we will tell you how to get to Obidos from Lisbon.

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Metro and bus

Take the MetroVerde to MartimMoniz Square (Metro Lisboa trains run every 5 minutes). At the Campo Grande station you need to transfer to the Verde bus (operated by Rodoviariado Tejo, flights run every hour). The final stop is Óbidos.

The total travel time is about 1.5 hours, the cost is from 8 to 10 EUR.

Train

The journey takes 2 hours 15 minutes, tickets cost from 7 to 14 EUR.

At Lisboa Santa Apolonia station you need to take the Regional train (operated by Portuguese Railways, trains run every 4 hours). The final stop is Óbidos.

Taxi

You can book a transfer directly from the airport in Lisbon or from the hotel. The cost of the trip varies from 55 to 70 euros.

Car

An independent trip takes about 60 minutes, it will take 6-7 liters of gasoline (from 11 to 17 EUR).

Obidos (Portugal) – a lovely flowering town, once here, you will plunge into the atmosphere of a festive medieval. The settlement resembles a museum, where every house, every stone is an exhibit with a long history.

Attractions Obidos on the map.

Allow 150 seconds to watch the beautiful video from the Portuguese city of Obidos.



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