Obidos – The Wedding City, Portugal

A view across the rooftops of Obidos as seen from the walls.

A view across the rooftops of Obidos as seen from the walls.

Obidos is listed as one of the seven wonders of Portugal, and with good reason too. The walled town is home to a myriad of cobbled streets, white walled houses, churches and a castle. The high walls cast views across the surrounding countryside but are not a place for those who suffer with vertigo; the narrow wall tops can be treacherous, especially on busy days.

 

Things to see in Obidos

Upon arrival by road you will inevitably pass the Roman aqueduct which leads from the heart of the town out into the wilds about. Opposite that is a square which houses the tourist information office where maps and further details of the area can be acquired.

The main entrance to the town is through the Porta da Vila; a keep like structure in which musicians, pedlars and tourists gather in equal measure, each serving the other. From here you enter Rua Direita and you can either turn sharp left and climb on to the city walls or continue ahead through the narrow streets filled with gift and sweet shops, cafés, restaurants and colourfully decorated houses.

The castle lies at the far end of the town and en route you will encounter Igreja de Santa Maria where King Afonso V was wed, and the Museu Municipal where works by Josefa de Obidos can be savoured.

 

Eating in Obidos

Obidos is a tourist driven town and as such is reflected in the price of the food. Expect predictable fare on most menus with perhaps only **** – an open air bar beside the north wall offering anything different in the shape of smoothies and vege-burgers.


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Getting to and from Obidos

Buses are the best opportunity for those without their own transport with services to Caldas da Rainha, and Peniche, both of which arrive and depart at Porta da Vila.

There is a very small train station which runs between Caldas da Rainha, Sao Martinho and Leiria. The station is a fair walk from the walled part of town though.

Reaching Obidos by car is a simple matter of following the N114 which intersects the A15 and IC1, then follow signs to the town. There is a paid car park outside the tourist office or you can park for free on the waste ground beside the aqueduct.

 

Places to stay in Obidos

There are a number of hotels and ‘pensions’ along Rua Direita offering rooms at reasonable prices and you can book a hotel by clicking here.

For more information on Obidos visit www.cm-obidos.pt

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