Obidos – a Queen’s Town

We had a free day in Lisbon to make a day trip and usually it would an easy choice: Sintra. But we were going to stay 3 nights in Sintra after Lisbon, our choices were: Tomar (the beautiful Convento de Cristo), Obidos (a picturesque walled town but read that it too touristy), and Cascais (a beach resort type of town). Although Cascais is the most convenient via public transportation, we could do that as side trip in Sintra as well. Both Tomar and Obidos take at least 2 hours to get to and Jason picked Obidos for being more to see. I have to say, Jason made a great choice 🙂

Yes, Obidos is a popular day trip from Lisbon, I would think by private tours because finding information on how to get there by public transportation was limited! I finally found a good post on TripAdvisor on where and how to get to Obidos. You can catch a bus at Campo Grande metro station, an outskirt from Lisbon, it was on the same metro line as Rossio so it wasn’t bad. Our 24 hours travel card expired at 9 am so we headed out before that to take advantage of a free ride. From Rossio to Campo Grande, it took around 20 minutes. Once we arrived Campo Grande, I went up to a staff in the metro station and asked for direction to the street “Rua Actor Antonio Silva” and that guy has no clue urg!!! Well that was when HERE Maps came to the rescue! It was hard to orient ourselves without the GPS because there are so many exit points from the metro station, it looked like this….cross the street and walk under that bridge:

I wouldn’t say turn left or right since it depends on which door you exit out of the metro…for us when we walk out to the exit where all those public buses stopped, we turned right, across the street, and under this bridge. Then, it’s the street with this tall apartment complex:

It’s a private bus company Rodotejo that runs the Lisbon to Obidos route under the line “Rapida Verde”. The bus has a sign displaying at the windshield “Lisbon -> Obidos -> Caldas Da Rainha”. There’s the bus:

The timetable can be found here: http://www.rodotejo.pt/rapidas, look under the line Caldas Da Rainha to Lisbon “Rapida Verde”. We got there at 9 am so we were early for the 9:30 am bus, it was a Sunday and the frequency of the bus was like 1.5-2 hours per so we didn’t want to risk missing it. Bus ticket is cash only and cost €7.60 round trip per person. The journey took only an hour with one stop in between. The bus stopped right at outside the town wall so it was very convenient and the return bus is just the opposite direction on the same place. Where the bus dropped us off:

Climb those stairs and turn right will be the entrance gate 🙂 The brightly yellow wall caught my attention – this is one of Obido’s characteristic!

Entrance gate:

You see there are two ladies behind me that seemed to have something interesting going on there? Yep, that’s where the famous wall located:

Obidos is a town that the king gifted to the queen; the queen even built an aqueduct to led water into the town that she had spent all the money on. As a result, she had to sell all the lands surrounding Obidos to fund the project and became a very adorable picturesque town!

After that “grand” entrance, you’ll see why this town is just too cute! The photo doesn’t do it justice since it was cloudy….oh it was cold too without the sun and luckily I carried a shawl with me!

I love visiting those fairy-tale like small towns and villages and Obidos definitely fit into one of those! The enclosed town all filled with white houses with either bright yellow or blue outlines and beautifully decorated with flowers! Tourists are probably their main stream of income, both main streets are either restaurants or souvenir shops.

Do not forget to check out the side roads off the main streets, you’ll never know what surprises ahead 🙂

Love this building covered with purple bougainvillea (reminded me of Santorini)!!!

And more…

Another famous thing about Obidos is being the producer/originator of “Ginja” a cherry wine served in a chocolate cup (yes a chocolate cup so you can eat with the drink)!

Wine tasting? You’ll have no problem finding one since many stores will have a booth for Ginja tasting and only cost…….1 euro!!! I can’t drink alcohol, zero-alcohol tolerance, so the responsibility landed on Jason LOL!

According to Jason, it was good, it complemented very well with the chocolate cup! He was super happy and wanted another cup!!! Nonono hun, I can’t carry you home! Let’s shop instead! As I mentioned that souvenir shops in Lisbons have similar prices so it doesn’t worth the effort to look around for the cheapest, same applies to Obidos! We found that the same item could be a little bit cheaper in Lisbon with the exception of Ginja of course! Spoiler alert…the Ginja tasting cost as high as €1.50 and not including the chocolate cup at Cascais; Obidos is probably the best place to try or buy Ginja 🙂

Although Lisbon is very budget friendly destination, food are much cheaper than other Western European countries, souvenir prices aren’t that low as I estimated. It was hard to find unique souvenir that is worth its price tag! Let’s focus on taking photos instead!

This side road is brilliant! The shop sells the blue paint so you can paint on its white wall!

The sun finally break through the clouds and what a difference it made on photos!

A record shop?

Every European town must have a church!

And more cute shops:

End of the main street, you can probably walk from one end to another in 10 minutes, of course, that doesn’t account for the time for making countless numbers of stops to take photos 🙂

Wow this house is cute!

This end intersection we already spent 10 minutes taking photos of every corner!

We entered this church but surprisingly it is a book shop! Portuguese must have a love for books, we found the most bookstores in Portugal than anywhere we had traveled to!

A book church??

For sure, it’s a Portuguese book, Jason read it up side down LOL!!!

Looking out at the town from the book store…wahhhhhhh like in a fairy-tale! Too bad they allowed cars inside so it lost some of its fairy-tale charm!

The way walking back, we chose via its city-wall! We had visited a few walled towns/cities: Avila in Spain, Dubronvik in Croatia, Carcassonne in France, this is the only one that is free!

We started at the back of the town, where outside the gate has those very medieval looking houses. Guess what is this one?

It’s a public restroom lol!!!!

We were wondering what’s the purpose of those houses…looking like storage house to me. Jason said they looked like a movie set! What do you think?

Each “house” has a unique animal figure, hum, what do they stand for?

We can just walk up onto its wall like that…no admission charge….

Safety precaution is none so be careful!!!

Some sections were adventurous to walk through!!!

Two-way traffic urggggg squeeze! I’ll be just passive and let others to pass me, NO WAY, I’ll walk near that edge; I am afraid of height!

That castle now turned into a luxury hotel, I read!

Even Jason was very cautious!

Up on the wall gave panoramic views of the beautiful town and nearby! Every few steps, every corners, we had to stop for photos!

It was very steep!!

No guardrail nothing so be careful!

Risk for the great views!

This is the whole town!

The aqueduct that led water into the town back in the days…there’s a huge parking lot with few tour buses so you can expect how touristy this little town could get!

The postcard perfect view is this section!

After that postcard perfect corner, we walked back down to town and look the difference with and without the sun of the same exact place!

Without the sun:

With the sun:

We went to explore the right main street and it’s mostly filled with restaurants:

More pretty side road filled with bougainvillea:

Taking photos can’t be full, my stomach reminded me it was time for lunch 🙂 We chose Tasca Torta located on the main street based on good TripAdvisor reviews. It took them a long time for our food to come, I was super starving!

Finally!!! My Portuguese fried steak with egg. The steak wasn’t good quality so it was quite dry 🙁

Jason ordered the more expensive steak and it was much better!

Really medium-rare! I am not sure why it got so highly rated, it was more like a tourist trap for me, the lunch cost €30.55 (yikes) and it took so many tries for my credit card to get through (connection issue).

After lunch, I checked the bus schedule and we have an hour before the next bus so we continued in this cute town for more photos!

And Jason said I need to take a sip just to experience it so I can write about it in my blog and try out the white chocolate cup (that was his intention) LOL! Fine fine fine!

It was very cherryyyyy and sweet taste more than sour…and the rest including the white chocolate cup all went inside Jason’s tummy LOL!

We still have time so we made our way to the entrance gate, saw another horse carriage:

We were looking for the cute domed church but instead led to a cemetery that Jason entered to check it out:

We took the 2:45 pm bus back to Lisbon, arriving the Campo Grande at 3:45 pm; the station was super crowded as there was a game going on that night. And finally we made it back to the hotel around 4:30 pm. Pass the busy Rossio square:

Jason of course took a little nap while I research for another great Portuguese seafood rice in soup – Arroz de Marisco: O’Arco right on the same street as last night’s UMA. Another one that you need to get in the queue early or make reservation! The restaurant was almost fully reserved, thankfully almost, and we were the first in line so we were able to get a free table yay!!!!

Their menu, very inexpensive:

I was thinking…I need to try grilled sardines that Portugal is famous for but they were out of sardines that night awww! An alternative for appetizer………fried calamari! It was thick calamari and was crunchy and just about the right amount of salt 🙂

It came with a salad that we definitely need to “clean” those oil food.

Instead of the classic Arroz de Marisco, I actually ordered the seafood soup to try something different but it came with rice as a side dish so it was perfect! The seafood soup was filled with my favorite shrimps yum yum!

Being a soup, it was as thick as the seafood soup on rice but the seafood taste was awesome! It was really really good, more shrimp and clam tasted than UMA’s crab based. I really can’t decide which one is better, both were among the best we had in Lisbon! Arroz de Marisco is a must in Lisbon!!! The total cost of our delicious dinner: €31.50, just 1 euro more than the tourist trap lunch we had earlier in Obidios. O’Arco is another cash-only restaurant, you now know why I said you need to bring a lot of cash to eat in Lisbon? Most authentic places only take cash!

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel and took a picture of the hallway to where we had our breakfasts….beautiful hallway isn’t it?

Jason definitely made a great choice for the day trip to Obidos. It really wasn’t touristy/crowded people described. Yes, it was busy but it was no where “touristy” like those sites in Paris or Rome. Obidos is a really cute town perfect for photos 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Obidos – a Queen’s Town

  1. Beautiful! You are making me want to go to Portugal as my next adventure!

    Love all the detailed info you put in your posts about public transportation and where to buy souvenirs.

    1. Thank you Megan, yes you should visit Portugal soon before it gets popular 🙂 That’s one of my goal to share detailed information on how to get to places to encourage people to explore those hidden gems!

  2. “We were wondering what’s the purpose of those houses…” for the medieval fair that it’s hosted annually in Óbidos as well as other related events/fairs. There are several along the year.

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