If you want to experience real unspoilt Portugal and you only have the time to visit one place in the country, you should definitely go for Óbidos, Portugal, as this place has absolutely everything that makes Portugal such a special place.
Only an hour's bus ride from the capital city of Lisbon, this picturesque town of just over three thousand inhabitant feels like an open-air museum, it is so perfectly preserved offering a careful selection of the most traditional types of buildings, arts and crafts. An impressive medieval city wall embraces the city and inside quaint, traditional whitewashed houses with Portuguese Azuleijo mosaics are scattered along narrow and winding cobblestone streets. A castle towering above the town on one end gives the place a remarkably impressive character and the adjoining city walls present an exceptional opportunity to walk around and observe not only the awe-inspiring countryside scenery outside the town, but also an overview of the narrow, labyrinthine streets below.
A place of historic importance, this estate was presented to Queen Isabel by King Dinis in the thirteenth century, and through the coming dynasties, it was always given special importance as the Queen's Estate. This explains why the place is so well preserved, and why despite being only a countryside town, it abounds with richly decorated buildings and a number of churches unprecedented for such a small population.
Óbidos is not only a model medieval town, but also a cultural hub that has a busy agenda. One of the most remarkable events throughout the year is the Portuguese Chocolate Festival that is organised every year within the medieval walls. For the duration of the festival, everything is turned into chocolate and chocolate-making workshops and chocolate statue exhibitions are organised on the territory of the castle. Speaking about chocolate, once in Óbidos, you should not miss the local specialty called ginginha, which is a cherry liquor traditionally served in a chocolate cup.
There are a few Óbidos, Portugal hostels, though they are normally expensive and outside of the historic city. As most of the activities and attractions here are limited to daylight hours, it might be an option to sleep in Lisbon and come to Óbidos only for a daytrip. Even though the city is guaranteed to make its way to your heart very quickly, given its small territory, it might get boring after a day or two anyway.
Hi, I'm JudyM,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Óbidos hostels. Welcome.