One thing we don’t usually do in the countries we come from is act like a total tourist! Over the years, I’ve been trying to be better about visiting local touristic sites, monuments, museums and cities in my home country of Portugal. Not only is there so much on offer, but you’re also giving back by putting money into local attractions that are really amazing. Portugal is rich in history, culture, literature, art, food, music and so much more. I try and create content about my favorite spots every time I visit, like my restaurant guide to my hometown of Cascais. When my (very) pregnant bestie and I decided to link up, we headed out to a gorgeous historical walled city an hour from Lisbon, to walk around and bring you A Day In Óbidos, Portugal!
First of all, can we talk about the fact that the city of Óbidos was a gift to Queen Isabel (my favorite Portuguese queen) from King Dinis on their wedding day? Since then, lots of queens passed through the city and it developed and benefitted from their orders to build infrastructure. The big earthquake of 1755, which destroyed Lisbon, was felt in Óbidos too. It shook apart some of the outer wall, buildings and temples as well as changing some of the characteristic architectural features implemented by the prior Arab rule. It was also home to brutal historical battles, such as the Peninsula Battles and was where the planning for the Portuguese Revolution on April 25th, 1974 took place. Pretty iconic.
+ Narrow Cobble Stone Streets
You can see Óbidos in a day. There are tons of tours from Lisbon for a very reasonable price. If you decide to drive, then there’s a great dust car park a short walk from the main gateway. Once you walk in through the city wall entrance, you’ll feel the charm of the traditional cobble stone streets, narrow alleys and picturesque painted buildings. Stiletto heels aren’t great footwear for obvious reasons (as I found out since I wore pointy heeled boots!) so my suggestion is to put on a good pair of shoes that have grip. Over the years, the stones have worn away their texture and are very smooth. This means that you can slip and slide quite easily as you walk around exploring the sloping back streets and alleys! Another thing to note is that strollers aren’t the best on this terrain unless they have big pumped wheels. We did OK with Zoe’s little Maclaren Quest but couldn’t explore too much because the thinner wheels got stuck in between the stones a lot.
+ Climb the city walls
This is a must if you’re feeling adventurous and active. It’s quite a climb to get to the top and there are no guard rails at all so please be so careful! The cobble stones are often slippery in places so hold on tight, go slow and do not take small children up there with you. It’s worth it for the views! Beware the wind however – Portugal is known for it’s gusty winds so hold on to your belongings and yourself! If you don’t want to climb walls, I understand (lol). You can appreciate the views from many different lookouts between houses and streets by exploring the higher ground alleys and more!
+ Explore the shops & local delicacies
Like any city that has visitors, Óbidos has no shortage of quaint little shops to pop in and out of. I have to say, after having been to a lot of souvenir stores, Óbidos has some of the most original and beautiful trinkets to buy. They’re not super cliché, they’re made thoughtfully and originally. One of my favorite shops was Porta 85. Filled with Instagram worthy souvenirs that felt modern, fresh and authentic, I couldn’t resist spending some time in there! Another corner that caught my eye was a lofty and spacious book store that doubled up an organic groceries spot too! I was transported to such a peaceful place in amongst all the books. Be sure to stop by the local bakeries. Portuguese bread is THE BEST EVER, hands down. I am a huge bread fan – I’ve had delicious bread in Italy, France and all over. Nothing lives up to Portuguese bread! YUMMY! Try a glass of Ginjinha d’Óbidos, a local specialty alcoholic liqueur made by infusing cherries with Aguardente. Take your time, there are so many cute and memorable things to choose from!
+ Have A Yummy Lunch
As I mentioned… FOOD! We stopped off at the delicious Jamon! Jamon! restaurant which my bestie recommended. It’s Portuguese food done in a really fun way. It was so good. The menu is small but diverse and the food is excellent quality! Tucked away just outside the walls, it’s in an old traditional building with quaint narrow staircases and nooks and crannies! I loved it 🙂 Get the goat’s cheese with honey for appetizer and then anything off the main courses is delicious. The bread and spread starter is addictive, watch out!
We had so much fun exploring Óbidos! It wasn’t my first time there of course, but I always discover something beautiful and new. Please let me know if this guide was helpful and whether you’ve already visited!? Leave a comment below: do you ever decide to be a tourist in your own country? See you all soon over for more adventures on Instagram!