Óbidos has one of Portugal’s greatest medieval castles
Obidos' castle dates back to Portugal’s Roman occupation, but its current layout is Moorish and the result of restorations and reconstructions from different Portuguese kings, starting in 1148.
The main towers were built in 1375, and in addition to its military function, it also served as a royal palace. The main building where the Portuguese king slept when he was in town is now a hotel, after major restoration of the entire construction starting in 1932.
From the walls of the castle you can see the entire town
Many visitors walk along the 13m-high battlements, which encircle the entire town for about 1.5km, for panoramic views. That’s probably the main tourist activity, but if you have mobility issues or if you suffer from vertigo, that’s not advisable. Also, since there are no handrails and the path is well worn and with multiple trip hazards, it can be a nail-biting experience and not recommended for children. You’ll have the best views and will take the best photos, but do watch your every step.
Inside the castle is a hotel
Behind the castle is a large terrace referred to as “Old Arms Square,” where the town’s main festivals usually take place. It offers some wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
In the whitewashed former palace (now the hotel), you can see Manueline (late Portuguese Gothic) windows from the 1500s and the royal coat of arms above a portal -- practically the only things that survived an earthquake in 1755, which left the building almost completely in ruins. Although you may not see the interior unless you’re staying at the hotel, you may see the small terrace and garden.
The castle’s hotel is a unique experience, and makes it worth staying the night in Obidos: