I recently fell in love…
With the stunning city of Toledo, just about 65 km south of Madrid. The former capital with its little alleys, beautiful architecture and delicious marzipan is easy to reach from Madrid and should definitely be on your list, when visiting Spain. Obviously I had to share this daytrip opportunity with you. And as I am keen to visit this city again, this guide is hopefully going to get updated more than just once.
How to get there
Coming from Madrid (as this post considers) you can either take the direct bus from Plaza Eliptica – the metro´s Circular Line 6 will take you there – for around 10 Euros round trip or take the train from Puerta de Atocha for about 10 Euros each way. For those coming from other Spanish Cities the train is usually the best option to get around in this country. Or just take the car.
What to see
The number one advice I would give more than ever before is to get lost, which is particularly easy in this city´s winding alleyways. Just turn around whichever corner you want, walk down the cute alley that catches your attention and get of the beaten path. Toledo isn´t huge, so you´ll always be able to find your way back to where you need to go.
Apart from that, my favourites where the Synagoges Santa Maria La Blanca and El Tránsito (now Museo Sefardí), that are beautifully decorated, as you can see above. I also loved the patio inside the monastery San Juan de los Reyes.
For the art interested I´d recommend a visit to the El Greco museum, who lived and died in Toledo. But also for anyone else, as the house and garden housing the museum are really pretty, especially in spring, when everything is in bloom.
One thing that I have yet to try – and absolutely want to – is a tour of the city´s underground, as there seems to be a lot to explore below the surface.
How to get a great view of the city
Wondering how to get this view of the whole beautiful city? There is a tourist view point south of the city, from where you can get a great shot. A bus service there departs at Plaza de Zocodover, Toledo´s main square. Toledo´s little tourist train will give you a view over the city as well, but I would highly encourage everyone to take a couple of hours and cross the river at the Puente St. Martín and walk to the view point, before reentering over Puente Alcazár (or the other way around of course), as on your way you´ll find a bunch of other amazing spots for a great shot or just a moment enjoying the view of the medieval city.
Where and what to eat
Toledo is the Spanish gastronomy capital of 2016 and there are a lot of typical, yummy dishes to try, such as Carcamusas – a stew with pork, potatos and seasonal veggies –, cordonices a la toledana – quails – or of course Manchego.
Definitely make sure to try the famous Mazapán de Toledo as well. For example in one of the many confectioneries around the Plaza Zocodover, like the super cute Jacinta and María Chocolates right behind the square, on Calle Santa Fe.
For a good coffee–to–go with some delicious syrup choices – I love the Cappuccino with White Chocolate Flavour added – go to Il Cappuccino on Plaza de Magdalena. I will skip the cookie next time though, as it was pretty hard. Just go for the coffee, as that´s a big recommendation!
In Toledo you can eat well pretty easily and there are a lot of Restaurants, in the old Jewish neighbourhood for example (Meson La Orza in Calle Descalzos has a great menu and pretty terrace right by the El Greco Museum) . A choice, that isn´t right where all the tourists are and that I´ve had Internet such as personal recommendations for -will try it out ASAP – is La Abadía (Plaza San Nicolas).
Where to shop
There are a bunch of cute little stores in Toledo, as you´ll notice. One I find particularly nice concerning clothing, interior and service is “Parajos en la cabeza”. Wanted to buy basically anything they had.
Good to know: offers and tips
- The museums have certain times, when admission is free. You can visit the El Greco Museum and Museo Sefardí Saturdays after 2PM and Sunday mornings without having to pay the entrance fee.
- There is a “pulsera turistica” for eight euros, that enables you to visit Sinagoga Santa María la Blanca, Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes, Mezquita Cristo de la Luz, Entierro del Señor de Orgaz, Iglesia del Salvador and the Iglesia de los Jesuitas. Seperately each admission is 2,50 €, so it is worth it if you want to visit more than three of those buildings.
- As mentioned before there is a little tourist train (Zocotren), that departs at Plaza Zocodover, passes through the center of Toledo and even takes the road outside of the city walls to give you a view over the city. It costs 5,50€ and the route lasts about 40 minutes, even though I´ve heard it ends up being shorter. So maybe consider this for a rainy day, that you don´t want to walk a lot, as walking is normally the best way to get around this city.
Any other tips on Toledo or maybe for other daytrips from Madrid? Leave a comment. I´d love to hear your opinion!