Would you like to visit Toledo? It’s a great idea! I have great memories of my trip to Toledo. It was one of my first trips outside of France to tell you the truth. The eponymous provincial capital, Toledo is a city located in the heart of Spain, not far from Madrid. This historic city has a large number of interesting monuments to visit, and offers to discover an outstanding architectural heritage. If Spain is a destination that interests you, Toledo could well be your destination. It is unlike any other major Spanish city. Here’s why visiting Toledo is a great travel idea!
What to visit in Toledo?
Toledo is an ancient Spanish capital, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a rich architectural and historical heritage. The city is known as the “imperial city” and has a population of just under 85,000. It is not a megalopolis, even if it is the second city of its province in terms of population. Here is my selection of the most important monuments to visit in Toledo.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is a must-see monument in Toledo, and you will quickly understand why. This huge building in Gothic style is impressive. Its construction began in 1226 and was completed in the 15th century. It contains magnificent works of art, including works by Goya, Velazquez, Caravaggio and El Greco. It is the symbol of Toledo, and certainly its most beautiful work. A must-see!
The Alcázar of Toledo
The Alcázar of Toledo is a large Arab fortress. The emperor Charles V made it a residence. It is located on the highest hill of Toledo, and dominates the city. The view from this building is breathtaking. The Alcazar is a place full of history: it has witnessed countless military confrontations over the past centuries. Today, the building houses the library of Castilla-La Mancha and the Army Museum.
The Museum of Santa CruzThis
museum was built around a plateresque patio by the architects Enrique Egas and Covarrubias. There are major archaeological pieces as well as decorative pieces, including tiles. But that’s not all. The museum also has a large collection of paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries: Ribera, Morales, Greco, etc.
The Monastery of San Juan de los ReyesThis
impressive monument was built in memory of the battle of Toro, which took place in 1476, to pay homage to Prince John. It was built by the Catholics at the time when Isabel I of Castile ruled. This building was intended to become a royal mausoleum. Today, it is considered above all a magnificent example of the Isabelian Gothic style. Its square cloister with two levels is not to be missed!
The Church of Santo ToméIt
contains one of El Greco’s most important works: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. The Church of Santo Tomé is a must-see in Toledo. Its bell tower is of unparalleled beauty. It is a church-museum built in the
Mudejar style during the fourteenth century.
Toledo’s Jewish heritage
Toledo has a sumptuous Jewish quarter, which is one of the best preserved in Spain. This neighborhood contains a museum, the Sephardic Museum, which allows visitors to become aware of the richness of Jewish civilization and its common history with Spain. This museum is located in the monument El Tránsito. It is one of the synagogues of Toledo. Together with the second synagogue Santa Maria la Blanca, there are two beautiful examples of the Mudejar style.
The Convent of San Clemente
The Convent of San Clemente is a monastery with a specific architecture. This heterogeneous mix of styles is a sign that it is made up of several buildings from different eras. It contains three cloisters with different styles, which makes it a unique building. Inside, we can admire a Roman cistern, remains of the Cervatos’ palace, various decorative elements and Mudejar architecture. Today, the building houses a museum dedicated to marzipan.
Flying over the city in a balloon
It’s a great idea to take a flight over the city of Toledo! Taking a balloon ride is a great idea to admire the city and its surroundings. It’s a great experience and the prices are really cheaper than in France. Click here to learn more or on the image below.
Other places to visit in Toledo
During your visit to Toledo, you can discover many other monuments, historical sites, and attractions. They will complete your tour of the city! These include my Cristo de la Luz Mosque, which is a beautiful example of Islamic art, as well as the El Greco House-Museum. I can also mention the Mirador del Valle and the Bisagra Gate. Finally, don’t hesitate to visit Zocodover Square and the Mercado de San Agustín when you are in Toledo. These are beautiful places!
What to visit around Toledo?
Toledo is located in the heart of Spain. On both sides of the city there are interesting sites and other cities to visit.
Cabañeros National Park
Nature lovers can visit Cabañeros National Park from Toledo. This protected natural site was created in 1995 and covers an area of 409 square kilometers. This nature area represents the Iberian Mediterranean forest with a large number of plant and animal species. It is a real pleasure to walk through it, and to discover the Spanish biodiversity up close. A day trip is ideal.
The castle of Guadamur
The castle of Guadamur is a very beautiful building dating from the 15th century (and restored at the end of the 19th century). Of Italian inspiration, the castle is located in the region of Toledo. It is a gothic fortress with a moat that can be visited by moving away from Toledo.
As I mentioned in this article, Toledo is only 70 kilometers from Madrid. You can therefore take advantage of your stay in the heart of Spain to visit its capital, Toledo.s boulevards, and its monuments. You can also attend sporting events in Madrid if you are passionate about one of the country’s mythical sports: soccer. If you are interested in art, Madrid has a rich collection of European works of art, which can be found in the Prado Museum. Most of them are by Goya.
Small villages near Toledo
It is perfectly possible to travel to Spain and avoid the big cities. Between two visits to Toledo, it is possible to go on excursions around the city. And to discover small Spanish villages with a crazy charm. Guadamur, Aranjuez, Consuegra, Escalona… These little pieces of land represent the authentic, rustic Spain. They are very beautiful places to visit while hiking, especially in the heart of nature.
Where to stay in Toledo?
To visit Toledo in the best conditions, many establishments offer accommodation at various prices.
Los Pascuales Youth Hostel
Travelers who want to share a human experience, and keep their budget in check, can request one of the shared accommodations in Toledo. Among them is the Albergue Juvenil Los Pascuales, located right next to the Alcazar fortress. A perfect solution for solo travelers!
Click here to check availability of the Albergue Juvenil Los Pascuales
The Abaceria Hotel
Couples, families and travelers looking for privacy and comfort without affecting their budget can turn to a mid-range hotel in Toledo. The Abacería is one of them and it seems to be very popular with its visitors. It also offers a beautiful view of the historic center of the city!
Click here to check the availability of the Abacería
San Juan de los Reyes Hotel
Finally, visitors to Toledo who are looking for the highest level of comfort, as well as an authentic building, can also stay at the San Juan de los Reyes Hotel. Its neo-Mudéjar facade dating from the 19th century is a marvel! And the view of the city is breathtaking.
Click here to check availability for Hotel San Juan de los Reyes
Find my complete guide to where to stay in Toledo with the best addresses according to the different areas of the city.
Practical information for visiting Toledo
What are the practical aspects to know about a possible visit to Toledo? Answers.}
Visiting Toledo: do you need a visa?
Toledo is located in Spain, one of the member countries of the European Union. Therefore, to visit Toledo, EU citizens simply need to travel with their identity document. A valid ID or passport is sufficient to visit Toledo from France or from another member country. You can also decide to leave at the last minute to visit Toledo or another Spanish city!
When to visit Toledo?
Visiting Toledo is possible all year round, but some months are more pleasant than others. In order to enjoy pleasant temperatures
During your stay in Toledo, I advise you to go between the months of April and October. In July and August, it is not uncommon to observe dry periods in Toledo.
Rainfall is very rare, even during the winter. The months of March and November offer the right climate for visiting Toledo. However, temperatures rarely exceed 17°C. In December and January, the climate is clearly not favorable. During these two months, temperatures are low and rainfall is more common. Toledo is a city that thrives in the sun!
Getting around the cityToledo
is served by major roads, including highways linking it to Madrid. It also has a railroad network that connects it to other major Spanish cities. Toledo has a bus network that allows you to get around during the day. Cabs are also available to transport visitors to Toledo. Finally, there are also car rental agencies that make it easy to get around Toledo and its surroundings. Of course, bicycles, scooters and walking are also available in the city. However, there is no subway or streetcar.
Passes: parks, museums…
Museum passes allow easier access to the city’s various museums and attractions. Most of the time, these passes allow you to visit sites and monuments without having to wait or buy a ticket on the spot. If you decide to visit Toledo, you can get a pass now: it will save you precious time on each visit.
not a megalopolis, but it attracts visitors with its history and unusual architecture. This small city in central Spain is beautiful by day and night, and offers a variety of tours to those who stay here.
Take advantage of the mild Mediterranean climate to recharge your batteries in a historic city and learn more about Spanish culture! Visit Toledo…
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