There are many beautiful cities in Spain and Toledo is one of them. The small city is filled with history and picture-perfect scenes waiting around every corner. So, what are all the things to do in Toledo that make it a must-stop on any Spain itinerary? Let’s find out!
Toledo, Beautiful Spanish History Awaits
Set in the post card perfect land of Castillo La Mancha, Toledo is a small city located just south of Madrid. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toledo has played an important role in Spanish history.
The centuries-old city stands proudly on the top of a hill overlooking the Tajo River. Throughout the ages it has seen Christian, Muslim and Jewish living within its fortified walls. Getting lost in the streets to explore the mosques, synagogs, and churches is part of the fun of visiting Toledo, so let’s take a walking tour of this beautiful walled medieval city.
We followed our GPS’s directions to the tourist information centre in the heart of the old city and held our breath while driving through tiny alleyways and narrow streets. The highlight building according to the guidebooks is The Catedral in the centre of town.
Construction began in 1226 on top of a mosque and took 250 years to complete. The Gothic Chuch is one of the most important in all of Spain!
Monasterio de SAN. Juan de los Reyes
The Cathedral may be the top attraction in Toledo, but to us, by far the most impressive building is the Monestarie de S. Juan de los Reyes. Built by Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Castile, it was commissioned to celebrate their victory at the Battle of Toro.
It is a magnificent church that you can see from across the river. We highly recommend checking it out at night. It can be seen from several vantage points within the city too. You will catch glimpses of its spires as you walk through the historical alleyways.
Get Lost in the Streets
Part of the charm of exploring Toledo is wandering the cobblestone strees. We visited just before the high season in Europe and it couldn’t be a more pleasant time to be in Toledo.
Only a few tourists were strolling the streets and we all enjoyed mutual laughs as we met each other in back alleyways or open squares. All of us had our heads buried in our maps wandering the many pathways that lead to the many monuments. Getting lost in Toledo is part of the enchantment. You never know what you will see.
The best place to get lost is the old Jewish Quarter of Toledo. It is a beautiful area that houses many things to see including the Synagoga del Tránsito. It is one of the greatest examples of Jewish Spanish architecture. The Sephardic Museum is connected to the Synagogue to showcase the history of Spanish Jews.
Casa Musea de El Greco
The Casa Musea de El Greco is dedicated to the artist with the same name. El Greco was a Spanish Renaissance artist that was thought to have lived here. It was transformed to recreate the style of the time and houses works by El Greco and other 17th century artists.
Iglesia de Santo Tome
To think that we are in the land of El Greco is exciting and there are many examples of his works throughout the city. The Iglesia de Santo Tome houses the masterpiece El Entierro del Conde deo Orgaz by the artist.
Deep in the heart of the fabled land of Don Quixote, it is a town that conjures up images of fairy tales and legends.
The sites are numerous in Toledo Besides the many historical sites and attractions, Toledo is filled with tapas bars, restaurants and the odd nightclub.
There is a university located just across the river from the old city.
The young hip students bring energy to the old buildings melding the old and the new beautifully together in the 21st century.
It has some great shopping and souvenir shops. We kicked ourselves for waiting too long to buy a Knights of the Templar figurine. The shop closed and we missed our opportunity.
Where to Stay in Toledo
You definitely need two days to enjoy this town and luckily for us there is a terrific campsite just outside of town. The El Grecco Campsite is only a few short km away with regular bus service to the city. Located on the river, it is 23 Euro a night, it is quiet, clean and it has a swimming pool and restaurant.
We drove to the parking lot at the North End of town instead of taking the bus. Located at Puerta de Alfonsa VI you can park for a reasonable price and take the Escalareas Mencanicas up to the city.
Toledo is located on a high steep hill and the walk up can be intimidating, but never fear you can take these escalators right to the top and not raise your heart rate one single beat!
If you happen to make it to Spain Toledo is the city to see. You can catch a bus or train from Madrid and spend the day or you can spend a few days soaking up the atmosphere.
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