Things to do in Toledo – Beautiful Spanish History Awaits

Written By: The Planet D

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.

Cathedral Primada

The Cathedral in Toledo spain
The Cathedral!!

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

monastery in toledo spain at night
The Monestarie de S. Juan de los Reyesis most impressive at night!

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.

Jewish Quarter

small alley in toledo spain
The streets are small and confusing!

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

church in toledo spain
This unassuming church houses a masterpiece!!

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.

Don Quijote was here!!
Don Quijote was here!!

Deep in the heart of the fabled land of Don Quixote, it is a town that conjures up images of fairy tales and legends.

cafes in toledo spain
Stop for some Tapas at one of the may cafes

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

The city of Toledo!
The city of 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!

Toledo,Spain. A city you don't want to miss!
Toledo, Spain. A city you don’t want to miss!

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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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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12 thoughts on “Things to do in Toledo – Beautiful Spanish History Awaits”

  1. If you’re looking to visit Toledo on a budget you should definitely check out Be Your Guide Toledo, a mobile device application (aplicaciones desarrollo) that was developed specifically for the city of Toledo! It’s free to download in the app store and is the only one of its kind on the market. Being from the city of Toledo themselves, Nexora Solutions felt that this would be a great opportunity to share the wealth our city has to offer the world. It works offline too, so even if you’re traveling and don’t have an international plan you can use all of the features. It also provides user reviews of local pubs and restaurants to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

    Check out the full features at http://www.beyourguidetoledo.es/ !

    Reply
  2. We have just been to Toledo last September, we were only there for a day but managed to see most of the city. I agree that it is a must see and really enjoyed our day there, the only thing that disappointed us was the fact that we expected it to be less crowded. What we absolutely loved about the city however, was its history, character and traditional sweets. Eventhough, we are not that into sweets we fell in love with the local toledanas and other goodies we purchased from a small shop.
    .-= Mariella´s last blog ..A Sunday Walk – Dingli Cliffs =-.

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  3. Toledo is certainly one of the nicest cities in Spain. Easy to walk through, plenty of good photos to take, and the ride on the high speed train from Madrid is good fun too!

    Federico

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    • So great to hear that Toledo is one of the nicest cities in Spain. We didn’t get to explore as much of this vast country as we would have liked, so to know that we went to one of the best places is a bonus.

      Reply
  4. Looks like a lovely place and relaxing.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..A Few Different Dynamics of Travel within Round Two. =-.

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    • You would love Toledo Shawn, we could have stayed there for days relaxing. And with the affordable and convenient campsite, it is easy to do!

      Reply
  5. Looks absolutely stunning! Your Spain travels have me itching to make it over there! That shot of the tapas in the plaza makes me just want to plop down and watch the sunset with a coffee 🙂

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    • We really need to come back to Spain and give it the time it deserves. This hopping all over France and Spain trip has been great, but we want to spend a couple of months here and really feel the vibe and learn the language. This travel has certainly helped us build a must see list and list of places to come back to!

      Reply