While in Madrid, it’s easy to make a day trip to Toledo. Located about 70 km from Madrid, Toledo can be visited in one day. Here are my tips for planning your getaway to Toledo.
How to get to Toledo from Madrid
To get to Toledo, you have 2 options:
- You can take the train at Atocha station in Madrid, which offers an hourly departure. The train will take you to Toledo in about 25 minutes. Once there, you can walk to the center, but the ride is uphill and quite steep. The easiest way is to take a bus to get to the center of Toledo. You have the choice between lines 5, 6 and 22 that will drop you at Plaza de Zocodover, in the historic center.
- Bus is the most economical option (just over € 5 – € 10 for the whole trip), and i’s the one I chose. The journey is longer since it will take around 1 hour depending on traffic and whether the bus is direct to Toledo or not. Buses for Toledo can be found at Plaza Eliptica, south of Madrid. You can buy your tickets on site by going to automatic kiosks or at the counters of the Alsa company. I advise you to arrive in advance because the seats are not numbered. Good thing: the buses can take you back to Madrid until quite late in the evening (10:30 p.m. for the last one).
Things you’ll see in Toledo
Toledo is known as the “city of 3 cultures” because its old city includes medieval Christian, Jewish and Arab monuments as well. First, take a stroll in its alleys to enjoy the atmosphere. You will certainly come across one of the many shops for swords and damask jewelry that are present in the city. Among the monuments to visit in Toledo, I recommend:
Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo
This is THE place to visit when you arrive in Toledo. The cathedral was built in 1226 on the site of an old mosque. The interior is magnificent and the cathedral even contains a small museum with paintings by Goya, El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Titian and Raphael. You can buy your tickets on site, in the small shop opposite the cathedral. Try to go there early, because depending on the period of your visit, there can be a lot of people waiting to buy their ticket.
The Alcazar overlooks the city of Toledo. It was originally a Muslim fortress, which was later rebuilt several times. Going to the foot of the Alcazar, you will enjoy a magnificent view of the surroundings of Toledo. It now houses the Army Museum, which you can visit if you wish. This visit is quite long but very varied and interesting, with really unique pieces.
The monastery of San Juan de los Reyes
The third monument to discover in Toledo is the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. This Franciscan monastery includes a very pretty 2-storey interior courtyard with a beautiful garden and fruit trees.
The Synagogue Santa Maria la Blanca
Another place to discover, the Synagogue Santa Maria la Blanca was built in the 12th century and is a fine example of Mudejar architecture. Today, it is a museum that can be visited during your day in Toledo.
Mirador del Valle
Finally, if you want to enjoy a beautiful view of Toledo, you can go to the Mirador del Valle, located on the other side of the river Tagus. You will have a superb view of Toledo and its various monuments. To get there, you can take a small train from the city center.
These visits should keep your day in Toledo busy. If you really want to see those 4 monuments, I advise you to skip the visit to the museum located in the Alcazar, which will allow you to enjoy the other tourist attractions of the city 😊