The town of Toledo lies about a half hour southwest of Madrid by high-speed train, and is well known both for its picturesque location on a hill and for its history as a prominent steel and sword-making town. In summary: it’s absolutely beautiful, and you have to go. Trains run once an hour from Madrid’s Atocha Station and will set you back only about 10 euro each way, so if you’re in Madrid, there’s really no excuse 🙂
Toledo is also known for it’s mix of Christian, Jewish, and Arab influence, all beautifully on display within the walls of the old town. We didn’t go inside too many places, instead opting to spend the day getting lost in the cobblestone streets, popping into the occasional tapas bar for snacks along the way. I’d recommend the same to anyone looking to spend a day here – plan to arrive early, but 9:30/10am or so, and catch an early evening train back to Madrid, around 5pm. You’ll have plenty of time to explore, trust me, and you’ll still be back in Madrid in time for dinner! You can buy train tickets in advance here. I’d recommend getting your Madrid-Toledo ticket a day or two prior to ensure you get one of the earlier trains. Your return trip can be done at the station that morning, or even in Toledo on your return, you just may not get your first choice train.
Some of the popular sights to see in Toledo are noted below. Based upon how much time you have, you can marvel in their beauty from outside or choose to spend some time inside exploring as well.
- Catedral Primada Toledo: 13th-century gothic cathedral
- Alcázar de Toledo: old palace converted to a military museum
- Monasterio San Juan de los Reyes: 15th-century church with 2-tiered cloisters
- Sinagoga Santa Maria la Blanca: 12th-century Moorish-style synagogue
- Iglesia de Santo Tomé: 14th century church featuring a painting by El Greco
- Museo de Santa Cruz: art museum in a medieval hospital
- Puente de Alcántara: pedestrian-only bridge with views of Toledo
Enjoy your time in Toledo, and drop a line if you have any questions!