Toledo is a pride of Spain that’s beaming with monumental and cultural heritage. Referred to as the city of 3 cultures, Toledo is a place where Christians, Muslims, Jews flourished in harmony. You can witness this blend of cultures in Toledo’s spectacular monuments and architectural designs.
The city takes pride in being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts numerous travellers every year. With phenomenal designs, delectable local cuisines and stunning architecture, Toledo’s old town is popular among travel bloggers.
Located at a distance of 74km from Madrid, Toledo is easily accessible by bus, train or car. The most convenient way is to travel is by the high-speed train departing from Atocha, Madrid. It takes only 30 minutes to reach this historic city that’s perfect for a day outing.
If you are visiting Toledo for a day, here is a list of places and experiences that should not be missed:
Admire the splendour of the Cathedral
The Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks of Toledo. Built in the 13th century, it is considered as a masterpiece of Gothic style architecture. The majestic interiors and the collection of incredible artworks and paintings will leave you spellbound.
Everything from the Baroque altarpiece, stained glass windows, to the impressive vaulted ceilings will take you back in time. The 10 feet tall great monstrance adorned with jewels is another awe-inspiring sight at the cathedral. In all senses, the cathedral is an epitome of skilful art, design and architectural excellence.
A visit to this magnificent cathedral promises an enriching experience.
Visit the Alcazar
The Alcazar of Toledo gives a glimpse of the diverse cultures that have passed throughout the city’s glorious history. It was once a Roman palace, then a Moorish fortress before it was restored in the Christian era. It showcases a blend of stunning architectural styles like medieval, renaissance and churrigueresque and plateresque.
Post the Spanish civil war, it is considered as a symbol of Spain’s nationalism. It now houses an Army Museum with exhibits from the civil war and military memorabilia.
Located on the highest hill of Toledo, it lets you witness stunning panoramic views of the city.
Stop by at the Plaza de Zocodover
To reach the Alcazar, you need to go along the Plaza de Zocodover which is a destination in itself. Stop by this bustling square of Toledo, which was once the city’s most important market.
Various fun events and celebrations take place here held at this lively plaza. Filled with cafes and stores, it is still a meeting spot that’s popular among travellers and locals alike. Take home some amazing souvenirs, beautiful pictures and treasured memories from Plaza de Zocodover.
Visit Santa Maria La Blanca
Santa Maria La Blanca is the oldest standing synagogue building not just in Spain, but in entire Europe. It was built in 1180 by Islamic architects under the Christian Kingdom for use by the Jews. It’s thus the perfect example of how the 3 cultures co-existed during the Middle ages.
The design and style make Santa Maria La Blanca a masterpiece of Almohad architecture. Although in the 15th century it was transformed into a church, the Moorish- influenced design has been kept alive. Religious ceremonies are no longer held in this building, but its splendour and skilful design attract numerous travellers.
Visit El Greco Museum
Museo del Greco boasts a spectacular collection of works by the celebrated artist El Greco. The mannerist painter who was born in Fodele, Crete had spent many years in Toledo. You can witness some of his greatest works here like the Apostolado, Saint Bernardino of Siena and view of Toledo.
The Museum also has vintage furniture and paintings of other talented Spanish artists from the 17th century. Another impressive inclusion in the museum is the pottery from Talavera de la Reina. If you are an art lover, this place will be will become your most favourite destination.
The 16th-century house replicates El Greco’s home and you can take a walk through the garden and courtyard.
Visit the Santa Cruz Museum
The magnificent Museo de Santa Cruz is one of the must-visit destinations in Toledo for its design and collections. Initially constructed as a hospital, the 16th-century building has been transformed into a spectacular museum.
You will be mesmerised with the attention to detail given to the designs. The plateresque façade, staircase, symmetric windows, ceilings and courtyard are designed to perfection.
The museum is divided into sections of archaeology, fine arts and decorative arts. You can travel to the history of Toledo through the artworks displayed at the museum. It has notable works of El Greco, Toledan folk handicrafts and many antiques from Roman and Moorish era.
Try Toledo Cuisines
The dining scene is Toledo is as impressive and diverse as its history and culture. The cuisines are influenced by the 3 cultures that once thrived in Toledo. From Carcamusas, Marzipan, Venado to Cochifrito there are numerous lip-smacking dishes you would love to try.
There are myriad restaurants scattered across the city where you can indulge in traditional Toledo cuisines. The city also hosts many food fairs and gastronomy events throughout the year. Explore the delicious cuisines, hop the tapas bars and eat like a local while at Toledo.
Indulge in Arabic Bath
Experience tranquillity like never before by indulging in an Arabic bath and massage session at Medina Mudejar Banos Arabes. It’s nestled in Toledo’s historic centre and brings the middle age traditions of the city to life. Everything from the architecture to the authentic Arab bath will let you immerse yourself in history.
Here the aroma, music, dim light of the candle and the feel of water will let you unwind.
Post a rejuvenating session you can also enjoy delicious Moorish tea at the patio. Make this visit a mandatory part of your itinerary while visiting Toledo and enjoy a memorable experience.
The best part about Toledo is that you will be greeted by history at every corner of the city. Explore Spain’s glorious history and culture by visiting the impressive Toledo and create unforgettable memories.