home | | users | register your hotel | contact
Toledo Segovia San Lorenzo del Escorial Aranjuez Chinchón
reservation dates:
check-in date:
check-out date:
adults (18+):
children (3-18):

Daytrips & excursions from Madrid: Toledo

With a thousand-year-old history and role as cultural, artistic and religious capital for centuries, Toledo is undoubtedly the most frequent and recommendable trip from Madrid. Declared a world heritage site and situated just over an hour from Madrid (75 km/ 47 miles), one can find traces of the three cultures which inhabited Toledo throughout the centuries: Christians, Arabs and Jews. Toledo is one of the most historically rich cities in Spain and has a remarkable amount of monuments; any walk through this open-air museum is sure to please any visitor. Its historical inheritance has also provided Toledo’s gastronomy, with a wonderful array of tastes.

History of Toledo

The historical richness of Toledo started in the Bronze Age with evidence of human settlement dating back to that time. However, Toledo was not recognized as a city until the Roman era, with proof found in the remains of water supply systems, sewers, and the amphitheatre.

With the crisis and decadence of the Roman Empire, Toledo was occupied by the Visigoths in the 5th century. It became the capital of the Visigoth kingdom and was converted into a referential city for its political and religious splendour.

After the Battle of Guadalete in 711, the power shifted into Arab hands. During the decades of Arab reign, Toledo continued to be an important reference for the arts and sciences.

In 1085 Toledo was conquered by Alfonso VI of Castile. The city, now in Christian hands, becomes the capital of Castilian rule. After that point Toledo experienced its biggest cultural advances. In the 18th century Alfonso X The Wise founded the “Escuela de Traductores de Toledo”, the most important medieval cultural and scientific center in Europe. The city held a transcendental political and religious role through the centuries.

In 1563, Philip II decided to move the court to Madrid (history of Madrid). After this, Toledo tried to recuperate its financial capital with a series of reforms to give the city a more modern image. Even with its attempt to embellish the city with the construction of modern and sumptuous renaissance palaces, Toledo experienced an economic decline. However, it has always maintained its role as the religious capital and today continues to be home to headquarters of the archbishop.

Toledo tourist information

Toledo: Puerta de Bisagra
Toledo's Cathedral
Alcázar de Toledo

Toledo streetsThe historical city center of Toledo is one of the most ancient and best preserved of Spain. Through the walls of this ancient city, there are more than 100 monuments, in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues, making any walk through this open-air museum sure to please.

The city is surrounded by walls, with access to the interior through distinctive gates. La Puerta de Bisagra, of Muslim origin (9th century), is the main entrance. Another noteworthy gate is the Puerta del Sol. Within the city, one of the most noticeable buildings is the Cathedral, which was once a Visigoth temple and a mosque. The Cathedral’s exterior is characterized by its towered adornment and doors of diverse architectural styles. From this point one is able to see the other Toledo monuments such as: the palaces of the council and the archbishops, the posada of the Sisterhood, the mosque and a group of spaces that mix the senior construction with the popular. In the interior the highlights include the chapel, the chorus, the capitulary room, the treasure room and the Transparente.

The Alcázar is another significant monument in Toledo. The original Alcázar was built by the Romans in the 3rd century, yet has undergone multiple reconstructions throughout its history. During the reigns of Alfonso VI of Castile and Alfonso X The Wise, it was reformed into the original Alcázar style of a square base flanked with towers at its corners. In the 16th century, Alonso de Covarrubias initiated its reconstruction under the order of Charles V. With architects such as Villalpando and Juan de Herrera (Architect from Escorial and Aranjuez) contributing, there are differences evident in the style and age of the façade. Throughout its history the Alcázar has suffered various fires as well, and its latest reconstruction took place after the civil war. The Toledo Alcázar now houses the Regional Library and the Army Museum.

Another place not to miss is the Judería the primary area for the Toledo Jewish community. Within the Judería stands the Santa María la Blanca and the Tránsito synagogues, which were built around the 7th and 14th centuries. The Tránsito synagogue is currently the Sefardí Museum, in which artwork and religious cult objects are on exhibit.

Some of the most representative gothic examples in Toledo are the San Martín Bridge, which was built in the 8th century with its defensive towers, and the San Juan de los Reyes Monastery. This monastery, with its flamígero gothic style, is famous for its highly ornamental church and the grand sculptures of its cloister.

Another interesting landmark in Toledo is the 8th-century St. Thomas Church, characterized by its tower and its possession of “The Burial of Count Orgaz”, one of the most representative paintings of El Greco (16th and 17th century). The El Greco House-Museum also exhibits some of the best works of this artist that gave world fame to the city.

Inside the Toledo neighborhoods, a visit is owed to Morería streets, with one of the most Muslim-influenced temples of the city, and the Cobertizos: the communication pathways between the convents above the streets.

For those who decide to take a ride around, a view of Toledo from the outside is definitely worth the trip. Toledo is surrounded by the Tajo River, which leaves the Alcántara and San Martin bridges ready to be discovered. Taking a ride around also provides a great chance to see the gates, the wall and to contemplate the city from the lookout points of San Servando or el Parador.

For the more adventurous, the routes to the castles in northern Toledo and south of the Tajo River are great options, though arranging a car is recommended. Even so, one can arrive at the Sierra de San Vicente, a natural and mountainous area bordering the Sierra de Gredos. Within this zone there are numerous towns hiding their own personal enchantment.

The most important holiday celebration in Toledo is the religious festival of Corpus Christi, declared an International Tourism Holiday. With this motive and celebration, a procession of the Holy Corpus Christi parades through streets decorated just for the occasion. The holiday is complemented with a program of acts lasting one week and includes concerts, shows, and sports competitions.

For more Toledo information please contact the tourism office located at Puerta de Bisagra, s/n (Tel. 925 220 843)

Gastronomy in Toledo

If Toledo’s streets are able to take us through the different ages of its history, its gastronomy does no less. Toledo cuisine comes from a tradition of hunters and shepherds. Some of the most typical dishes include cordero asado or guisado, the perdiz con pochas and the codorniz a la toledana. Other typical dishes are the celebrated manchego cheese, marzipan (sweet almond paste) and the La Mancha wines.

One of the most well-known restaurants in Toledo is Adolfo, (Calle de la Granada 6. Tel. 925 252 472), located in an ancient 7th-century mansion. Its wine cellar, with more than 40,000 bottles, is installed in a cave of a 6th-century Jewish house. Other famed restaurants in Toledo are La Lumbre (Calle Real del Arrabal 5. Tel. 925 220 373) and the inn La Orza (Calle Descalzos 5. Tel. 925 223 011)


By car: Toledo is 75 km (47 miles) southeast of Madrid. The trip usually lasts about an hour. We suggest using Google Maps for more information about getting to Toledo by car.

By train: Trains arriving to Toledo depart from the Atocha Station (Metro Atocha). These high speed trains usually take about 45 minutes and cost 8.30€ each way. The operational hours are from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. For more information please contact RENFE at 902 240 202.

By bus: Buses to Toledo depart from the Intercambiador de Plaza Elíptica (Metro Plaza Elíptica). The Continental Autobuses bus line runs Toledo-Madrid trips every half hour from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The price is 4.25€ and lasts about 75 minutes.

home | about us | how to book | faq | terms & conditions | privacy statement