Toledo is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name. Located on the banks of the Tagus River in central Iberia, the city is also known as the City of the Three Cultures due to the influence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in its history and traditions. Toledo is known by many as the heart and soul of the Peoples Republic of Spain and a melting pot for culture. It still has its ancient walls and historical natural and manmade landmarks. If you are planning on a trip to this laidback city, here are the 15 best things you should add in your bucket list.
15 Best Things to Do and See in Toledo, Spain
Visit the Toledo Cathedral
Catedral de Toledo is easily identifiable from all corners of Toledo thanks to its sky-high tower and breathtaking Gothic-style architecture. The church was completed back in the 15th century and stands on the site of the former mosque. Its French influence is not so subtle and has led to even argue that it is the most beautiful Gothic cathedral in the whole of Spain.
Taking more than 200 years to complete, it is not difficult to see why it took that long.
Admire the City Walls of Toledo
Toledo’s La Muralla originally built by the Romans but was later renovated and expanded by the Visigoths and the Moors. It was further expanded when the Christians invaded the city. As a result, the building is mixed with different cultures and history-making it one of the visited sites in Toledo.
Tourists can walk along its medieval walls or relax in one of its little parks.
Check out the monastery of San Juan del los Reyes
Located northwest of the Toledo Cathedral, this monastery was built in the 1500s. Its façade features the chains used by the Moors to enslave Christians.
The complex also includes a charming sanctuary with a vault and a single nave.
After perusing inside the monastery, walk along its peaceful gardens to be spiritually inspired.
Visit the city gate of Puerta del Sol
Built in the late 14th century, the northern gate of the old city was erected to specifically showcase the Mudejar design. The gate is crowned by bulwarks and picturesque flourishes.
Visit Museo de Santa Cruz
The Museo de Santa Cruz is located inside the Hospital de Santa Cruz, which was built in the 16th century. It houses an array of art collections and artworks categorized into three – Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Decorative Arts.
The archeology area features artifacts from prehistoric, Visigothic relics, Roman, and numerous Mudejar and Moorish pieces.
The Fine Arts collection includes murals from the 16th century and 17th century created by notable Toledo artists such as Luis Tristan and El Greco.
The Decorative Arts feature Flemish embroideries of the 15th century and 16th century as well as embroidery showing the signs of Zodiac.
Admire the works of Domenikos Theotokopoulos at Museo Del Greco
Though he was born in Crete, Domenikos Theotokopoulos moved to Toledo where he was referred to as El Greco or The Greek. It is believed that the famous painter lived in Casa del Greco, near El Transito.
Today, the building is renovated with modern furniture and some of the sculptures that belonged to the painter.
Adjacent to the house is the Museo del Greco, which focuses on murals created by El Greco including the View of Toledo, the Crowning with Thorns, Christ with the Apostles, and San Bernardino.
Explore Santa Maria la Blanca
Constructed originally to serve as a synagogue in the 12th century, Santa Maria la Blanca was quickly turned into a church once the Christians settled in Toledo.
Today, the chapel is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, with 28 crescent arches that are supported by rows of columns.
Visit the Alcazar de Toledo
Alcazar is the best-known building in Toledo thanks to its location atop a hill overlooking the city. It was built by the Moorish on the site of a Roman castle. Visitors come to Alcazar to learn more about the culture and history of the city as well as the vistas.
The structure was built on the highest point in the city for strategic purposes.
Today, the building includes a museum housing a wide range of exhibitions focusing mainly on military strategy and weaponry.
Cross the city’s medieval bridge
Connecting from one bank of the Tajo River to the other is one of the iconic structures in the city. Puente de San Martin is quite a charming and romantic place to view the waters and the city, especially in the evening.
Midpoint along the bridge is a small woman statue believed to be the wife of the architect.
Sample Toledo cuisine
The city’s cuisine comprises a mix of a variety of cultures particularly Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Of the three cultures, the city retained most of the Muslim influence, which is mirrored in its cuisine.
Tour Juderia quarter
Juderia, as the name suggests, used to be Toledo’s Jewish district and present the best opportunity to learn about the era under which the city was ruled by the Jewish as well as how Muslims and Christians’ reigns shaped its future.
Enjoy the views of the city from Mirador del Valle
Located on the other side of Tagus River, Mirador del Valle offers a great spot to view Toledo in all its glory. From here, you can view almost all of the city’s attractions including Alcazar, the cathedral, and others.
Tour Toledo at night
Once the sun sets and all the city’s landmarks are lit up and the paved streets become empty, Toledo transforms into something else. There is something about walking around the city at night that you just have to experience it in person for you to understand it.
Relax at Plaza de Zocodover
Every city has a meeting point for locals and tourists. In the case of Toledo, Plaza de Zocodover is where you will encounter locals as well as fellow tourists. The square has been in use for centuries and you will find many performances taking place here.
Take a trip to the capital Madrid
Located just 73 kilometers away, one of the most popular and best things to do after exhausting what Toledo has to offer is to take a trip to Madrid.
You can either take a guided tour or ride a speed train.
To help you plan out your visit to Toledo, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Toledo, Spain. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Toledo hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.