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Toledo is one of the most important cities in Spain. Christians, Jews, and Muslims have walked its streets and left an incredible historical and cultural heritage, which has earned its renown far beyond Spanish borders. It’s undoubtedly one of those cities you must see at least once in your life. If you’re planning a stay in Madrid, you have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a beautiful escape. What to see in Toledo, Spain?

Toledo in a nutshell

Located in the heart of Spain, Toledo is a city well known to tourists who have stayed in Madrid.
Perched on a hill, overlooking the winding banks of the Tagus River, this medieval city shines with its architecture and is the perfect excursion from the Spanish capital.
Founded over 2,000 years ago, Toledo has been alternately a Roman city, then Visigothic, before becoming a jewel of Muslim civilization during the reign of Al-Andalus.
Its tumultuous history is woven with conflicts, conquests, and coexistence among Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures, shaping its unique character.
Today, visiting Toledo means exploring a true open-air museum, where every cobblestone street, every wall, and every building tells a story.
Architectural treasures abound in the city, led by the majestic Toledo Cathedral, a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic art.

What to See in Toledo, Spain?

If you visit Toledo, you will feel like you are moving through a true open-air museum.

However, some monuments are more essential to visit than others.

1. Plaza del Ayuntamiento

This is one of the main squares in the city. Every tourist who walks the streets of Toledo passes through here.
And it’s not surprising, considering that 3 of the most important monuments in the city are located here: the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), the Archbishop’s Palace (Palacio Arzobispal), and the Cathedral.
The Town Hall: The chosen location for its construction was not a coincidence. Indeed, it was carefully planned to establish a connection with the cathedral, which is located on the other side of the square. Construction began in 1575, with the main facade, and was completed in 1703.
The Archbishop’s Palace: During the 13th century, Alfonso VIII offered several houses located opposite the cathedral to Archbishop Jiménez de Rada. Gradually, the complex expanded. Different artistic styles overlap here. Work on the main facade began in 1543.
The Cathedral: Its construction began in 1226 during the reign of Fernando III The Saint and was completed in 1493. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her Assumption to heaven. Gothic in style and of French influence, it consists of 5 naves.
In this sun-drenched square, the tourist is transported for a moment.
Musicians play sublime melodies, while other artists make passersby laugh.
Gazes wander over the facades of buildings, and the sounds of languages from all over the world bounce off the old stones.
The Plaza del Ayuntamiento thus has a very particular atmosphere that gives it a real charm.

2. Cathedral

In 1226, the construction of Toledo Cathedral began on the site of an old mosque.
Its initial style was Gothic, but over the centuries, numerous additions and modifications have been made, giving the cathedral its architectural and artistic richness.
The main facade, with its three portals, is a remarkable example of flamboyant Gothic. The slender spires, symbols of the cathedral, were added in the 14th century.
The interior of the cathedral is also impressive with its vast naves, ornate side chapels, and its famous altarpiece of the main altar.
cathedrale de tolède

3. Alcazar

La construction actuelle de ce monument emblématique reflète principalement le style architectural militaire des royaumes espagnols du Moyen Âge, avec des éléments mauresques, gothiques et renaissance ajoutés au fil des siècles.
Initialement édifié comme palais fortifié par les Rois catholiques au XVe siècle, il a été ensuite restauré et agrandi.
Sa silhouette imposante est caractérisée par ses tours crénelées et ses murs massifs, témoignant de son importance stratégique dans la défense de Tolède.
L’intérieur de l’Alcazar est tout aussi impressionnant, avec ses vastes salles décorées de fresques historiques et ses patios ornés de motifs mauresques.
Il abrite aussi le musée de l’armée, qui expose une riche collection d’armures, d’armes et de documents historiques.
PIC UNSPLASH - @alex_quezada

4. Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

The current construction of this emblematic monument primarily reflects the military architectural style of the Spanish kingdoms during the Middle Ages, with Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance elements added over the centuries.
Originally built as a fortified palace by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century, it was later restored and expanded.
Its imposing silhouette is characterized by crenelated towers and massive walls, testifying to its strategic importance in the defense of Toledo.
The interior of the Alcazar is equally impressive, with its vast halls decorated with historical frescoes and its courtyards adorned with Moorish motifs.
It also houses the Army Museum, which exhibits a rich collection of armor, weapons, and historical documents.

5. Sinagoga Santa María La Blanca

I literally fell in love with this monument. I must say, I’m fascinated by this type of architecture.
The synagogue is considered the best example of Almohad art in all of Spain.
It was built in 1180 and rebuilt during the 13th century and converted into a Christian temple two centuries later.
It also served as a penitential refuge for repentant women, as a barracks, and as a warehouse.
Walking through this spiritual place transports the visitor into the past. All these white arches create no coldness, but make the visit totally luminous and rather magical.

6. Iglesia de los Jesuitas

If you only have to visit only one monument in Toledo, this is the one you should choose for the views it offers.
Built in the Baroque style in 1629, it is possible to climb to the top of its towers to enjoy a panoramic, breathtaking view of Toledo.
The sounds of the city reaching the heights testify to a vibrant center.
The gaze wanders far away over the characteristic roofs, but also over the countryside in the background. One feels alone in the world, dominating a magnificent city.

7. Mezquita Cristo de la Luz

A true jewel of Hispano-Muslim and Mudéjar architecture, it was built in 999.
As a witness to the survival of Al-Andalus art, it was transformed into a church after being a mosque.
The exterior of the building gives it an additional charm.
The surrounding vegetation reinforces the impression of time standing still, and the view of the city is very beautiful.

8. The city's gates

I’m obsessed with doors, especially those from the medieval era.
Toledo has several of Muslim origin that were built to access the walled city.

9. Plaza zocodover

The name of the square comes from the Arabic “Souk ad-Dawab,” meaning “animal market”, which reflects its commercial past under Moorish rule.
Subsequently, it also played a crucial role in the city’s history, serving as a gathering place for important political and religious events.
Surrounded by historic buildings with colorful facades, the square is now a lively place where locals gather in its cafés and shops.
que faire à tolède

10. City center

The center of Toledo, a collection of streets as tranquil as they are pleasant, concludes this list of attractions “What to see in Toledo, Spain?
The city is the perfect place for those who love old stones and historical atmospheres. In every corner, a treasure trove of history hides.
As you stroll through its empty streets that seem frozen in time, it’s hard to imagine inhabitants living their lives between these cold walls.
The most blatant proof lies in its busiest streets where modern restaurants and shops succeed one another.
Another particularity of Toledo is its craftsmanship. It’s a city that highlights various handmade products by its residents.
These are true arts like damascening or ceramics. There are several shops where you can buy artisanal objects and where a craftsman explains their working techniques to you.


This is a bracelet that you can acquire for €12. It allows you to visit 7 monuments, the list of which you can find here. Considering that visiting these monuments individually costs €4 each, purchasing this bracelet is definitely cost-effective, especially since you can return to visit these buildings as many times as you like. You can buy this bracelet online.

How many days to visit Toledo, SPAIN?

Most tourists visit Toledo in a day during a getaway from Madrid.
However, to enjoy a little more of this beautiful city and its atmosphere, you can spend a weekend there. It will be an opportunity to enjoy its nightlife.
If you enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while appreciating being only a few kilometers from the Spanish capital, why not stay for several weeks?
This is even more of a good idea if you are a digital nomad.


Here’s the perfect itinerary for spending a day in Toledo:

  • Alcazar
  • Catedral
  • Plaza del Ayuntamiento
  • Iglesia de las Jesuitas
  • A typical meal in one of the many restaurants in the tourist center.
  • Sinagoga Santa María La Blanca
  • Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes
  • Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz


The best time to visit the city is from May to October, as the temperatures are mild, and the rainfall is limited.
However, the months of July and August can be a bit challenging if you don’t like the heat.
Winter is cold in Toledo, and you may encounter more or less intense rainfall.

How to get to Toledo?

To visit cities around Madrid, such as Toledo, you can opt for a car, especially through rental.
You’ll need about 50 minutes to cover the 72 kilometers that separate the destination from the capital.

How to get to Toledo from Madrid?

The best and most eco-friendly way to get to Toledo is by train.
Trains are very frequent and depart from Atocha station. In just over 30 minutes, you’ll arrive at your destination.
If you want to travel more economically, you can also go to Toledo by bus with the company Alsa.
In Madrid, buses depart from the Plaza Eliptica bus station. The journey takes 1 hour.

How to get around Toledo?

The main attractions of Toledo can be discovered on foot.
This is the best way to explore the city by getting lost in its alleys, admiring its monuments with your head held high, and observing the tourists who flock there.
If you have mobility issues and still want to enjoy the beauty of this city, you can take a tourist bus.
To explore the rest of the city, you can also take a taxi, use local bus lines, or use your car.
Keep in mind that almost the entire historic center is closed to traffic.
For the more athletic, there is a bicycle rental service to explore Toledo in an ecological way.

Where to stay in Toledo?

Although most tourists only spend a day in Toledo, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying your getaway by staying overnight.
The accommodation options range from hostels to Airbnbs to luxury hotels.
As for the neighborhoods to consider, here are 3 perfect areas to stay:
1. The historic center: This is the ideal place to stay close to the main tourist attractions of the destination. It’s also the best area to enjoy restaurants and bars.
2. La Reconquista: Located north of the city center, this neighborhood is a good option if you prefer not to be in the tourist center.
3. Santa Teresa: This is a very commercial area with shops, banks, pharmacies, restaurants, and bars. The perfect place to experience a more local and less touristy life.

What to eat in Toledo?

Like the rest of Spain, the food in Toledo is excellent.
You’ll find several restaurants in the center where you can taste typical dishes such as perdiz a la toledana, carcamusas, cochifrito, marzipan, and las Toledanas.

Be a digital nomad in Toledo

Toledo is not at all a popular destination for digital nomads, who naturally prefer Madrid.
However, if you feel like experiencing a different and much quieter local life, Toledo is an excellent option.
This is especially true because you can also enjoy all the cultural offerings of Madrid without too much hassle.
The wifi is as good as in the capital, there are a few co-working spaces, and a handful of cafes where you can work.

Be a responsible traveler in Toledo

It is impossible to travel without considering the planet. This is true in Toledo as well as in the rest of the country.
If you want to travel responsibly but don’t really know where to start, here are 7 actions you can easily implement:
  • Recycle your packaging.
  • Bring a reusable bag for grocery shopping.
  • Buy at the market and avoid supermarkets.
  • Prefer the train to get to Toledo.
  • Use trash cans to dispose of your waste.
  • Choose restaurants that cook with seasonal products.
  • Avoid takeout to limit the use of packaging.
Of course, there are many other actions to take to be a responsible traveler.

Be a POC in Toledo

I have been to Toledo twice. The first time, I was accompanied by two other POC persons (Latina and Southeast Asian), and we had no issues.
The second time, I was the only POC (South Asian), and I had no negative experiences to report.
Of course, my experience is not universal.
What to see in Toledo, Spain? I hope my article has provided you with an answer to this question. This destination will dazzle you with its beauty and the richness of its history.
If you are passing through Madrid and only have time for one getaway, this is it!
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