Toledo is the best day trip from Madrid as this small and historic city is just a €5 and 45 minute bus ride from the capital city. Visiting Toledo is a must for a more complete Spanish experience.
➳ Find all: Hotels in Toledo
Toledo is well known for its long withstanding heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. In this guide with the best things to do in Toledo we have included our favorites museums and the top tourists attractions in Toledo. Before you plan your visit, know that some of Toledo’s best attractions are close on Mondays.
How to get to Toledo from Madrid?
Toledo is only 72 kilometers away from Madrid making it the ideal day trip from Madrid. You can either take the bus, the train or rent a car.
The easiest way to get to Toledo from Madrid is by taking the AVE high-speed train. The train leaves Atocha every hour and take just 30 minutes to arrive to Toledo. Another great and cheaper option to go to Toledo from Madrid is by taking the ALSA bus from the Plaza Elíptica.
How many days should I spend in Toledo?
Most tourist wonder what to do in Toledo and how long should they spend there. In reality you only need 8 to 12 hours to fully explore Toledo if you do not go inside every single museum. We did this whole one day itinerary of Toledo in less than 10 hours. Keep in mind that the abundance of hills will make it a long and tiresome day.
What to see in Toledo walking guide:
The best things to do in Toledo:
Toledo Tourist Card
If you want to get the best price and experience in Toledo, you should get the Toledo Tourist card. This €22 card gets you into many of the best spots in the city including Royal College Doncellas Nobles, Saint Tome, Jesuits Church, Savior Church, Saint John Of The Kings, Saint Mary The White, Christ Of Light Ancient Mosque among other of the things to see in Toledo.
When walking from the bus station to the city you pass the Circo Romano. These ruins of the Roman Circus now sit in a large park worth walking through.
Hospital de Tavera
Outside the city is one of the most important Renaissance-style buildings in Toledo, the Hospital de San Juan Bautista in Toledo. This hospital now serves as a museum with many paintings and historical furniture and tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Tickets cost €4,50/person and the museum is open from 10:00AM to 1:30 PM and 3PM to 7PM.
Puerta de Bisagra Nueva
To get into the old city of Toledo we walked through The New Bisagra Gate, the main moorish entrance gate to the city.. If you are coming from the bus station you have to go through it to get into the old city. Toledo has six beautiful medieval city gates.
Puerta de Cristo de la Luz/Puerta del Sol
Once we walked through the new gate we went to the beautiful Puerta de Cristo de la Luz/Puerta del Sol. You also must enter through these gates to get to the main part of the city.
Museo de Santa Cruz
Our first stop within the city was the Museum of Santa Cruz. This interesting museum covers both archeology and art. It has a connection with the Prado Museum in Madrid and often features some of its collections.
Tickets cost €5/person and the museum is Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 7PM and on Sunday from 10AM to 2:30PM.
The historic Alcázar of Toledo is now home to the Spanish Army Museum. The building has a great history of war and destruction, but is now has many modern and new installations. It dates back to the Roman times and played an important role in the Spanish civil war starting from 1936.
Tickets to the museum cost €5/person and is open daily from 10AM to 5PM. The museum is also free on Sunday, so try to visit then if possible.
Unfortunately, we arrived too late in the day and could not go in because it was closed.
➳ Tip: One of our favorite free things to do in Toledo is to go to the top floor to the little coffee shop to enjoy one of the best views of the city.
Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz
The Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz was originally one of the ten mosques in Toledo. Today the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz is a small beautiful church. There is not much to see, but it is worth stopping by.
The mosque is open daily from 10AM to 5:45PM. It is included in the Toledo Card.
Plaza de la Magdadela
In the plaza there is an interesting building with no windows, but they painted the wall to look like it does have windows!
Toledo’s Cathedral Primada
The Catedral Primada Santa maría de Toledo is a gorgeous 13th century Gothic architecture. We did not go inside as we could see inside from the ticket booth and we were on a budget. The Cathedral is by far the most impressive and beautiful church in Toledo. If you have the money and the time, we strongly recommend to visit the church.
Tickets to the cathedral cost €8/person. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11AM to 6PM and on Sundays from 2PM to 6PM.
Iglesia de San Ildefonso (Jesuitas)
The Iglesia de Ildefonso offers the best views of Toledo’s old town. You must go up the tower to enjoy the best panoramic view of the city. You can also see the back of the Catedral Primada. It is included in the Toledo Card.
Colegio de Doncellas Nobles
It is a small church but worth going it is pretty. It is included in the Toledo Card.
Route of the Gates
If you want to do a route of the gates and the old fortification wall you have to go to the R. Recaredo road and walk along it. You can start it from Puerta el Cabrón near the Juderia. This was the Jewish door.
Iglesia de Santo Tome
Even though the Iglesia de Santo Tome is a small church and nothing special compared to the other churches in Toledo, it is worth visiting as it holds The Burial of the Count of Orgaz of El Greco.
The Iglesia del Salvador is also covered with the pass, but it is not worth going, especially up the tower to a view of a brick wall.
Museo del Greco
Our next stop was the Museo del Greco. El Greco is a famous Spanish painters. It is a medium sized museum with beautiful rooms and El Greco’s famous paintings. The museum not only focuses on the Spanish Renaissance paintings, it covers El Greco’s influence on the city of Toledo itself. El Greco’s paintings are truly one of the must-sees in Toledo.
Sinagoga del Transito
The Synagogue of Transit is the home to the Sephardic Museum of Toledo. The museum gives you a look into the life of Spanish Jews were while they lived there and the main Jewish holidays and daily lifestyle. You should definitely put visiting one of the many synagogues on your list of things to do in Toledo.
Tickets cost €3/person and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30AM to 6:00PM, and until 7:30PM over the summer.
Casa del Judío
The next stop is the Jewish House, a 14th century house at the heart of the Jewish Quarter, presumably the home of Ishaq who provided money to queen Isabel the Catholic to fund Columbus´ voyage to America.
Entry is only allowed on Saturday at 5PM, with a free tour with the city. This tour requires a reservation, so check out the website for more information.
Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca
The Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca once served as a synagogue in Toledo, before it was turned into a church in the early 1400s. Fortunately, it was returned to the Jewish community in 2013 although no ceremonies are held here anymore.
Its distinct Moorish architecture makes for a unique and the most beautiful Jewish building in Toledo. It is one of the oldest standing synagogues in Europe. Definitely put the Shushan Synagogue on your list of things to do in Toledo as it is the third most visited historic monument in Toledo.
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes
The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes is a historic monastery with an impressive architecture and a beautiful courtyard with a garden. The terrace in front of the Monastery has a fantastic viewpoint.
Puente de San Martín
Our last stop of the day was the Puente de San Martin, a medieval bridge from the 14th century. It is a bit out of the way but it is worth the walk. If you are looking for fun things to do in Toledo with kids you can also Zipline across the river there for 10 euros. If it is your first time ziplining it is a must.
Tours in Toledo
There are several historical sites throughout Toledo that are only open to guided tours in Spanish by the city itself. Everyday they offer free tours to different locations, however they require a reservation, so check their website for more information.
The best viewpoints in Toledo:
La Piedra del Rey Moro
La Piedra del Rey Moro/Mirador del Valle is a beautiful hike, right outside of Toledo from the other side of the river Tagus. It gives you arguably the best panoramic view of the entire city, including the cathedral, the palace and the Alcazar. It is about a half an hour walk outside the city to the viewpoint, so plan accordingly. Without a doubt, visiting the Mirador del Valle is a must thing to do in Toledo in one day.
➳ Tip: Start your sightseeing of Toledo at the Mirador. It is not the best spot for sunset as the sun will be behind Toledo then.
Here you can find more activities to do in Toledo:
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