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Out of Madrid: 9 Old Toledo attractions

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Toledo, Spain

You may ask where to go next, after visiting Madrid? The answer is very simple, visit Toledo! It is 70 km from Madrid, you can go there by train (it will take about 30 min), bus, guided tour or by car. Toledo is known as Imperial city, it was the main place of Charles V the roman emperor. Also known as a city of 3 religions: Christians, Jews, Muslim. The influence of different religions and cultures reflected on the history of the city. Toledo was the capital of Spain between 542-725 CE of the Vistgothic kingdom. In addition it  is an ancient city with a rich history. My advise to you, spend about 2 days here to see it all and visit some museums and historical places. I love Toledo for its tiny streets, the vibe of the old city, and amazing architecture. I share with you 9 Toledo attractions you shouldn’t miss.

How exactly do you get from Madrid to Toledo?

By train from Puerta de Atocha station managed by Renfe company. It will take about 30 min. Book your tickets here.

Another way is to go by bus from Intercambiador plaza Eliptica terminal managed by ALSA company. Order your ticket here.

So, let’s start our journey! First location will be:

Mirador del Valle

Mirador del Valle is an amazing viewpoint located near Toledo. From this spot you can observe the whole city. Especially astonishing views from Mirador del Valle you can see at sunset. Get here by walk from Toledo, take a tour, some of them stops at this viewpoint or by car.

Mirador del Valle viewpoint of Toledo, Spain
Mirador del Valle

El Greco Museum

The museum opened in 1911 and located in Jewish quarter of Toledo. Museum recreates El Greco’s house. There are many works of El Greco, most of them from the 16th and 17th centuries. Also the museum holds the late works of El Greco such as paintings of the Apostles stand out, View and Plane of Toledo, the Tears of Saint Peter and others. Visit official site to plan your visit.

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

Catholic chapel that was formerly a mosque. It was built in 999 during the Moorish period and  located near the gate Puerta del Sol. The architectural style of the building is Mudejar, a combo of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Islamic art. I love its interesting eclectic architecture. By the way, for those who love to draw, this is a very good spot to capture into your sketchbook. More information about admission and opening hours is here.

Mosque Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, Spain
Mosque Cristo de la Luz

Del Transito Synagogue

Also named Synagogue of Samuel Halevi is a historic synagogue and church, nowadays a museum. The museum includes 5 rooms and 2 patios. It refers to different periods of time in Jews lifetime: Ancient Orient, Roman and Visigothic, and Christian kingdoms. The synagogue was built by design of  mason Don Meir Abdeil between 1355- 1357. If you like historical ancient places, you will probably enjoy this one. For tickets and more information click here.

Synagogue del Transito
in Toledo, Spain
Synagogue del Transito

Zocodover Square

Zocodover Square was the main square in Toledo for centuries. Juan de Herrera, Spanish architect, mathematician and geometrician designed a part of the square. The name Zocodover in Arabic means “market of burden beasts”. In Muslim times Zocodover square was used as a beast market, where you could buy horses, donkeys, mules. Today the square hosts events and celebrations and also serves as a meeting point to different groups. Zocodover is a very sketchy place, there are many variations and compositions you can draw.

Gate of Bisagra

The Gate of Bisagra was  the main entrance to Toledo in the Moorish period. It was built in the 10th century in the time of the Moorish Taifa of Toledo. The Gate of Bisagra also known as Bisagra Antigua in purpose to differ from Puerta de Bisagra Nueva which was built in the 16th century.

Gate of Bisagra Antiqua in Toledo, Spain
Gate of Bisagra Antiqua

Puerta del Sol

Another gate of Toledo was built in the 14th century by knights Hospitaller. Name of the gate translates as gates of sun. It was given because of the east  orientation, where as we all know the sun rises.

Gate of Puerta del Sol, gate in Toledo, Spain
Puerta del Sol

Cathedral of Saint Mary

The Cathedral of Saint Mary is a Roman catholic church. The construction began in the 13th century in gothic architectural style. The church is huge, 120m high and 60m wide and includes 5 naves. It is another place you should capture in your sketchbook. Also highly recommend visiting the church inside because of its amazing and very impressive interior. Opening hours and information you will find on official site.

My watercolor sketch of Cathedral of Saint Mary, Toledo, Spain
My watercolor sketch of Cathedral of Saint Mary

Alcazar Palace

Alcazar Palace is located in the highest area of Toledo. The name of the palace came from Arabic “al-qasr”, which means castle. Alcazar Palace was used as a Roman palace in the 3rd century, but restored in the 16th century by Charles V and Phillip II. Today the fortress is used as an army museum that shows us a history of the Spanish military. Its free admission every Sunday. Visit official site to plan your visit.

Alcazar Palace, Toledo, Spain
Alcazar Palace

Of course you will have fun, and find find the best route for you! Have a great trip!

If you visiting from Toledo to Madrid, here is post about things to do in Madrid.

Eurostars Toledo
Sercotel Toledo Renacimiento
Eugenia de Montijo

Recommended hotels in Toledo

Eurostars Toledo
Sercotel Toledo Renacimiento
Eugenia de Montijo

Recommended restaurants in Toledo

Recommended art supply stores in Toledo

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