Toledo a historical and cultural must Part 1

Cherry blossom Madrid
The entrance to the old city center

Only 70km south from Madrid, Toledo is one of the most famous destinations for a day trip from Madrid. I went there in May 2011 by bus from Madrid which takes approximately  50 minutes. A roundtrip ticket to Toldeo costs 9€. The city was the seat of the Spanish court before it moved to Valladolid and later to Madrid. It is lies on a mountain and is surrounded by an impressive city wall.

Trees outside the city wall in blossom

For me Toledo gives you an exemplary picture of architecture in Spain during the Middle Ages. The city has its roots in the 7th century B.C. and it is visited by thousands of tourists every year because of its cultural heritage. I didn’t do any research before my visit where to go and what to see, so that I was walking and looking around all the time.

The Jesuit Church-highest point in the city

The old city center of Toledo is not that big and if you don’t mind a bit of walking up a hill it is very easy to find your way to the main attractions. I visited the main square, passed by the cathedral and went to the highest point and climbed up the stairs to make some pictures from the roof of the church. Afterwards I enjoyed the view of the mountains surrounding Toledo and the peace I sometimes miss in Madrid.

View from the top, the Alcazár and the Cathedral are impressive

From the top of the Jesuit church you have the best view from inside the city. The church lies on the highest point of Toledo and you can climb the stairs to the roof. The ticket office of Toledo offers an attraction card where you pay one price and can visit many sights or you can pay each time you enter one of them

Looking down from Plaza Mayor

if you are not sure you can visit them all. While I was walking around I heard a couple talking in Polish and I greeted them. The husband was staying in Madrid for a month singing at the Opera and his wife came visiting from Paris where they both live for about 20 years by now. They told me that they really liked Madrid and especially that the city is so clean. They were impressed that the metro is so new and modern and going to a restaurant is affordable. Comparing Paris to Madrid they had experienced many things they liked better in Madrid.

Toledo Street picture, don't miss the cables hanging between the houses

 

We went for a late lunch together and afterwards I showed them the way back to Madrid taking the bus. They arrived by train but the train station was further away from the city than the bus and a ticket is double the price of a bus ticket. It only takes 30 minutes with the train and it goes directly to Atocha, but going with the bus is also very comfortable.

I wouldn’t recommend visiting Toledo in summer. They have a moving staircase which brings you up to the city but there are still a lot of steep ways you have to walk. For me spring and autumn would be the perfect seasons to go.

Welcome to Toledo!

On my first trip I didn’t make it to the Alcazár or into the Cathedral but I will visit Toledo again and make up for it next spring.

An ancient settee
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