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Things To Do In Toledo, Spain. A Complete Guide. [UPDATED FOR 2024]

Nic Hilditch-Short - Last updated on July 10th, 2024 at 10:09 am

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A COMPLETE guide to Toledo, Spain

Tucked on the teeming hilltops that hug the Tagus River, the city of Toledo is steeped deep in Spain’s rich history and cultural heritage. Commonly referred to as the ‘City of Three Cultures,’ Toledo is woven with an intricate confluence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences. This fascinating fusion ushers in a unique blend of architecture, art, and traditions.

Boasting a well-preserved medieval core, Toledo invites you to take a step back in time. Although Madrid and Barcelona get all the hype, I can promise you that this sublime spot is a must-see on any Spain itinerary! In fact, there are more things to do in Toledo than you might realise.

In this in-depth article, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about visiting Toledo, Spain. Vamanos!

Chapters

  1. Getting To Toledo, Spain
  2. Exploring the City
  3. Things To Do In Toledo, Spain:
  4. Top Travel Tips for Visiting Toledo
  5. Where To Stay In Toledo, Spain
  6. Final Thoughts On Visiting Toledo

Toledo is the capital of the Castilla La Mancha province and is situated in the beating heart of Spain, one of our favourite countries in Western Europe. Located just 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Madrid, it’s easily accessible from the capital city.

As one of the most popular day trip options for tourists staying in Madrid, I’d say that this city is a standout. Sure, you could dabble between other options like Segovia and La Rioja, but Toledo oozes an unmatched ambience that even Barcelona can’t beat! In many ways there are things to do in Toledo that really don’t exist anywhere else in this wonderful country.

In this post, we are going to cover all the essential info for your trip including what to do in Toledo as well as how to get to Toledo from Madrid by train, bus or car.

Right then, let’s crack on with this Toledo, Spain travel guide!

Looking up at the ornate stone work on the cathedral in Toledo, Spain.
Is Toledo, Spain worth visiting? Well, look at the place!

Getting To Toledo, Spain

Whether you’re planning a day trip from Madrid or an entire weekend foray in Toledo, this ancient hot spot is well worth visiting.

Flying:

If you’re flying in then you’ll need to head to Madrid first which has a well-connected airport serving destinations all over the world. Your trip to Toledo will likely start in the capital.

Buses & Trains:

The quickest and most convenient way to reach Toledo from Madrid is by train or bus. The Madrid-Toledo train journey takes around 30 minutes, making it a suitable destination for a day trip.

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy the train to Toledo from Madrid, buses run regularly between the two cities, with a journey time of around 1 hour. This can vary depending on the traffic and weather conditions, too. It’s also a lot easier than using the train in Italy as you can just grab your ticket and jump on the train!

Tickets for both options are affordable and can be bought at the stations or online in advance.

Book Transport

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Best Place to Book Other Transport Options

If you’re looking for another option for transport, specifically booking Ryanair, Easyjet, National Express or Renfe then Omio are another super reliable company especially when travelling in Europe.

Looking down the narrow streets of Toledo, Spain to see a church appearing.
Wander the charming streets of Toledo

Driving to Toledo:

You could drive to Toledo in about an hour, which offers comfort and the convenience of setting your own schedule. If you’re planning a road trip around Spain, be sure to visit Toledo in the early morning!

For car hire, we recommend choosing Discover Cars for your trip.

Book a Rental Car

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Best Place to Organise a Rental Car

Depending on the type of trip you’ve got planned you might just want to rent a car.

This is a great way to see much more of a place and get to some pretty out-of-the-way and hard-to-visit places.

When it comes to options, we always use Discover Cars to find the best deals.

Fancy Doing An Organised Tour?

Not keen on going from Madrid to Toledo by train and exploring the city on your own?

We get it, not everyone is confident enough to just jump on a bus or train in a foreign country, though we prefer independent travel ourselves, we always say it’s best to go whichever way you can and however you feel comfortable.

Maybe you just need to build up step by step! We want everyone to have a chance to visit Toledo, so if you’re unsure, then why not book a guided day trip from Madrid instead? There are heaps of Toledo tours from Madrid so it’s super easy to organise.

The view of the city of Toledo, Spain.
A day trip to Toledo, Spain is well worth it!

Exploring the City

You’ll find that the city is compact and walkable, meaning that exploring on foot is the best way to get around. Plus, you can fully immerse yourself in its rich history and vibrant culture, and you’ll be surprised how many hidden gems you stumble upon!

Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes to navigate the city’s maze-like streets – this is not the spot for stilettos. Dios mio!

Don’t want to do too much walking? Why not book a hop-on/hop-off tour instead, it’s perfect for those with mobility issues or those unsure about getting lost when they visit Toledo, Spain.


Our Favourite Backpacks

osprey backpack

Osprey Farpoint/ Fairview

We’ve used the Osprey Farpoint/ Fairview for all our backpacking adventures over the past 5 years and highly recommend them!

The main area of the pack opens like a suitcase, which is great for using packing cubes to keep everything organised and they even come with a detachable day pack!


Things To Do In Toledo, Spain:

Known as “The City of Three Cultures” Toledo is etched with an iconic inventory of cultures, and its unique historical significance really sets it aside from the rest.

Magnified as a melting pot of three major cultures: Christian, Muslim and Jewish, this ancient hub is arrayed with all types of finds. For countless centuries, these communities coexisted, each contributing to the city’s rich tapestry of art, architecture, and traditions.

Among this lyrical landscape, some of the highlights include the eye-catching Toledo Cathedral, the green-graced Alcázar of Toledo, and the standout Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca. There are plenty of incredible things to do in Toledo as you can see!

The city is replete with a world of stunning architecture, narrow winding streets, and a rich cultural heritage that spans a slew of centuries. There are plenty of amazing places to visit in Toledo!

Here’s a handful of the must-see things to do in Toledo, Spain. Arriba!

The view of the cathedral from the narrow orange coloured streets of Toledo.
Why visit Toledo, Spain? For views like this!

Toledo Cathedral

As one of the most well-known buildings in Toledo, this soaring, majestic cathedral is a bucket list item. This unmatched masterpiece of Gothic architecture is famous for its intricately detailed façade, sumptuous interior and impressive collection of religious art.

You’ll even find works by the iconic artist, El Greco! Make your way to the heights of the cathedral’s rooftop for panoramic vistas of the city.

I’d recommend visiting this spot in the early morning or late afternoon, especially if you want to avoid the crowds. You can also take a guided tour of the Cathedral with a local for more in-depth information on the unique history and culture surrounding this magnificent building. It’s a great Toledo tour for those wanting to know more about the history of the cathedral.

The restored section of the ornate roof of Toledo Cathedral
The ornate celling is a wonder to see

Alcázar of Toledo

Adorned with ancient history in every corner, the Alcázar is a fascinating fortress that showcases something unique. Arrayed with a blend of architectural styles, you’ll find everything ranging from Roman to Moorish to Gothic.

Nowadays, it’s home to the Army Museum, which ushers insight into Spain’s expansive military history. The veritable views from the Alcázar’s terrace are a definitely highlight. Head up here for sweeping vistas of Toledo’s picturesque landscape, and don’t forget to snap an Insta-worthy picture too!

It’s most definitely a must-see when you visit Toledo!

Toledo Alcazar looming over the city below.
What to do in Toledo, Spain for a day? The Alcázar is a must.

Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca

This former synagogue, locally known as the Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca, is now a modern museum. Serving as a testament to Toledo’s extensive Jewish heritage, this is definitely a spot to add to your bucket list.

Straddling stunning Mudejar architecture and a serene ambience, this unique site is a must-visit, even if you only have one day in Toledo. The Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca invites you to delve into the history of the Sephardic Jewish community and their contributions to the city.

On my visit to Toledo, I was surprised at just how well-intact this building was. When you visit you can take a city of three cultures tour that includes not only entrance to the synagogue but also the Church of Santo Tomé and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes.

El Greco’s Toledo

Stepping aside from the three main attractions in Toledo, there’s plenty more on offer. The city is associated with the famous Greek artist El Greco, who spent many years of his life here.

His works, characterized by their dramatic style and vibrant colours, are proudly displayed in the city’s museums. Step inside El Greco Museum, spot his works around the city or discover the “Burial of the Count of Orgaz” in the Santo Tomé Church.

As above, you can take a city of three cultures tour that includes entrance to the Church as well as two other important Toledo sights.

Looking up at the Santo Tomé Church tower with a blue sky behind.
The beautiful Santo Tomé Church

Museo de Santa Cruz

Calling lovers of all things classic! This marvellous museum is a traveller’s treasure trove, especially for art-enthused visitors. Spanning Spanish Renaissance art, the Museo de Santa Cruz is carved in a magnificent building that was originally a hospital.

Etched with eerie vibes all around, its collection includes works by El Greco and other prominent Spanish artists. The colourful courtyard is pinned as a peaceful oasis, providing the perfect spot to soak up the serene atmosphere.

If you’re seeking an escape from the city’s buzzing streets, the gardens are the ultimate respite. Especially on a summer’s day!

Culinary Delights

There’s no doubt that Spain is renowned for its cuisine. Teeming with tapas, paella, sangria and an array of drool-worthy plates, this country is a culinary delight! Toledo, of course, is no exception to that rule.

The city’s gastronomy scene is a reflection of its diverse history, blending Spanish, Moorish, and Jewish culinary traditions. So, you might be asking “What food is Toledo, Spain known for?” Well…

Don’t miss the opportunity to savour local dishes like ‘carcamusas’ (a stew made with pork and vegetables), ‘migas’ (breadcrumbs sautéed with garlic, paprika, and bacon), and marzipan sweets.

If you’re a foodie, be sure to add Toledo to your bucket list! If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, then why not book onto a Toledo culinary tour?! It’s one of my favourite Toledo tours!

Taking A Guided Tour

There’s a lot to see and do in Toledo and it’s history is some of the most fascinating in the whole of Spain. In fact, without a guide it can sometimes be hard to understand all the different cultural sides of this wonderful city, so often it’s great to head out on a walking tour with a guide to get a sense of the history and stories of a place before embarking on your own adventures.

A quaint narrow street in the town of Toledo, Spain
You’ll love wandering these streets

Our Favourite Travel Camera & Lens

photography camera

Sony A7IV & Sony FE 24-105 f4

The Sony a7IV is the perfect travel camera. Offering incredible image quality, great portability and a varied lens selection.

Our favourite travel lens is the Sony FE 24-105 f4. it’s a great all-rounder, super sharp and a perfect focal range for travel.


Top Travel Tips for Visiting Toledo

● The best time to visit Toledo is during spring and autumn. Boasting mild weather and fewer crowds, these are the ideal times to explore Toledo. Plus, you may be able to score more affordable prices on accommodation and activities.


● If you choose to visit Toledo in the summer season, head out earlier in the morning. I arrived in the late afternoon, and the streets were packed with people. Plus, getting around in the scorching Spanish sun felt like it drastically altered my experience.


● While many locals speak English in the inner city, it’s always appreciated if you learn a few basic Spanish phrases. Having lived in Spain for more than 5 years, I can safely say that even just a handful of words can go a long way with locals! Hola (hello), gracias (thank you) and adios (goodbye) are three staples.

The terracotta rooftops of Toledo Spain framed by buildings in perfect symmetry with a church dome in the centre.
The stunning city of Toledo looks even better in the sun!


● Toledo is teeming with traditional craftsmanship. The city has always had a knack for metalwork and sword-making, so you consider opting for a special souvenir. Cool gift ideas include a Toledo steel sword or a piece of Damascene jewellery.

● If you want a truly unique perspective on the city, then one of the most epic things to do in Toledo is a hot air balloon ride. There’s no better way to see the majesty of Toledo than from above. We’ve done a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia before and trust us, it’s super chill!


● Spain uses the Euro (€) currency, and while cards are widely accepted, it’s best to have cash on you. When visiting Toledo, having some cash on hand is ideal for small purchases. We recommend grabbing a Wise card for all your foreign transactions for minimal fees and great support.

Transfer Your Money Abroad Or Grab An International Card

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Use Wise For Cheap and Secure Transfers

When you’re travelling you tend to need money in all different currencies, especially if you live abroad for a while.

Transferring between currencies and bank accounts in different countries can be expensive. So set up a Wise account for cheap and worry-free transfers.

You can also get a Wise card to use with your account where you can keep money in a whole heap of different currencies and use your card internationally without fees.

● Staying connected whilst travelling is super important and visiting Toledo is no exception, you’ll want to be able to access maps and online booking platforms, so why not get yourself a Nomad e-sim to take the worry out of roaming fees or getting lost!

Nomad E-Sim

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Grab an E-Sim For Your Trip

We all know using your phone when you travel is a must. But sorting out new and sometimes expensive sim cards in each country is a drag.

Instead, why not grab a Nomad E-Sim, this way you can prepay and install it on your phone before you even arrive!

Safety In Toledo

Thankfully Toledo is a super safe and easygoing place to visit on your travels. However, anything can happen on the road so we always recommend taking out good travel insurance for your trip. We highly recommend SafetyWing insurance for full peace of mind.


Where To Stay In Toledo, Spain

Looking for the best hotels in Toledo, Spain? Or maybe an affordable backpacker option that won’t break the bank. We’ve got you covered!

The Best Backpacker Option: Oasis Backpackers’ Toledo

If you’re a backpacker on a budget then look no further than the Oasis Backpackers. This modern, clean and stylish hostel is set right in the heart of the city and offers both dorms and private rooms as well as an incredible roof terrace.

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The Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Hacienda del Cardenal

For those on a budget who still want somewhere amazing to base themselves, Hotel Hacienda del Cardenal is the perfect spot. It’s got a pool, a lovely garden area and is set in an 11th-century building right in the centre of the city!

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The Best Affordable Luxury: Casa Palacio Rincón de la Catedral

If you’re looking for a slice of luxury on your trip at an affordable price then the stunning Casa Palacio Rincón de la Catedral hits all the right spots! It’s traditional Moorish design will transport you back in time and leave you enchanted.

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Check Out More Toledo Accommodation Options Here:


Final Thoughts On Visiting Toledo

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Travel guide to Toledo, Spain! We sure did!

All in all, Toledo is more than just a city; it’s a journey through time. This testament to colourful coexistence and cultural exchange offers something for every type of traveller.

Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or want to immerse yourself in Spain’s rich cultural background, Toledo is a top choice for many. This dazzling destination is well worth the journey, even if it’s just for one day! Toledo wasn’t voted one of Spain’s best-walled cities for nothing!

If you were wondering “Is Toledo worth visiting?”, well, I think you’ve got your answer! Hell yes, it is!

Have you ever been to Toledo in Spain?

Looking over the terracotta rooftops of Toledo from a vantage point including the Alcazar and cathedral tower.
What a view!

Guest Post Author Bio:

Jessica Bergin is a Barcelona-based Australian writer, photographer and videographer who has worked in the travel industry for half a decade. Her passion for adventure, travel, culture and lifestyle has helped her navigate a successful career in the writing, photography and videography industry.


For transparency’s sake: Many of the links we have on our site are affiliate links. This means that when you click one of these links and make a booking or purchase, for example: accommodation, gear, insurance or transport, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Also, know that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Most importantly, know that we still only recommend services, gear and products we believe in and our earned commission helps us keep travelling and bringing you high-quality posts and content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hell yeah! If you’re in Madrid then you’ll be astounded by how different this little city is, it’s well worth the short trip.

Yes! Though you could spend longer, a day trip from Madrid is easy and well worth a day of your time in the capital.

You could easily spend 2-3 days in Toledo to take it all in at a leisurely pace, however, a day is enough for the highlights.

Yes, it’s super easy to take the train from Madrid and explore the city on your own.

Toledo is known for its rich tapestry of history that includes the coming together of several different cultures including Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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Chief Editor

Nic Hilditch-Short

Hey! I’m Nic, one-half of The Roaming Renegades.

I have a passion for travel, photography, heavy metal music (particularly Rammstein), Arsenal FC, gaming, mountaineering and pugs (Dooku RIP & Billy)

I have a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Design & Art Direction before I started galavanting around the globe! So far, I’ve been to 68 countries in 5 continents.

I’ve spent 2 years travelling around Southeast Asia including travelling the length of Vietnam twice on a motorbike, visiting off the beaten track locations such as Myanmar and Brunei and seeking out adventure opportunities along the way like canyoning, climbing and mountain hiking.

I’ve also spent 6 months exploring Eastern Europe, again visiting more unusual places such as Moldova, Kosovo, Ukraine and the breakaway state of Transnistria. I’ve visited all but 3 countries in Europe whilst both backpacking and using the UK as a base to explore Western Europe.

I have also lived in Australia and New Zealand for a total of over 3 years whilst doing Working Holiday Visas. I called Melbourne and Christchurch home during this period and explored both countries extensively whilst using these as bases.

Get In touch: nic@theroamingrenegades.com

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A COMPLETE guide to Toledo, Spain

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2 comments

  1. Pallavi says:

    What an excellent article! It was well-written, thought-provoking, and thoroughly researched. Kudos to the author.

  2. Mozie says:

    This is a great resource for anyone planning a trip to Toledo! The city’s history and architecture are truly fascinating, and I especially enjoyed learning about the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences. I’m thinking about spending a few extra days there to explore everything Toledo has to offer. Thanks for sharing!