These are photos of my second time in the lovely Toledo but my first time doing any sight seeing! It’s only about 40 minutes driving from Aranjuez, and just under an from Madrid, and the route there is also so so lovely. I wasn’t expecting the weather to be as cold, because in my head Spain is always hot, right, even in late October? Toledo was bright sunshine but only around 12 degrees, windy and definitely freezing in the shady spots. That didn’t dim the fact of how charming it is, and why you should go.
Why should you visit?
The old town is small enough to easily walk round and comfortably feel that you have seen a good amount if you were to go for a short weekend trip.
It’s also a place where you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. There is tons to see and enjoy as you walk around- it has a great atmosphere and lots and LOTS of historical buildings.
It’s been named a World Heritage Site and has a culturally rich heritage with a mix of Jewish, Muslim and Christian influences.
Where to stay?
Well our hotel was in a very peaceful location, overlooking the water and hillside, but it was also a bit of an uphill walk to get into the heart of the old town. Basically, I think we are fairly fit and it was an effort for us so if you choose to stay here be prepared for that! The hotel itself though (apologies for no internal photos) was very nice inside. The staff were lovely and the breakfast was plentiful. Perhaps I wouldn’t rave madly about it as there wasn’t anything that made it stand out or be unique, but we had a solid nights sleep, the room was lovely, and filled up on the buffet breakfast, so it’s certainly not a bad one! It was also very reasonable at around £50 for both of us for the night, and breakfast was an additional £6 each a night. The prices appear to change throughout the year- we booked via booking.com. Consider staying on a Sunday night, around your plans, as that will bring the price down.
Have a look at the hotel directly at: https://www.casonadelareyna.com/en/
I’ve previously mentioned that we have wanted to stay at the Alfonzo XII https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/toledo/hotels/hostal-alfonso-xii/a/lod/eb7e5c82-5d9d-493a-8ae8-aa20e09f5aaa/360759
What to see?
The top things to see in Toledo include the Cathedral as per most cities, and the Alcazar.
You can also buy a ticket for just 9 Euros which encompasses a great range of attractions including the Monastery, Maria El Blanca Synagogue and the Jesuits Church. I had seen photos of the Monastery and really wanted to go, so we chose this one, but I dare say they are all amazing and what tremendous value! See the below photo for details of the “Tourist Bracelet” offer. We didn’t buy this as didn’t have long enough. Instead, we just chose one, which we loved.
We paid only 2.80 Euro each for entrance to the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes which is quite incredible when you see these photos and how beautiful it was! We arrived here at about 10.35am on a Monday morning and were among the only people in the building to enjoy it properly and get some awesome photos. It is sheer peace and serenity and well worth a look. It wouldn’t take you more than an hour to walk around it.
And I really loved playing with the light coming through the windows here:
Built from the 13th century, entrance to the cathedral and the bell tower cost us 25 Euros for 2 people. The entrance fee came with free audio guides. We left here having completed viewing of the caethdral and the tower at around, 1pm and at that time on a Monday, the que was huge! So go early where you can.
Going up to the Tower was cool- there was only 10-15 of us in the group. Here are some of the views from the top.
We were able to fit in the Monastery and the Cathedral on a Monday having stayed over the nigh before from 10.30am-1pm comfortably, get back to Aranjuez and then onto Madrid for a 6pm flight! Anyone who knows me knows that rushing around, as well as relaxing, is TOTALLY UP MY STREET!! 🙂 But for your first time, I totally recommend a nice Fri-Monday visit and soaking up the Toledo charm at a steady pace.
I don’t have any “where to eat” recommendations unfortunately, and felt that there was a dearth of nice restaurant’s here. Anyone have any they’d like to suggest? Please comment below!