Spain is one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations, with the many regions and cities of this country offering all kinds of unique experiences for visitors of all ages. Spain is well-known for its warm and sunny weather, its vibrant and exciting annual festivals, its delicious national cuisine, and its rich culture and heritage.
Whether you’re visiting the nation’s capital, Madrid, and visiting the big sites of interest like the Royal Palace and El Retiro Park, or roaming around other cities like Barcelona, Valencia, or Seville, Spain has a lot to offer. It’s a land of beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring architecture, and storied historic locations.
Many visitors to Spain prefer to spend most of their time in a big city location like Barcelona or Madrid, but if you’re planning a Spanish vacation, it’s wise to consider some possible day trip excursions to add a little variety and excitement to your experience. There are plenty of day trips to choose from when staying in Madrid, and a trip to Toledo is one of the best options.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, the extraordinary city of Toledo looks out over the plains of the Castilla-La-Mancha in Central Spain and has history dating back thousands of years. It's home to some of the most incredible examples of historic architecture in all of Spain, with the 13th century Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada and the 15th century Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes being just a couple of examples.
Getting To Toledo From Madrid
Toledo is one of the best cities to choose if you’re thinking of doing a day trip out of Madrid. Toledo is less than 50 miles away from Madrid, so it's very easy to get there and back in a single day. In fact, it's so close that you can even hire a taxi to take you there without too much inconvenience, although the price of this taxi ride would be quite high compared to what you'd expect to pay on the bus or train.
Getting To Toledo From Madrid By Car
If you have your own vehicle or a rental car in Madrid and don't mind driving on the Spanish roads, this is a simple way to get to Toledo for your day trip. You can simply follow the A-42 out of Madrid and direct into Toledo, and the journey can be done in less than an hour.
The only difficult you may encounter is navigating the city streets of both Madrid and Toledo, but getting around these cities isn't too difficult, especially for drivers with some experience of big city locations.
Getting To Toledo From Madrid By Bus
If you'd like to do your Toledo day trip from Madrid with minimal expense, taking the bus might be the best option for you. You can actually get bus tickets for around 5 euros when booking in advance, so this is definitely the cheapest option to get to Toledo, but it's also the slowest.
The bus journey from Madrid to Toledo can take around an hour and a half in total, but buses are leaving every half hour from Plaza Eliptica. Plaza Eliptica is located towards the south of Madrid, so you may need to catch a taxi or other buses to get there, which adds a little time and cost onto your journey. There are also tourist buses available that can take you direct from your hotel to Toledo, but this will depend on where you're staying.
Getting To Toledo From Madrid By Train
In general, as with most day trips in Europe, taking the train is widely considered to be the best option for a day trip from Madrid to Toledo. The train is fast, affordable, and reliable, and there are plenty of trains departing each and every day.
The journey takes just half an hour from Madrid to Toledo, and the trains leave direct from Atocha, which is the main train station in the center of Madrid. If you book your tickets in advance, you'll be paying about the same amount as you would for the bus.
Important Information and Things to Do in Toledo
- Getting Around - How you get around Toledo is up to you and will depend on what you want to get out of your day trip and how much money you're willing to spend. It's perfectly possible to get around the city with ease on foot, and Toledo certainly isn't as big as Madrid, so you should find it quite a nice place to walk around. There are, however, bus tours running around the city. These hop-on and hop-off tours will take you around to the main sightseeing spots, so they're a good option for people who want to try and see as much as possible in just one day.
- The Churches - Some of the most impressive and awe-inspiring buildings in Toledo are the city's churches and cathedral. The Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo dates back to the 13th century and is an astounding example of Gothic architecture. The Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes is another must-see church which dates back to the 15th century. The Church of Santo Tomé and the Sinagoga de Santa Maria La Blanca should also be added onto your list of things to see in Toledo. You'll also find a 10th century mosque and other incredible religious buildings while roaming around the city.
- Other Sights To See - As well as the churches, some of the other top sights and landmarks to fit into your day trip plan include the medieval Puente de San Martin bridge, the Museum of Santa Cruz, the astonishing Puerta de Bisagra gates at the entrance to the city, the Roman Punete de Alcantara bridge, and the Alcazar de Toledo military museum and former palace.
- Guided Tours of Toledo - If you really want to make the most of your day trip to Toledo or just want to let a professional handle all the planning and take you to the top sights without any hassle, signing up for a guided tour of the city isn’t a bad idea. There are several different guided tours of Toledo to choose from and they aren’t as expensive as you might imagine, so they’re certainly an option to consider.