Crossing Puente de Alcรกntara - one of the best things to do Toledo, Spain

10 Things To Do In Toledo, Spain In One Day (Complete Guide)

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Toledo, Spain is a beautiful medieval town located just half an hour by train from Madrid. Because of its intriguing history and stunning architecture, it is a must-do day trip if you are in Madrid.

So keep reading to find out all the top things to do in Toledo, Spain in one day!

What is Toledo, Spain known for?

Toldeo, Spain is known for being one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe that is full of history. It is also known as the city of three cultures because of the influence Christians, Muslims, and Jews have had on the city.

For centuries Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived peacefully within the city. This means that there are many different influences on the architecture of the city.

For example, there are Christian churches, Muslim mosques, and Jewish Synagogues all within a small historic center. This means that it is a very beautiful city with lots to see within a small area.

Katharina standing in a round archway
You will see many different shapes in Toledoโ€™s architecture

1. Walk across the Puente de Alcantara

The Puente de Alcantara is a Roman bridge built over the Tagus River between 104 and 106 AD. It got partially destroyed and rebuilt many times due to war and other reasons.

But today it is a very beautiful bridge and makes for an impressive entry into Toledo, Spain.

If you follow the main road from the train station into town you will end up crossing the bridge. Then once you are over the bridge you can walk up the hill to the city center.

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Allan taking a photo of Puente de Alcantara across a river
Taking a photo of Puente de Alcanta

2. Go on a Walking Tour

Toledo is a city that is jam-packed with history and the best way to learn that history is to join a walking tour.

There are a lot of walking tours that cover different parts of the history of Toledo. The walking tours generally all leave from Zocadover Square.

You can also book a guided monument walking tour online. This tour includes a tourist wristband that gives you access to key tourist sites which you can revisit after the tour is over

We were hesitant about going on a walking tour as we like to do our own thing. But joining a tour is really one of the best things to do in Toledo, Spain as there is so much history to learn about. It also still gives you enough time to explore Toledo on your own.

3. Buy the Toledo Bracelet

The city of Toledo offers a tourist bracelet that allows you to see the best of Toledo, Spain. With the bracelet, you get to visit 7 of the most important attractions for 10 euros. That way you are saving 21 euros as each attraction costs 3 euros per entry.

Getting the bracelet is also a great way to do your own walking tour. Or you combine a guided walking tour with a tourist bracelet pass for 20 euros. This package includes a guided tour of 3 attractions and then you can visit the remaining attractions on your own.

Katharina walking down a narrow street in Toledo Spain
The streets of Toledo are great for a self-guided walking tour

4. Visit Catedral Primada de Toledo (One of the Best Things to do in Toledo, Spain with a View)

The Catedral Primada is an impressive Gothic cathedral and is considered to be one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Spain. Its spire can be seen from many parts of Toledo and it is one of the most important buildings in the city.

Entrance to the cathedral costs 10 euros and 12.50 euros if you also want to climb the cathedralโ€™s spire. The cathedralโ€™s interior is beautifully decorated and there is an impressive art gallery inside.

So if you are interested in art and finely decorated cathedrals this is a top thing to do in Toledo, Spain for you.

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Katharina standing in front of Santa Iglesia Catedral Pirmada de Toledo
Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo

5. Go inside the Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes

The Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes is another beautiful gothic-style church in Toledo. It is one of the 7 attractions that you can visit when you buy the tourist bracelet.

Construction of the monastery began in 1477 and it was originally going to be the burial place for the King and Queen of Spain at the time. However, a few years later they conquered Granada and decided they wanted to be buried there.

So today we have this very impressive monastery because a King and Queen hundreds of years ago wanted to be buried in a fancy building!

Katharina walking down the street toward the Monasterios de San Juan de los Reyes
Walking toward the monastery
Chains hanging from the side of the monastery
You can see the chains of medieval prisoners hanging outside

Inside the monastery, there is a peaceful courtyard full of orange trees and the interior is beautifully decorated. All of this you will be able to see if you buy the tourist bracelet otherwise it is a single 3 euro entry fee.

Outside of the monastery, you will notice chains hanging from the walls. They are from 15th-century prisoners freed when the Catholics conquered Toledo. As thanks for their freedom, the prisoners hung their chains on the side of the monastery where they still hang today.

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6. Go up the Iglesia de los Jesuitas

The Iglesia de los Jesuitas is a baroque-style church located on top of the hill in the middle of the historic center. Construction of the church began in 1677 and it took over a hundred years to complete.

The church is one of the 7 attractions included in the Toledo Bracelet otherwise you have to pay a 2.50 euro entry. It is located in a quieter part of Toledo and the narrow alleys surrounding it are great for exploring.

If you feel like a bit of exercise you can climb the spires of the church for a great view over Toledo. However, there are 113 steep steps so be careful if you go in summer because Toledo will be extremely hot during the day.

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Katharina sitting in the shade in front of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas - one of the top things to do in Toledo Spain
Take a break in front of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas โ€“ there is a drinking water fountain!

7. Visit Iglesia de San Tome (A Top Thing to do in Toledo, Spain for Art Lovers)

The Iglesia de San Tome is another church that is included in the Toledo Bracelet. It is also located in a very nice quieter part of town away from crowds.

The church was built in the 14th century on top of an older mosque. Its bell tower which can be seen in the photo below was built in the Mudejar style and refers to Islamic art styles applied to Christian architecture.

It is quite a small church and the main reason to go inside is to see the Burial of the Count of Orgaz painting. Art experts consider this painting a masterpiece. So if you are an art lover it is an excellent reason to go inside and one of the hidden gems in Toledo, Spain.

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Allan standing in front of Iglesia de San Tome
The bell tower of the Iglesia de San Tome is on the right-hand side

8. Walk over Puente San Martin

The Puente San Martin is another picturesque medieval bridge that enters the city over the Tagus River. It was built to give access to the city from the west while the older Puente de Alcantara gave access from the east.

You get a unique perspective of Toledo from the bridge and the views of the river and valley are really nice. It is a fairly long walk if you are in Toledo in summer so make sure you have plenty of water.

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Puente de San Martin with a brick tower
Puente de San Martin

9. Look at Alcazar of Toledo

The Alcazar of Toledo is the most prominent building in Toledo due to its position high up on the hill. The Alcazar has had many uses throughout history.

It was originally a Roman palace in the 3rd century. When Toledo was taken from the Moors by the Catholics the Alcazar became a residence for the Spanish royal family.

It was then converted to a military academy in the 18th century and was the location of an important battle in the Spanish Civil War.

Today the building is a military museum which costs 5 euros to enter. But if a military museum does not interest you then it is a nice building to just have a walk around.

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Alcazar of Toledo from the outside with three towers and many small windows
The Alcazar of Toledo on the very top is now a military museum

10. Eat at Street and Soul Restaurant (One of the Best Restaurants in Toledo, Spain)

If you are looking for tasty healthy food then Street and Soul is one of the best restaurants in Toledo, Spain for you.

Street and Soul is a vegan restaurant right next to the Catedral Primada. They have a varied menu with hamburgers, ramen, Pad Thai, and more all made with fresh ingredients.

It is not the cheapest restaurant but reasonable for a very touristy city. Plus if you are visiting Toledo in summer it can be very, very hot (we had 40ยฐC / 104F), and Street and Soul have air conditioning so it is a good place to escape the heat.

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Pink juice in a glass that is shaped as a face
Interesting glass at Street and Soul Restaurant

Madrid to Toledo: How to get to Toledo, Spain

Getting to Toledo is super convenient if you are in Madrid. There is an express train that leaves from the Madrid-Atocha station.

The train leaves approximately every hour and takes just 33 minutes to reach Toldeo. You can book tickets on trainline.com.

If you are looking for something to eat before you leave Madrid I highly recommend Scarlett Real Food. It is located just across the road from the train station and serves fantastic breakfasts. We had super tasty eggs, avocado on toast, an acai bowl, and arguably Madridโ€™s best coffee there.

Arriving in Toledo by Train

The train station in Toledo is just outside of the city center but it is only a 20-minute walk into the city center. The train station itself is a beautiful building and worth taking a photo of. It was built in 1919 and was designed to be similar to the architecture of Toledo.

When you walk towards Toledo that fastest route will take you across the Puente de Alcantara. This is not only the fastest route but also the most beautiful and one of the top things to do in Toledo, Spain.

People walking past the train station of Toledo, Spain
Toledoโ€™s beautiful train station

How many Days do you Need in Toledo, Spain?

While it would be for sure nice to stay the night in Toledo and see it early in the morning and after dinner time outside the tourist crowds, we found spending one day in Toledo more than enough. Plus, itโ€™s super convenient to visit as a day trip from Madrid.

What is the Best Day of the Week to Visit Toledo, Spain?

I recommend visiting Toledo during the week, so from Monday to Friday. We went on a Monday in August and still felt it was fairly busy and crowded. Especially walking groups can easily clog up the narrow streets and you would want to avoid lines in front of the buildings to enter.

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Toledo, Spain?

The best time of year to visit Toledo is in spring and autumn, so between April and June and September to October. Toledo is located in the countryside of Spain and is well known for its cold winters and extremely hot summers.

A colorful street in Toledo, Spain with streetart and signs
One of Toledoโ€™s beautiful alleyways

Is Toledo Spain a Walkable City?

Yes, Toledo is absolutely a walkable city. Most of its town center is for pedestrians only which contributes to its charm. Therefore you donโ€™t need a car in Toledo and I recommend taking the high-speed train from Madrid for your visit. That way you will also be inside Toledoโ€™s beautiful train station which is one of the top things to do in Toledo, Spain.

What Should I Wear to Toledo, Spain?

Since Toledo is a walkable city that is best to explore on foot you should wear comfortable clothing and shoes. If you visit in summer as we did make sure to bring a reusable water bottle (there are free fountains with drinking water in the center to refill), sunblock, and a hat or cap.

Katharina standing on top of a bridge looking at Toledo's buildings
In summer wear a hat and sunscreen

Is Toledo, Spain worth visiting?

Yes, Toledo is absolutely worth visiting! There is so much to see in such a small area and it is super convenient to get here from Madrid. So if you are visiting Madrid doing a day trip to Toledo is a must-do in my opinion.

Plus, if you are traveling on a tight budget you can easily turn this list into a guide for free things to do in Toledo, Spain by skipping the entrance fees. We did so on our first visit to Toledo and didnโ€™t miss out on the overall city experience.

Now you know all the Best Things to do in Toledo, Spain in One Day

That brings us to the end of our list of the top things to do in Toledo, Spain in one day. It is a really magical little city that is great for a day of exploring, especially if you are in Madrid.

We hope our list helps you to have a great trip. If it did or if there is anything you think that we should add let us know in the comments below!

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Hi, I am Allan, a travel, health and fitness fanatic from New Zealand. I'm a former lawyer who turned into a full-time nomad in 2020. For the last 4+ years I've been traveling the world. I'm always on a hunt for good food, activities on a budget and workouts on the go. I hope you find my tips helpful and get inspired to travel more!

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