The Top 24 Things to Do in Toledo, Spain

Toledo is brimming with beauty and history around every corner
Toledo is brimming with beauty and history around every corner | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Culture Trip

Toledo is an incredibly cultural city; it has seen numerous cultures and dynasties pass through its walls, as well as wars, royalty and artists. The legacy it guards is an essential part of Spanish culture, so visiting the city is bound to be a unique experience. Culture Trip has explored the streets of Toledo, searching for the very best attractions and activities.

1. Visit the Catedral Primada de Toledo


Toledo, Spain. Sunset HDR view of ancient city Toledo in Castilla la Mancha with Santa Iglesia Catedral and Alcazar.
© Alpineguide / Alamy Stock Photo
Toledo’s cathedral is one of the most important places to visit in this beautiful city. This grand monument is one of the best and most impressive examples of gothic architecture in the entire country. It was finished towards the end of the 15th century, more than 200 years after construction began. Tickets to visit the cathedral and its museums range from €10 to €12.50 (£9.15-11.45), or you could book a guided tour of the city that includes skip-the-line entry to the cathedral.

2. Take in panoramic views atop the Alcázar

Archaeological site, Historical Landmark

The Alcázar, built on the city’s highest point for military and strategic benefits, is a great place to learn about the area’s history and culture and offers striking panoramic views. Its roots date back to the third century when there was a Roman palace on the site. In the 10th century, the Moors, who had a very strong influence in the city, constructed the fortress, before it was passed to some of Spain’s royalty. Today, it’s a museum with various exhibitions that centre around the evolution of military strategy and weapons. Visit the Alcázar on a tour with a licensed guide to learn all about its fascinating origins.

3. Visit La Juderia


La Juderia, which translates to “the city of Jews”, was once the city’s Jewish quarter, and today, it’s a beautiful district with some excellently preserved buildings. A tour through La Juderia will allow you to learn what life was like for Jews under Muslim and Christian domination, as well as explore their culture and architecture.

4. Explore the city's culinary scene

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish, European

Toledo’s cuisine is a delectable mix of different cultures. Jews, Christians and Muslims all lived here together at some point or other, giving Toledo the title of the City of the Three Cultures, something which is reflected in its cuisine. Apart from some excellent international restaurants, Toledo also offers typical Spanish fare, such as succulent suckling pig, which is the city’s speciality. Book a tapas and wine tasting tour to discover the best culinary hidden gems in town.

5. Check out the architecture of the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

Building, Church, Memorial

The Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes is a Franciscan monastery built under the reign of Isabella I of Castile, one of Spain’s most powerful queens. It was meant to be a royal mausoleum and serve as a memorial for their victory at the Battle of Toro. The structure is a stunning example of the Isabelline style that was predominant in Spain under the monarch’s reign. Long and narrow, it features many side chapels, and the Mudéjar-style ceiling is particularly remarkable.

6. See Toledo from the Mirador del Valle

Cathedral, Church, Museum

Toledo sunset city view of the Alcazar from Mirador del Valle in Spain
© Emele Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
If the views from the Puente de San Martín are not enough, you can also visit the splendid Mirador del Valle, a fantastic viewpoint with vistas of the entire city. From here, you can see magnificent panoramas of the river, the imposing Alcázar, the tiny winding streets and the cathedral. The walk to the Mirador is also a sight in itself, as it passes numerous important buildings, including the Museum of Santa Cruz, the San Roman Church and the city walls. This is one of many stops on the city’s hop-on hop-off bus tour.

7. Take a Ruta Nocturna tour

Historical Landmark

One of the most memorable things to do in Toledo is to explore it by night when it takes on a completely different air. The lights turn on and point to the main buildings, creating beautiful shadows, while the noise from the hustle and bustle of the day dies down. Also, the unbearable heat during the summer days cools slightly, creating the perfect atmosphere for a walk around the city. Several guided tours are available after dark, so after visiting the interiors of Toledo’s buildings and enjoying its museums, why not learn about the history behind it all while talking a breezy walk?

8. Walk through La Puerta de Bisagra


Puerta de Bisagra in Toledo Spain
© Ben Molyneux / Alamy Stock Photo
A magnificent construction that provides access to the city, the Puerta de Bisagra dates back to the Moors, and while it was reconstructed in the 16th century, some of the original elements are visible today. The name comes from the Arabic Bab-Shagra, meaning something along the lines of “the door that leads to the field”. The exterior comprises an arch of triumph, accompanied by two beautiful semi-circular towers, and crowned by the city’s imperial coat of arms.

9. Cross the Puente de San Martín


This medieval bridge built over the River Tagus is a Toledo landmark and a very romantic place to go for an evening walk, complete with views of the old town. In the bridge’s middle arch, there is a small, weathered statue of a woman, representing the wife of the bridge’s architect. According to legend, the architect realised days before the inauguration that he had wrongly calculated the weight and length of the bridge. He thought it would collapse upon the removal of the scaffolding, so to protect her husband, she burnt it down at night during a horrible thunderstorm, making the villagers believe it was struck down by lightning.

10. Explore the Museo del Greco


Museo del Greco, Toledo, Spain. Image shot 10/2014. Exact date unknown.
© Horizon Images/Motion / Alamy Stock Photo
The Museo del Greco is dedicated to one of the most important and influential Spanish Renaissance artists of all time. It aims to introduce the general public to El Greco not only as a painter but also as an individual, exploring the profound influence that he had in the shaping of Toledo’s history in the 17th century. The renovated historic building in the Jewish quarter also displays works by other artists, including paintings, sculptures and furniture.

11. Head to El Transito Synagogue and Sephardic Museum


This stunning place of worship dates all the way back to 1356. Less than 150 years later the Jewish population was expelled from the city and the building was converted into a church. Today is has been converted into a museum exploring the fascinating history of Jewish culture in medieval Toledo, and indeed southern Spain in general. Join a guided tour with a local archaeologist to learn more about the synagogue as well as some of Toledo’s most historic landmarks and ruins.

12. Visit the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz


Explore Toledo’s Muslim past at this ancient mosque within the Old Town, an important monument that combines Moorish and Spanish traditions to impressive effect. It was formerly known by the Arabic name of Bab al-Mardum, named after the nearby gates of the walled city. The structure features on the city’s incredibly interesting underground walking tour. Recommended from Clare Speak.

13. Get a birds' eye view of Toledo

Sports Center

See Toledo from a different perspective with Fly Toledo, by flying over part of the Tajo River on a zipline. It might look a little scary, but it’s a short line and the speed is pretty low. You get your photo taken and a video of your ride included in the ticket price. Or you could even take it up a notch and book a scenic hot-air balloon ride. Recommended from Clare Speak.

14. Relax in the Arabic Baths

Swimming Pool

Another way to experience Arabic culture in Toledo is through the ancient tradition of bath houses such as this one. The Medina Mudejar Banos Arabes is still very much functional, and you can relax in the hot and cold pool circuit and enjoy a massage, as well as Arabic mint tea and biscuits. Recommended from Clare Speak.

Get learning at a sword workshop

Toledo steel has been sought after for centuries, and in medieval times a Toledo sword was the ultimate mark of a great warrior. The weapons were legendary between the 15th and 17th centuries for their superior strength and durability. Today, they can be seen on display in armoury museums around the world. While in Toledo, stop in at Mariano Zamorano’s famous sword workshop, housed in what was formerly the royal stables. In the cramped workshop rooms, Zamorano and his highly skilled craftspeople still work in darkness and extreme heat as they forge and polish sword after sword, working in the very same style as was seen here hundreds of years ago. Recommended from Clare Speak.

Explote the Cultural Centre

The cultural centre of Toledo is not just a meeting point for artists but for the city’s young people as well. It organises all kinds of performances and exhibitions by local, national and international artists of all types. Recommended from Clare Speak.

A Toledo Time Capsule

Get wrapped up in Toledo’s history with this new initiative. The Toledo Time Capsule is a wraparound cinema, with screens in front of you and on both sides, showing the story of the city and bringing its multicultural history to life. Recommended from Clare Speak.

Celebrate Local Festivals

Toledo’s most important festival is Corpus Christi, celebrated in May. It’s famous all over Europe for its solemn and atmospheric procession through the city, decorated with lanterns, wreaths and tapestries, while the streets below are strewn with flowers and aromatic herbs. Not to be missed. Recommended from Clare Speak.

The Best Day Trips from Toledo

Recommendations from Clare Speak.

15. Aranjuez

Architectural Landmark

The scenic town of Aranjuez, a former site of a royal summer palace and hunting grounds, is today a Unesco World Heritage Site filled with dreamlike gardens and majestic architecture that rivals even that of Madrid. The town is also surrounded by lush green fields filled with strawberry plants, making for a scenic drive from Toledo.


This pretty town hosts various foodie festivals throughout the year, from an autumn garlic festival to fairs celebrating local liquor in spring. All year round you can stroll along the pretty cobbled streets lined with balconied houses, visit its numerous artisan shops and admire the famous Plaza Mayor, famous for its irregular shape.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial

One of the most famous sights in the region surrounding Madrid is the enormous palace-monastery of Philip II in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which has also been awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status. The building is full of incredible artworks as well as the royal pantheon of tombs of Spanish monarchs.

16. Consuegra

Architectural Landmark

Famous for windmills and the work of Cervantes, this town has been famous locally since the 16th century. It’s known as the setting of a famous scene in Don Quixote, in which the knight errant battles with windmills he’d mistaken for giants. The town also has an impressive castle and a renaissance-style town hall.

Cabañeros National Park

If you’d rather be immersed in nature, tranquillity awaits at the undeveloped Parque Nacional de Cabañeros. Often compared to the African plains for its wide-open spaces and hypnotic sunsets, the area is also perfect for hiking, with good paths and signposting. Information and guide services, along with souvenirs, can be found at the visitor centre.

Barrancas de Burujón

The spectacular, rugged scenery at Burujon, a natural site filled with flora and fauna, was cut out of the landscape by a river. Nature lovers can take the accessible hiking route, which takes in several impressive viewpoints giving different perspectives of the ravines of red earth, whose tones vary at different times of day. There’s absolutely no shade at all, so it’s best to go outside of the summer months and wear sunscreen at all times.

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