Plan a fantastic one-day visit from Madrid with a day trip to Toledo

Plan a fantastic one-day visit from Madrid with a day trip to Toledo

Visitors looking for a taste of medieval history love to take day trips from Madrid to the magnificent city of Toledo. We strongly advise planning a day trip to Toledo from Madrid if you’re considering different excursion choices.
Stay an extra night, like we did, if you feel like a day isn’t long enough. As an alternative, why not combine Toledo with Segovia, another amazing day trip from Madrid?
Toledo, which is around 42 miles southwest of Madrid, the capital of Spain, is charming and has a long history that is diversified in terms of its cultures. The River Tagus surrounds the ancient city on three sides, and its magnificent Alcazar dominates the skyline. The old city is perched atop a hill.
Toledo is comparable to a light-weight boxer with a charm-filled right jab and a charismatic left hook. It is small but elegant. The images below will show you how beautiful Toledo is.
One of the most beautiful destinations we saw in Europe is the charming and enchanting old city of Toledo.
You can use this information to organize the ideal day trip to Toledo. For those who choose to spend the night, there are additional amenities.
Overview of Toledo’s History

The history of Spain included Toledo in a significant way. Under the command of General Marcus Nobilior, the Roman empire subdued Toledo in 193 BC. Before the Moors attacked in 712, the Visigoths ruled for more than 350 years from Toledo.
Alfonso VI brought Christianity to Toledo in 1085, and Toledo prospered up until King Philip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561.
Toledo was dubbed “the city of three cultures” due to the coexistence of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures, and it was listed as a UNESCO world historic site in 1986.

How to Travel from Madrid to Toledo

Madrid to Toledo train

Madrid and Toledo may be reached by train in 33 minutes. Toledo is well-known among day-trippers from Madrid thanks to its 13 trains every day. Southeast of the city center, at the Atocha station in Madrid, the train departs.

You will need to change in Madrid en route if you are traveling to Toledo from Cordoba or Barcelona, for example.
There is a lot to get into one day, so we advise getting to Toledo train station as early as you can. You have plenty of time to eat breakfast and get to Atocha station before the 8:50am train leaves Madrid. You have more freedom to savor Toledo’s slower pace when you arrive at 9:23am.
Prices should be around €14 ($16), but always check thetrainline for current schedules and costs.

Toledo to Madrid by bus

The bus from Madrid Plaza Eliptica to Toledo bus station is the alternate route. The bus costs $7 less, but it also takes longer—50 to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the time of departure.
It takes 10 minutes to walk from Toledo’s railway station to the bus terminal, but both are in the same general region, and you must ascend to Toledo’s old center.
Accessing Toledo’s Old Town

In any case, Toledo lacks a metro system, and getting to the ancient city requires a somewhat arduous climb. Keep in mind that there are buses and taxis close to the station.

The good news is that there are public escalators that run the majority of the way up to the ancient city, but only if you take the proper route.
There are two ways to go from the train station to the ancient city. You’re in for a little climb if you take the first left at the roundabout and cross the stone bridge.
Going right over the roundabout and across the bridge is the better choice for you. You will feel relieved when you take the first left after the bridge and see the escalators.

Day Trip Tours From Madrid To Toledo

If you only have a day, a simple day trip from Madrid to Toledo is a wonderful opportunity to see this lovely city. Some day trips combine adjacent locations like Segovia as well.
Popular excursions leaving from Madrid are contrasted below:

Get Your Guide: Segovia and Toledo with Alcazar + Cathedral | Toledo Full Day Tour

Toledo Half Day Tour | Full Day Tour To Toledo & Segovia on Viator


The Best Activities For Your Day Trip To Toledo

Plan a fantastic one-day visit from Madrid with a day trip to Toledo 1

Time Slips Away amid the Maze-like Streets

…but not excessively, unless you chose to spend the night!
Explore the incredibly complicated streets while admiring the nearby structures. The best way to see Toledo is to take your time.

Restaurants and gift shops along the main tourist routes that run from Plaza de Zocodover to the Cathedral. We advise giving them a quick glance before moving on to the more sedate areas, such the Jewish Quarter, where you may learn more about Toledo’s medieval past.
When you see floor tiles with Jewish symbols, you’ll know you’re in the Jewish Quarter.

Appreciate Toledo’s Diverse Architecture
Toledo has a wide variety of beautiful buildings. Discover churches, synagogues, and mosques that reflect the influences of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
Toledo has a large number of significant buildings dispersed throughout it. Thankfully, it fits all of them because it’s so small! Choose from the list below, decide which interests you, and then plan your trip.
Religions represented include: Christianity (San Juan de los Reyes), Church of Santo Tome (Santiago del Arrabal), Judaism (El Transito Synagogue), Islam (Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz), and Zoroastrianism (Mosque of las Tornerias).

Want to hear from a native about Toledo? Book a walking tour of Toledo here.

Toledo’s Santa Iglesia Cathedral Primada

Wow. Toledo’s magnificent 13th-century High Gothic cathedral can be seen at Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which is exactly in the city’s heart. Additionally, it should be on your agenda.
Prior to construction on the new church starting in 1226, the location of the first Visigothic church was used as Toledo’s Great Mosque.

Some people believe that the cathedral represents the best of Spain’s Gothic architecture. A beautiful baroque high altar may be seen there, along with works by local hero El Greco.
The cathedral’s interior is lit by more than 750 beautiful stained glass windows that reflect light.

Bonus: If you enjoy art, don’t forget to visit the Toledo El Greco museum (located separately from the Cathedral).

Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am–6:30pm; Sunday 4pm–6:30pm.
Tickets: Adults €5.50, students/over 65/groups €4.85, and those under 14 are free.
Free admission is available to Cathedral visitors on Wednesdays from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Looking for a Cathedral tour with a guide? Reserve a spot on this 1-hour tour.

Alcazar Fortress’s Army Museum

At Toledo’s highest point stands the attractive fort known as the Alcazar. Between 1939 and 1957, it was reconstructed following the Spanish Civil War and the Alcazar siege. The fort is noticeable from a distance on Toledo’s skyline and offers some of the best photo opportunities in the city.
Since it is no longer needed for military functions, the Alcazar today houses a library and the army museum.


The museum’s displays include flags, cannons, uniforms, swords, and knives, among other things. Although we were only there for two hours, we could have easily stayed longer.

Tickets cost €5 for admittance and €4 for an audio guide, with minors entering for free.
Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; closed on Mondays.
A helpful hint: Sundays are free admission days. Hooray for Sundays!

Explore Toledo’s Gates & Bridges and stroll along the Tagus River.

You might not have enough time to walk the river if you are only visiting Toledo for the day, but you should make an effort to see the city’s two main bridge entrances.
Three-quarters of the city is surrounded by the River Tagus. A inexpensive lunch and perhaps a cheeky bottle of wine can be enjoyed at several picnic areas along the route, which is exactly what we did on our first day.


The gates of Toledo, Puerta Bisagra, Puerta del Cambron, and Puerta del Sol, each have a unique historical significance and siege history to narrate.
The Puente de San Martin and Puente de Alcantara bridges make for some fantastic photo ops. Can you picture what a siege would have been like a thousand years ago if you were standing in the peace and quiet near the bridges?

Additional Activities in Toledo If Spending the Night

Visit a neighborhood bar to consume beer and tapas.

Toledo is so tranquil in the evenings that we sincerely hope you decide to remain the night. After a late meal, it’s a wonderful spot to meander around, but there isn’t much of a nightlife scene, so staying the night might not be for you if you’re hoping for that.
However, there are a few calm neighborhood taverns maintained by hospitable locals who would be delighted to have you in. As long as you keep placing drink orders, they will continue to feed you delicious tapas for free.

The ambiance is laid-back, and beer is inexpensive. a wonderful location to read a book or catch up on work.
In Toledo, we ran across a little bit of an anomaly. We knew we couldn’t miss the champions league final that night when Real Madrid played Liverpool because Madrid is barely 40 miles away.
The locals initially believed we were Liverpool supporters, but little did they realize we were actually Manchester United supporters, so they weren’t overly concerned about a Los Blancos victory. We became everyone’s best buddies when the neighborhood found out about this, and man, did the beer flow that night!

Obtain Local Knowledge on a Free Walking Tour

Fill yourself on coffee con leche on your second morning, then depart for a free walking tour in Plaza del Zocodover at 11 a.m. The sun rising over Toledo while you run in the morning would be much better before the tour starts!

The tour will cover all of Toledo’s most significant historical sites, and at the end, you only pay what you thought the tour was worth. Since our tour guide sincerely cared about Toledo and its past, we learned a lot from her!
While passing the same locations you did on day 1, this time you will discover all the details of the history from a local. And just as we missed the Peurta del Sol in the photo above, you’ll undoubtedly notice things on your second day that you missed the first. Due to Toledo’s compact size, the tour includes the entire old town and concludes at the cathedral.
Of course, you could visit Toledo for a single day and take the free walking tour, but that would take up most of your day.

Accommodations in Toledo

In reality, Toledo is divided into the ancient city and the new city. To be very honest, the ancient city was just too inviting and warm for us to travel there. The majority of visitors will remain in the old city.
In Toledo, B&Bs and pensions—which are lodgings akin to hostels—can be found in tall, slender structures. In the ancient city, they are quite reasonably priced. Because the old city is so small, it doesn’t matter where you base yourself; your choice will simply rely on your budget.
When possible, we aim to reserve private double rooms because our spending was modest to moderate. We slept at the Pension Reina Isabel, which was modest and had noisy beds but was inexpensive and conveniently located close to the cathedral.
When we travel, we primarily utilize Booking for hotels. Its hotel booking engine is the simplest to use and almost always offers the best prices.

What to Eat While in Toledo for a Day

When strolling the streets during the day, pause at cafes, sip on lots of delicious coffee, and enjoy some of Spain’s renowned churros!
In order to get a more genuine experience, try to avoid the popular tourist destinations. Toledo does get hectic, making it challenging to get away from the people. For restaurants that are more peaceful, head to the Jewish neighborhood.
Try some local cuisine in the evening. After all, Toledo was Spain’s culinary capital in 2016!
Marzipan and substantial meat stews are among their most well-known delicacies. You must sample the manchego cheese made in your community if you love cheese as much as we do. Try the partridge or lamb casserole with manchego cheese, though, if you’re looking for something heavier.


Confession: We were in the middle of a paella period and just couldn’t resist getting more. We should have ordered manchego lamb, but it’s simple to regret a longing after the fact.

Toledo Interactive Map Itinerary for a Day Trip

We sincerely hope that our day trip to Toledo planning guide will be useful to you!
If you have any inquiries regarding Toledo or Spain, do let us know in the comments section below.
Travel safely,
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