When I lived in Brussels, Madrid was one of my go-to cities for a weekend escape. It’s the perfect destination with its great restaurants, amazing food, and culture. However, there is much to discover just a day trip from Madrid. During one my visits to Madrid a few summers ago, my dear friend Yolanda suggested the perfect day trip from Madrid: Toledo. She raved that Toledo was one of her favorite escapes as she spent many summers there as a kid. As we arrived to the city, I immediately knew why she loved it so much.
Getting there: there are several ways to get to Toledo. It takes around an hour by car. I’m a big fan of exploring Spain by car. There are so many charming little towns and smaller cities you can explore without being tied to a train schedule. If you are traveling by train, there are also many leaving from Madrid central station all day. A direct train ride is close to 35 minutes.
What to see: If you love history, Toledo is the place for you. Centuries ago, Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in peace in this magical city. That is why is known as the “city of three cultures”. Although the elements of this era are carefully preserved in mosques, synagogues, and churches, also pay attention to details of that era within the many walls of the city.
As we approached the city, I was taken by the view of the San Martin Bridge. It almost felt like stepping into another era as we entered the city. Although Toledo is the perfect day trip from Madrid, I could’ve easily stayed there several days exploring the little corners of the city and people watching at one of the many patios of Plaza de Zocodover. A common denominator in Spain is the abundance of culture You can find it everywhere. Whether it is theater or a church, I’m always learning something new on my trips. Art and religion come together at the famous Catedral de Toledo. If you are a fan of gothic art, you will be taken by the architecture of the building and the collections of artists such as Goya, El Greco, Lucas Jordán and Van Dyck. Tickets to the museum are 11 Euros. More information on the Catedral de Toledo page.
Eat: I must admit that I did not eat at a restaurant in Toledo as we ate at Yolanda’s parents. However, we did take a coffee break in many of the cafes nestled in the small streets of the city. One of the specialties of the Toledo is marzipan, a sweet paste made of almond. Although you can find pieces of marzipan to be sold as candy, it’s a little too sweet for my taste. However, I did indulge in a delicious slice of cake with a thin sliver of marzipan. It was perfect.
As the sun set over the bridge in Toledo, we knew it was time to head to dinner. That little day trip from Madrid is still one of my favorite memories of Spain. Hopefully the next time I get to stay a little longer.