Anyone who has visited Spain will tell you that the country has no shortage of incredible cities for one to visit. While some of the larger cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia may get most of the attention, I have a soft spot for the culturally rich smaller Spanish cities and towns. One of my favorites of these cities is the incredible city of Toledo, which is why I have put together this Toledo Spain travel guide for other travelers to enjoy. Toledo is one of the oldest and most unique cities that you will find in all of Spain. It was the capital of the country before Madrid and is still widely considered to be Spain’s cultural capital to this day. The city of Toledo absolutely brims with historical landmarks and is renowned for its wonderful festivals that date back centuries. For travelers to Spain who are looking for an authentic Spanish cultural experience, I can think of few cities better to visit than the incredible city of Toledo.
So while you might be excited to start planning your trip to Toledo right away, I would strongly suggest that you take the time to research this amazing city so that you can plan a trip you will remember for a lifetime. One of the best ways to do that is to read this detailed Toledo Spain travel guide that I have prepared for you. In this guide, I am going to give you all of the information you need to plan a successful trip to Toledo. I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize what you are able to see and do on your trip. In addition, I outline the top things to see and do while you are there and where the best places to stay and eat are. With the information in my Toledo Spain Travel Guide in hand, you can be confident that your trip to Toledo will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.
|At A Glance|
|Top Things to See|
|How to Get There|
|Best Time to Visit|
|Where to Stay|
|Where to Eat|
|Recommended Tours and Excursions|
At a Glance
Before you start making any travel plans, you will want to make sure to take care of all of the passport, VISA, and immunization requirements for your trip. In addition, you will want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what language they speak in Spain and what currency they use so that you can plan any translation needs you might have for your trip and exchange currency before your trip if necessary. I have included some of this key information in my Toledo Spain travel guide below for you to review as you start to make your travel plans.
|Passport requirements exist. See below for details.|
|Immunization recommendations are listed below.|
|The official language in the Spain is Spanish.|
|The official currency in Spain is the Euro.|
Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements
In order to assist you in navigating the legal requirements for visiting Spain, I have included a link to my Spain Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements for Visitors Guide as well as some information on the EU’s new ETIAS VISA requirements below for you to review. These guides will give you all of the information that you will need to meet the VISA, passport, customs, and immunizations requirements and recommendations for visiting Spain.
|New Visa Requirements for Americans to Visit Europe Starting in 2021|
|Spain Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements for Visitors|
Before you leave for your trip to Spain, you need to make sure you have all of the proper vaccinations. Not only to protect yourself but to protect others. If you have questions on what immunizations you will need and what to look out for when you go to get them, I have included in my Toledo Spain travel guide below some general guidelines I can pass on to you from experience.
- Most specialized travel clinics will not accept insurance so you will have to pay for your travel consultation and immunizations and then request reimbursement from your insurance company later.
- Some immunizations aren’t accepted by every insurance company, so check with your insurance provider before getting your immunizations.
- Check with your regular doctor first, as often they can do a travel consultation for you and write you the necessary prescriptions for your immunizations, even if they aren’t able to give them to you. This way you can ensure that at least your travel consultant will be covered by your insurance up-front.
- Check with Walgreens or other drug stores that give flu shots to see if they have any of the immunization shots that you require before going to a specialized clinic that doesn’t accept insurance to get them. Walgreens can give you many of the immunizations necessary for international travel, and they accept insurance up-front.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website can be a great resource for answering any travel immunization questions that you have.
In case you are unsure of what travel vaccinations you might need, I have compiled a list below of some of what you might expect your physician to recommend.
- Hepatitis A & B (if you haven’t had them).
- Tetanus (if you aren’t current).
- Transderm SCōP Patch (for motion sickness) or at minimum Dramamine pills if you get motion sickness easily and you plan on getting out on the water or doing adventure activities.
- Flu Shot
Outside of taking care of the passport, visa, and immunization requirements so that you can get into Spain and don’t get sick, there is no more important pre-travel planning task than making sure you pack the right clothing and gear for your trip. To help make sure you are properly packed and prepared, I have included links to some of my packing resources for you to review in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
|The Ultimate Travel Packing Check List|
|The Essential Carry-On Checklist|
Top Things to See and Do
The city of Toledo is an absolutely breathtaking city with an abundance of incredible things for visitors to see and do. Whether it be taking a tour around the city to enjoy the stunning architecture, shopping in the city’s many wonderful shops, dining at one of many incredible restaurants, or just exploring the city’s history on foot, there is a lot to choose from when deciding what to do. In order to help ensure that you have all of the top sights on your itinerary, I have outlined the Top Ten things that I would recommend seeing while in Toledo in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
|Puerta del Sol|
|Puente de San Martín|
|Mirador del Valle|
|Plaza de Zocodover|
|Puerta de Bisagra|
|Puente de Alcántara|
|Mosque of Christ of the Light|
|Alcázar of Toledo|
|Parque de La Vega|
There are a number of incredible architectural wonders in the city of Toledo, but my favorite is undoubtedly the beautiful Catedral Primada, or Toledo Cathedral. Built beginning in the year 1226, the Catedral Primada is a Roman Catholic Church that is the seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Toledo. Influenced tremendously by the French Gothic style of the 13th century, the cathedral is one of Spain’s prettiest and definitely a must-stop attraction when visiting the city. For information on mass hours and how to tour the cathedral, please visit the official website of the Catedral Primada.
Puente de San Martín
When you visit the city of Toledo, one of the first things that will catch your eye is the incredible bridges that cross the Tagus river and take you into the city. One of the prettiest of these bridges is the Puente de San Martin. This beautiful bridge features five delightfully crafted arches, with the largest having a span of nearly 40 meters. At the time of its construction, it was among the longest bridges in the world. When visiting Toledo, taking a walk along across the bridge and admiring the fantastic views of the city is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Mirador del Valle
One of my favorite things about Toledo, Spain is how picturesque the city is. Arguably the best place to appreciate the beauty of the city is from the well-known viewpoint named Mirador del Valle. Not only does this viewpoint offer some of the best panoramic views of Toledo, but it is also a great spot to watch the sun rise or set over the city. Taking a stroll to the Mirador del Valle is definitely a must during any visit to Toledo.
Plaza de Zocodover
Designed by Juan de Herrera during the reign of Philip II, the Plaza de Zocodover has long been considered the main square and the nerve center of the city of Toledo. If you love to shop, then you won’t want to miss out on visiting the Plaza de Zocodover during your trip to Toledo. In addition to the many shops and boutiques to peruse thru, you will also find many incredible restaurants to enjoy and lots of opportunities to people-watch during your visit.
Puerta de Bisagra
Constructed in the time of the Moorish Taifa of Toledo in the 10th century, the Puerta de Bisagra (or city gate) of Toledo is one of the prettier city gates that you will see when you tour Spain. The intricately crafted decorative stonework around the gate is beautiful. If you are walking about the city during your stay, I would definitely recommend stopping at the gate for some pictures.
Puente de Alcántara
The bridges that surround the city of Toledo are legendary for their beauty and rich history, and the Puente de Alcántara is certainly no exception. This beautiful bridge is located at the foot of the Castillo de San Servando and was built by the Romans when they founded the city. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the few entrances in which people could access the city of Toledo. Although the bridge that you see today is stunning, it isn’t exactly how it has looked throughout its history. The bridge suffered significant damage and sections had to be rebuilt during both the 10th and the 18th centuries. However, the spirit and general look of the bridge have remained much the same for all these centuries. If you are into history and architecture, the bridge is definitely a must-see attraction when visiting Toledo.
Mosque of Christ of the Light
At one point in time, ten incredible mosques stood in Toledo. Today, there is only one that remains. Despite its small size, the Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz (or Mosque of Christ of the Light in English) is one of the prettier mosques that you will find in Spain. Constructed over the site of a Visigoth church in the 10th century, the mosque is one of the oldest Moorish monuments in Spain. Even though the conquest of Toledo occurred in 1085, the mosque was still known as Bab-al-Mardum until it was converted into a chapel by King Alfonso VIII in 1186. I would strongly suggest that anyone visiting the city of Toledo take the time to visit this incredible building and learn more about its fascinating history.
Alcázar of Toledo
One of the most impressive features that you will see in the city of Toledo is the Alcázar of Toledo, which is an old stone palace that was built on the highest point of the city. As you approach Toledo, you really can’t miss it. The structure is the most prominent feature in the city’s skyline. In addition to being one of the highest structures in Toledo, it is also one of the most fascinating.
Once used as a Roman palace in the 3rd century, the fortress has been rebuilt a few times over its history. The first was under Charles I and his son Phillip II of Spain back in 1521, then the fortress was most recently rebuilt between 1939 and 1957 after the siege of the Alcázar during the Spanish Civil War. Today, the fortress has a treasure trove of history and culture for visitors to explore, which is why it should be on the itinerary of any traveler visiting Toledo.
Puerta del Sol
The bridges may be the headliners when it comes to the beauty of Toledo’s cityscape, but don’t forget about the incredible gates to the city’s perimeter wall. One of the prettier of these gates is the Puerta del Sol, which was built in the late 14th century by the Knights Hospitaller. The Visigothic Ildephonsus, Toledo’s patron saint, is depicted on the medallion above the gate. In fact, the name of the gates is derived from the sun and the moon that was once painted on the sides of this medallion. When you visit Toledo, I would strongly recommend taking a walk through the city to check out the beautiful landmarks such as the Puerta del Sol.
Parque de La Vega
I have no doubt that you will spend most of your time in Toledo touring the beautiful historical buildings, shopping and eating your way across the city, and admiring the beauty of the of the city from one of the many viewpoints. However, I think you would be remiss if you didn’t take the time to walk thru the breathtaking Parque de La Vega. This stunning park will enchant you will its beautiful fountains, lovely gardens, and peaceful walkways. It is a great place to go for a walk after a nice lunch or just before heading back to your accommodations for the night. Believe me, you will fall in love with it on your first visit.
How to Get There
If you are traveling to Toledo from outside of Spain, the quickest way to get to the city is undoubtedly to fly into either the Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport (MCV/LECU) or Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD/LEMD) in Madrid. From Madrid, the city of Toledo is only a short train ride or drive away. If you are planning an extended tour of Spain and will be visiting Toledo from one of the other amazing cities within the country, the country has an extensive rail system and incredible roadways that you can use to get around. If you are starting to plan your trip and would like more information, I have included a map and table in my Toledo Spain travel guide below that outlines the travel times to Toledo from various cities in Spain.
|City||By Train||By Car|
|Madrid||0hr 33min||0hr 56min|
|Zaragoza||2hr 17min||3hr 38min|
|Córdoba||2hr 24min||3hr 18min|
|Valencia||2hr 40min||3hr 36min|
|Seville||3hr 08min||4hr 35min|
|Málaga||3hr 53min||4hr 40min|
|Barcelona||4hr 02min||6hr 50min|
|Murcia||4hr 12min||3hr 35min|
|Granada||4hr 39min||3hr 29min|
|Gibraltar||6hr 55min||6hr 03min|
|Bilbao||8hr 00min||4hr 33min|
Traveling by Car in Spain
If you are planning on renting a car to get around while you are visiting Spain, there are some things that you will need to know before you arrive. To help you prepare for your trip to Toledo, I have included some valuable driving tips for visitors in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
To drive in Spain, you will need to carry your valid primary driver’s license as well as an international driving permit (IDP). There are also several pieces of safety gear that you are required or recommended to have with you in the car at all times. For an overview of the required licenses and gear that you will need to have, please see the list I have included below.
- Driver’s license and IDP (required)
- Insurance documents (required)
- Car title or rental documents (required)
- Fluorescent jacket for all occupants (required)
- Two warning triangles (required)
- An extra pair of glasses, if you wear them (required)
- Fire extinguisher (recommended)
- First-aid kit (recommended)
In addition to the necessary permits and gear, there are also several driving regulations that you will need to be aware of while driving in Spain. These regulations include the following:
- Seat belts – Passengers in the front and back seats are required to wear seat belts at all times.
- Driving Age – In Spain, you must be 18-years old to drive a car and 21-years old to rent a car. Even if you have a valid driver’s license from the United States, you won’t be able to drive in Spain unless you are 18-years of age or older.
- Alcohol Consumption – The legal limit for blood alcohol to drive in Spain is 0.05 percent or 0.25 milligrams per liter in exhaled air. You will want to pay extra care to obeying this law as the penalties for drunk driving in Spain are very severe.
- Cell Phone Usage – The use of cell phones while driving, unless you are using a hands-free system without headphones, is strictly prohibited. You are also not allowed to use screen-based navigation systems while driving in Spain.
- Parking – In residential areas, avoid parking next to a yellow line or your vehicle will be towed.
- Fuel – In Spain, leaded gasoline is called Super or Super 68, unleaded gasoline is called sin plomo 98 or Eurosuper 95, and diesel is called gasoleo.
- Moving Violations and Tickets – Unless you have a residence in Spain, you will likely be asked to pay all fines and tickets immediately upon receipt while visiting Spain.
- Children – All children under 10-years of age or less than 4 feet, 5.5 inches (135 centimeters) must ride in a car seat.
- Emergencies – Dial 112 from anywhere in Europe to be put in touch with Emergency services.
When driving in Spain, you will want to always be aware of the speed limit, even when you don’t see a posting. As a general rule of thumb, the speed limit for roads in Spain can be summarized as follows (unless marked otherwise):
- Expressways and major highways – 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour)
- Other roads – 56 miles per hour (90 kilometers per hour)
- Urban areas – 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour)
- Residential areas – 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour)
Traveling by Train in Spain
If you do not wish to rent a car while visiting Spain, the other popular mode of transportation with tourists is to use Spain’s incredible rail system. The rail network in Spain, and throughout Europe, is quite extensive, so you can get most places by train if you want to. If you are thinking about using the rail system to get around while visiting Spain, I have included some tips for you to review in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
- If you plan on taking three or more long train rides while in Spain, then a rail pass is likely to save you money. Otherwise, you are probably better off just buying your train tickets without a rail pass.
- The two rail pass options you can purchase are the Spain Eurail Pass (good for use just in Spain) or the Eurail Global Pass (good for use in 33 countries).
- Rail passes for Spain cover all travel on trains run by Renfe, Spain’s national railway.
- Many train routes require a paid reservation, which must be paid even if you have a rail pass. This is why it may not make sense to purchase a rail pass if you aren’t planning on taking many longer, expensive rides.
- Rick Steves has a great article on whether it makes sense for you to get a rail pass for your trip to Spain that I would recommend reviewing.
- When purchasing rail tickets, purchasing a round trip ticket instead of two one-way fares can save you up to 20% of the cost.
- Advanced purchase discounts for AVE trains are available about 60 days ahead of departure, so purchasing your tickets well in advance can save you money as well.
Best Time to Visit
Average Temperature (°F)
With low temperatures that don’t fall much below the upper 30’s during the winter, the city of Toledo is a great place to explore year-round. Most of the year the average high temperature ranges between the 50’s and 70’s, but the summer months of June thru August can see the temperatures that reach into the 90’s.
So, if you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors and don’t do well in hot temperatures, you might want to take this into consideration. If you are looking for the perfect temperatures for exploring Toledo, they can be found in the shoulder months of the spring and autumn where the temps aren’t so hot during the day and the crowds are typically much smaller.
Average Precipitation (Inches)
The city of Toledo doesn’t get an extraordinary amount of rain throughout the year, but there are certain months of the year that are typically wetter than others. For instance, if you don’t want rain to ruin your day out in the city, then the spring months of April and May and the autumn and winter months of October thru December should probably be avoided. Instead, I would suggest targeting the month of June in early summer or the month of September in early autumn. These tend to be the driest months of the year in Toledo.
Where to Stay
One of the most important decisions you are going to have to make when planning your trip to Toledo is where you will stay. When you travel, the accommodations you choose are oftentimes amongst the biggest expenditures for your trip. So not only do you need to be comfortable where you are staying, but you also need to be comfortable with how much you are paying to stay there. Finding the right accommodations for your trip involves looking at the amenities, the location, and most importantly, the price. If you are starting to plan your trip to Toledo and want some hotel and hostel suggestions, I have included some great options at different price points in my Toledo Spain travel guide below for you to review. As always, don’t be afraid to expand your search to room sharing sites such as Airbnb or VRBO if you aren’t finding a hotel or hostel that meets your needs.
Where to Eat
When most people plan a trip, the primary focus is one how to get there, where to stay, and what is on the list of things to see and do. What many travelers neglect to plan, is where to eat when you are there. Granted, it is sometimes fun to be spontaneous when choosing a restaurant while traveling, and it is always smart to get recommendations when you arrive. However, it can also be advantageous to have some ideas of restaurants you would like to try during your trip written down beforehand as well. This way you can be assured that you won’t miss out on a highly recommended culinary experience that you will regret. To help you decide on some restaurants in Toledo to add to your list, I have included a list of some highly recommended options for you to review in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
|El Albero||Mediterranean, Spanish, Veggie||$$-$$$|
|Restaurante El Penon||Mediterranean, European, Spanish||$$-$$$|
|Escuela de Hostelería Toledo||Mediterranean, European, Spanish||$$-$$$|
|Lo Nuestro – Tapería & Restaurante||Mediterranean, European, Spanish||$$-$$$|
|Entre Dos Fuegos||Mediterranean, Spanish, Veggie||$$$$|
|La Mar Sala||Seafood, Mediterranean, European||$$$$|
Recommended Tours and Excursions
There is an abundance of amazing things to see and do in the Toledo area and one of the best ways to experience those things is on a tour. If you are looking for fun tours and excursions to fill out your trip, I have included some category links to recommended tours and excursions you can review in my Toledo Spain travel guide below.
|Private Sightseeing Tours|
|Transfers and Ground Transport|
|Air, Helicopter, and Balloon Tours|
|Sacred and Religious Tours|
One thing that Toledo is not in short supply of is amazing things to photograph. I was able to capture a lot of great photographs while touring Toledo, and I have included some of my favorites in a gallery in my Toledo Spain travel guide for you to review below.
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