How to visit Toledo in half a day

If you are visiting Madrid, then Toledo should be on the cards as a day side trip.

I was in Madrid for a conference in June 2017 and a few colleagues and I decided to do a quick morning trip out to visit Toledo.  The best way to get there is by a high-speed train from the main train station in Madrid (Atocha).   Beware the poor signage at Atocha – it is not intuitive, and signs don’t provide clear instruction.  It is very easy to go in the wrong direction and we nearly missed our train.  All I can say is give yourself plenty of extra time to find the platform.   Tickets for the train can be bought from ticket machines in the station – and take all major credit cards.; cost is about 30 euros return.  The train trip takes about 30 minutes, and the train seem to run about every hour.

Once you get to the Toledo train station, turn right and follow the foot path, until you see this view.

Entrance to Toledo

There are paths and steps that lead the way up the hill to the old town.  Toledo is It is a picturesque little town built on a hill.  It has narrow cobbled streets that are delight to explore with lots of little shops, and an impressive cathedral in the centre of town.

Narrow cobbled street in Toledo

The town can be covered in half a day, and I recommend going early.  The temperature gets up to 40oC by midday when we were there in June and it gets quite hard to walk around, especially if you are walking up hill.   The conducted tours also seem to arrive close to midday and it becomes crowded.   It is designated a UNESCO world heritage site for the cultural importance of the co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures.

Toledo
The credit for this photo goes to Greta Schölderle Møller

 

Toledo Cathedral

One of the important people to have lived in Toledo is the famous painter El Greco.  You can visit a rebuilt version of his house and this encompasses a museum with some of his paintings and was certainly one of the highlights of the detour to Toledo.

If you get here early in the day, you can see most of it by early afternoon, have lunch in one of the little cafe’s and catch the train back to Madrid.

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