CITY BREAK: 48 HOURS IN TOLEDO!
It’s been a while since we proposed a City Break plan, one of those 48-hour city getaways to destinations we love so much at Boutique Hotels Spain. Toledo is one of those perfect plans to get away for the weekend.
This city is synonymous with History, because throughout the centuries diverse cultures (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) have coexisted there. Indeed it is even known as the city of the Three Cultures. It possesses an enormous artistic and architectural heritage, which is why it was awarded the title of World Heritage City in 1986 by Unesco.
TOLEDO CITY BREAK: WHAT TO DO IN TOLEDO?
To experience Toledo, you can stay at our Boutique Hotel La Salve, just 30 km from the city of Toledo. A quiet place, surrounded by gardens and courtyards which converge upon an old rural estate house complemented by a modern avant-garde annex.
One outstanding feature is its restaurant, el Borbollón, with its market cuisine based on local tradition but adding a touch of modernity. This will be your refuge of peace and tranquility in contrast to the hustle and bustle you may experience during the day on your visit to Toledo.
Let’s get started!
Access to the old quarter of Toledo is complicated if you go by car, so we recommend that you leave it at the entrance to the city. Next to the bus station is the Safón car park, which is free of charge. Close to the car park there are escalators that take you to the upper part of the city, as the steeply sloped streets and staircases you would otherwise have to use can be a little tiring.
Our starting point is the Plaza de Zocodover, it’s best to start nice and early, as we are going on a marathon of sightseeing on this day. You can do the route at your own pace or, there is the option of buying a “Toledo Tourist Bracelet” that gives you access to a route of 7 monuments (20€).
Manage your time carefully and make stops to rest and eat something because there is so much to see.
Here are our recommendations of must visit monuments:
- The Holy Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is unique. Its various rooms and chapels are home to a multitude of works of art that will not leave you indifferent. We are sure you will appreciate El lucernario, a stunning skylight in the roof, a spectacular sculptural window to the heavens.
- The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, whose stand out feature is its cloister, in the lower part of the building which is decorated with embossed plant motifs, fantasy animals and human representations.
- The Museum of Santa Cruz, an old hospital, it is considered to be one of the most important of its kind in Spain It hosts a multitude of exhibitions and a very varied programme throughout the year. year.
- The House-Museum of El Greco. It is an essential visit to learn about the life and work of the painter, and the history and culture of the society of Toledo.
- The Church of Santo Tomé, where El Greco’s mythical work ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz’ can be viewed.
- The Synagogue of Santa María La Blanca, a temple of Almohad Moorish art. Its courtyard of white lime washed pillars is most impressive. Worthy of note are the columns’ capstones decorated with Pineapples.
- The Synagogue of El Tránsito and the Sephardic Museum. It houses a permanent exhibition that helps to teach about and explain Jewish history in Spain.
- The Alcazar and the Miltary Museum. It is the symbol of the city and a witness to some of the most important events in the history of Spain. It houses the Military Museum and the Library of Castilla-La Mancha.
What better way to finish off a long day of walking than to retire to the hotel and enjoy one of its private spa circuits? Relax and let yourself be pampered in the hands of professionals, there are many body treatments or massages to choose from. Next you can go down to the restaurant and try the delicious seasonal menu of chef Esmeralda Peña.
For this second day we have thought up a more relaxed plan, to discover the countryside surrounding Toledo, its gastronomy and some hidden treasures that few tourists know about.
We start the day by visiting the Senda Ecológica del Tajo (Tagus Ecological Path), a simple green route that surrounds the city following the Tagus River. It starts at one bridge the puente de Alcántara and takes us to another the Puente de St. Martin. A total of 5 km that gives us a panoramic postcard view of the city.
After the route, we recommend that you continue along the path to the old quarter. Pay attention, because we are going to challenge you to go on a treasure hunt for the hidden treasures of Toledo. You may be asking yourself what these treasures are… It’s quite simple, the patios of Toledo. These are private patios, which as happens in the city of Cordoba, are opened to the public once a year, during the Corpus Christi celebration.
Hopefully you’ll have the chance to see some of them open. However, if not, as the locals in the old quarter are characterized by their hospitality, if you ask them nicely they may be willing to show you one. It is only then that you will be able to appreciate the wonder of the Arabian inheritance that the city possesses… A real treasure.
Since we are now in the ciy centre, where you can find a multitude of restaurants and bars that offer a great variety of traditional gastronomy, you have to try some of the typical dishes from the area.
The typical dish of Toledo is the ‘carcamusas’, a delicious meat and tomato stew that is served at earthenware casserole dish. If you don’t feel like a hearty meal, tapas accompanied by wine is also a splendid choice. And for dessert you must try the marzipan. In Spain it’s traditionally a typical Christmas dessert, but here it’s eaten throughout the year. If you want to buy some as a gift, the best marzipan is made in the Obrador de Confitería Santo Tomé, founded in 1856.
In the afternoon, you can stroll around the streets and enjoy a refreshment in the terraces of the fashionable bars. If you also want to listen to some music or live concerts, the cultural offering also in good. Our favourites are the Garcilaso Café, El Círculo de Arte or the Pícaro Café. So just relax and enjoy the remains of the day, cocktail in hand!