Toledo used to be the capital of Spain until 1563 and to this day remains a city worth seeing. You can spend the night here or you can easily visit Toledo by train from Madrid and make a day trip of it.
From the moment that you step off of the train you will be in awe of the city’s history. The train station itself is so beautifully designed that it was declared a Spanish monument.
As you walk up to this UNESCO city you will notice that water surrounds it on three sides. I recommend entering across the jaw dropping San Martin Bridge. The only thing that could make this bridge more epic is if trumpets were sounding as you rode in on a black stallion. The closest thing to this is the flying fox that you can ride for about 10 Euros.
Once you enter Toledo you will find that it’s the most confusing place that you have ever been. Since this medieval city was built over 2,000 years ago, the streets were not made for cars. The streets are extremely narrow and made of cobblestone. For the most part, everyone walks but if a car happens to drive through you better hope that there is a cranny for you to jump into. I can’t remember how many times I had to squeeze my body up against a stone wall to let a car pass.
Getting lost here is easy. Too easy. Just as you think you are going the right way the street will suddenly come to an end or turn a completely different direction. Yet, getting lost here isn’t so bad. Every winding turn will greet you with beautiful buildings that are thousands of years old. This place is like a fairy tale. If you are lucky you might even find your knight in shining armor like me.
If being the knight in shining armor is more your thing then that is possible too. There is traditional sword making and you can buy a sword made from Toledo’s famously hard steel. Make sure to visit a sword shop to admire this historical craft.
The most amazing and memorable place in this city was the Toledo Catherdral. I hate to go into descriptions about beautiful places because I feel like you just need to see them for yourself – so just trust me on this one. The one thing that makes this Cathedral unique is the gallery of paintings. Who knew a historical Cathedral could multi-task as an art gallery? The art here isn’t just any old are either. The Toledo Cathedral houses the work of famous artists such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael and Velázquez.
Even the Cathedral is a work of art. If you wish to see more you can pay an extra 3 Euros to visit the Bell tower and get a vast view of the medieval city.
Another place that I enjoyed was Iglesia de Santo Tome. But it wasn’t actually the church that intrigued me – it was what was inside. This church is famous for holding El Greco’s masterpiece; ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.’ Some see Greco as the greatest artist in Spain. This church gives you the opportunity to see his most genius piece up close. The Burial of the Count of Orgaz,’ was created in the late 1500’s- pretty amazing that we still get to appreciate it today.
Even though Toledo still has the same layout as medieval times, not everything is old. This city has many cafes, restaurants and bars for you to indulge in as you rest your tired feet. I sat down and enjoyed a cold beer with my first ever Spanish paella.
Toledo makes for a memorable day trip I have heard that the city is stunning in the evening. You get a whole different take on the city when it is lit up at night as you enjoy tapas from a romantically lit patio. But whether you decide to visit for one day or a couple, I am sure that you will live happily ever after.