Read more about my Self Care Sabbatical and the other places I’ve visited!
My original plan for spending a week in Madrid included 2 separate day trips, one to Toledo and one to Segovia. In the end, I opted to just visit Toledo and skipped Segovia. The day trip to Toledo totally wore me out and I really didn’t feel like spending another day away from Madrid, especially when it was so hot outside. This would give me more time to just linger in Madrid and not feel rushed which, at this point in my trip, was really all I wanted to do.
Toledo is perfect for a day trip because it’s about 30 min by train from Madrid’s Atocha station. Super easy (though the luggage security at the train station was a bit of a pain, mostly because everyone was rushing to get on the train at the last minute).
I arrived in Toledo around 10 am in order to avoid as much of the heat as possible (and left on a 3:30 train). The walled city of Toledo is up on a hill, about 10 minutes walking from the train station. The walk is not bad and offers some great views (I don’t think it’s necessary to take the bus unless you are not in shape to walk/have luggage or small children). I mostly just walked around the town to sightsee, but skipped paying for most things except the monastery (and cloister) – this was 3 euro. You can buy a bracelet to see 7 of the sights for 9 euro, but I don’t think it’s really worth it. They are mostly small museums or religious sites. The cathedral costs 10 euro to visit – I skipped it. Walk up to the palace and check out the views, wander around the Plaza and pick up a souvenir or a snack.
- The main souvenirs available in Toledo are swords, marzipan, and ceramics. Shops everywhere selling these! This is a town that definitely caters to day-tripping tourists.
- For lunch, try a menú del día. I recommend Bar Ludeña which was pretty crowded when I was there. Arrive early to avoid the crowds. The meal was a bit heavy for summertime, but the traditional dishes in Toledo tend to be a bit heartier. I had the asadillo (roasted red pepper with tuna and hard-boiled egg – strong cumin flavor, I loved this) and the carcamuscas (pork stew with peas, the specialty here). They also offer tapas in the front bar area of the restaurant.
- Get a coffee at Il Cappuccino – offers takeaway coffees, the man working there speaks many languages and is super friendly. I arrived desperate for coffee (because the train station security in Madrid made me dump my fresh coffee in the trash) and this place was one of the few I found open and serving take-away.