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Wandering Toledo: Making the Most of a Day Trip from Madrid

Looking for Madrid day trip ideas? Plan a Toledo day trip by train. Explore photos and experiences of Toledo Spain in this travel essay.

Looking for Madrid day trip ideas? Imagine this: a comfy 2 hour high-speed train ride from Madrid, and before you know it, you're in Toledo, a historic city that's over 1,000 years old. 

The city itself is a beautiful mix of Jewish, Christian, and Moorish influences, and you can see it everywhere – even the train station has a cool Moorish vibe.

Toledo's perched on a hill, so prepare for amazing views! We walked from the station, and of course, we had to stop for a churro – a must-do in Spain. Then, we passed through the city gates and right into Toledo's ancient walls.

View of the fortress in Toledo on a day trip from Madrid

Sunshine and stunning views followed us the whole way. We even tried some delicious marzipan on Plaza de Zocodover, a local specialty that's way better than that sickly sweet stuff you might be thinking of if you are from the U.S. This marzipan was nutty and perfect for a chilly November day. 

Wandering through the winding alleys, we stumbled upon a statue of Don Quixote, a literary legend from Spain.  The whole town is full of little surprises, like a crest on a wall showcasing Toledo's history. 

We even saw a street named after Toledo, Ohio – turns out American city has some pretty impressive roots.

Don Quixote statue in Toledo Spain

We got lost a few times (hey, that's part of the fun!), but the cathedral was always a great landmark to get our bearings straight.  

El Greco, the famous painter, called Toledo home, and although his house museum was closed the day we went, we still saw plenty of cool sights.  

Toledo has two major synagogues (Sinagoga El Transito and Sinagoga Santa Maria la Blanca), another reminder of the city's multicultural past.

We even saw some birds hanging out in a church statue – guess even they like a good view!  One thing that surprised us was finding a regular grocery store in the middle of a quiet neighborhood. It stuck out like a sore thumb!

By this point, all the hill walking in Toledo had made us ravenous. Luckily, we found a place called Bar La Cuesta where we got a three-course lunch with a whole bottle of wine for about 10 euros each – unbelievable!

Wine and bread for lunch at Bar La Cuesta in Toledo Spain

The wind picked up a bit in the afternoon, but we decided to squeeze in one more walk before catching our train back to Madrid. We used some great itineraries we found online at go-toledo.com to plan our route.

Close-up view of Alcázar de Toledo

Toledo's cobblestone streets are charming, but they're not exactly comfortable on your feet after a few miles!  

We saw some gorgeous Moorish architecture right next to a kid's tire swing – such a cool mix of old and new. 

Moorish influenced wall and a modern tire swing in Toledo Spain

Definitely make time to walk the city walls and check out the view from above.

Views from Toledo Spain

We exited the city walls feeling satisfied after covering over 6.5 miles on foot.

If you're looking for a fascinating day trip from Madrid, Toledo is definitely the place to go! History, culture, delicious food, and amazing views – what more could you ask for?

Where to Next?

Looking for other destination ideas in Spain? Why not:

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Wandering Toledo: Making the Most of a Day Trip from Madrid
Wandering Toledo: Making the Most of a Day Trip from Madrid
Looking for Madrid day trip ideas? Plan a Toledo day trip by train. Explore photos and experiences of Toledo Spain in this travel essay.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog