Although it’s one of Spain’s smallest provincial capitals, Toledo is one of the country’s most visited cities, an important symbol of the country’s multicultural history and heritage. That once peaceful co-existence between Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures, all of which has left an indelible impression on the city, led to its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
The old city sits comfortably on a mountaintop surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River, home to dozens of historically significant churches, synagogues and mosques. Fans of the painter El Greco, who spent most of his life here, will get their fill. So will fans of affordable Spanish reds.
Days will be busy with visitors and on weekends the city can be overrun by busloads of day-trippers from nearby Madrid, just 70km away. So plan to spend a night or two and enjoy the quieter later afternoon and evening hours.
Main word of advice: don’t be fooled by the narrow streets. You do need to keep an eye out for cars. There’s very little room to navigate so oftentimes you’ll need to step into a doorway. Most locals drive with caution and care. Most.
Best way to arrive? Via train. Check out a few images of Toledo’s beautiful train station here, a post which includes links to train connection info. Separate posts on the the El Greco Museum, The Toledo Cathedral and the Mosque of Cristo de Luz forthcoming.