Toledo, the Capital of Spain during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is a beautiful, small city influenced by Christian, Moorish and Jewish architecture. A mere 30 minute train journey from Atocha Station it is a must-do day trip from Madrid. A short walk from Toledo station to Puente de Azarquiel provides the best view of the Puente de Alcantara with the City reflected in the River Tagus.
A quick taxi ride to the Mirador del Valle provides the best view of Toldeo, taking in the Alcazar, Catherdral, bridges and narrow alleys.
Enter the city by walking across the 14th century medieval arch bridge, Puente San Martin with the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes forming an intimidating backdrop.
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes
Built by Ferdinand & Isabella to celebrate the victory in the Battle of Toro in the Isabelline Gothic style the exterior is decorated with the chains worn by freed Christian prisoners from Granada after the final defeat of the Moors. The two-level cloisters fuse Gothic and Mudéjar architecture around serene and tranquil gardens filled with orange trees.
The neighbouring area includes the Sinagoga del Transito, Museo Talle del Moro and Iglesia de Santa Tome housing the painting "The burial of the Count of Orgaz" by El Greco, Toledo's most famous inhabitant. Purchasing the Tourist Bracelet allows discounted access to most sights except the Cathedral.
Explore the narrow, slanted streets (slippery when wet!), passing by the by the elevated passageway of the Real Colegio de Doncellas Nobles to reach Plaza Zocodover. Stop at Pastelería Santo Tomé for the best marzipan in town.
The Alcazar de Toledo and Toledo Cathedral are accessible from the square. The Gothic Cathedral with ornate facade and extravagant interior (no photography allowed) is considered one of the grandest in Spain. The bell tower has a wonderful view over Toledo but save the climb for Iglesia de los Jesuitas (San Ildefonso) which includes the view of the Cathedral.