Historically, Toledo has been a home to the various empires that have lived in the city. The walls and buildings left by the Romans were reconstructed with Arabic influence during the Ottoman Empire. Jewish, Islamic and Christian influences are all strong throughout the city, and this immense amount of history led it to become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986.
What’s more is that this impressive city is only about an hour south of Madrid, making the trip easily done within a day (although you could always stay longer).
As students, we had a transit pass for Madrid that also allowed us to take the bus to Toledo. As a tourist staying in Madrid, the bus will cost you around 10 euros, round trip.
We caught the bus early from Plaza de Elíptical. and arrived at the Toledo bus station. From the station there is a direct path to the escalator that brought us to the historic quarter of the city.
Our first stop was the Museo del Ejército, the military museum, which is housed in the restored Alcázar. From the top of the museum we got a great view of the city. General admission is 5 euros per person, but is free on Sundays, for students and persons under 18 years old.
After touring the museum, we wandered through the streets of the historic quarter. We passed the Toledo Cathedral from the Plaza de Ayuntamiento. We stopped at a small restaurant for tapas before continuing our exploration.
We wandered through the Jewish quarter, where small blue tiles mark the area and pay tribute to the history of the Jewish community that thrived in Toledo prior to the Spanish Inquisition in which the Catholic monarchs expelled the Jewish and Muslim Spaniards from Spain.
We made our way across the city to Puente San Martín. The Tagus river curves around the city centre so you can see it from the east, south and west of the city. The bridge was built in the 14th century and is still used by pedestrians. We crossed the bridge and walked on the other side for a moment before it became time to return to the bus station.
Toledo is filled with history, culture and tourists. There is plenty to see for all different types of travellers. I visited again in January, and saw many new parts of the city. The narrow twisting streets are easy to get lost in, and to find new shops and history. We ate at Tulaytula, a Moroccan and North African restaurant. It was delicious and I would definitely recommend it if you’re in the city!