Toledo is one of Spain’s most impressive cities. In the middle ages Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities lived together peacefully, and the remaining multi layers of these cultures are ever present in the city today.
In between visiting cultural sites, you can marvel at the works of El Greco or enjoy some artisan marzipan, made from the nuns in one of the many convents.
Toledo is a popular day trip from Madrid, but to uncover the hidden alleys and secrets of Toledo, it’s worth staying overnight if you can.
Things to Do in Toledo Spain in One Day
Toledo Cathedral Spain
Toledo Cathedral is one of the top 10 cathedrals in Spain. It is a classic example of medieval Gothic architecture featuring flying buttresses, rose windows and ribbed vaults.
Toledo Cathedral Spain Highlights
The high altar with the Royal tombs on either side are located in the Capilla Mayor. The painted wooden sculptures depict Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The rose window above the Puerta del Reloj is one of the cathedral’s oldest stained glass windows. The lower tier of the choir stall shows the various stages of the conquest of Granada. It dates from the 15th century.
The cathedral’s Sacristy is now an art gallery featuring works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Zurbarán and El Greco. The artworks are tightly packed and don’t get the prominence they deserve, but it is nonetheless an amazing collection.
For an extra €3 you can climb the historic bell tower to see views over Toledo.
History of Toledo Cathedral Spain
The site on which Toledo Cathedral is built has been a centre of worship since the Visigoths occupied the city. During Muslim rule, it contained Toledo’s central mosque, which reminded me very much of the Mezquita in Cordoba. It was converted into a church in 1085 but 140 years later was destroyed.
The current structure dates from the 1220s and was built in a various styles including Renaissance and Mudéjar.
The influence of the Visigoths is still present today with the celebration of the Mozarabic Rite. This is a rite of the latin church which dates from the 6th century and was preserved after the Christians that lived under Muslim rule wanted to carry on the tradition. The rite still takes place in Toledo Cathedral, in the Capilla Mozarabe at 9am on Monday to Saturday and 9:45am on Sunday.
Toledo Cathedral Opening Times:
The cathedral will close 30 minutes before the scheduled time.
Monday To Thursday : 10:00 am. – 2:30 p.m.
Friday And Saturday : Morning: 10:00 – 14:30. Afternoon: 16:30 – 19:00.
Sundays : 14:00 – 19:00.
Toledo Cathedral Prices:
Standard admission: €10
Iglesia de Santo Tomé
This church contains one of El Greco’s most famous paintings, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (El entierro del conde de Orgaz). You cannot access the painting by the main church entrance.
The painting is accessed by a separate entrance to the main church. The painting depicts El Greco himself, his son and a myriad of other prominent Toledan residents from when the painting was created in 1586.
Iglesia de Santo Tomé Prices:
€3 per person.
El Greco Museum / Museo del Greco
The city of Toledo is proud of it’s El Greco heritage, where he received some great commissions after moving to the city. The Museum of El Greco features not only some great works by El Greco, but other influential artists including Zurbarán.
Museo del Greco Prices:
€3 per person.
Sinagoga del Tránsito
Toledo’s former Jewish quarter (Juderia) is home to this magnificent synagogue. It was built in 1355 by Pedro I. Today it houses the Museo Sefardi to which entrance is included with your ticket.
After the Jewish people were expulted from Spain in 1492, the synagogue was used as a priory and military barracks. The main prayer hall is absolutely stunning and is worth visiting to see in itself.
Take the Tourist Train / Toledo Train Vision
The tourist train is brilliant for exploring the city, especially if you are only visiting Toledo for the day and want to soak up the essence of the city. Head to Plaza de Zocodover to take the train.
If you want to know the exact departure times you can view them on the website. The train will take you past the following sites:
- Alcazar de Toledo
- Puerta de Bisagra
- Puente de Alcántara
- Casa del Diamantista
- Parada en el Mirador del Valle
- Los Cigarrales
- Puente de San Martín
- San Juan de los Reyes
- Puerta de Alfonso VI
- Iglesia de Santiago de Arrabal
- Puerta del Sol
There is an audio guide available for you to listen to on your journey which enables you to choose your preferred language.
This little train will enable you to see the top things to see in Toledo Spain in one day, without having to rush around. You can sit back and enjoy being shown the sites.
Try the Marzipan in Toledo
I absolutely love Marzipan anyway, but my oh my the marzipan in Toledo is something else! Toledo is famous for its marzipan which almost every shop seems to sell. It tastes nothing like the super sweet dense stuff you get on cheap cakes in the UK. In Toledo, it’s melt in the mouth, soft buttery texture is out of this world.
I recommend visiting one of the convents throughout the city to buy some homemade marzipan from the local nuns.
If you are on the hunt for marzipan related gifts to take home, then I recommend the Santo Tomé store in Plaza de Zocodover.
Where to Stay in Toledo Spain
The Heritage Guide stayed in the Eugenia de Montijo, Autograph Collection hotel. This hotel has a gorgeous art deco bar serving cocktails, big fluffy dressing gowns in the rooms, a shower, bath and all the lovely amenities you can expect from a five star hotel.
The hotel doesn’t have parking, but you can park outside briefly whilst checking in and there is a car park a couple of minutes down the road.
For two adults the cost was €89 without breakfast.
Toledo Spain Tours
Travelling from Madrid to Toledo Spain
Trains reportedly run from Madrid Atocha train station to Toledo every hour. However on the day I went to get the train to Toledo from Madrid, there were no trains available past 11am, as they had sold out.
You can get a bus from Madrid to Toledo which takes just over an hour. Make sure you get the direct bus when possible, otherwise it can add an extra 45 minutes onto the bus journey.
It’s typically takes around an hour to drive from Madrid to Toledo via the A-42.
Where to Park in Toledo Spain
If you are staying in the same hotel as The Heritage Guide, then I can recommend parking in Garaje Santo Tome S.L located at Calle Sta. Ursula, 8, 45002 Toledo, Spain. Overnight parking cost €18.35.
In the newer part of Toledo, you will also find various parking spots. You can take the remonte peatonal escalators up to the historic part of town, which saves a lot of walking time.
Toledo Spain Map
Here is a map featuring the top things to do in Toledo Spain in one day. I have included everywhere mentioned on this list. Feel free to bookmark and save this Toledo Spain map.