Toledo, Spain, is a wonderful little town south of Madrid by 70 km. It is located in the province of Castilla La Mancha. Toledo was the capital of the Spanish empire until the mid 1500’s when the royal court moved to Madrid. It’s a great and cheap day trip from Madrid by train. A round trip to Toledo on the train will cost € 20ish Euros! The ride from Madrid’s Atocha Station will only take 30 minutes. Toledo is a must day trip for anyone staying or visiting Madrid.
The winding, cobbled streets of the old town are often crowded with both locals and tourists. Don’t miss the 13th century cathedral or the Alcázar, which sits atop the town. The old district is built on a hill and there is an escalator and lifts people can take up to the top. The old district has medieval city walls that surround this part of old Toledo. Get lost. Take some time to lose yourself in Toledo’s medieval streets. The city is surrounded by the River Tajo on three sides and two medieval walls on the fourth side. The old city is relatively small and can be crossed in 45 minutes, so you are never too far from the center.
People visit Toledo for different reasons such as ancient history, religious history and famous metal work. The Romans left their mark too on Toledo. There are ruins of a Roman circus that are still visible just outside the walls of the city. The metal-working industry has historically been Toledo’s economic base, with a great tradition in the manufacturing of swords and knives and a significant production of razor blades, medical devices and electrical products. Lord of the Rings had their armorer and swords make in this city. Three different religions have ruled over Toledo: Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim. All three of these religions have left their mark on the town through the different buildings and neighborhoods (Jewish Quarter). Toledo has some of the best sunsets. It is a must to stay till the last train leaves the train station. It is amazing to see the town light up when the sun goes down.