What to see in Ávila in one day, the city of the walls

If there is something that stands out about Ávila, it is its spectacular walls, but inside this walled enclosure we find a World Heritage city with essential corners that you should not miss.

It is possible to visit Ávila in one day, although we recommend that you spend more time, but you can do everything important to see in Ávila on an excursion from Madrid given its proximity and the different means of transport that can take you.

A walk to discover the best things to see in Ávila

1. The walls, the most famous monument in Ávila

Avila - What to see in AvilaWe can start the visit to Ávila from outside the city. Yes, to be able to admire the walls as they deserve.

And the best views are from Los 4 Postes, a monument with more than 500 years of history made up of 4 pillars and located next to the Adaja River. From here you will already have an idea of ​​the immensity of the walls.

Returning to the city, we must take a tour of its walls, the main monument to see in Ávila.

They date from the 12th century, although they have Roman origins, and their 2,500 battlements and 88 towers spread over more than 2,500 meters served to defend the city throughout history.

It is possible to walk along part of it and admire the best preserved wall in Spain and, without a doubt, the most famous and which we can admire today thanks, curiously, to an economic crisis, one of those that hit Spain in the 19th century and that overland plans to tear it down and expand the city.

2. The Basilica of Saint Vincent

Avila - Basilica San VicenteAfter admiring the wall we began to visit this beautiful city. A good place to start is the Basilica of San Vicente, which is located outside the walls but is a must. A

Here, as in so many other religious buildings in the country, the Romanesque and the Gothic are mixed and it houses the body of Saint Vincent and his two sisters, who were martyred alongside him.

Do not miss the west portal of the basilica before heading towards the Puerta de San Vicente, one of the most famous gates of the wall and which gives access to the intramural enclosure. From the door, everything changes and it seems that you go back several centuries in history walking through the streets of Ávila.

3. The Cathedral of Avila

What to visit in Avila - CathedralIn this way we arrive at the Cathedral of Ávila, a building built from the twelfth century in Romanesque style, although it was not completed until the sixteenth century, so in addition to the Romanesque we also observe Gothic and Renaissance elements.

In fact, it is considered the first Gothic cathedral in Spain.

The exterior of the Ávila Cathedral has an appearance more of a fortress than a religious building, something common at that time.

Inside, the ambulatory and the tomb of El Tostado, Alonso Fernández de Madrigal, should be highlighted. Former President Adolfo Suárez is also buried in this Cathedral.

4. The Small Market Square

Avila - Small Market SquareIn the Plaza de la Catedral we also find other interesting buildings such as the Mansión de los Velada or the Palacio de Valderrábanos, which we can admire before heading towards one of the most famous squares in Ávila, the Plaza del Mercado Chico.

The Plaza del Mercado Chico was built from the 11th century and it is where the Ávila Town Hall is located, ordered to be built by the Catholic Monarchs, although the current building is from the 18th century.

This arcaded square is one of the best places to see in Ávila and it is also home to the Church of San Juan.

5. The Plaza Corral de las Campanas and the Plaza de Santa Ana

Visit Avila in one day- Santa Teresa ConventFrom there we can go to the Plaza Corral de las Campanas, where the Torreón de los Guzmanes, the Mansión de los Superunda and the Palacio de los Almarza are located, great examples of Renaissance constructions in the city.

Very close is the Plaza de Santa Ana, another of the most beautiful squares to visit in Ávila.

In it we find the Convent of Santa Teresa, which houses the Teresian Museum and the Relics of Santa Teresa and the Palacio de los Núñez Vela.

It is time to leave the inner area of ​​the walls through the door that is located in the Plaza de Santa Ana and walk along the Paseo del Rastro along the wall to another of the main squares of the city.

6. The Great Market Square and its surroundings

Avila - San Pedro ChurchAlong the Paseo del Rastro we reach the Plaza del Mercado Grande, which is actually called Plaza de Santa Teresa.

This is the nerve center of the city and is a large square located next to the walls, where the famous Puerta del Alcázar is located, where the Farsa de Ávila took place, the historical episode where Henry IV of Castile was figuratively dethroned.

In front of the impressive Puerta del Alcázar, we have the Church of San Pedro, the first parish church in Ávila, in Romanesque style but with a large Gothic rose window on its façade.

From the beautiful Plaza del Mercado Grande we can walk to the neighboring Plaza de Italia, where we find the beautiful Church of Santo Tomé el Viejo and the Plaza de Nalvillos with the Casa de los Deanes.

Later we arrive again at the Basilica of San Vicente, where our tour began.

More days in Ávila? What to see in Ávila in 2 days

Avila - Santo Tomas MonasteryIf this tour is not enough for you or you still have more days in the city, there are many other places to visit in Ávila a little further from the walls.

For example, the Santo Tomás Monastery, with its 3 cloisters and 2 museums that are worth visiting, or the Encarnación Monastery, located north of the walled city.

In any case, in Ávila you have numerous churches, houses, palaces and convents that we have not named here and that you will come across as you go.

Because Ávila is one of the cities with the most history in Spain.

You can find more information on the official Ávila tourism page.

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