There is a lot to see in Toledo in one day, so you will surely leave many things to see if you only have one day.
And it is most likely so, but visiting Toledo is an extraordinary day trip that you can take from Madrid thanks to its proximity and the facilities to get to Toledo.
Toledo is called the “city of the three cultures” since for centuries this beautiful city has been populated by Muslims, Jews and Christians, leaving an unbeatable legacy. If you have more days you can see our article on what to see in Toledo in two days.
What to see in Toledo in one day. A city tour
1. The Jardines de la Vega, beginning of the walk through Toledo
A good place to start visiting Toledo is the Jardines de la Vega, located very close to the Bus Station and relatively close to the Railway Station.
If you go by car, we can modify this route starting at the Alcázar de Toledo since we can leave the vehicle in the parking lot in front.
Next to the Jardines de la Vega we have the beautiful Hospital de Tavera, also called Hospital de Afuera, which is a Renaissance construction from the 16th century that is worth admiring.
2. Hinge Gate
The building is very interesting and inside it is the Lerma Foundation Museum, which offers important artistic works from the Casa de Medinaceli.
Further on we find the Puerta de la Bisagra, which has traditionally always been the gateway to the old part of the city.
This door was built in 1550 by order of Carlos V and after it you reach Calle del Arrabal, starting the visit to the historic center.
3. The historic center of Toledo
After crossing the Puerta de la Bisagra and starting to walk along Calle del Arrabal we find the Church of Santiago del Arrabal
It is in the Mudejar style, built in the 13th century and we can highlight its triple apse, very characteristic of this jewel of Toledo Mudejar.
Our next destination is the Puerta del Sol, also in the Mudejar style and which was built in the 14th century to give access to the walled city.
Next to it we find the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, which dates back to the year 999 and is the best preserved of the 10 mosques that the city once had. Today it is a Christian hermitage.
4. Zocodover Square
From there we take Calle Carretas and after climbing a steep hill we will arrive at one of the main squares in Toledo, Plaza de Zocodover, a very lively place that served as the main square for much of Toledo’s history, being in its day also a Muslim souk.
Next to the Plaza de Zocodover we have the Hospital de Santa Cruz, one of the main monuments to visit in Toledo, in Renaissance style and which today houses the Museum of Santa Cruz, which is worth visiting for its works of fine arts, archeology and decorative arts.
5. The Alcazar. The most famous monument to see in Toledo
After having visited all these places and having managed to get through the streets of the city to its highest point, we finally arrived at the Alcázar of Toledo.
This imposing building is built on rocks and dominates the entire skyline of Toledo.
The Alcázar of Toledo is located in the same place where there used to be a Roman camp, a Muslim castle and a Christian fortress later modified by the Catholic Monarchs, Carlos I and Felipe II.
The Alcázar, the best thing to see in Toledo, has had different uses throughout history and has been an exceptional witness to the passage of time through the city suffering several fires and different wars.
Today it is home to the Army Museum and you will surely have fun looking for the remains of bullets that were embedded in its façade during the Spanish Civil War.
6. The most commercial area of Toledo
After visiting the Alcázar of Toledo and enjoying its Army Museum if you are a fan, we will enter the main shopping streets of the city.
And for this, nothing better than Calle del Comercio, which starts from Calle de Zocodover and takes you to the bowels of Toledo.
The best thing here is to wander around and get lost in these narrow streets enjoying a pleasant walk through this area, very commercial, but also with a lot of history and beautiful architecture.
Proof of this is the Mezquita de Tornerías, located on the street of the same name. To admire this mosque you have to look up because it is only the second floor of the building where it is located.
On our walk through these alleys we will see important and curious squares and streets such as the Plaza de las Cuatro Calles before finally reaching the other great monument of Toledo, its Cathedral.
7. Visit the Primate Cathedral of Toledo
Knowing the Primate Cathedral of Toledo is essential in a visit to this city.
It is located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where, as you can imagine, the Toledo City Hall and the Archbishop’s Palace are also located.
For many, the Cathedral of Toledo is the greatest example of Spanish Gothic, and although it may be a bit exaggerated, they are not on the wrong track.
As usual in cathedrals, its construction spanned several centuries, beginning in this case at the beginning of the 13th century and ending in 1493, in the time of the Catholic Monarchs.
From the outside, its spectacular doors should be highlighted, such as the Forgiveness, the Clock or the Lions and also its high tower, in Gothic style with some Mozarabic element.
At first there were going to be two towers, but only this one and a few meters from the other one, located on the opposite side of the Puerta del Perdón, were built, although finally the Mozarabic Chapel was built on it.
The interior of the Cathedral is also spectacular, highlighting the numerous chapels that make it up (among them the Mozarabic), the choir, the sacristy with the impressive ceiling paintings, the stained glass windows and of course the Transparent, a unique and surprising sculptural work.
8. From the Cathedral to El Greco
After visiting the Cathedral of Toledo we will think that we have already visited everything but no, there is still a lot to see in Toledo and so it is worth continuing to walk.
Next to the beautiful Town Hall we have the small and curious Plaza del Consistorio that gives rise to our next stages of the route.
So we go to the Historical Toledo Interpretation Center, located in the Old Church of San Marcos, where we can understand the history of the city.
9. The Church of Santo Tomé and the Jewish quarter
From there we continue to Plaza del Salvador, where there is a small church that was initially a mosque, approaching another of the main places of interest in Toledo, the Church of Santo Tomé, where one of the most famous paintings of the great El Greco painter.
It is his masterpiece « El Entierro del Conde Orgaz», located on one of the walls of the church and that you will not be able to stop admiring.
But El Greco does not end here and it is from this area that we access the alleys of the Jewish quarter where the El Greco Museum is located, where great masterpieces of the Greek artist are found.
In the Jewish quarter we also find the Synagogue of El Tránsito, from the 14th century, the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, which was built by the Catholic Monarchs to commemorate the victory in 1476 of the Battle of Toro.
You can find more information on the official Toledo tourism page.