Located 70 kms south of Madrid, Toledo is a walled city that dates back to 192 BC. Sitting high above the Tagus River, this quaint museum city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for it’s myriad monumental and cultural heritage. During your Spain vacation, taking a Madrid to Toledo day trip is an absolute must if time is in your favour. Our Madrid to Toledo Day Trip Guide is just what you need to plan a half day Toledo Tour and make it back to Madrid well in time. Read on to know how you can go about doing a Madrid to Toledo tour in just 24 hours !
Perched on a rugged promontory washed on three sides by River Tagus, Toledo is a medieval Spanish city situated 67 km south-southwest of Madrid. Legend has it that Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian communities peacefully coexisted in the past, lending Toledo the moniker of ‘The City of Three Cultures’. With horseshoe-arched mosques, sephardic synagogues and one of Spain’s finest Gothic cathedrals crammed into its dense historical core, Toledo is a fairy tale city, almost utopian when you think of its accepting religious. It’s no wonder that the whole City of Toledo was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Make your way from Madrid to Toledo and encounter a myriad of religious sites, museums, restaurants, and shops waiting to be explored.
Madrid to Toledo - Best Tours
Toledo Half Day Tour by Bus
- Travel from Madrid to Toledo and back in a comfortable bus on this exclusive half day trip!
- Explore the magnificent Santo Tomé Church, El Greco's most famous masterpiece El entierro del conde de Orgaz.
- Learn more about the Jewish Quarter and Mirador del Valle which offers you an unparalleled view of the city.
Full Day Tour to Toledo
- Travel from Madrid to Toledo and back in a comfortable bus and enjoy a delicious traditional lunch during the tour.
- Explore the Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca, the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing.
- Learn more about the Jewish Quarter and Mirador del Valle during the tour.
All Inclusive Day Trip to Toledo
- Travel from Madrid to Toledo with an expert local guide ( English or Spanish guide)
- Visit the Cathedral of Toledo, the old Jewish Quarter, the Palace of Justice, Town Hall Square, the Church of Santo Tome, the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes.
Toledo & Segovia Tour
- Travel to two world heritage sites on the same day in a cozy VIP-class bus from Madrid.
- Witness the splendour of Segovia and Toledo with your expert bilingual guide.
- Walk through the cities and learn about their rich historic and cultural legacies.
2 Days Tour to Toledo & Segovia + Royal Palace
- Make the most of your visit to Madrid and visit the neighbouring cities of Toledo and Segovia
- Explore the stately churches, mansions, and synagogues of Toledo as you walk on the paved alleyways.
- See the 2000-year-old Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar de Segovia and the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria in Segovia.
Know Before Taking A Madrid To Toledo Day Trip
Before you go, here are a few things about taking a day trip from Madrid to Toledo that you must know of.
Guided vs. Self Guided tour
While a self guided tour gives you the liberty to explore Toledo at your own pace, taking an organized guided tour is a more convinient option for many reasons. Sit back, relax and enjoy a hassle free trip as you travel from Madrid to Toledo on an air-conditioned, comfortable coach. Also, you are under the responsibility and guidance of a local expert. This ensures that you get the most of your day in Toledo. The tours are designed such that you get to hit up all the prime spots including the Cathedral, the Church of St. Tome, the Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca, and the panoramic Mirador del Valle viewpoint along with guided commentary throughout. Visiting a medieval city and not consuming its history is quite pointless, eh?
Madrid to Toledo tour duration
Depending on the tour you choose, the duration of a guided tour can change. However, most Madrid to Toledo tours take about 8 to 10 hours. If you're squeezing in a visit to Segovia, it can take a few hours more. A favourable aspect about taking a day trip from Madrid to Toledo is that it starts off in the early hours of the day and carries on through the day, allowing you to retire as early as possible. The tour guides also make sure you make a stop at every important attraction and spend enough time for your respective photo opportunities as well.
When to visit Toledo
Toledp, Spain experiences Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. However, the best month to visit Toledo would be September. Being off-season, the crowds are less and the temperature is breezy with good hours of sunshine. April, May and June sees a lot of tourists and the temperatures are hot, hence making it tedious to walk around and explore the town. The Navidad week (December 22nd to January 2nd) and the Puente Diciembre week (December 5th - 10th) are also popular times for visiting Toledo.
What To See In Toledo?
So, what all can you see in Toledo with just 24 hours at your disposal? A lot. Here's our compact Toledo Day Trip Itinerary that will take you through all that you can do in a day.
Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz
The Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz which translates to Mosque of Christ of the Light is one of the oldest Moorish monuments in Spain. Situated in a park above the northern ramparts of Toledo, the mosque dates back to the late 10th century and is the only surviving mosque out of the ten that once stood throughout Toledo.
El Tránsito Synagogue
The El Tránsito synagogue, also known as the synagogue of Samuel ha-Leví is the single most important example of Spanish-Jewish art in existence. It was built in the 14th century, decorated with Mudéjar elements, beautiful geometric and floral motifs and inscriptions in Arabic and Hebrew. Today the synagogue houses the Museo Sefardí.
Catedral de Toledo
The Toledo Cathedral stands on the site of the Great Mosque of Toledo, which itself had replaced a Visigothic church. It is an impressive example of medieval Gothic architecture, with its interiors decked with the classic characteristics of rose windows, flying buttresses and pointed arches. The cathedral’s sacristy is a veritable art gallery of old masters, with works by Velázquez, Goya and of course El Greco.
El Greco House Museum
Opened in 1911, the El Greco House Museum boasts an extensive collection of paintings by the mannerist painter El Greco who spent much of his life in Toledo. It is located in Toledo's Jewish Quarter and onsists of two buildings: a 16th-century house with a courtyard, and an extension dating from the early 20th century.
Alcázar of Toledo
The Alcázar of Toledo is a stone fortification standing at the highest point in the city. In the 3rd century, it was used as a Roman palace but today it stands as a military museum. It displays uniforms, medals and an exhaustive historical section, with an in-depth examination of the nation's history in Spanish and English.
Church of Santo Tomé
The Church of Santo Tomé dates from the 12th century, although it was completely rebuilt in the early 14th century by the Count of Orgaz. It is one of the best examples of the Mudéjar art characteristic of Toledo. It is home to the famous painting by El Greco, the Burial of the Count of Orgaz, which can be seen by accessing the back of church.
Mirador del Valle
To appreciate the size and scope of medieval Toledo, there's no better spot than the Mirador del Valle. From here, you can see all of Toledo, the Cathedral, the Alcazar with the river Tagus in the foreground. El Greco painted one of his famous paintings from this same point, so you know it is the go to spot for centuries! You can visit the viewpoint by car, hop on hop off bus, tourist train, or take a taxi.
San Martín Bridge
The San Martín Bridge was built in the Middle Ages and was initially said to have been constructed from ashlars. It was later modified with new defensive structures such as the two end towers and five arches. This bridge connects the city of Toledo to the west and in 1921 it was declared a National Monument.
Madrid To Toledo Day Trip - Transport Options
Madrid to Toledo by Train
The fastest way to travel between Madrid and Toledo is the AVE high-speed train. Trains depart from Madrid’s Atocha station every one or two hours starting around 7:00 AM on weekdays and 9:00 AM on weekends and holidays. You can get dropped at the Toledo station which is a short 25-minute walk south from the centre of the city. From Toledo the last train departs around 7:00 PM on weekdays and at 9:30 PM on weekends.
You can purchase your Madrid to Toledo train tickets from the station at 12,90€ for a one-way ticket and 20,60€ for a roundtrip.
Duration of Travel : 30 minutes
Madrid to Toledo by Bus
The cheapest way to travel between Madrid and Toledo is by bus. Buses depart from Madrid’s Plaza Eliptica bus station, located 5 km south of Madrid proper. The buses from Madrid to Toledo are operated by ALSA, one of Spain’s main bus companies. The coaches are clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned, and the services is generally on time and reliable. These buses run every half an hour or so. Make sure you purchase a ticket for a direct bus from Madrid to Toledo so as to save time.
Madrid to Toledo bus tickets cost 5,47€ for a one-way ticket and 9,78€ for a roundtrip
Duration of Travel : 45 minutes ( direct bus)
Madrid to Toledo by Car
Going from Madrid to Toledo in a car allows you the course of day, allowing great flexibility in itinerary. You can easily hire a car from internationally recognized and local car rental companies for the journey. Rates will vary depending on the company and the length of time you choose for your rental. The road journey from Madrid to Toledo is incredibly straightforward. Follow the A-42 freeway southwest from Madrid. Toledo will be well and clearly marked on road signs.
Note that in Spain, you must be at least 21 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. Also, parking in Toledo is limited and difficult to find. Your best bet is the large garage on Calle de Santa Ursula, Toledo.
Duration of Travel : 1 hour, depending on traffic and how many stops you choose to make along the way.
Tips For Your Madrid To Toledo Day Trip
- If you're interested in visiting a local market, the Mercado San Agustin is a great option. You'll find scores of restaurants, food stalls and bars where you can indulge in some local wines, regional cheeses and eat a variety of tapas.
- Do not leave Toledo without trying the famous Toledo Marzipan. Pastry shops all over town sell this sweet almond paste, so pick up a piece and relish some authentic Marzipan.
- Apart from marzipan, Toledo is famous for its swords. There are many shops where you can buy a sword that suits your budget. They make for great souvenirs too!
- Shops open no later than 9:00 AM and stay open till 7:00- 8:00 PM . In small shops afternoon lunch break is possible and sundays are a common day off.
- Toledo has an excellent public transport system. You can freely travel throughout the city and its surroundings by buses.
Other Day Trips From Madrid
Interested in exploring other Day Trip options from Madrid? Here's our curation of the Top 4 Day trips from Madrid.