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Located in central Spain, nestled on a bend on the Tagus River, sits the extremely photogenic city of Toledo. With its picturesque streets, important religious sites, boutique shops, and gorgeous viewpoints, Toledo is an absolute joy to visit. In fact, it is one of the most popular day trips from Madrid.

We spent over a week in Madrid, exploring the city and day tripping to other nearby locations, such as Toledo, Segovia, Ávila, plus a few palaces and monasteries. Not only was Toledo our favorite day trip from Madrid, but it was also one of our top experiences in Spain.

Toledo is just small and compact enough to be visited in one well planned, busy day. And that’s exactly what we are going to cover in this guide.

We cover what you need to know to plan a Toledo day trip from Madrid, including how to get here, the best things to do, where to eat, and tips to help you have the best experience.


Geography 101: A Quick Overview of Toledo

The majority of things to see and do in Toledo are located in the compact city center. This includes the Toledo cathedral, the alcazar, the seven monuments on the tourist bracelet, plus a few key museums.

The streets of Toledo are hilly, so be prepared for some hill climbs as you tour the city. If you choose to climb the towers listed in our itinerary, that will add more steps to your day.

Sitting outside of the city center of Toledo are the train station (about a 20-minute walk into town) and the viewpoints on the opposite side of the river. If you plan to drive to Toledo, most likely you will park near the train station, which also gives you a 15-to-20-minute walk into town. It is possible to hire a taxi or take a bus from the train station to save yourself that walk.

If you plan to take the train to Toledo and want to visit the viewpoints of the city that are located outside of the city center, consider getting a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus. This bus has stops at the train station, Mirador del Valle (one of the best viewpoints of Toledo), San Martin’s Bridge, the Alcazar, and other places in Toledo. It is a great way to get into town from the train station, visit the Mirador del Valle viewpoint, and later return to the train station.

Best Things to Do with One Day in Toledo

Here is a list of the best things to do with one day in Toledo. We have chosen what we think are the must-have experiences, but you can see the full list in our article Best Things to Do in Toledo.

  • Stroll the picturesque streets of Toledo
  • Toledo Cathedral
  • The view from the Alcazar
  • Try marzipan from Santo Tomé confectionary
  • Visit a few key sites on the Tourist Bracelet
  • Museo Cromática
  • San Martin’s Bridge
  • Viewpoints of Toledo

The Tourist Bracelet is a combo ticket to seven important monuments in Toledo. Visiting all seven, plus the other main sights in Toledo, makes for a very busy day. It is possible to see all seven (we did it on our day trip) but we think it is better to visit five of the most interesting sites, which saves time so you can add on experiences such as tasting Manchego cheese, shopping, or even ziplining. We cover all seven monuments in our Best Things to Do in Toledo article.

How to Plan a Trip to Toledo Spain | One day in Toledo

The city center of Toledo. These streets are so fun to explore and photograph!

How to Get to Toledo from Madrid

The best way to get to Toledo from Madrid is by train. It’s faster than traveling by car and you don’t have the hassles of traffic and parking. The only advantage a car offers is getting to the viewpoints across the Tagus River from Toledo.

By Train

High speed trains make Toledo easy to get to, especially for those on a day trip from Madrid. The Avant high speed train leaves from the Atocha station in Madrid and arrives in Toledo in just under 40 minutes. Trains leave frequently throughout the day, roughly once per hour.

The Toledo train station sits outside of the city center. To get into the historic city center, it is a 1.2 km walk that takes about 20 minutes. You will cross the Alcántara Bridge (which is a must-see sight in Toledo so you can check this one off the list right away) followed by a somewhat strenuous uphill walk to the city center. If you don’t want to walk, you can also hire a taxi or take the public bus to Zocodover Square.

By Car

By car it takes about an hour to drive the 75 km to Toledo, depending on traffic and your hotel location in Madrid.

Parking can be challenging. We chose to drive to Toledo, to visit the viewpoints outside of the city center, arriving in Toledo around 9:45 am. The parking lots we had flagged were filled so we ended up parking along a gravel road in front of the train station and then walking into town.

The #1 lot we recommend is Parking Paseo de la Rosa (a short walk from the Alcantara Bridge) followed by Safont (a larger lot but a longer walk into town). These are both free parking lots. If that doesn’t work, we parked on an unnamed street next to the train station (here is the exact location). In 2024, it was free to park here and a 20-minute walk into Toledo.

There are also two paid parking garages in Toledo: at the Alcazar garage and at Aparcamiento Miradero.

How to Get Around Toledo

Once in the city center, you can walk to all of the main sights in town. There is a tourist train which visits many but not of the sites listed in the itinerary below.

One Day in Toledo: Day Trip Itinerary

This itinerary is very similar to the itinerary Tim and I did in Toledo, with a few exceptions. This itinerary includes five of the seven monuments on the Tourist Bracelet (we visited all of them but there were five that really stood out as must-see’s).

We had a car so we could visit the viewpoints on the opposite side of the Tagus River and saw these before parking and entering Toledo. However, we learned that the afternoon is the better time for photography, so it is best to save these viewpoints for the end of the day.

Overview of this itinerary:

9:30 am: Arrive in Toledo
10:00 am: Toledo Alcázar and the Army Museum
11:00 am: Museo Cromática
11:30 am: Plaza de Zocodover & Marzipan
12:00 pm: Toledo Cathedral
1:00 pm: Lunch at Carlos’s Roof
2:00 pm: Jesuit Church (Iglesia de los Jesuitas)
2:30 pm: Church of Our Savior (Iglesia del Salvador)
3:00 pm: Church of Santo Tomé
3:15 pm: Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca
3:45 pm: Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes
4:30 pm: San Martin’s Bridge
5:00 pm: More time in Toledo or return to Madrid

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest and the walking route. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

9:30 am: Arrive in Toledo

Plan your arrival time for 9:30 am, regardless of if you plan to travel by train or car. This gives you time to walk to the historic city center (about 20 minutes).

The walk from the train station and the preferred parking lot takes about 20 minutes. You will cross the Alcántara Bridge and then it is a hill climb into town.

Alcántara Bridge Toledo | One day in Toledo

Alcántara Bridge

10:00 am: Toledo Alcázar and the Army Museum

The Alcázar is a large, stone fortification that sits on the highest point of Toledo. The highlight of a visit here is the view from library, but you can also see ancient archaeological excavations, see the inner courtyard of the Alcázar, and tour the Army Museum.

Enter at the Army Museum and purchase your ticket. This early in the day there should be little to no line to enter.

See the excavations, visit the Army Museum, and then follow the walking route around the Alcázar.

The walking route of the visit then has you exit the building and walk around the exterior. Once you get to the southwest tower, you can reenter the building and then take the elevator or stairs to the library (biblioteca) on top of the tower.

There are two great viewpoints here. The cafeteria on the very top floor has viewpoints in several directions. One level below this, in the library, there is a long hallway with windows offering a sweeping view over Toledo, each with a chair, if you would like to take a break and enjoy the view.

Best Views of Toledo | One day in Toledo

The view from the cafeteria (the view from the library is very similar)

Exit the tower and resume the walk around the Alcázar. Next you will visit the courtyard and then the terrace before concluding your visit. The exit is near the southwest tower, which is just a short walk from Plaza de Zocodover.

Toledo Alcazar Courtyard | One day in Toledo

The courtyard of the Alcazar

11:00 am: Museo Cromática

This museum was one of our favorite experiences in Toledo. You can visit it now (you will backtrack a short way downhill to get here) or save it for the end of the day (a nice option if you like the idea of having a cocktail at the museum).

This museum is located inside of the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, which is one of the oldest buildings in Toledo. In its maze of rooms and ancient hallways are musical instruments that have been painted with colorful images of pop culture, landscapes, fantasy, and more. Music plays on speakers throughout the museum, adding to the overall experience.

Museo Cromática | One day in Toledo

Chromatic Museum

There are various ticket types, including tickets that include beer, wine, or a cocktail. Take a look at the official website for hours and pricing. We spent about 20 minutes here. If you choose to have a cocktail, you could easily spend 30 minutes or more. This is a quiet, off the beaten path museum and we had it all to ourselves when we were here (on a morning in mid-April).

11:30 am: Plaza de Zocodover & Marzipan

From Museo Cromática, it is a short walk to Plaza de Zocodover, the main square in Toledo.

Sitting on the square is Santo Tomé, a confectionary shop which has been making marzipan sweet treats since 1856. Marzipan is one of the top foods to try in Toledo and it is made from ground almonds, sugar, and sometimes eggs, honey, or almond oil.

In Santo Tomé, purchase a few marzipan sweets to try. They also sell coffee and other pastries. Find an open bench in Plaza de Zocodover and enjoy this quick refueling break before visiting one of Toledo’s most memorable sites, its grand cathedral.

Plaza de Zocodover | One day in Toledo

Plaza de Zocodover


Santo Tome Marzipan | One day in Toledo

Santo Tomé

12:00 pm: Toledo Cathedral

The Toledo Cathedral, also called the Primatial Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Spain.

Construction began in 1226. The Gothic nave was completed in 1493 and throughout the centuries, chapels and modifications to the cathedral were made.

Tim and I were amazed by this cathedral and it is well worth the visit, even for those with little interest in churches and cathedrals.

There is a lot to see and do in this cathedral. Below is a list of places to visit, plus a few photos, but for more detailed information, refer to our article Best Things to Do in Toledo.

Things to See in the Toledo Cathedral:

  • The nave and side chapels: Make a complete circuit around the nave to see the side chapels and truly absorb the awe-inspiring grandeur of the cathedral.
  • El Transparente: The Baroque altarpiece
  • The Cloister
  • The Crypt
  • The Choir
  • The Chapter House
  • The Sacristy and Museum: Works of art by El Greco, Caravaggio, Goya, Tiziano, and other famous artists are on display
  • The Monstrance of Arfe

Note: The bell tower has been closed since 2020 and cannot be climbed. However, if you learn something new, please let us know in the comment section below so we can keep this article updated. Thanks!

Toledo Cathedral | Toledo day trip from Madrid

Toledo Cathedral

 El Transparente Toledo Cathedral | Toledo day trip from Madrid

El Transparente


Toledo Cathdral Cloister | Toledo day trip from Madrid

The cloister

 Chapel of Saint Blaise | Toledo day trip from Madrid

Chapel of Saint Blaise

A visit to the cathedral will last about one hour. Purchase your ticket in advance on the official website. Be aware that the cathedral does not open until 2 pm on Sundays so if your visit to Toledo falls on a Sunday, you will have to adjust this itinerary.

1:00 pm: Lunch at Carlos’s Roof

This rooftop terrace offers one of the most spectacular views of Toledo. We had lunch here and were blown away by the view. The food is good and the service is fast and friendly.

Restaurants with a View in Toledo | Toledo day trip from Madrid

The view from Carlos’s Roof

This experience is more about the view than the food, so don’t expect a gourmet dining experience. But gazing out across the rooftops of Toledo over lunch just may be one of the highlights of your day.

Make a reservation in advance and request a high-top table with a view of the city.

2:00 pm: Jesuit Church (Iglesia de los Jesuitas)

This is the first site on the Tourist Bracelet. It costs 12€ and can be purchased online in advance or at the first site you visit.

This church, which is also known as the Church of San Ildefonso, is a baroque church that was built in the 18th century. The main reason to visit this church is the for the views from its towers. You’ll climb 138 steps to get to the top of the twin towers and your reward is one of the best views of the Toledo.

Toledo Jesuit Church View | Toledo day trip from Madrid

The view from the Jesuit Church


Jesuit Church Terrace

The outdoor terrace of the Jesuit Church

2:30 pm: Church of Our Savior (Iglesia del Salvador)

This building started off as a Visigoth church, was later rebuilt as a mosque, and then became a church. The highlight here is visiting the archaeological area, where you can see the blend of these three architectural styles. You can also climb the tower for the view but there is a mesh fence (the view is much better from the Jesuit Church).

Church of Our Savior | Toledo day trip from Madrid

3:00 pm: Church of Santo Tomé

This church houses the painting “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” by El Greco. This painting is considered to be one of El Greco’s best achievements and a masterpiece by art scholars. A visit here is very quick, taking about 10 minutes.

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz El Greco | Toledo day trip from Madrid

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz by El Greco

3:15 pm: Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca

This is a must see! This is the oldest standing synagogue in Europe and was built in 1190 (the Old New Synagogue in Prague is the oldest active synagogue in Europe and was built in 1270). The synagogue was built in a Moorish style and later converted into a church.

Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca | Toledo day trip from Madrid

Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca


One Day in Toledo

The city streets in this part of Toledo are beautiful. This is Calle de los Reyes Católicos and both the synagogue and monastery are on this street.

3:45 pm: Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes

This is also a must see.

The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes was built by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I (the same king and queen to fund Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America) to commemorate their victory at the Battle of Toro and the birth of their son. On a visit here, you will see the church and the cloister, which is gorgeous.

Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes

Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes


Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes Cloister

This is the final monument on the Tourist Bracelet. They two we did not add into the itinerary are the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz (one of the oldest buildings in Toledo but it is located on the north side of town, so you’ll do a lot of walking to get here and back to the city center) and the Royal College of Doncellas Nobles (a former girl’s college).

4:30: San Martin’s Bridge

From the monastery, it is a short, downhill walk to San Martin’s Bridge. The views of the bridge, both from the bridge and from the opposite side of the Tagus River are stunning.

Toledo St Martins Bridge

San Martin’s Bridge


St Martins Bridge Toledo

Also near here is Fly Toledo, where you can zipline over the Tagus River. They advertise that no reservation is necessary and people of all ages can do this zipline.

5:00 pm: Take Your Pick

At this point, there are several things you can do. Do a Manchego cheese tasting, visit the viewpoints of Toledo, return to Madrid, or spend a few more hours in Toledo, strolling through the city and ending with sunset views of Toledo.

Manchego Cheese & Wine Tasting

At the Mqm Museo del Queso Manchego, you can taste Manchego cheese, olive oil, and Iberian ham, and pair them with wine. This makes a great option for a snack or early dinner. The museum is a small, family run business and they love sharing their knowledge about the cheese and local foods with their patrons. Learn more on the official website.

Manchego Cheese Museum

Return to Madrid

If you are in Toledo on a day trip from Madrid, return to the train station or your car to travel back to the city. However, you are now standing on the opposite end of town. To get to the train station from San Martin’s Bridge, it is a 40-minute walk if you go directly to the train station by circling the north side of Toledo or just slightly longer if you walk back through town (this is what we did).

You can also hire a taxi, use a ride share app, or use the Hop On Hop Off bus to get to the train station.

Viewpoints of Toledo

Getting the viewpoints on the opposite side of the Tagus River from Toledo is a bit of a hassle but it is worth it, in my opinion. If you have a car, you will have to walk back to your car (this could be about 45 minutes depending on where you parked) or take a taxi/ride share app to your car.

If you have a car or hire a taxi, there are several viewpoints (miradors) along Ctra Circunvalacion/TO-3100. Mirador del Valle is the most popular and one of the best.

Mirador del Valle Toledo

Mirador del Valle

 Toledo Photo Viewpoint

If you arrived in Toledo by train, you can get to the viewpoints by hiring a taxi/Uber or taking a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Toledo. This bus tour has stops at San Martin’s Bridge, Mirador del Valle, and the train station.

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Spend the Afternoon and Evening in Toledo

If you are in no rush to leave Toledo, spend the afternoon strolling the picturesque streets, shopping, and/or visiting the remaining two monuments on the tourist bracelet or another museum in Toledo (see our Things to Do in Toledo post for more ideas on what to do). If you skipped Museo Cromática, you could visit this in the afternoon and have a beer, glass of wine, or a cocktail.

In the evening, watch the sunset from the viewpoints across the Tagus River or at Parador de Toledo, a restaurant with a terrace with stunning sunset views of Toledo.

Helpful Tips for Visiting Toledo

Make Your Reservations in Advance

Make your reservation for the Toledo Cathedral in advance. We also recommend making reservations for restaurants as well (if the restaurant takes reservations).

You Will Climb a Lot of Hills and Steps

Toledo is a hilly city so you will get your steps and stairs in for the day! With that being said, wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes. To limit how much walking you do, consider using the Hop On Hop Off Bus.

Some Sites are Not Open Every Day

Some sites, such as the Alcazar and the Manchego Museum, are closed one to two days of the week (typically Monday and/or Tuesday). The Toledo Cathedral opens at 2 pm on Sunday. So, if your visit is on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, check the updated hours for each site to avoid any unfortunate surprises.

Things to Do in Toledo Spain

Toledo is filled with streets that are fun to photograph. This photo was taken here on Google Maps.

Best Tours of Toledo

This full day tour of Toledo from Madrid gets great reviews, includes the viewpoints across the river, a guided tour of the city center, and free time to explore the city.

This full day tour from Madrid includes Mirador del Valle, the highlights of Toledo, plus a wine tasting in a nearby vineyard.

This tour from Madrid includes Toledo and Segovia.

And finally, this tour from Madrid includes Toledo and the Don Quixote de la Mancha windmills, which are also very interesting to see.

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Where to Stay in Toledo

Casa Palacio Rodrigo de la Fuente by Principe David is a gorgeous property that offers one and two-bedroom apartments. It is located in the city center.

Riad Medina Mudejar is a highly rated riad with spacious room and onsite baths.

Mirador de Zocodover, Apartamentos Turisticos, and Apartamento PRANA Junto al Alcazar are great picks for mid-range travelers and Hostal Santo Tomé is a highly-rated budget hotel.

For the ultimate in luxury, take a look at Eurostars Palacio Buenavista.

If you have any questions about this one day in Toledo itinerary or how to plan a Toledo day trip from Madrid, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Spain

MADRID: Visit the must-see sights plus a few hidden gems in our article Best Things to Do in Madrid.

ANDALUSIA: In our guides to Andalusia, Spain, we cover the best things to do in Seville, the best way to spend one day in Seville, a one day itinerary with a walking tour of Ronda, and a guide to the Caminito del Rey, one of the most famous walks in Spain.

BARCELONA: Start with our guide to the best things to do in Barcelona. Plan your visit with our 3 Day Barcelona Itinerary, our guide on Where to Stay in Barcelona, and get recommendations on where to eat in Barcelona.

EUROPE ITINERARIES: Check out our article 10 Days in Europe: 10 Amazing Itineraries for 10 different ways to visit the best places in Europe. And if you have less time, check out our guide to 25 Ways to Spend One Week in Europe.

Read all of our articles about Spain in our Spain Travel Guide.


One Day in Toledo Spain Itinerary


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