Toledo Day Trips from Madrid

A trip to Toledo from Madrid is like a journey back in time to its Arab and medieval past.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Toledo Day Trips from Madrid

View of the Tagus River as it passes through Toledo | ©Hugh Llewelyn

Toledo is known as the City of the three cultures, as its heritage includes Christian, Muslim and Jewish elements. A trip to Toledo from Madrid is one of the best options to complete your trip.

  • Toledo Day Trip from Madrid
  • From £48.
  • From 5 to 8 hours
  • Transfers by air-conditioned bus
  • With guide
  • Optional entrance fees to various attractions
  • Optional lunch
  • Book now
  • Toledo Day Trip from Madrid with Cathedral Guided Tour
  • From £87
  • 8 hours
  • Transfers by air-conditioned bus
  • With guide
  • With entrance fees to the Cathedral, St. Tome Church and Synagogue
  • No meals
  • Book now
  • Toledo, El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen Day Trip from Madrid
  • From £82
  • 11 hours
  • Transfers by air-conditioned bus
  • With guide
  • With tickets to El Escorial and Valle de los Caídos
  • No meals
  • Book now
  • Segovia and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid
  • From £51.
  • From 11am to 1pm
  • Transfers by air-conditioned bus
  • With guide
  • With option of private tour and visit of Avila
  • No meals
  • Book now

The best excursions to Toledo from Madrid

Toledo from the air
Toledo from the air

Toledo has many things to see and to make the most of the day and soak up all its cultural heritage, I recommend hiring an organised excursion that includes a guided tour. These are the main options:

Round trip excursion to Toledo

Edgardo W. Olivera| ©Edgardo W. Olivera
Edgardo W. Olivera| ©Edgardo W. Olivera

This round trip excursion to Toledo is the most convenient option to visit the city with a specialised guide, who will explain the cultural highlights and leave you free time to visit Toledo at your own pace. The tour includes transfer from Madrid in an air-conditioned bus and costs approximately €55. Here are the main stops on the tour.

  • Toledo's Primate Cathedral

This is the jewel in the crown of the city and it would be a cultural sin to leave the city without visiting it. Don't hesitate to go inside to visit places such as the Main Chapel, the Chapter House, the Mozarabic Chapel and the Treasury. Gothic in style, this is one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world.

  • Historic centre

Strolling through the historic centre of Toledo is like stepping back several centuries. Cobbled streets and stone buildings form a landscape full of history behind every corner. Be warned: in Toledo there are many hills and the walk can be tiring.

  • Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca

This is a 12th-century Mudejar synagogue converted into a church. It is located in the Jewish quarter of Toledo and is one of the most beautiful monuments in the area. Its labyrinth of whitewashed arches stands out.

  • Church of Santo Tomé

If you have visited the Prado Museum in Madrid you will have seen some of El Greco's works. This artist was born in Toledo and this church houses one of his most famous paintings: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. The guide will tell you about the different and interesting interpretations of the work.

  • Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes

Isabella I of Castile ordered the construction of this Franciscan monastery. Gothic and Elizabethan in style, the monastery is one of the most beautiful places in Toledo. Don't be in a hurry to walk through its corridors and admire the contrast between the stone and the green of its interior courtyards.

Book your excursion to Toledo

Excursion to Toledo with guided tour of the cathedral

Views of the city from the river
Views of the city from the river

The duration of this excursion to Toledo with guided visit to the cathedral is approximately eight hours. The guide will pick you up in Madrid and transfer you to Toledo by bus.

Once in Toledo, you will start a guided tour of the most important places in the centre of Toledo: the Plaza Zocodover which is the liveliest square in the city, the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca, the old Jewish quarter and of course the Catedral Primada, among others. All this permanently accompanied by a guide who will explain everything about this fascinating destination.

The entrance fees to both the Cathedral and the monuments are included, as well as the bus transfer and the guide. This tour costs around €90 and is one of the most complete if you want to get to know Toledo in depth. Among the attractions you will visit are:

  • Catedral Primada de Toledo
  • Church of Santo Tomé and the painting of El Greco
  • Old Jewish quarter
  • Alcazar
  • Zocodocer Square

Book your excursion to Toledo with a guided tour of the cathedral

Excursion to Toledo with guided visit to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen in Madrid

Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial| ©manuel m. v.
Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial| ©manuel m. v.

Many excursions to cities located in the outskirts of Madrid take advantage of the trip to include other tourist attractions close to the capital that are not easily reached from the centre. This organised excursion to Toledo includes a visit to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen; two places that won't take up too much of your time in Toledo and are very interesting to visit. Here is a summary of the itinerary.

  • El Escorial Monastery

It was built in the 16th century under the rule of Philip II and during this tour the guide will tell you why it is one of the most popular places to visit around Madrid. During the tour you will visit the inside of the monastery, but the real beauty lies in its gardens and views.

  • Valley of the Fallen

This is a controversial monument erected in honour of the fallen during the Spanish Civil War. If you don't know anything about this historical period, this is an ideal opportunity to soak up the explanations of your guide; I guarantee you will find it very interesting to see this place from a different perspective.

  • Historic centre of Toledo

Once you have finished your visits in Madrid you will head towards Toledo and in about an hour you will be walking through the streets of the city centre. During the guided tour you will enter the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the Church of Santo Tomé where you can admire the painting of El Greco. Afterwards, you will have free time to stroll around the city or to explore places like the Cathedral in more depth.

This tour includes entrance tickets to the Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen, lasts about 11 hours and costs around €80.

Book your tour to Toledo with visit to El Escorial and Valle de los Caídos

Excursion to Toledo and Segovia

Aqueducts of Segovia| ©Kalboz
Aqueducts of Segovia| ©Kalboz

Another option to visit Toledo is to do it together with your visit to the city of Segovia. It is a full day tour of about 12 hours, but it will allow you to get to know two emblematic points of Spanish culture that are located near Madrid.

You will visit the impressive Cathedral of Toledo, the Mirador del Valle and its spectacular views and the Alcázar Castle of Segovia. In addition, you can choose to do this tour on a shared or private basis, exclusively with your travel companions. You can also add a stop in the city of Ávila and take a guided walking tour there.

This tour is designed to make the most of your days in Madrid and central Spain, so that you don't miss anything and can enjoy everything, forgetting to deal with transfers, hiring guides and scheduling. The price is around 54 € and what you should bear in mind is that it only includes entry to the Alcázar of Segovia.

Book your excursion to Toledo and Segovia

Self-guided tour of Toledo (with train tickets and tourist card)

Courtyard of the San Juan de los Reyes Monastery| ©Nic McPhee
Courtyard of the San Juan de los Reyes Monastery| ©Nic McPhee

If you prefer to visit Toledo at your own pace, the high-speed train is one of the easiest ways to get to the city. It departs from Atocha station and takes about 30 minutes. This excursion is designed as a package tour to visit Toledo on your own.

Is it worth it? If you don't want to worry about everything during your visit, yes, considering that half the price is spent on train tickets. However, although the departure from Madrid is early, the return is in the early afternoon (between 17:25 and 18:25), so you will have to rush your visit to get the most out of the tourist card.

What this option includes

  • Return train tickets
  • The Toledo Travel Card, which gives you free 24-hour access to all the city's museums and monuments.
  • Use of the tourist bus and guided tours
  • A menu of starter, main course and dessert to be exchanged in two selected restaurants to enjoy Spanish gastronomy.

What to see and do in Toledo in one day

The Alcazar of Toledo| ©manuel m. v.
The Alcazar of Toledo| ©manuel m. v.

If you have decided to visit Toledo on an organised excursion, you don't have to worry about anything: the guided tour will show you the main points of interest. On the other hand, if you want to discover the city for yourself, these tips will help you to avoid leaving the City of Three Cultures without visiting its most emblematic places.

  • Viewpoint of the Valley

It's not always easy to get to as it's located on the outskirts of the city, but a taxi from the centre of Toledo shouldn't charge too much for a round trip. The views from there are so impressive that for me it deserves to be at the top of the list of things to see in Toledo.

  • The Cathedral

Of course, it is the main attraction as it is one of the most visitedcathedrals in Spain and among the most amazing in Europe. Even from the outside, the façade of this Gothic cathedral will captivate you, but don't rule out a visit to the interior: it's well worth it.

  • The old town

Even if you go on your own, if you have the opportunity to hire a guided tour of the centre of Toledo, I recommend it. They will tell you about the history and secrets hidden in this city and will put the different monuments scattered around it into context.

  • The synagogue of Santa María la Blanca

Don't be fooled by appearances; this Mudejar synagogue located in the Jewish quarter may not catch your eye from the outside, but you will be surprised by its interior full of arches and white walls.

  • San Juan de los Reyes Monastery

A labyrinth of stone walls, gardens and high ceilings, this may be one of the most beautiful visits you make in Toledo.

  • The Alcazar

This medieval fortress is located in the highest part of the city and, even if you skip the visit to the interior, it is worth visiting the Alcazar to see its façade and the views of the city.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you are visiting the city without a tour guide, I recommend you read about its main places of interest beforehand to learn about its history.

Excursions to Toledo and other cities

Streets of Toledo| ©FEDERICO JORDÁ
Streets of Toledo| ©FEDERICO JORDÁ

If you have more days and you're interested in exploring Spain and its attractions in more depth, you can also combine your visit to Toledo with other cities. Of course, you will have to spend more days and a little more money, but it will be worth it to get a more complete and in-depth experience of the different regions.

I recommend some interesting proposals:

Practical tips for your trip to Toledo

Whitewashed arches inside the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca| ©amaianos
Whitewashed arches inside the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca| ©amaianos

When to go

You can visit Toledo at any time of the year, but avoid visiting in summer if you don't want to suffer from the heat. Summer temperatures in Toledo can be hotter than in Madrid. In winter, on the other hand, it's a bit cooler, so you'll need an extra jacket.

As for the number of tourists, Toledo is always crowded, but it's not so large that you can't enjoy the city regardless of the day of the week you choose to go (there will always be more people on public holidays).

Recommended duration of the tour

Toledo can be seen in a day, but it's not crazy to spend a night in the city to see it in more depth without having to keep an eye on the clock. The only thing is that if you intend to sleep in Toledo you should book your accommodation well in advance, otherwise you could find yourself on the streets after dark, which would not be pleasant.

What to eat

Excellent quality at affordable prices - what more could you ask for? In Toledo you can go for tapas in the old town or book a good restaurant to treat yourself to some of its most famous dishes, such as stewed partridge, cochifrito manchego, carcamusa (meat and vegetable stew), arroz a la toledana (Toledo-style rice), or mazapán de Toledo (Toledo marzipan).

What to take with you to Toledo

If you're going to be doing a lot of walking, it wouldn't hurt to pack a couple of plasters in your rucksack. Toledo has a lot of hills and you will need, above all, comfortable shoes. Otherwise, you can take the same things you would take on any other excursion, but you can take some of the typical sweets or Manchego cheeses back to Madrid: a delicious souvenir.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Don't forget to take in the views of Toledo from the Mirador del Valle viewpoint; they will leave you in awe.

If you are interested in the excursion to Toledo, you will also be interested in

Segovia Aqueduct| ©Blair-39
Segovia Aqueduct| ©Blair-39

After seeing Toledo you will discover that, beyond the provincial capitals, Spain has some impressive cities that you can visit without spending too much time on the road. Another such city is Segovia; preceded by its famous aqueduct, it's located an hour from Madrid and there are several organised tours and guided visits available. I have written this guide about Segovia Day Trips from Madrid that may be of interest to you.

If you prefer to stay in Madrid and enjoy every second in the capital, I recommend that you consider taking a guided tour of the city: it will help you to better understand all the corners of its streets and its history. In this article about Madrid Tours all the information you need to organise your guided tour.