Touring and Tapas in Toledo
Where do you start! There is so much to see, do and eat. This is a great stop upon arrival in Spain. It’s only 30 minutes from Madrid, but it is a historic and quaint walled city with so many sites. In fact, Toledo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the tremendous monumental and cultural heritage. This is the land of El Greco, Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote and, hearty red wines and Manchego cheese. Iberian ham, croquets, venison are on almost every menu.
This article focuses on interesting and historical site in the walled city. You can learn more about ancient religious sites in Sam's earlier article - Toledo’s Cathedrals, Synagogues, and Mosques.
Many come to Toledo for the El Greco Museum (Museo del Greco). It celebrates the painter's life who spent much of it in Toledo. The Greek was the nickname given to the painter Doménikos Theotokópoulos, living in Toledo during the Spanish Renaissance. The museum is located in the Jewish Quarter, with a 16th-century house and another museum building with gardens. Entrance cost varies, with some Sundays being free.
Celebrated throughout the city, some of El Greco's artwork can be found at Museo de Santa Cruz. This former hospital now contains some of El Greco's most famous works, Altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception and la Sagrada Familia. Entrance is €4, with Wednesday after 4 being free.
The Alcázar of Toledo is a fortification located on the highest ground in the city. This prominate stone structure is visible from almost any location outside the walled city. This large square fortification is framed by four large towers with spires and provides an interesting look at 2000 years of various wall structure from the castle, from the third century by the Romans, then Moores and restored during the reign was restored under Charles I (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and his son Philip II of Spain in the 1540.
Outdoors on the terrace you will find some of the greatest views in all of Toledo and several interesting pieces of 20th Century military equipment. Inside a portion of the Alcázar is the Spanish Army Museum. Not only are there numerous military artifacts at the museum, a tremendous view of the walls showing the dated walls, cisterns and AquaductsOsti providing needed water to the Alcázar.
If you find yourself looking for a bite to eat, I recommend tapas from El Trebo (Calle de Stanta Fe, 1, 45001). Here a delicious glass of wine, and gambas (shrimp) croquets will run you a whopping 6 Euro. Lovely ribs can be had for 10 euros. If you are unaware, like most cerveceria or tabernas in Spain, if you have a local wine or beer, chips or crisps will follow, perhaps heavier topas - all for 2-3 euros.