Ávila

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  • Ávila
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  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Tradition and food
  • Getting there

Ávila, about a 60-minute drive from Madrid, has kept a unique historical legacy. Named a World Heritage Site in 1985, this Castilian city is still enclosed by its Medieval walls, 2.5km in length. The Old Town is the fine result of fruitful interaction between the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians.

The walls

The Medieval walls, 2.5km long, are punctuated by 88 turrets and 9 gates, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta de Alcázar being the most impressive of those guarding the Romanesque defensive rampart. You can walk along the entire perimeter of the city walls on the outer side. Activities include ‘Theatre in the City Walls’, “Legendary Guided Tours’, ‘Medieval Festivals”, and others.

Ávila Cathedral

The apse of the Cathedral actually forms part of the walls, which reminds us of its defensive nature. The interior contains Romanesque sections, while the newer ones show a Gothic style. In fact, Ávila was among the first Castilian towns to use Gothic elements.

Other sights of interest

  • Church of San Martín. Featuring the most original belfry tower in town, the brick and ashlar exterior endows the structure with an unmistakable Mudéjar character.
  • St Teresa Convent and Museum. Standing on the site where St Teresa of Ávila’s birthplace used to be, this convent features a crypt that is quite unique in the history of religious architecture in Spain.
  • House of Los Deanes. This traditional house is home to the Provincial Museum, showing valuable archaeological exhibits.

Guided tours

There are several guided and dramatised visits that are organised in order to discover the city through programmes like “St Teresa’s Train’, ‘The City Walls by Night’, ‘Legendary Ávila’, ‘Ávila and Its Noble Mansions’ or ‘Ávila, a World Heritage City’,  Organise your visit  by consulting the Ávila Official Tourist Guides.

City of Avila Medieval Fair - "The Market of Three Cultures"

During the first weekend of September, the streets of Ávila will be going back to the Middle Ages as they host the city’s popular medieval fair. The streets of the city are decked out to welcome thousands of visitors who will enjoy parades, tournaments, shows, food, music and fun. This annual event, which is also known as “The Market of Three Cultures”, fills the streets of the city with Moors, Christians and Jews, minstrels, merchants and sheriffs, accompanied by the residents of Ávila who help to make this the most important event in the city.

Named a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest in September 2017, it is one of the most spectacular medieval fairs in Spain due to its original and varied recreation of period activities and its authentic backdrop: the 12th century city walls, which are adorned for this special event that harks back to the times of archers, merchants, and maidens.

 

Other Tourist Trains

A unique way of travelling to and discovering Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes. Starting on 16 April!

A period train running between Madrid and Aranjuez recreates the Region of Madrid’s first rail line. Autumn Season: the train runs from 17 September to 30 October (Saturdays and Sundays) and on 12 and 13 November as part of the Autumn Strawberries programme.

Get on this vintage train whose steam locomotive pushes its way past stunning landscapes in southeast Madrid. Every Sunday, from 2 October to 18 December.

Travel from Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial on a vintage train and unveil the secrets of King Philip II’s empire. Every week-end till 10 December.

  • Hop onto a train or bus and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind.

    Day Trips
  • Catedral de Toledo
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  • Get around the city easily, quickly and economically with our tourist travel card which gives unlimited use of all public transport.

    Tourist Travel Pass
  • Abono Transporte Turístico Madrid
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OFFICIAL PRODUCTS

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.

Hop on board the city's official sightseeing bus!