Ávila

  • Ávila
    avila_ciudad_1400573211.71.jpg
  • 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

  • Los Cuatro Postes. The so-called four poles (actually, four Doric columns). They’re a viewpoint affording unique views of the city.
  • Basilica of San Vicente. This basilica is Ávila’s most outstanding Romanesque church.
  • Basilica of San Pedro. It stands out for its unusual red stone and its Cistercian rose window.
  • Church of Santo Tomé El Viejo. A Romanesque church within the Museum of Ávila, it contains a fabulous archaeological exhibition.
  • Church of San Andrés. An unusual example of Ávila’s Romanesque architecture.
  • 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.
  • Church of Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza. A church with the east end in granite, aisles with brick walls and apse chapels with really unique arches.
  • House of Gómez Dávila or Valderrábanos Palace. Converted to a hotel, the house has a Gothic façade from the fifteenth century, decorated with figures, and a tower rebuilt in 1877.
  • Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás. Some way from the centre, this Dominican convent is an emblematic monument and the home of the Asian Art Museum.
  • 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.
  • Casa de los Deanes. This traditional house is home to the Provincial Museum, showing valuable archaeological exhibits.

 

Guided tours

In Ávila you can choose among several guided or dramatised tours: ‘St Teresa’s Train’, ‘The City Walls by Night’, ‘Legendary Ávila’, ‘Ávila and Its Noble Mansions’, ‘Ávila, a World Heritage City’, and others.

 

Other Tourist Trains

A unique way of discovering the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes (Saturdays, 7 April to 28 July // 1 September to 8 December).

A period train running between Madrid and Aranjuez recreates the Region of Madrid’s first rail line (Sat and Sun: 14 April-30 Jun and 22 Sep-21 Oct).

Go from Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial on a vintage train and unveil the secrets of King Philip II’s empire.

Get on this vintage train whose steam locomotive pushes its way past stunning landscapes in southeast Madrid (Sunday Mar-May and Oct-Dec).

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

    Day Trips
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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

Make your way up to the observation deck for stunning views of the city.

Climb on board and discover the city in a panoramic format.

There are all kinds of things to do in Madrid, but some of them are not to be missed! Find out more!