If you live in Madrid or visit the capital, you must visit Avila. It is one hour away by car or train.
Today we will tell you about the best things to do in Avila in one day. First, visit the walled city that belongs to the World Heritage UNESCO.
Ávila is the type of city you occasionally visit because it is not so far. Also, because it is beautiful and it has fabulously tasty food.
There are many things to look out for in Ávila. However, since you will probably run short in time, I will tell you the essential things that you can do in a day.
- You can go to Avila on a Tour from Madrid. It’s a small group with a guide in your language.
Where to Start Your Visit in Avila
For me, the best way to start your visit to Avila is walking on its magnificent wall; this is one of the best things to do in Avila. Afterward, you can go for tapas or have lunch in one of the most typical restaurants.
After lunch, visit “intramuros,” that is, visit the walled city. Walk the narrow streets and visit the most important places that are listed below.
What to Do and See in Avila, Spain
Butcher’s House (Casa de las carnicerías)
At the old Butcher’s House (Casa de las Carnicerías), we will find one of the entries to the Wall and the Tourist Office of Avila.
It was built at the end of the XVI century. Its main goal was to sell the wine that entered the city and housed two of the biggest butchers in the town.
It is a great spot to begin the visit to Avila because you can ask for a city map, visit the building, and access the wall.
Walk the Wall of Avila
Whenever I go to a walled city, I enjoy a walk through it and discovering its views.
In Ávila, the wall is well preserved. It is believed that it is from the eleventh century, but some experts say it was built the following century. Unfortunately, neither of them gets to a concrete agreement on its origin.
What is more interesting is that you can visit the wall. However, to go up and tour it, you have to pay a small amount of 5€ that helps preserve the wall. *This price can change with time.
When visiting the wall, do not forget to bring your photo camera! Also, be careful with the steps because they are higher than usual.
Square and Gate of Alcázar (Plaza y Puerta del Alcazar)
Another place that you should definitely see in Avila is the gate of Alcázar, which is the most important of the wall. It is the one closest to the old castle.
This gate has two towers with battlements, which soldiers used to protect themselves from the enemy attacks behind it.
This entrance had different elements to defend the city. One of them was an embrasure; its purpose was to allow weapons to be fired out from the fortification while the firer remained undercover. It also has a drawbridge and a moat.
This entrance is located at Great Market Square Park (Plaza del Mercado Grande) or Santa Teresa Square Park.
San Pedro Church and the Great Market
The Great Market Square Park is actually named Santa Teresa Square Park; you can reach this place through the gate of Alcázar, as I said before. This park is at the center of Ávila, where parties and fairs are celebrated.
At one end of the Square, we can see the church of San Pedro with its romantic style. Its rosette stands out from far away.
Visiting the Cathedral of Avila
In the city center, you’ll find the Cathedral of Ávila. It is a national Monument and belongs to the World Heritage. It was also recognized as the first goth cathedral in Spain.
It is pretty easy to get to the cathedral. It may be curious to you as it was to me that it seems to be hidden. It is interesting to see how the city started growing around it.
The cost of visiting the cathedral of Avila is 5 €.
Town Hall and Small Market Square
The Small Market Square Park begin to form at the end of the XI century. However, the Town Hall building was built in the era of the catholic kings, when they found out that there was no room for the council to meet.
The building that we see today preceding the park was built around the XIX century.
There are many typical places below the porches to have some beers and taste the local cuisine.
Basilica of San Vicente
The Basilica of Saint Vincent is a church built in the XII century. It is dedicated to Saint Vicent, Saint Sabina, and Saint Cristeta. Three siblings were sent to be killed by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
This church has a romantic style and is one of the best examples in Ávila. In front of the Basilica, there is a gate of the same name, where there is outside wall.
Monastery and Santa Teresa Museum
Santa Teresa was born in Avila in March of 1515. Santa Teresa was always proud of being born in Ávila, as Ávila was also proud of Santa Teresa’s cradle.
It is a must to visit the Museum of Santa Teresa. The same rule applies to the Museum of Dalí in Figueras or the San Isidro Museum in Madrid.
Turret of the Guzmanes
The turret of the Guzmanes (Torreón de Los Guzmanes) is an imposing building, very well preserved, which is also the headquarters of the deputy of Ávila. It is from the XVI century. Alfonso XII was housed here also.
It is also known as the turret of the Mujicas that belongs to the attached palace. Enrique Larreta used it as a stage in his play: “La Gloria de Don Ramiro.”
The Four Poles of Avila (Los 4 Postes)
There are fantastic views of the wall from the four poles. The best time to be there is to take the most beautiful pictures at the beginning of the evening.
However, many people will try to take the best photos of the walled city on the weekends.
A legend goes around that says that the four poles were erected on that spot because Santa Teresa washed her feet there. Is it true?
Recommendations in Avila
- Mysteries and Legends guided tour
- Avila Flyover Tour
- Tour from Madrid to Ávila and Segovia
- Tour from Madrid to Ávila and Salamanca
Where to Eat in Ávila
A trip to Ávila will not be fulfilled if you do not go for tapas. There are plenty of places to enjoy some tasty tapas paired with Table Wine or a beer.
Where to Sleep in Avila
Almost every time, we went back to sleep at our place, but there was one time we stayed in Ávila. We slept at the Sercotel Hotel 4 Postes, where you will find great wall views. So be sure to request a room with those views at the check-in counter!
Do you also like walled cities like Ávila? Which one is your favorite?
How do You Get to Avila?
As I told you at the beginning of the post, you can get to Ávila by bus or train since it is well connected from Madrid.
If you are driving your car or the one you rented and it is your first time going, you will have to take the A6 highway and pay the toll (12€).
If you want to save the toll, you must take the same A6 highway and exit the National VI road. However, this way will take more time since you pass a port and many towns.
If you rent a car, you can do it here (where we make our bookings of vehicles). As a result, you can save more money than on other sites.
Also, you can go to Avila on a Tour from Madrid. It’s a small group with a guide in your language.
Do you also like Walled cities like Ávila? Which one is your favorite?
Plan Your Trip to Avila
- Best Places for taking “Tapas” in Avila
- Hotels in Avila
- Best Things to do in Madrid
- Rent a Car for your trips
- Best Things to do in Segovia
- 1-day Itinerary in Salamanca
- Visit Rueda and its wine cellars
Last Updated on 2 November, 2023 by Veronica
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Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.