If you live in Madrid or are visiting the capital of Madrid, one of the essential visits that you have to do is visit Ávila. It is an hour by car or train.
Ávila is one of those cities that we go to once in a while because it is quite close and also because it is very beautiful and it is delicious!
I love walking through the wall, it must be one of the best preserved in Spain!
In Ávila there are many things to visit and for sure one day it falls short, so I tell you what are the essential visits you can do in a day.
What to see and do in Avila?
The visit to Ávila you can start where you like, first you can go for tapas, if you arrive at lunchtime, or you can start by visiting its most important monuments. Undoubtedly, what catches the most attention when you get to Avila is its wall, you can visit it and walk a fairly wide stretch and thus have a general view of the city.
House of Butchers
In the former Casa de las Carnicerías, we find one of the accesses to the wall and the Avila Tourist Office.
They were built in the late sixteenth century in order to sell the wine that reached the city and housed the two largest butchers of the city.
It is a good point to start your visit to the city of Ávila, since you can ask for information, visit the building and access the wall.
Walk the Wall
Whenever I go to a city with a wall, I like to take a walk around it and discover the views that the city offers.
In Ávila the wall is very well preserved, it is believed to be from the 11th century, but there are other experts who say that it was built in the following century, they do not agree completely.
What is very interesting is that you can visit, in order to go up and cross it you have to pay a small € 5 entrance fee. In this way we can help keep it preserved.
To visit the wall of Ávila do not forget to bring your camera! And watch your steps they are very high.
Plaza and Puerta del Alcázar
The Puerta del Alcázar is the most important of the walls, it was the one closest to the old castle.
This door has two towers with battlements, which served so that the soldiers could protect themselves from enemy attacks behind it. This door had several elements that served to defend the city, including a “embrasure”, which was used to throw hot liquids or stones at enemies. It also had a drawbridge and a moat.
This door is in the Plaza del Mercado Grande or Plaza de Santa Teresa.
Church of San Pedro and the Mercado Grande
The Plaza del Mercado Grande is actually the Plaza de Santa Teresa, you can get to this square through the Puerta del Alcázar as I mentioned above. This square is in the center of Avila and parties and markets are held.
At one end of the square, we can see the Church of San Pedro in Romanesque style, which highlights the rosette of the facade.
Visit Ávila’s Cathedral
In the center of the city, we find the Cathedral of Avila. National Monument and World Heritage, and it is considered the first Gothic cathedral in Spain.
It is very easy to get to the cathedral, but you may be curious as I am, as if it were hidden, it is curious how the city grew around you.
To visit the cathedral you have to pay an entrance fee of € 5.
Town Hall and Market Square Chico
The Plaza del Mercado Chico began to form at the end of the 11th century! On the other hand, the consitutional building was created at the time of the Catholic kings, when they saw that there was no place where the Council could meet.
The building that we see today presiding over the square, was built in the mid-nineteenth century.
Under the porticoes we will find some very typical places to take some “cañas” (small beers) and taste the local gastronomy.
Basilica of San Vicente
The Basilica of San Vicente is a church built in the 12th century. It is dedicated to San Vicente, Santa Sabina and Santa Cristeta, three siblings that the Roman emperor Diocletian ordered to kill.
This church is Romanesque in style and one of the best examples in Ávila. In front of the Basilica is the door of the same name.
Convent and Museum of Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa was born in Avila in March 1515. Santa Teresa was always proud to be born in Ávila and Ávila is proud to be the birthplace of Santa Teresa.
Visiting the Santa Teresa museum in Ávila is a must, as is visiting the Dalí museum in Figueras or the San Isidro museum in Madrid.
Tower of Los Guzmanes
The Torreón de los Guzmanes is an imposing tower, very well preserved and which is also the seat of the deputation of Avila. It is from the 16th century and Alfonso XII stayed here. It is also known as the tower of the Mujicas and is part of a palace to which it is attached. The writing Enrique Larreta used it as the setting for his work La Gloria de Don Ramiro.
The four poles (4 Postes)
From the four poles we have fantastic views of the wall. The best time to go is when it starts to get dark. You can make some pretty pictures. Of course, if it is a weekend you will find enough people wanting to make the same photo of the walled city.
Legend has it that the four poles were erected in this place because Santa Teresa washed her feet here, will it be true?
Where to Eat in Ávila
A visit to Avila is not complete if you do not go for tapas. There are plenty of places where you can eat delicious tapas, accompanied by a local wine or a cane. Here I leave you our favorite places.
Where to sleep in Ávila
We almost always go back to sleep at home, but once we stayed in Avila and slept in the Sercotel Hotel 4 Postes, where you have great views of the wall. Just do not forget to ask at the reception to give you the room with a view!
Do you also like walled cities like Ávila? Which one is your favorite?
Note: We are not native English speakers but we have decided to translate our post to English so we can share it with the whole world. If you see any spelling mistake or something, please let us know, it is so important to us. If you do so, we can improve our post and also our English knowledge! Thanks in advance!!!