What to see in Alcala de Henares? Visit Alcala in one day
Are you coming to
visit Alcala de Henares for the first time and you don’t know where to start?
Friends are coming and you need information to show them around the town? This
is a proposal for a tour that goes through the most important and beautiful
places in Alcalá. Are you interested?
What to see in Alcala in just one day?
It is not an easy task. Alcala may seem a small city, but it has huge heritage
and a long history. There are plenty of beautiful places to visit, while it may
be confusing to know what to visit when you are coming to Alcalá for just one
day. That is why we have designed this tour, which goes over the most important
buildings, charming streets and ancients quares.
×We inaugurate with this post our tours around Alcalá. We will propose you
different themed routes to visit Alcalá. We hope you like it!
The walk starts in the
main college of theUniversityand goes by inside thehistorical old town. These two elements have been included
in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Take into account that
this tour doesn’t include everything that there is to see in Alcalá. If you
have more time to spend in Alcalá, you should definitively try some of theother routesthat we are designing.
In case you are going
to show the city around to other people, you may need to remember the most
important facts of theHistory of Alcalá. Readthis postand brag in front of your friends about how much you know.
Visitthis linkfor more information about public transport in Alcalá.
1. College of San Ildefonso
Cardinal Cisneros founded in 1499, and
since then, it has been one of the most important institutions in Alcalá. Learn
more about it inthis post.
of San Ildefonso is a building that is worth a visit, even though you have to
pay 4 euros for a guided visit, you’ll definitively love it.
facade is gorgeous, and if you come on a weekday you can visit the patios for
free. Nevertheless, the only way there is to visit Paraninfo or San Ildefonso’s
Chapel is to pay for the visit.
2. Cervantes Square
Square is the former Market square of Alcalá, where medieval people traded
their products on market days. The square was also used as a bullring during
fairs and festivals.
It’s name comes fromMiguel
de Cervantes, one of the most important icons of Alcalá.He
was born in Alcalá, in the old church of Santa María, whose
ruins are next to this square (Oidor Chapel and tower of Santa María). In the
center of the square, there is a sculpture of Cervantes.
To learn more about this adventurous writer
and its relation with Alcalá, check outthis link.
3. More information about what to see in Alcala: Tourist
extra information is always helpful. There is a Tourist Office in Cervantes
Square, which is hidden in a small passage behind Oidor Chapel. Another office
is placed in Santos Niños Square, where we will go later in this tour.
Corral de Comedias
an impressing building that may be unnoticed from the outside, but that will
amaze you on the inside.
one of the most ancient ‘Corral de Comedias’ in Europe – an outdoor theatre set
up in the inner patio of a building.
about to be demolished, but fortunately it has been restored instead and
nowadays is being used for theater, musical and ‘flamenco’ performances. Don’t
missed it out!
From Cervantes Square, we get to ‘Calle Mayor‘,
the main street in the town center of Alcalá. In addition, it is the longest
street with ‘portico’ in Spain. It is a picturesque street that was inside the
Jewish neighborhood and nowadays has become the main artery of the town center.
5. Cervantes Birthplace
in the middle of Calle Mayor is Cervantes Birthplace. Its visit allows you to
understand how was life like during times of Miguel de Cervantes, and it’s
However, it is a must that youtake a picturein the bench in front of this house.
This bench as a life-siseSculpture of Sancho and Don
Quijote(you should know rho they are, in case you
I guess you have been walking all morning
and, by this time, you are hungry, aren’t you? This is the perfect time to have
atapa or a beer(maybe a couple) in any of the bars
that are around you.This posttalks
about the most famous, and also our favorites, places to have a tapa.
6. Santos Niños Square
With a full stomach, it’s time to visit the
place where Justo y Pastor, who are known as‘Santos Niños‘, are said to have been killeddefending
of that, these children were considered saints. Years later, in the place where
the assassination happened, a chapel was build to keep their remains. This
chapel was lately rebuilt as the existing Cathedral Magistral of Santos Niños.
You may wonder why this cathedral has thetitle
of Master, since there is only one other church in the world
with this name. This is because all his canons were graduated in the
Complutense University, all of them got the degree of ‘magister’.
7. Gate of Madrid
gate of Madrid was one of the entrance to the old city of Alcalá, in the past
protected by the wall that you can see next to the gate.
the gate people used when they came from Madrid to Alcalá. It is in front of
the Gate of Alcalá (which is in Madrid, haven’t you visit it already?) In fact,
both of them were connected by a road, by which you could walk straight from
one gate to the other.
8. Archbishop Palace
of Toledo have been living in Alcalá since 13th Century – Alcala was part of
building has been repaired, damaged and restored many times, until a fire in
1939 destroyed the entire palace but one of the facades.
Out of curiosity, you should know that in
this very building theQueen Isabella I of Castile
interviewed Christopher Columbusand decided to support and finance the
1492 voyage that led to the opening of the ‘New World’.
where you are right now, is one of our favorites places in Alcalá. It is green
and quiet, and is surrounded not only by the Archbishop Palace, but for the
Archaeological Museum of Madrid and the Convent of Bernardas. All of them are
worth a visit.
9. Clarisas candied almonds
about candy to finish this beautiful tour? We suggest that you visit the
convent of Clarissa nuns, which is placed in San Diego Square, where we started
the nuns make ‘almendras garrapiñadas’, which are candied almonds or
caramel-coated almonds, that they sell.
nuns are an enclosed religious order, so that you can’t see them. Once you are
in the hall of the building, place your order at the turnstile designed to let
the nuns maintain their privacy.
In case you are in the mood for more candy,
go back to Calle Mayor where there are several ‘pastelerías’ or bakeries. Try
some traditional sweets such as Costrada orRosquillas de Alcalá.
We wish this tour has been helpful to you
and that you have an awesome day in Alcalá. Remember that this route is a basic
introduction to the main, but not every, beautiful places of Alcalá. Feel free
to take a picture of any patio, public building or street that you see along
your way.There are lots of lovely secret
spots hidden among the streets of Alcalá, don’t miss them!!