Last week, in our new series, Moving To, we looked at the charming town of Versailles, just outside of the French capital. This week, we are looking at another beautiful town, only a short distance from Spain’s exciting capital, Madrid. Just 70 km south of the capital, Toledo is known as the “City of Three Cultures” due to its rich history of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influence. Using the high-speed train, you can go from Toledo to Madrid in just over an half hour.
Toledo is a small city with a total population of around 84,000, and the old town a population of around 8,000. Its small size makes it an ideal place for those seeking a peaceful and laid-back lifestyle. The old town itself is quite small⏤perhaps a square mile in total; however, regardless of its size, the population density and tourism help create vibrant cultural and social scenes. With its narrow, winding pedestrian-only streets, beautiful architecture, and stunning views, the mostly car-free old town of Toledo is a charming and picturesque place to live. Its warm and sunny climate adds to the appeal of this historic Spanish city, making it an ideal destination for those who appreciate the joys of walking and exploring on foot.
The city has a rich cultural heritage, with its historic centre being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The city is renowned for its impressive architecture, which includes stunning examples of Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. The famous Catedral de Santa María de Toledo is a must-see attraction and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The city also boasts several museums and art galleries, including the Museo del Greco, which features works by the famous artist Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos, most widely known as El Greco, a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance.
Toledo has a lively cultural scene with several festivals and events throughout the year. The Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations are particularly impressive, and the city is known for its processions and elaborate floats. Other festivals include the Corpus Christi festival and the Toledo Jazz Festival.
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Toledo is an excellent destination. The city is on a hill overlooking the Tagus River, and its surrounding countryside is stunning. The Parque Nacional de Cabañeros is a popular destination for hiking and watching wildlife, and the nearby Castilla-La Mancha region is known for its excellent wine and cuisine. There are a number of Vineyards and wineries very near Toledo including Finca Loranque and Viñedos Cigarral de Santa María. The area is particularly popular with cyclists with some excellent routes to explore the surrounding countryside. Hiking and horseback riding are also popular activities.
One of the big advantages of living in Toledo is the city’s proximity to Madrid, which can be easily reached by high-speed train. However, Toledo itself has a vibrant social scene with numerous bars, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife options.
Toledo has a fantastic selection of restaurants: for tapas, cervecería de trébol is the perfect place to start; if you enjoy sushi, Sibuya Sushi Bar offers delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine, and if you want to indulge in a luxurious dining experience, Cigarral del Ángel with its two Michelin stars is an excellent choice. The Quixote Restaurant is another high-end establishment that fuses traditional and modern cuisine; Victor Sanchez – Beato Restaurante offers gourmet Mediterranean cuisine with an extensive wine list, and Zal Gordo serves traditional dishes in a rustic setting. With so many options available, Toledo has something for everyone.
The real estate market in Toledo is relatively affordable compared to other Spanish cities. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment starts at around €650 per month. For those looking to buy property, prices are also reasonable, with an average price of around €1,500 per square meter, meaning that apartments in the old town can be found starting at €150,000. Purchasing property in Spain is a relatively straightforward process⏤however, as Toledo is a medieval city, there can be a lot of red tape around renovations.
Real Estate Resources
Lucas Fox: A real estate agency that specialises in high-end properties, offering a range of luxury homes in Spain’s most desirable locations
Idealista: One of the most popular real estate websites in Spain, with a large selection of properties across the country
Pisos.com: A site focused on apartments, offering a wide range of options across Spain
Fotocasa: A popular site with a large selection of properties, including apartments, houses, and villas