Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila

Avila is one of the historical jewels of the crown of Spain. Cities around the world are witnesses of many past events, and this medieval town is no exception. It has seen the Moorish and the Christian rule, and both eras have left their footprints on the city in the form of monasteries, Romanesque churches, convents, and forts. The city is surrounded by a wall; therefore, all of these landmarks are guarded well, and because of their antique nature, the whole city is listed by UNESCO.

Let me tell you what this city has for you.

1. Alcazar de Avila

Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).
Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).

In Spain, nearly every city has an Alcazar – a fortification of Moorish origin or of Christian origin. Avila can very much be called a fort in itself. This is because this city is bound by walls built to fend off invasions. There are nine gates in the Alcazar de Avila, with the Gate of St. Vincent and the Gate of the Fortress (Puerta del Alcazar) flanked by two towers 20 meters in height.

2. Murallas de Avila

Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).
Things to do in Avila

The Wall/Fortress is the name given to the circuit of the walls surrounding the old town. These walls were used as a line of defense against the attacks on the city by Moors and were built by the son-in-law of Alfonso VI between 1090 and 1099.

Tip: For a small fee, you can climb the wall and walk on it until you are exhausted.

3. Plaza Mayor

Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).
Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).

At the Mercado Chico, or the Plaza Mayor, visitors have easy access to see/visit the City Hall and the Church of San Juan. Although it is not a huge square as you’d expect, it is clean and has several shops dotted around.

4. San Vicente Church

Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).
Travel Itinerary: One Day in Avila (Spain).

Slightly rustic in color and grand in architecture, the San Vicente Church is located just outside the walls of the city. This Romanesque structure is a tribute to Saint Vincent, a martyr in 300AD.

5. St. Theresa Church Convent

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What an amazing capture, right? 😉

Housing the beautiful sculptures made by Gregorio Fernandez and the Baroque façade, the Convent of St. Teresa is one of the two pilgrimage sites of Avila. It was built in the 17th century after the canonization of Teresa. And yes, St. Theresa comes from this place; thus, the Catholics call her ‘St. Theresa of Avila.”

6. Cathedral de Avila

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The Cathedral is Sp;ain’s first Gothic Cathedral.

This cathedral adjoins the Murallas de Avila, and in fact, its apse forms one of the pillars of the walls. Besides this, it resembles the Abbey Church of St. Denis because of its Gothic architecture and Romanesque style. This is Spain’s first Gothic Cathedral.

7. Barrio Judio

Travel Itinerary: A Day in Avila (Spain).
Travel Itinerary: A Day in Avila (Spain).

Also called the Jewish Quarter, this area of the city was once dominantly inhabited by the Jewish community. The buildings here hint at the history of this place, and the cobblestone tells the stories of the close association of the community in this city. The Calle Reyes Catolicos once had many shops run by the Jews. Also here, you will see a house thought to be a synagogue found in the documents of the 15th century.

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The sunset is magnificent from this viewpoint. Our bus stopped here just to see this.

Avila is a signature of both the Moorish and Christian history of Spain. The towns walls enclose the place and this history in the form of several buildings. Mentioned above are some of the things you can see here. Of course, it offers much more than just these; the only way to check them out is by visiting them.

How to get there

Getting there is complicated if you only have a day to spare. So, I gave up on getting there by public transport. Instead, I joined a one-day tour that also goes to Segovia and Toledo. It’s a one-day tour from Madrid. See the thumbnails below for options.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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