Avila Day Trip from Madrid: One Day Ávila Itinerary

Avila Spain

A day trip to Avila from Madrid is the perfect way to switch things up in your Spain itinerary and see something different. Though this stunning walled city is located in the Spanish region of Castile and León, and thus outside the region of Madrid, an Avila day trip from Madrid is very easy to do. Many tourist buses offer a combined (and therefore slightly rushed) organized day trip from Madrid to both Avila and Segovia. But if you are the type who prefers to do it yourself and explore Avila at your own speed, keep reading for an easy, breezy one day Avila itinerary from Madrid.

Avila, Spain city wall towers

How to Get to Avila from Madrid

To get to Avila from Madrid, you will take a bus. This isn’t a public city bus, but rather a bus line by Jiménez Dorado running specifically between Avila and Madrid Estacion Sur. Tickets cost €8.13 there and €6.50 back, plus €2 for the online booking fee. Make sure to deselect the two preselected “Elección de plazas (1,00€ por persona)” boxes to save €2. The journey from the station in Madrid to Avila is about eighty minutes each way. You can view timetables and buy the bus tickets online from the official site. I highly recommend purchasing online, because I could not even see a Jiménez Dorado desk at the station.

On the day of the day trip, head to the Medez Alvaro station. You can reach it from the Madrid city center by taking either the metro line 6 (gray line) or the Cercanías Renfe line C5 (yellow line). After you leave the metro or Cercanías portion of the station, do not exit the entire station itself. You will see a very obvious overhead sign above the walkway to the Madrid Estacion Sur bus terminal. From this bus terminal is where your bus to Avila will depart.

This bus terminal is almost like an airport! There are booths for all the bus companies and a large departures and arrivals screen. On the departure (salidas) screen, locate your bus to Avila’s gate once it’s posted, and head to the gate. Display your mobile or printed ticket, and you’ll be on your way!

Hand holding a yema de Avila dessert with countryside in the background

Things to Do in Avila

Before you know it, your bus from Madrid will be dropping you off in the beautiful city of Avila. There is honestly so much to see with one day in Avila! Are you ready? Good. Here are the main things to do and see in Avila.

Basílica de San Vicente

This church is one of the best examples of Hispanic Romanesque architecture. It’s construction began in the early 1100s, and it’s located in the place where the Saints Vicente, Cristeta, and Sabina were martyred and buried. You can just observe the exterior or enter for the admission fee of €3.

Basilica de San Vicente in Avila Spain

Puerta de San Vicente

A stone’s throw away from the Basilica de San Vicente is the Puerta de San Vicente. Pass through this to enter the walled portion of the city of Ávila.

Puerta de San Vicente in Avila Spain

Catedral de Cristo Salvador de Ávila (Avila Cathedral of the Savior)

Believed by many to be the oldest Gothic cathedral in Spain, a visit to the Avila Cathedral is a must on your Avila day trip from Madrid. Entry costs €7. You can view opening hours for the cathedral and tower, as well as purchase tickets in advance, from the official site.

Avila Cathedral

Monumento a Santa Teresa de Jesús

Walk along Calle de San Segundo and pass by the monument to Santa Teresa, where you’ll enjoy pretty views of the eastern walls.

Monumento a Santa Teresa de Jesus with Avila city walls behind

Paseo del Rastro

Keep walking along the Calle de San Segundo until it turns into Paseo del Rastro. Here, sit on one of the benches and take in the sweeping views of Ávila’s surroundings.

Views from Paseo del Rastro in Avila Spain

Plaza del Mercado Grande

Double back up Paseo del Rastro, and make a right into the Plaza del Mercado Grande.

Plaza del Mercado Grande in Avila Spain

Iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol

In the Plaza del Mercado Grande, you’ll find the Parish of Saint Peter the Apostle. This church is Romanesque in style and was built in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Church of Saint Peter the Apostle in Avila Spain

Puerta del Alcázar

Cross back through the Plaza del Mercado Grande and enter the walled part of the city by passing through the Puerta del Alcázar. Its name comes from the alcázar, or fortress, that once stood behind it.

Puerta del Alcazar gate in Avila Spain

Plaza Adolfo Suárez

Just behind the Puerta del Alcázar, you’ll find the Plaza Adolfo Suárez. Take a stroll around the plaza, enjoying the sound of the water fountain and the views of the walls. In this plaza, by the Puerta del Alcázar, you’ll find an entrance to the city walls (at the bottom of the staircase in the photo below!). This part of the walls does not connect to the next. So I recommend you enter and walk this portion of the walls before leaving this plaza. You can use your same ticket to enter the second (and longer) portion of the walls later.

Plaza Adolfo Suarez in Avila Spain

Muralla de Ávila (Avila Walls)

The absolute best thing to do in Ávila, in my humble opinion, is walk the city walls. I have honestly never seen such picture-perfect medieval walls in my life. The walls circle almost the entirety of Ávila’s old town, and you can walk a good portion of them. There are two portions of the wall to walk. I recommend purchasing your €5 ticket at the Puerta del Alcázar entrance to the walls. This is the shorter of the two portions, and it only has one way in and out.

After completing this portion, walk a couple minutes from Puerta del Alcázar to the Casa de las Carnicerías. From inside here, you can show your same ticket to enter the second and longer portion of the walls. This stretch will take you all along the northern border of the walled city and let you exit the walls at the far west end of the walled city.

Walkable portion of Avila walls

Plaza del Mercado Chico (Small Market Square) 

Stop by Avila’s main square, known as both the Plaza del Mercado Chico and the Plaza Mayor de Ávila. Here, you can admire the beautiful facade of the city hall, pop in and out of sweet shops lining the portico-lined perimeter, and admire the stone arches while nibbling on some tapes.

Plaza del Mercado Chico in Avila Spain

Mirador de los Cuatro Postes (Viewpoint of the Four Poles)

It may look a bit far on the map, but especially if you walk the city walls all the way through, this viewpoint is not too far away and deserves your time. It offers the typical postcard view of Avila and allows you to appreciate the full length of the city walls. It would be especially perfect to time your visit here with sunset, after which the walls are illuminated! If you have a car, there is a parking lot nearby.

Mirador de los Cuatro Postes viewpoint of Avila city walls

Yemas de Ávila

Also called Yemas de Santa Teresa, these sweet, little egg-yoke balls are easy to find all over Avila. They are a very famous snack, so it’d be a shame not to try them in their birthplace! They are sold in boxes of at least six, and the most common cost I observed was around €0.50 each (don’t overpay like I did!).

Red box of Yemas de Avila or Santa Teresa in a storefront window

Convento de Santa Teresa

The Basílica de Santa Teresa and the convent attached to it are located in the place where Santa Teresa de Jesús was born. They are both built in a Carmelite Baroque style. There is a museum about the saint under the church.

Statue of Santa Teresa in front of the Convent of Santa Teresa in Avila, Spain

Museo del Cuerpo de Intendencia

Located in the Palacio de Polentinos building, this military history museum is filled with images, artifacts, and uniforms from the Spanish military over the years. It’s free!

Entrance to the Museo del Cuerpo de Intendencia in Avila

Verraco Celta de Piedra (Celtic Stone Boar)

This Celtic boar carved of stone dates back to the the 2nd century BC. You can keep an eye out for it as the walk the city walls.

Ancient Celtic Stone Boar statue in Avila, Spain

Real Monasterio de Santo Tomás

This Gothic-style building from the 1400s was once the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition in Ávila. The Spanish Inquisition was a group set up within the Spanish Catholic church. Their goal was to cleanse Spain of heresy, and this was infamously done through brutal methods.

Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas in Avila Spain

Any Questions on this Avila One Day Itinerary?

Have you visited Avila, or Madrid? Do you have any questions on how to make this Avila day trip from Madrid? Let me know in the comments below! I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

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Full itinerary for a day trip from Madrid to Avila

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