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There are seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to day trips from Madrid—Segovia, Toledo, and Cuenca to name a few—so is a day trip to Ávila in Castilla y León worth it? What is there do you in Ávila for one day? How do you get there?
This guide to a day trip to Ávila from Madrid has all these questions answered for you as well as much more!
Keep reading to decide if taking a day trip to Ávila is for you!
How to Get From Madrid to Ávila
Train from Madrid to Ávila
Traveling by train from Madrid to Ávila is very popular as it’s not expensive, comfortable, and fast. It takes about 1.5 hours and leaves from the Principe Pio station in Madrid.
Check out the Renfe website for the train schedule between Madrid and Ávila.
Bus from Madrid to Ávila
The bus from Madrid to Ávila is another great option for a day trip. It’s slightly cheaper than the train, but about as fast. Obviously, the train is more comfortable than the bus though.
Check out ALSA for buses between Madrid and Ávila.
Car from Madrid to Ávila
It will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from Madrid to Ávila on the A-6, AP-6, and AP-51.
If you don’t have your own car and would like to drive, you can either rent a car in Madrid or use BlaBlaCar, which is a ride-sharing app where people rent out seats in their own cars when traveling between cities. Make sure to check ahead in advance to see if there are spots available for the dates and time you want to do your day trip from Madrid to Ávila.
Another benefit of BlaBlaCar is that you can mix and match your modes of transportation. For example, you could use it to get to Ávila, but then take the bus or train home to save you some money.
What to Do in Ávila
The most popular day trips from Madrid are Toledo and Segovia, but there’s so much to do in Ávila too!
The number one thing to do in Ávila is to walk to Muralla de Ávila (Wall of Ávila). The wall surrounds the entire city and is truly a one-of-a-kind thing to see. While you can definitely walk around the outside of the wall, or the inside, what you NEED to do is pay to go up and walk on the wall itself!
It costs €5 to go up the Wall of Ávila, and it is 100% worth it! You can enter at 3 different places: Cathedral, El Puente, and El Alcazar. You can also exit at any of these areas too. We recommend entering at one and walking the entire distance of the wall before exiting, and then walking the exterior for a different view of the muralla de Ávila.
Construction began on the muralla de Ávila in 1090 and continued for over 300 years. It’s 2500 meters (1.55 miles) in perimeter, has 88 towers, and the walls are on average 3 meters (9 ft 10 in) thick. The average height of the walls is 12 meters (39 ft), which is why you need to experience them from outside the city too. You can really see how huge they are!
Walking the muralla de Ávila will take the majority of your day trip to Ávila because chances are you’ll take a lot of photos and soak in the views.
Other things to do in Ávila include exploring the cities various churches—of which it claims to have the most Gothic and Romanesque churches per capita in Spain—exploring the old town, and eating your way around the city!
As far as what to eat in Ávila goes, there are 3 things you must try!
Judías del Barco de Ávila are beans specifically from around Ávila. They have a delicious buttery flavor and come in a stew with different types of meat.
Chuletón de Ávila is a large steak that was raised in a specific area around Ávila, just like the beans. This is a little pricer, but it’s one of the most famous foods from this region in Spain.
For dessert, make sure to get Yemas de Santa Teresa from Flor de Castilla. These are traditional desserts from Ávila that are made of egg yolks and sugar. They’re delicious and definitely worth trying if you haven’t had them before!
Is Ávila Worth Visiting?
Ah yes, the age-old question: Is Ávila worth visiting, even if it’s only for a day trip from Madrid?
While the Wall of Ávila really does dominate most of what to do in Ávila, it is a beautiful small city. However, be aware that Ávila is much colder than Madrid as it is higher up in elevation. In fact, it’s the highest provincial capital in all of Spain at 1130 meters (3707 ft)!
Ávila is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been described as “the most 16th century town in Spain.”
Basically, there aren’t that many things to in Ávila, but for a day trip, Ávila is definitely worth visiting, especially since it’s so close to Madrid and the transportation to get there is pretty cheap.
However, it’s probably not worth spending too much time there, but if you do, stay at the Parador de Ávila. It’s a chain of hotels that are built in converted historic buildings.