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Ávila, Spain probably isn’t right at the top of your places to visit in Spain list, which is understandable. It’s not a huge city and is a further day trip from Madrid than some other cities, like Segovia and Toledo. But if you do decide to travel to this beautiful city, there are plenty of things to do in Ávila, Spain!
1. Walk the Muralla de Ávila
The best, and most popular, thing to do in Avila, Spain is to walk the muralla de Avila, the wall of Avila. If you stop reading here and only do this on your trip to Avila, that’s okay. We don’t blame you!
The muralla de Avila, dominates the city by surrounding the entire historic center with 88 towers and an average height of 12 m (39 ft)!
While it’s an amazing view, what makes it the best thing to do in Avila is that you can walk along the wall and see the city form above! If you’re suckers for views like us, then this is something you will absolutely want to do.
It costs €5 to go up and walk the muralla de Ávila, and you can enter at one of three points: Cathedral, El Puente, or El Alcazar. You can also exit at any of the points too.
If you are only doing a day trip to Avila, keep in mind that it will probably take a few hours to walk the entire wall of Avila, especially if you are stopping to take photos and climb different towers.
2. See the Muralla de Ávila From Outside the City
Now that you have walked the entire muralla de Ávila and have seen Avila form above, you need to see the wall from ground level and imagine just how incredibly well-protected Avila was from invaders.
Our recommendation is to start walking the wall of Avila at the Cathedral entrance—also closest to the train station and city center—and exit on the out side near El Puente. From there, walk around the city and view the entire wall of Avila from the outside. You can even walk right up next to the wall!
This not only makes for fantastic photos, but it gives you a real appreciation for the size of the wall and how massive it truly is!
3. Judías de El Barco de Ávila
Something you need to eat in Avila is the judías de El Barco de Ávila, especially if you’re visiting on a chilly day, which can happen often in Castilla y León.
Judías de El Barco de Ávila are large white beans that are grown in a designated and protected region in Avila. The large, white beans have a buttery smooth flavor and are often cooked with morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo, or other types of traditional Spanish meat.
Given that these beans are specifically from this region of Spain, it’s one of the must do things in Avila on your visit! Plus, you will probably be hungry after walking the wall of Avila!
If beans just aren’t your thing, then you should order the just as famous chuletón de Ávila, which is a huge steak from a specific area around Avila.
Make sure you are hungry if you order this though as it is really big!
Most restaurants with a menú del día in Avila have one of these on their menu. It typically costs around €25 for the full menu, which includes a starter, the steak, drink, and a dessert. They also usually have cheaper options with different types of meat or seafood.
We got the judías de El Barco de Ávila for our starter and the chuletón or the second plate in a menú del día for €25 at Tres Siglos in Avila. It was a busy restaurant, but it was worth it to try these traditional foods from Avila, Spain!
5. See the Other Churches
Avila claims to have the most number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in all of Spain, which means you should walk around to check them out, even if you don’t go in them.
They are really easy to spot and are located all over the place. If you are walking around the center of Avila, you will definitely run into quite a few of them. If they’re open, and free, it’s at least worth popping your head inside to see what they look like.
However, they aren’t all free, so if it’s not in your budget to go inside, just appreciate the architecture and history from the outside and save your money for the chuletón, walking the muralla de Ávila, or getting some traditional desserts in Avila!
6. Yemas de Santa Teresa
The most traditional dessert from Avila are yemas de Santa Teresa and can be found in bakeries and pastry shops all over the city, but get the ones from La Flor de Castilla.
These small sweets are principally made of egg yolk and sugar, but also have a small amount of cinnamon and lemon juice. These are certainly a different type of dessert that is absolutely worth a try if you are looking for something typical of Avila during your time in the city!
There are plenty of things to do in Avila, Spain, and it is 100% worth a visit, especially for its wall. However, you might only want to spend a day or two there and then hop over to nearby cities during your time in Spain.
Most importantly, Avila offers visitors a unique experience with its impressive medieval wall and delicious regional food, making it a fantastic day trip from Madrid with lots of things to do and few tourists than other more popular Madrid day trip destinations.