Toledo is just 72 KM (or 45 miles) south of Madrid, Spain. It is a beautiful ancient city and the former capital of Spain. The best part is Toledo is a very easy day-trip from the new capital, Madrid.
Road-Trip – ~1 Hour
One of your options if you are renting a car is to drive yourself down to Toledo. It is about a 60 minute drive.
Tourist Bus – ~1.5 Hours
There are several companies aimed at tourists that offer bus transportation from Madrid to Toledo. Some of these buses will pick you up at your hotel. Keep in mind this also means they are picking up and dropping off other customers at their hotels. This process can add up to an extra hour to your trip. You also will be on whatever schedule the tour is on.
These companies typically offer complete tour packages, which sometimes include admission to the Cathedral of Toledo or a walking tour of the city. Overall, these packages can run anywhere from $30-70 per person. If you don’t want to worry about figuring things out yourself, don’t look any further.
Commuter Bus – ~1 Hour
You can also take a normal public bus from Madrid to Toledo. This is probably this cheapest option. You can book your tickets via ALSA for ~$11.39 per person (or 10.73 euros). However, the bus leaves from Plaza Eliptica, which is south of the city center and a little bit out of the way if you’re staying in the heart of Madrid.
High-Speed Train – ~30 Mins
This is, in my opinion, the best and easiest way to get from Madrid to Toledo. It costs roughly $21.85 per person (or 20,60 euros). The trains leave from the Madrid Atocha Train Station, which is just south of Retiro Park. It was about a 25 minute walk from our hotel. The Toledo train station is walking distance to the city.
You can book your train tickets using Renfe. This will allow you to select a specific departure time much like booking a flight. Using Renfe, you can also select the seats you want on the train. We chose to sit in the car that had two single seats facing each other, which meant we both got a window seat. After purchasing your tickets, you can either print them out or add them to your Apple Wallet/Passbook. They will scan these tickets before you enter the train terminal.
Keep in mind you’ll also have to go through a small security check before boarding the train. It’s not as intense as TSA, but something worth noting. Also, be sure to arrive a little early. We had a little bit of difficulty figuring out, which are of the train station we were supposed to go to.
Overall, taking the train from Madrid to Toledo and back was super easy. I would highly recommend this day trip to anyone staying in Madrid. Not sure what to do in Toledo? Check out my other blog post for day trip recommendations.