A road trip to Castilla y León – what to do in Valladolid in 1 day
During our stay in Castilla y León we had a chance to visit many beautiful places but if I would have to point out the one that surprised me the most, it would be Valladolid without any doubts. To be honest I had no clue about what to expect from this city, but what I surely didn’t expect at all was the quantity of green zones and parks and such a great atmosphere on the streets. In our last post we shared our top things to visit and do in Burgos, today we are taking you for a trip to Valladolid. If you only have one entire day, make the most of the time to let yourself fall in love with this city the same way we did 🙂
We arrived to Valladolid around noon after a long morning shopping in the malls outside the town. We were super hungry so we chose the restaurant very quickly, based on the fact that their terraces were full of people. And here comes my advise. NEVER base your decision only on this. The food was really disappointing and I wouldn’t repeat it, but at least we had our table in the sun and the atmosphere around was nice.
We started our visit from Plaza de Portugalete where we had our lunch. This is where you will see the Cathedral, the Collegiate Church of Santa María and the church of La Antigua together in the same place. One thing I can assure you about Valladolid is that you will see churches on absolutely every single corner, almost like in Rome. Next to the Cathedral there is a famous statue of Cervantes, an illustrious neighbor of Valladolid, and the magnificent facade of the University. Beware of the lions that guard it! Legend has it that if you count them, you will never finish your studies.
The environment of the Cathedral is ideal for a stop along the way. With a good weather, terraces are filled with a lively atmosphere and this is a great place to have your vermouth or try local tapas. It has some of the most bohemian bars in the city!
We continued our walk along Angustias Street, where the beautiful Teatro Calderón is located. It’s only few minutes from Plaza de San Pablo and as you can see, it’s very easy to get everywhere on feet. Did you know that Valladolid is also called “city of palaces”? The most emblematic ones are located on San Ignacio street, among them the one of Arenzana family, the Marqués de Valverde and Fabio Nelli.
To end the afternoon quietly, we headed to the Pisruerga River and we spent a couple of hours just walking and enjoying the tranquility of the river and surrounding gardens. We also visited Campo Grande, a very beautiful and romantic park that hides monumental fountains, statues, ponds with ducks and free peacocks. What I loved about Valladolid was the fact that those beautiful parks were only 10 minutes from the lively center. The city perfectly combines both fun and entertainment with quietude, something almost impossible in big cities.
On our way back to the center we stopped by for some ice creams and headed to Plaza Mayor, the most important square of Valladolid. Plaza Mayor stands out for its red color, which was recovered at the end of the last century. Its classical buildings with balconies surround the entire square and its arcades with granite columns are very welcome both in winter and summer. From Plaza Mayor you can continue along Calle Santiago, admire its beautiful buildings and visit some of the shops. This street is the commercial heart of Valladolid and here you will find the shops of the biggest brands. We spent the rest our our late afternoon just walking there and enjoying the sunset, definitely one of the most beautiful citizen sunset I’ve ever seen!
As you can see, it’s absolutely possible to visit Valladolid in one day but if you have more time, there is still a plenty of things to do. And if you enjoy short visits, we invite you to check our one day itinerary in Zaragoza. Also remember that to speak of Valladolid is to speak of its famous wines. No less than five Denominations of Origin treasures this province: Rueda, Cigales, Tierra de León, Toro and Ribera del Duero, with this last one being my favorite! You simply can’t leave Valladolid without trying at least one glass 🙂