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Night view of Burgos Cathedral, Castilla y León

What to do in Burgos? Ideas for a day trip

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In the city of Burgos, in Castilla y León, you’re surrounded by history, with so many medieval buildings, such as its amazing cathedral. A city you’ll fall in love with as soon as you arrive, where you can enjoy a fantastic day full of different experiences. If you want to see some of the best options, read on!

A good way to start the day is climbing to the top of the city’s highest viewing point, the Mirador del Castillo, where you can see the city spread out below you and plan where you’ll be going. The most obvious first visit is the castle itself, founded in the year 884 to defend the city, with part of its walls still standing. Back on street level, we recommend Burgos Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Spain. It was built from 1221 to 1765, and over the centuries it accumulated parts in other styles. One of its most striking features is the Puerta del Sarmental, the first entrance to be built in the cathedral. And inside, you can see the tomb of El Cid Campeador and his wife Jimena, two of the most famous historical figures in the city and in Spain. 

Top: Burgos Cathedral, Castilla y León /Below: The Sarmental door, Burgos Cathedral, Castilla y León

To continue your tour, you could walk to Arco de Santa María, a stunning 12th-century construction marking the spot of the first Town Hall of Burgos, and originally intended to be a triumphal arch. It was also one of the 12 gates in the defensive walls that stood around the original walled city. Here, you can walk through the arch and continue along Paseo del Espolón, a tree-lined park very close to the city centre, where you can take a break in your tour. As the morning draws to an end, we suggest a trip to the Plaza Mayor, a square which you may have already seen, as it’s right in the city centre. Here you can enjoy the colourful houses, walk in the shade under the arches, and maybe have lunch in one of its many restaurant terraces.

Top: Arco de Santa María, in Burgos, Castilla y León / Below: Plaza Mayor square in Burgos, Castilla y León

In the afternoon, you might like to take a stroll to the Museum of Human Evolution, where you can travel even further back in time and marvel at some of the finds from the nearby Atapuerca archaeological site, one of the most important in the world. It has some amazing items, such as the world’s oldest intact hominid skull, over 500,000 years old. And if you want more, you can always visit Atapuerca itself, just 15 kilometres outside the town. Burgos is a splendid city full of interesting sights, spectacular ancient buildings, and plenty of services for whatever you need. And if you want to spend more than one day here, there is much more to see and experience - you won’t ever be bored. 

Top: Façade of the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos, Castilla y León / Below: Inside the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos, Castilla y León
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