Travel

One day in Burgos, Spain

The beautiful Spanish city of Burgos is breathtaking the moment you arrive. It is a bit off the beaten path which makes it less touristy and more of a hidden gem. Even if you only have a few hours, Burgos is worth a quick trip. Below are my recommendations for what to do with one day in Burgos, Spain! 

Burgos is the capital of the Spanish autonomous region Castile and León in the North of Spain

Things to do in Burgos

Paseo del Espolón

This is a tree-lined promenade with the Arlanzon river on one side and beautiful Spanish architecture on the other, all in the historic center of Burgos. It is said to be one of Castile’s most beautiful promenades. While I don’t have many (any) others to compare it to (yet!), it was one of the best parts of my visit to Burgos. There are ponds, fountains and gardens along the way with benches to stop and take it all in. Not to mention the plethora of cafes where you can people watch while enjoying a coffee and croissant. There are statues along the route along with the Gate of St. Mary, which leads right to the Burgos Cathedral. The bustle of people and street performers, along with the history and naturaleza, make this a must see in Burgos. 

Catedral de Burgos

Burgos is most known for its cathedral. It even makes the top 20 things to see in my Spain guidebook, which is high praise. The full name, which I love, is Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica Metropolitana de Santa María de Burgos. Simple, and to the point. Tours are available twice a day, but if you are pressed for time like I was, you can still poke your head in without doing a full tour. Walking the perimeter and seeing it from every side is seriously beautiful. Plus, there are cafes, restaurants, and tourist shops around it, making it a good destination for a few hours. I enjoyed walking the grounds and finding little side streets to get lost in, which is actually one of my favorite things to do in Spain.

Castillo de Burgos 

Spain is known for their castles (castillos) around the country. I’ve seen some amazing castillos in Spain, (looking at you, Alicante) but this is not one of them. But stay with me, because I still think it is worth a visit.

During the French Occupation the French were, appropriately, occupying the castillo.  When the French army decided to leave in 1813, they destroyed it with explosives, leaving it in ruins. I included this in the itinerary because, not only is the walk to the castillo beautiful, (think quaint streets, beautiful greenery, and old stone) but also because the city panorama at the top is unbeatable. 

It was free to enter the grounds, but this may have been an exception for COVID. Based on some other reviews and blog posts it looks like it usually costs a few euros to enter. As a reward for making the trek, there are several cafes at the top, one of which had panoramic city views! 

Explore old town & eat

For me, eating is a quintessential part of discovering, and enjoying, a new place. Even with just a few hours, I wanted to find a place that checked the boxes for me-inexpensive, delicious, local, and during COVID, outdoor. I ended up at Restaurante Meson Los Herreros. It is close to the cathedral and just off the paseo listed above, which made it a convenient stop for me. This restaurant is full of delicious looking pinchos (small snacks like tapas, typically served on bread or a skewer). The three best parts of this place were: the bartender recommending house favorites, quick service, and delicious and unique food for cheap!  While there is table service for dining inside, if you choose to eat outside, you order at the bar and pick the food up yourself. 

 While in Burgos, walking around the old town is a must for seeing bright colored buildings and little shops. The shops are certainly worth your time since the area is known for their wine from Ribera del Duero. This wine has D.O. status- Designation of Origin- which you can read more about here and here. While I was there, I bought a bottle for 3 euros that was exceptionally good.

And because I need reminders, I’ll remind you: Ask questions. Reach out. I have happily discovered that for the most part people are delighted when you ask questions and want to know more about the place you are in.

Engaging authentically with locals is the best way to connect with and enjoy the place you are and the people you’re with.