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Daytrip to Avila

view of Avila from the walls

Avila is a town in the nearby Castile and Leon region, and can be easily done as a daytrip from Madrid. It is pronounced Ah-bee-lah as the 'V' becomes a 'B'.

My colleague from Bangkok wanted to visit Avila, and asked if I would like to come along. I thought that was a swell idea so she booked bus tickets to Avila using costing about EUR 8 per person.

The strange thing was that although you could buy tickets online - they insist on having you print them out - flashing the ticket on your smartphone won't cut it.

Estacion Sur bus station. It's a pain to walk to - so make sure you take the metro!

So on Sunday morning, I made my way down to the Estacion Sur (bus station) and the bus arrived promptly at 9am at platform 9 despite the tickets saying we should wait at platform 1. Thank goodness we were paying attention to the various TV screens showing the departures of the buses.

After a brief bus ride lasting 1 hour and 20 mins, we arrived at Avila precisely on schedule. The Avila bus station was bit deserted, and the guy at the tourist information could barely speak any english so we took the map he offered, and began making our way to the center of the town.

We started heading towards the Cathedral and Walls, by following the signs saying "Centro Urbano". This involved a short 15 minute walk during which we stopped briefly for coffee and a barrida con tomate because the temperature had breached the 33 degrees Celsius barrier at this point and we were melting.

Puerto del Alcazar
Very soon, we arrived at Puerto del Alcazar and had our first glimpse of the walls.

There is a tourist information office to the right of the wall, which sells the VisitAvila tourist sightseeing pass (the other TI center does not) which enables you to see most of the sights in Avila for EUR 15 which will be very useful to help you save money. When you flash your pass at each participating venue, you also get an audioguide for free, which would otherwise cost EUR 2.

And on the left of this wall, there is a bus stop which one can use to take the bus to the train station later to return to Madrid.

Cathedral of Avila

Cathedral of Avila

Convent of St Theresa

We also went for a walk along the walls which was awesome. The entire walk is 1.3km and not recommended for old folks as there are plenty of inclines and steep stairs.

By 2pm, we were completely exhausted from all the walking and the temperature had hit 35 degrees celcius in the shade. So we walked to the market square and had lunch at Hostal-Restaurante Puerta del Alcazar. I had the local Avila specialty - Chuleton which is a thick steak (750g) made from the local cows bred in this area.

prawn fritters


Baked Hake fish

Chuleton (beef steak)

chocolate cake

chocolate crepe

At around 5pm, we took a bus to the train station which was 10 minutes away. Upon arrival, we bought tickets at the window. A ticket back to Madrid cost EUR 12.

Spanish RENFE trains are very comfortable, with vending machines, clean washrooms and spacious seats. I would say it was almost like the trains in Japan except that they didn't go at 300kmph and there is no tea trolley.

Total cost for this daytrip
Madrid-Avila Bus ticket EUR 8
Avila - Madrid train ticket EUR 12
VistAvila Tourist card EUR15
Lunch EUR28

Total: EUR 63


  1. Very good info and fantastic photos from your trip to Avila!


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