Valladolid, only 200km from Madrid is the capital of the Castilla y Leon region, has many important historic, artistic and architectural points of interest to discover such as the National Sculpture museum and the House of the author of Don Quixote (Don Quijote), Cervantes. One of the top things to do in Valladolid is a wine tour. The city is situated in one of the eleven Spanish wine growing areas and is close to the little town of Rueda, famed for its Verdejo wine. Another city’s top things to do is attend one of the annual festivals. Highlights of the year in the city are the Seminci (The international Film Festival) and the International Street Theatre and Arts festivals. The Easter week processions are another highlight and for many the top thing to do when on a visit to Spain. Many include Valladolid in their Spanish holiday itinerary just to witness this religious occasion when genuine, religious artworks are carried through the streets.
- 1 Top attractions – Valladolid
- 2 Top things to do in Valladolid
- 3 Map Of Top Attractions In Valladolid
Top attractions – Valladolid
Museo Nacional de Escultura
The Museo Nacional de Escultura (The National Scripture Museum) is where many of the sculptures that are aired during the Easter Week processions are stored. A visit to the museum itself is housed in a Gothic building formerly known as the Colegio de San Gregorio. The exhibition rooms in the exquisite location are to be found in the two floors which enclose the beautiful courtyard. Apart from the magnificent sculptures the ceilings in the building are works of art to be wondered at.
Plaza Mayor de Valladolid
Valladolid’s main square is in the historical district where you will find architectural wonders that date back as far as the 1300s. A leisurely stroll through this part of the city will take you through the centuries as walk past the architectural styles of each age, and if buildings could talk they would you tell you much of the past history and famous people of Valladolid.
Iglesia de San Pablo
The church of Iglesia de San Pablo has a rich cultural history. It is situated in the Plaza de San Pablo next to the Museo Nacional de Esculturas. This Gothic church with its impressive and regal exterior is typical of the Renaissance architecture prevalent during the reign of Queen Isabella and is most certainly one of the top places of interest to visit on a trip to Valladolid. The entry portal of the church is breathtakingly beautiful and to see this church lit up at night is a sight you will never forget.
Catedral de Valladolid
Originally this cathedral was designed to be the largest cathedral in all of the Europe, however, the original design proved too costly, and the original plan was modified. However, it is still most impressive and it has the most beautiful 16th-century altarpiece which was taken from the church of Santa María La Antigua (in Valladolid). Sadly the original designed by El Greco has been removed. The four chapels adjacent that are on either side of the Cathedral contain many great works of art including a painting of Cain and Abel. Within is rich musical archive the cathedral holds more than 6000 works and statues near the chapels date from the 16th century. Within the Cathedral is an enormous and awe-inspiring pipe organ located over the main door that was constructed in 1904 by Aquilino Amenzua.
Universidad de Valladolid / University of Valladolid
The University of Valladolid was founded in 1241 which makes it one of the oldest universities in the world. This university is composed of four campuses that are
scattered around the city of Valladolid. The Valladolid campuses are Huerta del Rey, Centro, Rio Esgueva and Miguel Delibes. You will also find campuses of the University of Valladolid located in three other Spanish provinces. These campuses are Palencia, Soria, and Segovia. The university has approximately two thousand professors and in 2011 had almost twenty-four thousand students enrolled in classes.
The House of Cervantes – Casa de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes penned the famous Don Quixote ( Don Quijote). This remarkable story was first published in 1605 and is considered to be one of the true classics. Cervantes resided here from about 1604 until roughly 1606. The house is open for tours from Tuesday through to Saturday from 9:30 until 5:00. There is a nominal fee for visiting the house, except on Sundays when the house is open from 10:00 until 5:00 and entry is free.
Parque Campo Grande
This impressive park is located between the railway station and the centre of town. It is a handsome park that beckons you to stroll through it slowly and take in the sites it has to offer.
Top things to do in Valladolid
The International Film Festival (Seminci)
Although sightseeing is considered a great thing to do and there is much of historical interest in the town to be discovered and enjoyed, one of the top things to do is attend the Semana Internacional de Cine (The International Film Festival) in October. The festival’s main objective is to showcase films of artistic merit and which contribute to the development of cinematography. The festival is divided into four main categories.
- Current and international cinema
- Fiction films worthy of special attention
- This is termed ‘Sidebars’ and concentrates of genres, styles of the national cinema’s directors.
The National Pinchos and Tapas Competition
This truly enjoyable competition is held each year in September, so it is worth making a point of being in Valladolid to sample much of the delicious tapas entered in the competition. Each year at this time hundreds of tapas specialists get really creative as they put together the most delicious tapas. Everywhere around the stadium and in the streets you will find marquees and stalls where you can enjoy the many different tapas from all over Spain.
In the old part of the city, you may like to pay a visit to the tapas bar once a winner of this competition with is situated behind the Council building in Calle Correos.
In the center of the city you will find most of the best restaurants of Valladolid. The region of Castilla y Leon is renowned for its speciality dishes of suckling pig anad suckling lamb (Lechazo). There are many restaurants where the menu comprises solely of lamb so you only have the dilemma of choosing what drink to accompany your delicious meal.
Wine tours and wine tasting
In the Valladolid areas of Ribera del Duero, Cigales and Rueda there are many opportunities to sample famous Spanish wines. Whilst you can opt to make your own way through these areas it is recommended that you take one of the tours beginning in Valladolid city.
Ribiera del Duero is one of the most renowned wine growing areas and most particularly the Vega Scila vineyard which you will find in Valbuena de Durero (25 km from Valladolid City). This area concentrates mostly on Tempranillo type reds.
Cigales and Rueda although not as famous as Ribiera del Duero, are nonetheless worthy winegrowing areas particularly if you have a passion for white wines. Cigales also produces a rather singular pink wine which were at one time were served at the Spanish court in the 13th to 15th centuries. So you will be keeping good company when drinking a Cigales Rosé.
If you would like to visit the wine museum of the area then a half hour drive to Peñafiel, the capital of the wine producing area of Ribera del Duero will take you to the castle overlooking the town which houses the Museum of Wine. And while you are in this delightful town you may want to take a look at all the artefacts in the Archaeological Museum.
Cycling tours of Valladolid
If after all the gastronomic delights of your break-away to Valladolid you may feel that it is time to put in a little exercise. There are a couple of cycle-guided tours in the city which take in all the historic attractions. They offer a really great way to see the city with companionable people and excellent guides.
You can also hire bikes in Valladolid and make your own way with a map of the cycling trails in the surrounding countryside, or you may prefer to pick up a tour through the Valladolid area starting from within the city.