Alcalá de Henares – world heritage city near Madrid

Alcalá de Henares
Spring, Spring… It’s made us wait a long time this year. It’s delayed by a good month or so, but is finally here (in Poland). I don’t know why, but upon the coming of spring, my thoughts always turn to Alcalá de Henares and so today, we’re escaping from the city, but we are not going too far!
The town is about half an hour’s drive away from Madrid and what’s more, there is a good Cercanias train connection from the Atocha station, and which costs no more than a couple of euros return. Once again, it takes no more than a moment to completely change “climate” and switch from the crowded, pulsating city life of Madrid to that of a somewhat lazier small town. Of course, it just seems “lazy” because in fact it is a university town, but still, life appears to t flow with a different rhythm.
Alcalá de Henares is also the birthplace of Cervantes. Despite all this, most tourists coming to Madrid for a few days follow the advice found in guidebooks and opt for a trip to Toledo, completely bypassing a proverbial jewel, which is within close reach of the city. Alcalá is one of the oldest Spanish towns and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list and although it is relatively small, one of its strong selling points is that it is not yet swarming with tourists. You won’t find any huge crowds here, and the town has a great ambiance and lots of monuments. Calle Mayor, the main street, which is probably the most representative part of the town, is where you’ll find Cervantes’ home (free entrance) and the longest porticoed street in Spain.
In my opinion, Alcalá de Henares is a must-see stop on any trip to Madrid. Plan at least half a day for walking around the town, taking a picture with Don Quixote and lunch or drinks (you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the sizeable portions of tapas served free with each drink). I think you’ll fall in love with this charming town. Alcalá de Henares Alcalá de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares Alcala de Henares

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