Burgos is full of architectural marvels and is truly a town full of Spanish Gothic masterpieces. The city was the capital of the unified kingdom of Castilla-Leon for five centuries and continues to have boastful Spanish displays throughout the city. Burgos is located along the banks of the Arlanza River with multiple outlets to interesting historical areas of the city. Here are the best things to do in Burgos:
1. Cathedral de Burgos
Cathedral de Burgos is a Gothic cathedral from white limestone. This cathedral is the only one in Spain that has received the UNESCO World Heritage designation. This cathedral has undergone many different variations since it was built from 1221 to 1795.
The floor plan is based on a Latin cross and there are three grand floors to explore. Beautiful sculptures adorn the castle to welcome guests who enter into the beautiful cathedral. Inside, there are 19 chapels and tons of masterpieces including altarpieces, paintings, tombs, and sculptures. Some of the many noteworthy chapels are Constable’s Chapel and the Chapel of Saint Thecia. Another must-see is the 13th-century cloister with the tombs of Ferdinand III and his wife.
Cathedral de Burgos
Address: Plaza de Santa María, s/n, 09003 Burgos, Spain
Website: Cathedral de Burgos (in Spanish)
2. Arco de Santa Maria
Arco de Santa Maria was built in the 14th century in honor of Emperor Carlos V and renovated by Vallejo and de Colonia in Renaissance style. Appearing like a castle with two towers and a large arc, it strikes attraction from travelers. It guards the entrance of the old town and at the end of the Paseo del Espolon. Due to the beautiful nature of the building, it is often a home for traveling art exhibitions. This place is free to visitors, so when traveling through Burgos, this is a must-see stop!
Arco de Santa Maria
Address: Plaza del Rey San Fernando, s/n., 09003 Burgos (Castile-Leon)
Website: Arco de Santa Maria
3. Paseo del Espolon
Paseo del Espolon has a pleasant garden and meadowland area that provides peace throughout the town. It is located in the center of the city on the banks of the river. The pleasant area is shaded by trees and full of cafes and shops.
Many of the Burgos locals visit the Paseo on a regular basis. Opposite the Paseo del Epsilon there are the quiet areas full of frogs and beautiful flower gardens. The garden lands have the skill to maintain tranquility and integrity, eventually causing them to become a representative garden for many other Castilian cities. After a long day touring Burgos, visitors should detour for a stroll through the Paseo del Espolon. The gardens are free and inviting to all who enter!
Paseo del Espolon
Address: Paseo del Espolón, s/n., 09003 Burgos (Castile-Leon)
Website: Paseo del Espolon
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4. International Folk Festival
The International Folk Festival is held the third week of July with around 800 members of Spanish folk groups from all over the world. The event is also known as the “City of Burgos.” The festival is much more than a folk music festival; there will be food, parades, workshops, crafts and photo contests around.
Travelers and visitors can visit the event for free; only those who participate must pay a fee. The events are held on various public and historical stages such as Plaza de San Juan Square, the Paseo del Espolón Pavilion, and the Principal Theatre. The performers display many different artistic traditions from diverse countries. This year, there will be groups from Cuba, Senegal, Serbia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the United States and Spain.
International Folk Festival
Address: Comité de Folclore Ciudad de Burgos
5. Cartuja de Miraflores
Cartuja de Miraflores is a building that was originally a hunting and recreational palace of Henry III of Spain. The building was restored and redesigned multiple times and finally completed by Queen Isabella. It has no entry charge and there are guided tours arable during the summer.
Cartuja de Miraflores is a great example of Carthusian culture and is now treasured for centuries to come. Now, this is a monastery occupied by 20 monks but part of the monastery is open to the public with beautiful artwork and altars available to see. Cartuja de Miraflores is a little out of town and requires minimal car transportation but is well worth it.
Cartuja de Miraflores
Address: Carretera de la Cartuja, 09193 Burgos (Castile-Leon)
Website: Cartuja de Miraflores
6. Church of San Nicolás
The Church of San Nicolás is a showcase of Gothic beauty. Dating from before 1165, it slowly fell into ruin until restoration in the 1900s. Now the church is a parish of San Esteban on the route of the Camino de Santiago. Many images of Nicholas are sparkled throughout the church in various forms including paintings, stained glass, and sculptures. However, the mosts precious part of the church would be the high altarpiece by Simon de Colonia depicting Biblical images. Within the church, there are two tombs and a large sculpture of San Nicolas.
Church of San Nicolás
Address: Calle Fernán González s/n, 09003 Burgos (Castile-Leon)
Website: Church of San Nicolás
7. Museum of Human Evolution
Museum of Human Evolution is a paleontology museum housing fossils from the Sierra de Atapuerca. After viewing the fossils within the museum, there is a shuttle bus to the place that they were found. Among the collections, there is an 850,000-year-old hominid fossil and “Excalibur,” which shows the oldest example of human intelligence. Some of the many opportunities available include wax models and educational exhibits of the process of human evolution. The museum offers workshops, seminars, and conferences at specific requests.
Museum of Human Evolution
Address: Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca, s/n, 09002 Burgos, Spain
Website: Museum of Human Evolution
Fall in love with Burgos!
It is hard not to fall in love with a town so beautiful and full of masterpieces. Spending a week or even a few days in Burgos is worth the trip. From touring cathedrals to tasting gorgeous treats, Burgos is a must-see.
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