The pretty city of Burgos (Spain), belonging to the province of the same name, is located 245 km north of Madrid. By the number of inhabitants, Burgos is on the 37th place in Spain: about 180,000 people live on an area of 107.08 km².
Burgos lies on an 800-meter hill, at the foot of which stretches the picturesque Castilian plains. Arlanson River flows through the city, which divides it into 2 parts.
Modern Burgos offers its guests everything that is needed to feel full of life: outlets for every taste and well-being, delicious food and wine, vibrant and fun nightlife, green boulevards, a beautiful beach on the Arlanson River, the atmosphere of the medieval Old Town.
Landmarks of the north of Burgos
In that part of Burgos, which is located on the right bank of the Arlanson River, is the Old Town with its many attractions.
The historical center of Burgos boasts the most beautiful city squares:
- Plaza del Mio Sid with a monument to the Knight Cid Compador;
- Plaza del Rev San Fernando;
- Plaza Mayor – a typical square in Spain, around which towers houses with arcades;
- Plaza Libertad, famous for the historic Casa del Cordon;
- Plaza Lesmes and the old monastery of Bernardos;
- Plaza Santa Maria, in the 15th century, was broken down on the site of an ancient cemetery.
In the historical part of Burgos, there is also the old Paseo del Espolon promenade, where locals love to relax. Espolon Boulevard stretched along the river for some 300 meters, but here you can see beautiful buildings of different eras, statues and fountains, a musical gazebo, figuredly trimmed trees and many flower beds.
And it is most convenient to begin acquaintance with all the sights of the Old City from the Santa Maria Bridge, which is thrown across the Arlanson River.
At the exit from the Santa Maria bridge there are gates of the same name. In the XIV century, they were built into the ancient fortress wall, from which now nothing has disappeared.
The gates are a large-scale stone tower with an arched passage. Their lava facade is decorated with sculptures depicting famous people of Burgos and Spain, as well as statues of the Virgin Mary and the guardian angel of the city.
Exhibition halls are now equipped in the interior of the door towers. Of greatest interest are the Mudejar-decorated Main Hall and the Octagonal Equality Hall. In one of the rooms there is the Pharmaceutical Museum, the main exposition of which is ancient pharmacy supplies.
On the other side of the gates of Santa Maria is Plaza Santa Maria. Turning the main facade to this square and to the famous gate, stands the iconic landmark of Burgos and all of Spain – the Cathedral of Our Lady of Burgos.
The cathedral is recognized as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture in Spain. The building has the shape of a Latin cross, its length reaches 84 m and its width is 59 m.
Interesting fact! Burgos Cathedral is the third largest in Spain after the cathedrals of Seville and Toledo.
The main facade of the cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. View it more conveniently from top to bottom. In the central part of the arcade, between the towers, is a statue of the Virgin. Below are sculptural images of the 8 kings of Castile, beneath them is a huge rose window with a hexagonal star of David in the center. In the lower tier there are 3 lancet arches. The central arch is the main entrance to the building, which is open only to members of the royal families, and the more modest side doors serve as an entrance for ordinary believers.
The northern facade of the cathedral is dedicated to the apostles. In the center, above the entrance doors, are scenes of the Last Judgment.
On the east side, lowered aspids adjoin the main building, made in the Renaissance style and decorated with the heraldic symbols of the noble families Velasco and Mendoza. Also here you can see scenes from the life of John the Baptist. Above the eastern doors, at an altitude of 15 m, is a completely unconventional decoration for any cathedral: a clock with a moving figure of the Papamosk (Simpleton).
The oldest (1230), as well as the most beautiful and interesting facade of the cathedral is the south, overlooking the Plaza del Rev San Fernando (San Fernando Square). Gothic statues adorning the facade serve as the image of the Divine Liturgy. Here, on the south side of the cathedral, there are ticket offices: to view the main religious attraction of Burgos inside, you need to buy a ticket and then climb the stairs to the south portal.
Interesting fact! In 2012, a commemorative coin of 2 € was issued in Spain, which depicts the Cathedral of Burgos. The circulation of the coin amounted to 8 million copies.
Inside the Cathedral of the Virgin is divided into 3 spacious naves. The building has a lot of light and air, everything looks easy and elegant. The interior of the cathedral is rich and grand: a lot of gilding, luxurious stone carvings, statues and altars. The main altar is decorated with a Gothic image of Santa Maria la Mayor. At the northern entrance, the magnificent Renaissance Golden Staircase of Diego de Siloe, made of white and cream marble with gilded iron railings, has been preserved. The fencing of the choir is decorated with carvings on the theme of biblical scenes, and in front of the choir is the burial place of Sid Campeador and his wife Jimena.
Reference! Sid Campeador is a famous national hero of Spain, born in Burgos.
Address: Plaza Santa Maria s / n, 09003 Burgos, Spain.
The Cathedral in Burgas works according to the following schedule:
- from March 19 to October 31: from 09:30 to 19:30;
- from November 1 to March 18: from 10:00 to 19:00;
- the last entrance is possible 1 hour before closing;
- Tuesdays are always closed from 16:00 to 16:30.
The cathedral can be closed for tourists during the holidays, information is always on the website https://catedraldeburgos.es
Children under 7 years old are admitted to the cathedral for free. On Tuesdays from 16:30 to 18:30 in the summer and until 18:00 in the winter, free admission is absolutely for everyone. At other times, the entrance for tourists on tickets:
- for adults – 7 €;
- for pensioners over 65 years – 6 €;
- for the unemployed, students under 28 years of age – 4.50 €;
- for children 7-14 years old and disabled – 2 €.
An audio guide in Spanish or English is issued along with the ticket.
Interesting fact! Along the river Arlanson has long been the path of St. Jacob – this is the name of the road to Santiago de Compostela, where St. James is buried. Pilgrims going there make an obligatory stop in Burgos to visit the Cathedral.
The church of San Nicolas de Bari is located behind the Cathedral of Burgos – you need to climb it on the wide staircase, which is laid to the left of the cathedral (if you face it).
The small, outwardly very modest stone church of St. Nicholas impresses with its internal proportionality and harmony. Its main value and attraction is the majestic stone altar in the form of a book that tells about the life of St. Nicholas. The altar is so skillfully and delicately carved that it seems incredibly light and elegant.
Advice! If a coin of € 1 is lowered into a special opening in the altar, a very beautiful illumination will turn on.
Address of St. Nicholas Church: Calle de Fernan Gonzales, 09003 Burgos, Spain.
Castillo de Burgos, or rather, the ruins that remain of it, are on the top of the hill of San Miguel. Climbing to this attraction is better on foot, the climb takes place in a very picturesque area and takes 25-30 minutes. You can start the journey from the cathedral, all the way up the stairs: first along Calle Fernan Gonzales, then along the steps in the park to the observation deck, and further along the path to the top of the hill.
The castle, built in 884, has long been one of the most reliable defensive fortifications. Then it was used both as a royal residence and as a prison, and was destroyed during the civil war in the 1930s.
The attraction, which is now available for inspection, is more striking in its spirit of medieval Spain and grooming. From the watchtower, from a height of 75 m above the city, the best views of Burgos and the cathedral.
There is a small museum on the territory of Castillo Castle, where behind the ropes there are untouched ruins of ancient walls, copies of objects found here. The organization is striking: no employees, only an announcer in Spanish talks about the past of this place.
The most impressive part of the old Burgos castle is the underground tunnels and a well with a depth of 61.5 m. You can see these attractions during the tour – they are carried out every day, beginning at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14: 00, 15:30, 16:15.
Castillo de Burgos is open to the public daily from 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Entrance to the territory, visiting the museum, an excursion into the dungeon – all for free.
Attraction address: Cerro de San Miguel, s / n, 09004 Burgos, Spain.
Sights on the left bank of Burgos: Las Huegas Monastery
On the left coast are mainly new areas. Although here there are such sights of Burgos that are known in Spain and beyond. For example, the Cistercian convent of Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas. He is known for being crowned, ordained, knighted, married, buried the kings of Castile and Leon. The monastery, founded in the XII century, is now active, but at the same time it is open to visitors.
A special attraction: a church with a luxurious gilded altar and pantheon with the burial places of Castilian kings. In the chapel of Capilla de Santia there is a wooden statue of St. Jacob with a sword, which was used in the ordinances of the Knights of the Order of Santiago. The gallery of St. Ferdinand is now occupied by the Museum of Fabrics, which displays the robes of kings, as well as a collection of paintings, tapestries, and historical relics.
Entrance to the territory of Las Huegas is free – you can go in and inspect all the buildings from the outside, take a walk along the cozy courtyard. But you can go inside only as part of an organized paid excursion.
Important! Tours are conducted only in Spanish. You can’t take photographs, a guard walks behind the group and monitors this.
Attraction address: Plaza Compás, s / n, 09001 Burgos, Spain.
Access to the territory is possible:
- Sunday – from 10:30 to 14:00;
- Tuesday-Saturday – from 10: to 17:30, a break from 13:00 to 16:00.
Places of interest in the vicinity: Carthusian Monastery Miraflores
The monastery dedicated to the Holy Virgin Miraflores, is located on a hill in the park Fuentes Blancas – this is outside the city, 4 kilometers east of the center of Burgos. Since public transport does not go there, you need to either take a taxi or walk. Although the road passes through a pretty area along the Arlanson River, it’s long and tiring to walk on foot, especially in the heat.
Cartuja de Miraflores is a 15th century monastery complex with many buildings. It was originally a hunting royal palace, but Juan II presented it to the monastic order of the Cartesians. Since the monastery is functioning, tourists are allowed only to the church.
The church is a wonderful example of late Gothic. Inside, everything is incredibly luxurious, many interior items are historical sights:
- the painting “Annunciation” at the entrance;
- the altar of the sculptor Gil de Siloe; the first gold brought by Christopher Columbus from America was used for gilding this altar;
- the famous statue of St. Bruno, who founded the Order of the Carthusians;
- in the center of the nave is the tomb of Juan II and his wife Isabella of Portugal.
Entrance to the monastery complex is free, visit time:
- Monday-Saturday – from 10:15 to 15:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00;
- Sunday – from 11:00 to 15:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00.
Attraction Address: Pje. Fuentes Blancas s / n, 09002 Burgos, Spain.
Booking.com offers more than 80 hotels of any category in Burgos and its immediate vicinity: from comfortable hostels to 5 * hotels. 3 * hotels are attractive, as many of them are located in beautiful historical buildings near famous attractions. A good option is comfortable apartments within the city, as well as family pensions in the countryside, just a 5-10 minute drive from Burgos.
Estimated cost per night:
- in a hostel – from 30 € per person;
- in a double room in a 3 * hotel – 45-55 €;
- in apartments – 50-100 €.
How to get to Burgos
The advantageous location of Burgos contributed to the fact that it has become an important communications center in the northern part of Spain. To get to this city is not difficult, since “all the roads of Castile lead to Burgos.”
The most popular and convenient options are train and bus. You can find suitable flights and buy tickets for any type of transport between Burgos and other cities of Spain on the website www.omio.ru.
Burgos-Rosa de Lima train station is located 5 km from the city center, in the Villímar area, at Avenida Príncipe de Asturias s / n.
Since 2007, regular railway connections have been established between Burgos and the main Spanish cities. High-speed trains from:
- Bilbao (travel time 3 hours, ticket costs 18 €);
- Salamanca (on the way 2.5 hours, cost – 20 €);
- Leon (the trip lasts 2 hours and costs 18 €);
- Valladolidol (a little longer than 1 hour, ticket 8 €);
- Madrid (4 hours trip, price 23 €).
Direct communication is also with Barcelona, Vigo, Endaya, San Sebastian, Vitoria. Trains to Paris and Lisbon run through Burgos.
Traveling to Burgos by bus usually takes less time and costs less than by train.
Burgos Bus Station is located next to the cathedral, on Calle Miranda nº4-6.
Bus routes connect Burgos with the nearest cities in France and Portugal, with most cities in northern Spain and Madrid. For example, in the direction “Madrid – Burgos” there are several daily flights, the trip lasts 2 hours 45 minutes, and the ticket costs 15 €. Among other popular destinations: Valladolid, Leon, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona.
All prices on the page are for November 2019.
Burgos (Spain) is a small city, to see all its sights and walk along the ancient streets quite a few days will be enough.
The most interesting places in Burgos: