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Best things to do & places to stay:

Last updated: 03 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

For five centuries the capital of the unified kingdom of Castilla y Leon, Burgos is an elegant little city and an essential stop on Camino Frances to Compostela, with its great World Heritage Cathedral, and remarkable medieval churches and monasteries.

Set on the banks of frog-filled Arlanzon river, it is famous as the most Castilian city in Castile, the birthplace and final resting place of Spain’s greatest commander of the Reconquista, El Cid.

There are excellent museums, including a surprising one on human evolution, pretty riverside strolls, and superb traditional restaurants and steakhouses.

The bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination

Camino de Santiago trail

Spain

A world-famous pilgrimage, crossing Northern Spain in 33 stages from Roncevalles, taking in the art cities of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon, and dozens of spectacular medieval churches along the way.

Best for ages: 18+ | £50 | 30 days

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Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest

Medieval buildings of the Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Las Huelgas, a historical monastery of Cistercian nuns, Burgos, Castille and Leon, Spain
Experience

Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Las Huelgas

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

Just outside the city, this working monastery of Cistercian nuns has striking Mudejar (Moorish Christian) features, royal tombs, a museum of medieval textiles and a 13th-century tapestry. It’s also been the site of several royal weddings.

Best for ages: 18+ | £5

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Arch of Santa Maria, Burgos, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Experience

Arch of Santa Maria

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

This extraordinarily ornate castle-towered gate was rebuilt in the 16th century by Emperor Charles V to thank the city for its support against a revolt. It houses a museum of antique pharmaceutical equipment and special exhibitions.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Burgos Cathedral
Experience

Burgos Cathedral

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

A World Heritage site, the Gothic cathedral of Burgos was first built in 1221, then embellished in the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. Today, it is one of the great art-filled treasure houses of Spain, preserving many extraordinary works.

Best for ages: 18+ | £6

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Church of San Esteban
Experience

Church of San Esteban

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

A striking Gothic church with a magnificent portal, rose window in its massive tower, a flamboyant choir and a 14th-century cloister; it also houses a museum of elaborate retablos (painted wooden altarpieces).

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

Guided tour of the cathedral and historic center of Burgos

Guided tour of the cathedral and historic center of Burgos

Burgos

The best way to feel anywhere is to walk its streets. Burgos is one of the most monumental cities in Spain. Touring its historic center and ...

€120 | Rating 5 / 5 [17 ratings]

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Tour supplied by:

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Guided tour of the historic center of Burgos

Guided tour of the historic center of Burgos

Burgos

The best way to feel anywhere is to walk its streets. Burgos is one of the most monumental cities in Spain. Touring its historic center we w...

€85 | Rating 5 / 5 [6 ratings]

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Tour supplied by:

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Guided visit to the cathedral of Burgos

Guided visit to the cathedral of Burgos

Burgos

Knowing the cathedral of Burgos is essential if you visit us. It is one of the jewels of universal gothic. Our visits are also with Official...

€85 | Rating 4.97 / 5 [35 ratings]

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay in this destination

Hotel Forum Evolucion

Burgos, Castille and Leon, Spain

A cool bargain in the centre of Burgos, with contemporary Scandinavian design, easy parking and bike garage.

Official star rating:

NH Collection Palacio de Burgos

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

Stylish contemporary rooms and a gourmet restaurant, in this former Gothic-Renaissance monastery in the historic centre of Burgos.

Official star rating:

AC Hotel Burgos

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

Overlooking a pretty riverside walk, this attractive, contemporary hotel is convenient for motorists, sightseeing and is right next to the Camino.

Official star rating:

When to go

Located on the Castilian plateau and often battered by winds, Burgos is the coldest city in Spain and generally has snow for at least 30 days. It’s very much low season,  although it’s a good time to have an authentic experience with the locals if you bundle up.

April through October sees a steady stream of pilgrims passing through. June and September are fine and not too hot; July and August are the driest months, when Burgos is busiest, but highs rarely go above 30C.

Getting there and away

Burgos has a small airport 7km east of town, with links to Barcelona which can be convenient when coming from abroad. Its train station, Burgos Rosa de Lima, is 5km northeast of the centre and linked by high-speed train to Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid or Vigo. Taxis provide links from both the airport and train station.

Getting around

Taxis are reasonable and there are ranks all around the city centre.

Motorists will find street parking hard to find, but there are plenty of pay lots and garages around the centre. Most of the sights are within easy walking distance in the centre. The exceptions are the great monasteries of Miraflores and Las Huelgas on the edges, which you can easily reach by bus or by bike.

Where to stay

There’s a good choice of hotels just around the pedestrianised centre, some of which especially cater to pilgrims and are quite reasonable. Some of the more luxurious choices are along the river banks. All are in easy walking distance of the sights, restaurants and bars.

There are also several hotels in the newly built residential zones around Burgos, but they wouldn’t be your first choice for sightseeing or character.