10 key places to see in León city

This summer we were reeling what to see in León city after a 2 day visit. León is a city with an unquestionable cultural heritage, adding architectural wealth to the long list it has Castile and Leon. Anyway, León not only offers culture, since it offers a very good gastronomic offer, tapas being one of its main bastions.

Booties house. What to see in León city

What to see in León city

León is a vibrant city with a lot of movement. He Santiago's road He has managed to put it on the map and many hikers start their route from this place or simply use it as a passing city. They see her so beautiful that she is frequently used as a resting stage, deserving at least a full day to visit her after the busy road.

The old town is not excessively large, but the set of small alleys makes it seem more than it initially may seem. Narrow alleys that reach remote squares where stopping on the road to take a skewer is almost an obligation. Tapas which of course are included with the cane, traditions that are found in other parts of Spain, especially in the south. Here we even find Yin and Yang, where we have adherents to the bars of romantic neighborhood and others at Humid neighborhood, the latter perhaps more touristy. That is why we are going to divide the list of key points to see in León city through these two charismatic neighborhoods, adding in the end some important point outside these.

What to see in León city. Romantic Quarter

1. León Cathedral

By far the most famous monument in the city and that stands majestically over the square of Our Lady of Regla. Built on ancient Roman baths in 1253, this marvelous Gothic style stands out, with polychrome stained glass windows of medieval origin known worldwide.

Leon Cathedral. What to see in León city

Your ticket has a cost of 5€ and an audio guide is included. If we wish to enter the cloister / museum we will have to pay an additional € 3 and it is entered from a different door.

Leon Cathedral. What to see in León city

To highlight the Altar Altarpiece built by Nicolás Francés, a famous sculptor ofFlanders. By the way it is a bit complicated to photograph because they do not allow the use of tripods 🙁

2. Royal Collegiate Church or Basilica of San Isidoro

This complex is part of the old lion wall. Located in the square of San Isidoro, it is the most complete Romanesque complex in Spain (they say) and the truth is that it is quite large. This was built on another ancient temple that was demolished during the Muslim invasion.

Basilica of San Isidoro

Once inside we see that there are really several buildings that have been built at different times, such as the Pantheon of the Kings, where the remains of more than twenty Leonese kings rest. To highlight the main entrance where you see a lamb in the center of a beautiful rock marking.

Basilica of San Isidoro

3. Palace of the Guzmanes

You will see this palace yes or yes when passing through the wide street, the main artery of the old town of León. Your entry is free and you can visit until 20:00.

Palace of the Guzmanes. What to see in León city

4. Booties House

In front of Palace of the Guzmans we have the Booties House, a work ofGaudi, of which there is a sculpture sitting on a bench right in front. This building was theoretically built to be used as housing, even a warehouse, but was finally acquired by a savings bank for use as offices.

Booties house. What to see in León city

5. The Wide Street

The street that takes us directly to the leon Cathedral and dividing point of the two neighborhoods. Commercial artery where many streets full of bars and different types of shops converge, many of them tourist oriented.

Wide street

What to see in León city. Humid neighborhood

6. Plaza Mayor

There is no Castilian capital without its Main Square. All kinds of celebrations have been held here, including bullfights. His best known building is the Consistory, a place that has been the headquarters of the civil guard, roof of celebrations, courthouse, cultural center, ..., etc., we go to a multipurpose building.

Main Square. What to see in León city

7. Plaza de Santa María del Camino or Plaza del Grano

Popularly known as Plaza del Grano, walking along its cobbled pavement makes us think of being in a small town in Castilla y León.

Santa Maria del Camino Square. What to see in León city

8. Plaza de Conde Luna. Supply Market

Place where the main market of León is located and where we can buy almost anything…. It may not be very large, but its appearance and cleanliness is immaculate.

9. Church of San Marcelo

Right in front of the Booties House and in the same Ancha street, the street that separates the Romantic District from the Humid. As in other cases, it was built on the foundations of another older one and demolished by former conquerors.

Church of San Marcelo. What to see in León city

León Tourist Office

Nice building that houses the tourist office and the City Hall. Here you can get all the information of the city and especially practical maps.

Tourist Office What to see in León city

What to see in León city. Outside the historic center

10. Church and Convent of San Marcos

Outside the Romantic and Wet neighborhoods we have the Convent of San Marcos, where today the Parador de León. This building is one of the ones I liked most after the visit, not only because of its beauty but because of its completeness. Church, palace, cloister, convent is an all-in-one and that has no cost to enter, except for a small museum (free on Sundays).

San Marcos Church and Convent

The cloister is really beautiful and one does not quite believe that these gardens were part of a concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War.

San Marcos Church and Convent

The museum is very small, with just two instances but with a richness that is worth observing, especially the art gallery that hides in the second room.

San Marcos Church and Convent

Practical data What to see in León city

When to go?

This is in a personal capacity, simply because I like to walk in places where there is not too much crowd. This means that we must skip the months of July and August, high season of the road to Santiago and when the city receives the largest number of visitors.

How to get?

3 are the main means of transport to reach the city. The car, bus and train, the latter being prepared for the impending High Speed ​​train. By car for example we are at 3: 30h / 4h from the capital and by train in 3 hours from the station Chamartin.

You can also rent a car, in case you want to tour the area and also see the Bierzo, a beautiful area to the north. The time we rented a car we took the smallest one on this website, in the end if you go 2 or more you get more profitable.

Where to sleep?

We are talking about a city on the way to Santiago, so the hotel offer is very large. From luxury hotels to very cheap hostels.

  • Trip Leon: 15 minutes from downtown, outside the parking area of ​​the hour and with impeccable rooms and services. Too bad the internet goes very slow.
  • NH Collection Plaza mayor: luxury hotel located in the Plaza Mayor. More central impossible.
  • Parador de León: Located in the Convent of San Marcos, it is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in the city.
  • Hotel Quindós: economic and about 15 minutes from downtown. Near to the train station.
  • Hostal Orejas: cheap hostel 5 minutes from downtown.

Tapas by León

Going out for tapas in Leon is wonderful. The romantic and humid neighborhoods host hundreds of bars and each with its own skewers. Perhaps the first neighborhood is the one we liked the most, about all the bars located around the Torres Omaña square, As the La Trebede Bar and its impressive hash or the sausages of Pajarin. Of the Wet I would keep the croquettes of Rebound in the St. Martin's Square or the black pudding of the ferret.

Leon excursions

There are many things to do, but personally one of the places that have captivated us the most arethe marrows, a place molded by the Romans in their tireless search for gold.

Another beautiful one is the excursion to Valporquero Caves. A unique experience.