Burgos Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Burgos, Spain

Burgos Tourist Attractions, Best Activities to do, and places to see in Burgos

Mirador del Castillo by Tim Adams via Flickr CC

What are the top tourist attractions to visit in Burgos, Spain?

Burgos, Spain lies in the countries northern autonomous region Castilla-Leon and serves as the capital of the Province of Burgos. It’s an ancient community that once had dozens of city arches that serves as the only way inside the walled city. This historic city goes back to the medieval ages and is best known for its many ancient structures that visitors can see scattered throughout the city. Beautiful gothic and renaissance architecture are the best attractions in the city with plenty of historical sites to visit.

Burgos Cathedral in Spain
Burgos Cathedral in Spain

Aside from its rich and thriving Spanish culture that goes back millennia and vivid history that visitors can easily see and experience, people can also see Europe’s earliest human fossils in Burgos. Can’t wait to start exploring this medieval city? Here are 15 of the best things to do in Burgos, Spain.

Visit the Remarkable Cathedral de Burgos

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Cathedral de Burgos
Cathedral de Burgos

Probably the best-known attraction of the city is the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Cathedral de Burgos. Every visitor should take a look at this architectural wonder which took over 200 years to complete with eclectic styles of architecture from Gothic Spanish and French to Bourque and Rennaisance designs. Inside the cathedral is just as remarkable with its display of statues from famous artists including the unique Papamosca statue, the ornately carved choir chairs, and the tombs of El Cid and his wife.

Learn Something New at the Museum of Human Evolution

Museo de la Evolución Humana Building
Museo de la Evolución Humana Building

The Museum of Human Evolution is an excellent paleontological museum that shows and exhibits amazing human fossils found in the Sierra de Atapuerca archeological site just north of Burgos and is known to be the oldest discovered human fossils in Europe. The museum has several other exhibitions human fossils, evidence of early human intelligence, the works of Charles Darwin, and plenty of educational exhibits on the process of human evolution. Grab a shuttle bus outside the museum after viewing the exhibit to reach the Sierra de Arapuerca archeological site.

Explore Castillo de Burgos

Castillo de Burgos
Castillo de Burgos

Along with the Burgos Cathedral, Castillo de Burgos or Castle of Burgos is the defining landmark of the city. Built during the 9th century by Alfonso III the Great, King of Leon at the hilltop of San Miguel, Castillo de Burgos serves as a defensive structure of the city against the Moors. Over the years, this impressive structure was damaged by invading French troops.

Today, there’s a small museum inside the castle about its history which visitors can visit along with a tour of the castle grounds. Don’t forget to check out the splendid views of the city below.

Spend some Time at Paseo del Espolon

Paseo del Espolon by Lumiago via Flickr CC
Paseo del Espolon by Lumiago via Flickr CC

Paseo del Espolon is an idyllic tree-lined boulevard at the center of the city and runs between the bridge of San Pablo and the Arch of Santa Maria and it parallels Aronzo river. It’s a picturesque pathway that many locals spend their time occupying the numerous cafes and shops along the shaded boulevard. There are also numerous trimmed hedges, flowers, and sculptures to encounter along Paseo del Espolon that brightens up the entire area.

Stroll through the Picturesque Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor in Burgos Spain photo by Lumiago via Flickr CC
Plaza Mayor in Burgos Spain photo by Lumiago via Flickr CC

Everyone has got to stroll through Plaza Mayor while they’re in Burgos at least once. The picturesque Plaza Mayor serves as the main square of Burgos and was once vibrant and chaotic with the location of the city market selling food, textiles, and many more. Nowadays, the plaza is just as vibrant with the colorful buildings that surround the plaza, many of which are government administrative offices. It’s a popular meeting point for locals before venturing out into the city.

Go Through the Splendid Arco de Santa Maria

Arco de Santa Maria in Burgos Spain
Arco de Santa Maria in Burgos Spain

The Arco de Santa Maria is an impressive stone building built in the 14th century and was later renovated in the Renaissance style of design. The arch is located at the end of Paseo del Espolon and was once part of a stone wall and serves as the entrance of the city’s Old Town. It immortalizes several historic and important citizens of Burgos. There are occasional art exhibits conducted in the building to which visitors are free to enter and walk through the arch which would bring them the Burgos Cathedral.

Admire the Monasterio de las Huelgas

Monasterio de las Huelgas photo by Lourdes Cardenal via Wikipedia CC
Monasterio de las Huelgas photo De Lourdes Cardenal – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

One of the most prominent monasteries in Spain, Monasterio de las Huelgas is located just outside the city center. It was founded in 1187 by Queen Eleanor Aquitaine along with her husband Alfonso III of Castile. This historic monastery has become a significant place for many historic events over the years including some royal weddings. Nowadays, the monastery is home to King Alfonso VIII and Queen Eleonor’s tombs and a community of 30 or so sisters living. Tourists are allowed to visit and take a guided tour of the monastery and a small museum inside.

Take in Splendid Views at Mirador del Castillo

Mirador del Castillo by Tim Adams via Flickr CC
Mirador del Castillo by Tim Adams via Flickr CC

Head up steep steps to Mirador del Castillo for amazing paronomastic views of Burgos and is the perfect place to take pictures of the city. Mirador del Castillo means lookout castle and visitors can see the whole of Burgos up the strenuous steps. The journey is well worth it as numerous of Burgos’s beautiful landmarks can be seen down below. There are even detailed bronze etchings on the railings so visitors can identify the landmark in the city they’re looking at.

Learn About Burgos’s History at Burgos Museum

Museo de Burgos photo by Zarateman via Wikipedia CC
Museo de Burgos photo By Zarateman – Own work, Public Domain, CC

Burgos Museum or Museo de Burgos is housed in a well preserved beautiful 16th-century mansion named Casa de Miranda. The museum exhibits a wide array of anthropological and fine arts displays that follows the cultural and historic evolution of the Burgos region. The museum hosts an impressive collection of Gothic tombs, Baroque paintings, Roman archaeological remains, human fossils, modern artwork, and many more.

Take a Quick Trip to Cartuja de Miraflores

Main Retablo inside Cartuja de Miraflores photo by Ecelan via Wikipedia CC
Main Retablo inside Cartuja de Miraflores photo By Ecelan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

If you’re in Burgos, take a quick trip outside the city three kilometers away to the Caruja de Miraflores a grand Gothic building built in 1401 and was rebuilt in 1484 after a destructive fire. It was originally used as a hunting and recreational palace of Henry III of Spain and has since passed down through his family who sporadically redesigned and renovated the building over the years. Tourists can take a tour during the summer in this gem of Gothic architecture and visit the mausoleum of King John II and his wife Queen Isabella.

Step Inside the Masterful Made Iglesia de San Nicolas

Iglesia de San Nicolas de Bari by Hykso623 via Wikipedia CC
Iglesia de San Nicolas de Bari by Hykso623 via Wikipedia CC

Just near the Burgos Cathedral, you can reach the Church of San Nicolas by going up flights of steps through the Plaza de Santa. The Iglesia de San Nicolas or Church of San Nicolas was masterfully built in the 15th-century dating before 1165. The church is a prime example of Gothic splendor, however, it slowly fell into ruin over the years and wasn’t until 1911 that it was restored to its former glory as part of a huge restoration project int the city. Visitors would have fun discovering all the stone sculptures depicting stories from the Bible.

Dive into the Museum of Books

Museu del Libro Fadrique de Basilea by Eltitomac via Wikipedia CC
Museu del Libro Fadrique de Basilea De Eltitomac – Trabajo propio, Dominio público, CC

Bibliophiles will have the best time in the city’s Museu del Libro Fadrique de Basilea or Museum of Books which holds an impressive collection of works that visitors can purchase for the right price. The museum’s main exhibits are about the origins of books about ancient writings, the evolution of the printing press over from the 15th to 18th centuries, and more exhibitions with focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries.

Attend Burgos’s International Folk Festival

If you’re in Burgos during the third week of July, you must absolutely attend the city’s International Folk Festival which is an outstanding cultural event. It’s held annually in the city and invites various folk groups and performers from Spanish speaking countries all over the world. Festivities and performances are held in public squares and historic venues and include musical performances, craft workshops, parades, contests, and plenty of food and drinks.

Step through History at Casa del Cordon

Casa del Cordon in Burgos Spain by Eltitomac via Wikipedia CC
Casa del Cordon in Burgos Spain by Eltitomac via Wikipedia CC

One of the many historic sites in Burgos, Casa del Cordon or otherwise known as Palace of the Constables of Castile is most notable for being the place where Spain’s Catholic monarchs, Isabel and Fernando greeted Christopher Columbus upon the completion of his second journey to the Americas. The castle was built in the 15th century and is known for its Gothic architectural style. The historic building overlooks Plaza le da Liberdad and can be recognized by the carved Franciscan cord at its main door, an indication that a king has slept within the building.

Take a Hike along the Ancient Wall of Burgos

Ancient Wall of Burgos
Ancient Wall of Burgos

Located right next to the Castle of Burgos, the ancient Wall of Burgos serves as protection that separated would-be invaders like the Moors from the people within. The wall is quite a mystery with archeologists as it was known to be built in the 11th century by Alfonso III the Great, however, there are certain parts of the wall that dates back to the 8th century. Today, it’s an ideal place to visit for a quick hike along the wall and take in the forested scenery or relax in the shade in its wooded area.

Burgos Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best Burgos hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of Burgos affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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