It Rains In Spain

Guide to Burgos

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Guide to Burgos – Introduction

Burgos is a pleasant and elegant city, which harbours an interesting history and a magnificent cathedral. Situated in the north east of Castilla y Leon, Burgos has a reputation in Spain as being a rather conservative and dogmatic city, with very cold winters. Yet, Burgos is well worth a little of your time, with an engaging and well-maintained historic core, a handful of lovely promenades and a smattering of top class eateries.

The image of Burgos as a rather stiff-lipped conservative city is in part due to the weather and reserved nature of it’s inhabitants, but also thanks to a certain Francisco Franco. As war raged on the peninsula, Franco made Burgos his de facto capital and the city has never managed to shake off it’s association with the ghosts of Franco’s regime. Prior to the 20th century, Burgos’ history followed the well-trodden path of fortress beginnings, Muslim attack and Christian counter attacks. Out of the flames of the battles of reconquest that raged in Castilla, came the legend of Burgos’ most famous son, the eulogised and skewed tale of the brave warrior El Cid Campeador.

Nowadays Burgos is undoubtedly provincial, and hardly a cradle of the cutting edge, but that’s not what it’s about. For a pleasant stroll, some exceptional architecture, a handful of worthwhile day trips and a good hearty meal, Burgos is a worthy stop off point. It’s proximity to the Northern coast, La Rioja and the Basque Country makes it a popular rest point en route to the attraction of Spain’s wonderful northern areas, so book well ahead in summer.

What to See and Do in Burgos

  1. Explore Burgos’ undoubted highlight, the Catedral de Burgos, accessing it by taking a scenic stroll through the majestic Arco de Santa Maria and passing through the pretty Plaza del Rey Fernando before entering the Gothic Cathedral.
  2. Pay homage to the famed warrior of Burgos, El Cid at his elaborately decorated tomb inside the cathedral.
  3. Enjoy a stroll on the elegant promenades and well-tended streets of Burgos’ centre, particularly the Paseo de Espolón, and the oddly shaped Plaza Mayor – ending up in the Plaza del Cid to see the statue of Burgos’ famous son.
  4. Take a forty minute walk along the Rio Arlanzón to the famous Monasterio de las Huelgas, a monastery dating back to the 12th century and housing the tombs and garments of a number of former Royals.
  5. Head up to the Parque de Castillo, a lovely green space next to Burgos Castle and take in the panoramic vistas from the viewing point.
  6. Settle down in a traditional meson in the historic centre and sample the Morcilla de Burgos (black pudding stuffed with white rice) accompanied by a glass of Vino de Ribera del Duero (the local, and spectacular, wine).

What to Eat and Drink in Burgos

We know how tough it can be in a bar or restaurant when you’re visiting a foreign country. Here’s our guide of what local specialities to look for on the menu in Burgos.

Morcilla de Burgos – Black Pudding stuffed with white rice and served crispy. A national treasure.

Queso de Burgos – Incredibly light local cheese. Usually served in salads or with nuts, honey or quince.

Lechazo – The famed slow cooked lamb of Castilla y Leon. Sumptous.

Sopa Burgalesa – Beef, egg, potato and onion stock. Wonderful for Burgos’ cold winters.

Lentejas a la Burebana – Lentils served with black pudding, chorizo and rice. Served either hot or cold.

Vino de Ribera del Duero – The tremendous and world famous local wine.



Where to Stay in Burgos

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Reader’s Tips

This section is specifically designed for our readers to share their top tips with other would-be travellers. If you visited a particularly wonderful restaurant, or stayed in a fantastic hotel, or even ate a tremendous local dish, please let us know here! Any tip whatsoever will be greatly appreciated by our Spain loving community of travellers.

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