It Rains In Spain

Guide to Leon

Salamanca      Avila      Segovia      Valladolid      Leon      Burgos

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Guide to Leon – Introduction

Up in the far north of Castilla y Leon, not far from the border with Asturias, sits the city of Leon, an intriguing place with a famous cathedral and a pleasant old quarter. The city makes an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, which holds a few pleasant surprises well worth your time. Starting life as a provincial Roman settlement, Leon lived through Muslim invasions, entering it’s zenith in the Middle Ages being regarded as the city where the first parliament in Europe sat in 1188 and was the capital of one of the major regions in the Christian reconquest of Spain.

Leon offers a broad range of excellent accomodation, a spectacular Cathedral and a buzzing small city atmosphere to keep you entertained for a couple of days. Make every effort if you can to take some of the recommended day trips, for they’re well worth the effort.

What to do in Leon

  1. Head to Leon’s majestic gothic Cathedral, a bright giant standing at the heart of the city’s life. Take a look at the intricate facades and explore it’s cavernous inside.
  2. Take a tour of Leon’s characteristic Plazas in the Barrio Húmedo – from the enchanting small town feel of Plaza de Santa Maria del Camino to the typical Plaza Mayor and on to the Plaza Santo Domingo.
  3. Have a look in the spectacular Parador de Leon – picked as one of our top ten Paradores. If you can’t stay there, go and have a coffee and marvel at the hotel.
  4. Visit the Real Basilica de San Isidoro, an 11th Century Romanesque masterpiece.
  5. Head back to Barrio Húmedo at night to sample Leon’s surprisingly active bar scene, trying a local Bierzo red wine.
  6. Take a day trip out to visit the wine bodegas in Bierzo, or to the pretty little town of Astorga.

What to Eat and Drink in Leon

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 Leon.

Carnes de Caza  – Game food is well-regarded in Leon. Jabali (wild boar), Liebre (hare) and Perdiz (partridge) are all excellent.

Morcilla de Leon – Black Pudding with Onion.

Carne de Vacuno – The Leonese Beef is excellent.

Sopa Leonesa de Cangrejos – River crabs from the area go into the excellent Crab Soup.

Vino de Bierzo – Bierzo vineyards in Leon are gaining in reputation. Try a Prada a tope or a Gancedo.

Where to Stay in Leon

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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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