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Guide to Valladolid

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Guide to Valladolid - It Rains In Spain

Guide to Valladolid – Introduction

With it’s big city feel, hefty student population and important history, Valladolid surprises many visitors. Valladolid flies very much under the radar both in Spain and abroad, but it is well worth a visit, with a smart, happening centre and plenty of attractions to keep you busy. It’s vital historical importance may well surprise you.

As the capital of Castilla y Leon, Valladolid has a history to rival many other, better known Spanish cities. This was where Columbus died, where the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella were married, where Quevedo and Cervantes lived, and was the capital of Imperial Spain for a period. The city centre is littered with the evidence of such a notable history, yet the visitors rarely come. However, that is to the advantage of the more adventurous traveller, for Valladolid is a pleasingly unpretentious and very Spanish city, with a bustling gastronomic scene and due to it’s location near three wine growing areas, a love of the grape.

Popular with language students for it’s clean, crisp Castillian pronunciation, Valladolid will surely leap into the international travellers imagination sooner rather than later. Add to that a high speed rail link to Madrid, some wonderful day trips from the city as well as great value accomodation, and you have a place well worth a prolonged visit.

What to See and Do in Valladolid

  1. Pay homage to two of Valladolid’s most famous ex-residents, by visiting Cervantes’ house and the more extensive old residence of Christopher Columbus, now an intriguing Museum.
  2. Enjoy people watching on the Plaza Mayor and explore the small network of streets and eateries in the area bordered by Calle Santiago and Plaza de Poniente.
  3. Investigate the beginnings of the famed Spanish king Felipe II (who decided to move the capital to Madrid) by visiting his birthplace at the Palacio de Pimentel.
  4. Relax and get some fresh air in Valladolid’s Campo Grande city park, trying to spot the resident peacocks.
  5. Head out in the evening to the historic quarter and sample Valladolid’s love of wine, asking for a Ribera (for red), a Rueda (for white) or a Cigales (for rosé).
  6. Valladolid has a well-renowned Tapas festival held annually in November, but don’t fear if you’re here at any other time. The areas around Plaza Mayor and Santa Maria de La Antigua church (near the cathedral) are loaded with sublime Tapas options. Simply stroll and let your senses make the choice.
  7. Tilt your cap to Valladolid’s status as a wine centre by heading out to take a bodega tour in one of it’s four D.O (denominacion de origen) wine growing areas – Ribera de Duero, Toro, Rueda or Cigales.

What to Eat and Drink in Valladolid

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 Valladolid.

Asado de lechazo – Wonderfully succulent Lamb.

Pan lechuguino – The local, and excellent, bread.

Queso de Villalón – Very light Sheep’s Cheese.

Alimentos de la caza – Game cuisine. Liebre (Hare), Jabalí (Boar) and Perdiz (Partridge) are of particular note.

Vinos de las 4 Denominaciones de Origen – The four wine types from Valladolid. Ribera de Duero, Rueda, Toro and Cigales.


Where to Stay in Valladolid

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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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