Many historic sites to visit, a must for all the Don Quijote fans out there
The modern world outside the old town centre left Alcala in no great impression
A great day-trip destination from Madrid
The University of Alcala's origins date back to 1293, when King Sancho IV of Castile created a school in Alcala de Henares. Under Cardinal Cisneros, this school was granted full university status in 1499, which makes it one of the oldest universities in the world, and was named "Universitas Complutensis". Five faculties were then established: Arts...more
If you travel to Alcala by train, you'll most probably walk by the Palacio Laredo and it's impossible not to notice its very unique style of architecture. The house was designed by Manuel Laredo y Ordoño for himself - he simply wanted his house to stand out, and I guess we can all agree that he succeeded! His idea was to include all of the Spanish...more
Calle Mayor connects the Plaza de Cervantes with the Plaza de los Santos Niños, where you'll find the Cathedral of Alcala. It used to run through the Jewish neighborhood and for a while it was the city's most important commercial strip. Today, you'll still find different shops and restaurants on both sides of the street, but what I mostly remember...more
The Plaza de Cervantes dates back to the 13th century, although it obviously had a different name back then. Like the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, this square was the social and economic center of the city - a weekly market was held there and most holidays and public events were celebrated in what was then known as the "Plaza del Mercado". The square was...more
Located at the end of the Plaza de Cervantes, la Capilla del Oidor is one of the only buildings that remain after the destruction of the church of Santa Maria la Mayor during the Spanish Civil War (the campanile that stands in front of it was also part of the church). The Chapel dates back to the 15th century and as Miguel de Cervantes was baptized...more
The San Juan de la Penitencia convent was one of the historic buildings we got to visit as part of the guided walking tour organized by the tourist office. This Franciscan convent was founded by Cardinal Cisneros during the 16th century and it was both a hospital for women and a school for young girls. We got to visit the convent's church, elegant...more
Next to the Monasterio de San Bernardo you'll find the Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop's Palace). Although it was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1939 and is not open to the public, people interested in history might still want to take a look at the place where Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and mother of...more
There are several different convents in Alcala de Henares, but the Monasterio de San Bernardo is considered by many as the most important one. Construction of the Baroque-style church began in 1618, and the quality of its different architectural details is still admired by many designers and architects today. In fact, it is almost impossible to...more
The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares was built between 1497 and 1516, with the addition of a bell tower during the 17th century. It is the only Gothic-style cathedral that can be seen in the entire Communidad de Madrid. The Cathedral was very badly damaged during a fire in 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Although some priceless...more
The Corral de Comedias is one of Europe's oldest theatres. It was founded in 1601, and it is well worth going on a guided tour to learn about the different improvements that have been made throughout its 400 years of existence. The Corral de Comedias started out as a modest open-air theatre, where university students would put on different plays,...more
The Hospital de Antezana is located right next to the Casa natal de Cervantes. It was founded in 1483, and it is believed to be the oldest hospital in Europe. Rodrigo de Cervantes, the father of the famous Spanish author, worked there as a surgeon. St. Ignatius of Loyola also worked there as a nurse and cook while he was studying at the University...more
The author of "Don Quijote de la Mancha", Miguel de Cervantes, was born in Alcala de Henares in 1547. It was only four centuries later, in 1948, that scholars succeeded in identifying the house where Cervantes was probably born. The place was then bought by the government, restored and transformed into a museum. While some rooms are furnished with...more
Colegios, 8, Alcala De Henares, 28801, Spain
Good for: Solo
Carretera De Barcelona A-2, Alcala De Henares, 28806, Spain
Good for: Business
Antonio Suarez 8, Alcala De Henares, 28802, Spain
Good for: Families
This was my third time traveling to Europe and I had done everything I could to avoid eating at McDonald's while on another continent, especially since I don't even eat there at home. However, as Nico and I were walking around the Plaza de Cervantes, rain suddenly started pouring down, hard! We took a quick look around, saw the McDonald's, and...more
There's not much to tell about the place. Just a usual ice cream parlor, with the exception that its owner is an argentine, who's brought the argentine ice cream flavors to Spain. There's a chocolate flavor (I can't remember the name), that's semi dark chocolate with chocolate chips. It's really great! Don't miss it.more
In the Faculty of Law, Alcala University, there is a student cafeteria in the bottom floor.Try to meet some nice people there with a cup of coffe.Picture shows what was served at 5 P.M. I hope they have some more "healthy food" also. But it was jummy ...Friendly atmosphere and high spirits.You pay in an automat before you go to the bar, which ended...more
Stop by for a drink and get pumped to go out dancing. Filled with locals the Panderia is a good place to stop and loosen up your little lady. Soon she won't stop saying, "This is my jam!" when the Bartender/DJ starts mixing Prince and Guns-n-Roses. Semi-Casual.more
This bar was a hidden gem that I didn't discover until halfway into my stay in Alcala. There's live music every week and a very good place to find young hip expatriots from all over the world. You can also buy and smoke hash inside if you're so inclined to devulge. A highly recommended kick back bar. Casual all the way.more
Although we tried to fight it, we were drawn to Can-Can from the very start. (We meaning myself and my not easily impressed friends.) The music is way behind in terms of what you might find in your local university dance club. The locals don't arrive until after 2pm. The drink prices are nothing to brag about. But there was a lack of...more
Traveling to Alcala de Henares from Madrid by train is a very quick and easy ride, which explains why so many people live in Alcala and work in Madrid. Trains depart from the Atocha station every 10 minutes, and it takes about 30 minutes to get to Alcala de Henares (trains run between 6:00 am and 11:30 pm every day). It then takes about 10 minutes...more
If you're missing a mall atmosphere, Al Campo is the place to go. I think if you're going to make the effort to get there you might as well go the whole way and go to Madrid for shopping. But if you just want to catch a movie, Al Campo is your place.
Every April, Alcala hosts the Abril de Cervantes - Festival de la Palabra. The Festival is a wide program of cultural activities including exhibitions, film, conferences, concerts, theater, poetry and presentations of books. Towards the end of the month, the king and queen of Spain come to Alcala and give out the Premio Cervantes for literature to...more
52 Reviews and Opinions
The one thing you should definitely bring with you on your first trip to Alcala de Henares is a good map. While it is very easy to get around the old city area, finding your way from and back to the train station can be a bit of a nightmare. OK, I'll admit that I don't really have a good sense of directions but I'm not kidding: it took me half and hour to find my way back to the Paseo de la Estacion from the Plaza de Cervantes. And as the modern part of the city is nowhere near as charming as the historic part, you don't want to waste half an hour walking around there, trust me!
If you can't find a map beforehand, you can always stop by the tourist office booth located at the Plaza de Cervantes. They'll provide you with an OK city map and help you plan your day!
The first University in the world was the University in Alcala and it was founded by Cardinal Cisneros in year 1499. In XVI century this was one of the most importand scholarly centres in Europa. Now is this beautiful renessaince building on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.more
Eat: Tortillas espanolas, churros con chocolate, coffee, strawberries, bananas
See: Plaza Mayor, University Buildings, Mercado (Food Market)
Fondest memory: I miss the funky cafe next to the school for foreigners. It had great fresh-squeezed orange juice and the best tortillas espanolas.
Also, I miss walking to class, and USEFUL public transportation.