I will be staying in Zamora and will have limited time to do short day trips. If I can only choose either León or Burgos, which would you suggest?
That's a tough choice. Both cathedrals are magnificent but I would go with Burgos. I found the town itself better than Leon.
Thanks, did you stay or was ot a day trip?
I stayed in Burgos and did a day trip to Leon. I liked Burgos better for several reasons...I saw my first "perigrino" (pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago) and it was just cool. I had the best roast pig of my life in the shadow of the cathedral. The cathedral is beautiful, El Cid is buried there.
The cathedral at Leon is also great but I didn't care for the city. The area in front of the cathedral was to be blunt, nasty. Think inner city alley with garbage everywhere. Maybe it was an aberration but it really put me off of the city. Lunch was okay.
I also took a day trip to Zamora. The old part of the city is beautiful. Enjoy!
I'd second Burgos too, there's lots to see, the cathedral, the museums, the castle, lots of nice places to eat, and nice streets to wander, the riverside, etc. etc. We've just come back from Zamora too, lovely lovely city, we really liked the atmosphere, along with the friendliest lady ever in the tourist office - make that your first stop as they have a great sheet with all the opening hours of all the monuments and museums, which saves a lot of time. Lovely old town. But absolutely freezing if you're going soon, didn't get above 0 all day and freezing fog in the morning (all the more atmospheric, but wrap up warm!).
Thanks for the tips. I will be arriving the end of March for Semana Santa and staying until April 13. Looking forward to seeing as much of España as possible. 🙂
If you're actually there for Semana Santa, Zamora is famous for it: http://semanasantadezamora.com/ Burgos does the street processions etc. too (I've seen it there, but heard about Zamora), but Zamora is supposed to be a top place in Spain to see it. So maybe if that's the case it might be a different decision!
I would choose Burgos.
For hotels, use Booking.com and for district choose the Real Heart of Burgos.
1. Cathedral - Built in the Gothic and most extravagant style. The Burgos Cathedral is the third largest cathedral in Spain, after the ones in Seville and Toledo. It was begun in 1221 and completed in the mid 13th century.
2. Royal Monastery of Las Huelgas - Founded by Alfonso VIII in 1187. This is the final resting place for many members of royalty of Spain.
3. Carthusian Monastery of Miraflores - Located a 5.3 kilometers north of Burgos and founded in the 15th century. It contains the beautiful tombs in alabaster of Juan II and Isabel of Portugal, the parents of Isabel, La Catolica. The artist who made the tombs was Gil de Siloe. Entrance is free but a small donation to the monks is suggested so that the monastery remains open. A taxi from the Cathedral will cost about 10 euros. To return to the city, ask any employee to call you a taxi and it will arrive in 5 minutes.
4. Burgos Museum - Occupies 3 noble houses and features sections of prehistory, archaeology, and fine arts. The alabaster tomb of Don Juan de Padilla is a masterpiece created by Gil de Siloe.
5. Arch of Santa Maria - A beautiful city gate from the 16th century.
6. Church of San Nicolas - The high altarpiece was created by Simon de Colonia and resembles a tapestry.
7. Plaza Mayor - This is the main square and contains the City Hall. It has the statue of Carlos III.
8. Paseo del Espolon - A beautiful walkway along the banks of the Arlanzon River.
9. Casa del Cordon - A 15th century palace created by Simon de Colonia.
1. Casa Ojeda (Calle Victoria, 5; Tel: 947-209-052) - A beautiful restaurant founded in 1912 and famous for its food, probably the best in the city. Reservations needed.
2. Rincon de España (Niño Rasura, 11; Tel: 947-205-955) - A very good restaurant beside the Cathedral with a wonderful menu of the day. The tarta de Santiago dessert is outstanding.
Shopping streets: Calle Victoria, Calle Santander, Calle La Paloma, Calle Lain Calvo.
Wow! Thanks for the wealth of info.