Valladolid is “sabor” and “saber”, flavour and wisdom. Valladolid is one of the leading wine tourism destinations in Spain. With five Designations of Origin, Cigales, Tierra de Leon, Toro, Rueda and Ribera del Duero, the city stands out for the quality of its wines, ideal to accompany the local lamb, T-bone steaks and cheeses. But the city’s gastronomy goes much further, and is a stop on the Saborea España (“Taste Spain”) route and the capital of the tapa, as the venue for the “National Pincho and Tapa Competition”.
Valladolid is also wisdom. The capital of the court of Philip II and the scene of the secret wedding of the Catholic Monarchs, this city boasts architectural jewels such as the Cathedral, the Church of La Antigua and the University, as well as museums such as the National College of San Gregorio, the Patio Herreriano Spanish Contemporary Art Museum, the Science Museum and the Colon, Zorrilla and Cervantes House Museums, together with a great variety of cultural and leisure activities.
As capital of Castilla-Leon, Valladolid in recent years has been transformed and, with the arrival of the AVE high-speed train, it has become a destination for excursions, at only 55 minutes from Madrid. A great city to visit and enjoy its monuments, environment, leisure and cultural activities as well as its eno-gastronomic offer.
Valladolid is renowned as the cradle of the Spanish language and is said to be where the language is best spoken. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language, after Chinese. In Valladolid, Spanish is taught as a foreign language under the agreement for the promotion of the language at the University of Valladolid, the Foundation for the Spanish Language and the Miguel de Cervantes European University, among other associated centres.
The most emblematic spot in Valladolid, Plaza Mayor, the main square, is the perfect starting point to get to know the city. Since the 16th century, this has been the historical heart of municipal life. You can continue along under the arcades which stretch down several adjacent streets as far as the nearby Corrillo, Ochavo and Fuente Dorada Plazas. And behind the square is the Church of San Benito, with the appearance of a fortress and an austere design.
Another unmissable visit is to the National Sculpture Museum, whose facade, attributed to Gil de Siloe, is a landmark of the so-called Catholic Monarch style. Inside, you can enjoy the large collection of Spanish sculpture with Gothic and Renaissance works -by Berruguete and Juan de Juni, among others-, but above all, the Baroque sculpture of artists like Gregorio Fernandez, Martinez Montañes and Alonso Cano stand out.
Next to the museum is the Church of San Pablo and, in front of it, the Palace of the Diputacion. The itinerary continues to the Cathedral and its surrounds, recently modified, leading to the University, whose facade, all that remains of the original building, dates back to the 18th century.
Enjoy the delights of Calle Santiago and the surrounding area, and admire the classical and Baroque churches and convents to be found in the city, some with magnificent artistic altars, such as the Churches of Santiago and San Miguel.
At centre stage of Castilla-Leon, Valladolid is easily accessible from other nearby provinces and regions. The arrival of the AVE high-speed train in the city has also made it an easy destination from Madrid, only 55 minutes away.
Once here, you can enjoy the city on a leisurely, uncomplicated walk through the pedestrian streets. But if you prefer a guided tour on wheels, there is a sightseeing bus for visitors who wish to see all of the wealth of its urban heritage comfortably.
Valladolid offers no end of cultural events. Let yourself be absorbed by its many museums, exhibition halls, sites of cultural interest and well-known festivals, such as the Easter Week or the International Film Festival, known as SEMINCI, which has been held since 1955.
In Valladolid, your agenda will be full of activities for all tastes: music, dance, theatre, exhibitions, cinema, gastronomy, sports, science, fiestas… The best-known celebration in Valladolid is the Easter Week, though a visit in May will bring you to the Valladolid International Theatre and Street Art Festival, a reference point for stage arts all over the world. A four-day explosion of street art. But in Valladolid this art can be enjoyed 365 days of the year. The Calderon de la Barca Theatre is the flagship, and other venues such as the Zorrilla, the Carrion and the Ambigu, complete the map of theatres in Valladolid.
To savour the gastronomic specialities of Valladolid is to feel the union of tradition and modernity through an explosion of flavours, colours and aromas. Enjoy the star of Valladolid cuisine, roast lamb, accompanied by the traditional bread of Valladolid and any of the wines of the five Designations of Origin (Cigales, Tierra de Leon, Toro, Rueda and Ribera del Duero). Other traditional recipes are garlic soup and sopa castellana (a soup made with bread, garlic and eggs), the game dishes typical of the countryside of Castile, the sheep’s cheese of Valladolid, an excellent T-bone steak or the confectionery baked to age-old recipes, such as the almond mantecado shortbread and the artisan chocolates, which are of exceptional quality.
Tapas have brought international fame to Spanish gastronomy and Valladolid holds the undisputed title of capital of tapas. Every autumn, leading chefs from all over the country come to compete in the “Valladolid National Pincho and Tapa Competition”. During the rest of the year, the bars and restaurants are also full of these culinary jewels in miniature, to the delight of locals and visitors, as the perfect accompaniment to the city’s traditional gastronomy and its wines.
The city invites you to visit its shopping streets, which are mainly found around the pedestrian Calle Santiago and Las Francesas. The tourist signposts in the commercial area will explain where you are, where the nearest shops are to be found and their specialities. Their location, distributed throughout the historical, traditional part of Valladolid, allow you at the same time to admire the emblematic buildings of excellent artistic and cultural quality, as you stop off to enjoy the wide gastronomic offer and buy succulent delicacies, such as the traditional sheep’s cheese or the famous local wines.
The fairs, workshops and shops devoted to handicrafts offer you an excellent opportunity to learn about the trades and the artisan products made here. There is a long list of products that have always been manufactured here by professionals of the different trades, such as pottery, ceramics, jewellery, leatherwork, etc…