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 also means learning. The setting for the secret wedding between the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella and capital of the kingdom under Philip III, the city boasts architectural gems such as the Seminary School of Saint Gregory building, the Church of La Antigua, the Cathedral and University, as well as over 20 museums, including the National Sculpture Museum, the Science Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and house museums of historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, José Zorrilla and Miguel de Cervantes
As capital administrative 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 known as the birthplace of Spanish and famous for being the place where the language is spoken best. Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language after Chinese. Spanish lessons are available for foreigners in Valladolid as part of the agreement to promote the language. These lessons are held at the University of Valladolid, Miguel de Cervantes European University as well as at 10 other associated centres.
As one of Valladolid’s iconic spaces, Plaza Mayor – the square that has been historical centre of municipal life since the 16th century – is a good starting point for getting to know the city. You can continue along the adjacent arcades that extend along several streets and end up bordering other nearby squares such as Plaza del Corrillo, Plaza del Ochavo and Plaza de la Fuente Dorada. The Church of San Benito also stands behind the Plaza Mayor, which stands out for its fortress-like appearance and austere lines.
Another must-visit monument is the National Sculpture Museum, whose façade – attributed to Gil de Siloé – is a landmark of the so-called Isabelline style that was dominant during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. Inside, you can see an amazing collection of Spanish sculptural works, with Gothic and Renaissance works from artists including Alonso Berruguete and Juan de Juni, although the real highlights are the Baroque sculptures from artists such as Gregorio Fernández, Juan Martínez Montañés and Alonso Cano.
Next to the Museum is the Church of San Pablo, with Pimentel Palace, the seat of the Valladolid Provincial Council, standing opposite. Continuing on to the Cathedral and its surroundings, which have recently been modified, you will come out to the University building, whose façade dates from the 18th century and is all that remains of the old building.
Lose yourself along Calle de Santiago and the nearby streets and admire the city’s classical and Baroque convents and churches, such as the Church of Santiago or Church of San Miguel, home to magnificent artistic altars.
Located in the centre of Castilla y León, Valladolid is a city that can be accessed easily from other provinces and regions in the vicinity. The arrival of the AVE high-speed train in the city also means that it has become a practical destination, at just 55 minutes from Madrid.
Once there, you’ll be able to enjoy the city easily on foot, made even easier thanks to its pedestrian streets. However, if you prefer to take a guided tour, have a look at the extensive programme of both dramatised and regular guided tours offered by the Tourist Office, available on the website www.info.valladolid.es. Another option for tours is the tourist bus, for visitors who would like to learn about the city’s valuable heritage and urban richness in a comfortable, convenient way.
Valladolid brings you endless cultural expressions. Get involved in its vast array of museums, galleries, sites of cultural interest and widely recognised festivals, such as Holy Week and International Film Week, known as SEMINCI, which has been held since 1955.
In Valladolid, your agenda will be full of activities catering to all tastes and interests: music, dance, theatre, exhibitions, film, food and drink, sports, science, festivals… To enjoy them, be sure to visit the Miguel Delibes Cultural Centre, Calderón Theatre and other theatres such as Zorrilla and Carrión, as well as the latest addition to the theatre network, the LAVA Arts Laboratory, rounding off the local offer of theatre venues.
The best known celebration in Valladolid is Holy Week, although a visit in May will allow you to enjoy Valladolid’s International Festival of Theatre and Street Arts, a point of reference for performing arts worldwide. It’s four days of artistic explosion in the streets. However, you can also enjoy street arts in Valladolid all year-round. Valladolid is a young city, full of entertainment venues and places to go for drinks, where you can enjoy your nights in the city. Paraíso and La Antigua are one of the most popular areas for young people and a good place to start the night, although the area around Plaza de San Miguel is also home to lots of pubs featuring different styles of music. In addition, the area around Plaza Coca and Plaza Poniente is the best option if you’re looking for the ‘cooler’ side of Valladolid’s nightlife.
To relax, you can explore the area along the River Pisuerga on foot, by bike or boat, taking in the partially restored riverbanks.
Savouring Valladolid’s gastronomic specialities is experiencing the fusion of tradition and modernity through an explosion of flavours, colours and smells. Sample the city’s culinary star, suckling lamb, accompanied by its famous bread and some of the wines from its five designations of origin (Cigales, Tierra de León, Toro, Rueda and Ribera del Duero). Other traditional dishes include garlic soup and Castilian soup (garlic soup with egg), dishes made with game from the Castilian countryside, Valladolid sheep’s cheese and T-bone steak, as well as confectionery prepared according to timeless recipes, such as almond shortbread biscuits, or handmade chocolates of exceptional quality.
Tapas have made Spanish cuisine internationally famous, and Valladolid holds the undisputed title of tapas capital. Every autumn, the most prominent chefs from all over the country come together in the city to compete in the National Pinchos and Tapas Competition of the city of Valladolid. During the rest of the year, the bars in the city’s bars and restaurants are also full of these gems of small-scale cuisine, to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as the perfect companion to its traditional gastronomy and its wines.
The city invites you to visit its shopping area, running mainly along the pedestrian axis of Calle de Santiago and around Las Francesas. The tourist signs in the shopping area will explain where you are, where the closest shops are and what they specialise in. The location of the shopping area, divided between historical and traditional Valladolid, allows you to take in its iconic buildings of notable artistic and cultural quality at the same time, as well as to make culinary pit stops where you can sample the wide variety of cuisine and purchase tasty treats such as typical sheep’s cheese or the region’s famous 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…