Valladolid

Copyright: LucVi/Shutterstock.com

Valladolid

Valladolid breathes history. This is the place where King Felipe II was born, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel were married, and Christopher Columbus died. This was once the capital of Spain, and although it has lost this title, it's still the principal city of Castilla y Leon, the land of castles from which the word ‘Castilian’ is derived. Today, Valladolid is a bustling university city that thrives on its manufacturing industries. It is a down-to-earth, lively place that blends the old with the energetic new.

The City

Valladolid may be known for its history and its ancient monuments, but it is nevertheless a modern city: the seamless blend of present and past give the city a rich character. Exemples are a Museum of Modern Art that resides in the cloisters of an ancient monastery, high-class restaurants with contemporary cuisine in sixteenth-century constructions, and students dancing to high-tech beats in the nightclubs of historic streets. When it's too much hustle, this is also a great place for relaxing. The city is located on the banks of the Pisuerga River, and it has capitalized on its waterfront location by creating an urban riverside beach. For all lovers of green grass, the popular Campo Grande is the place to go for a Sunday afternoon stroll. Then, of course, there is the culture. Valladolid is home to top museums, superb theatre and opera, and beautifully restored architecture of bygone times. If you love language, know that the Spanish spoken in Valladolid is said to be the purest in the whole country.

Do & See

Valladolid offers a wide range of activities like theatres, historical sites, and many top museums. You may go look for beautiful and popular sites such as Plaza Mayor and Plaza de San Pablo, the Museo Nacional de Escultura, and the Museo del Arte Contemporaneo Español. There is so much to see and learn in this city, which has had such a huge impact on the history of Spain and the American continent! Tip: If you have never heard of the decisive Valladolid Controversy, consider reading up before your visit to better understand the city's complicated history.

Dining

Valladolid is famous for its suckling lamb, as well as all the other Castilian specialities such as suckling pig, game and rabbit, which are often served in rich, juicy stews. But anyone needing a break from this hearty fare will find plenty of other options here in Valladolid. The city has experienced a boom in tapas bars in recent years, and there are plenty of international eateries serving everything from pizzas to pancakes. The streets around the Plaza Mayor are teeming with good restaurants and tapas bars.

Bars & Nightlife

Valladolid is a university town, resulting to a great local bar scene. Be warned though, Valladolid is a Spanish city and nightlife kicks off late. Eat dinner at ten, and then move on to a bar or three before checking into a nightclub at two or three in the morning. Don’t worry too much about your beauty sleep – that’s why Spain and its inhabitants invented the siesta. At night, the air is cooler and the young Spaniards emerge to party through until dawn. Valladolid has an energetic night scene: you may not be home in time for breakfast.

Shopping

Shopping in Valladolid might not be to the scale of bigger cities like Madrid, but it remains a pleasant experience, with many options, enough food shopping available to keep the sugar level high, cute shops - all of which in mostly pedestrian streets. The main shopping street of Valladolid is Calle de Santiago, which runs between Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Zorrilla. To the East of Calle de Santiago lies Calle Mantería which is a pedestrianized walkway featuring shoes, clothes, cakes and many other delightful things. The big brands tend to cluster on Paseo de Zorrilla, on the western flank of Campo Grande, and you can for example find the famous El Corte Inglés in this zone.