Ávila: The Complete Guide

Avila City Walls

Ávila is a city of Spain located in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is the capital and most populated municipality of the Province of Ávila. Ávila will always be associated with the image of its city walls. Visible from far away, they are among the best-preserved and most complete in Europe. They protect a medieval World Heritage City of cobbled streets, interesting churches, delicious local cuisine, and a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere.

It lies on the right bank of the Adaja river. Located more than 1,130 m above sea level, the city is the highest provincial capital in Spain. Ávila is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain. Orson Welles once named Ávila as the place in which he would most desire to live, calling it a “strange, tragic place”. Ávila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The site originally consisted of the walled city and four extra muros churches. The number of churches included in the site has since been increased.

History of Ávila

Ávila, one of Spain’s most historic cities, is famously encircled by its well-preserved medieval walls. Its history dates back to before the Roman era, but it gained prominence in the Middle Ages when it became a strategic military and religious center. The walls of Ávila, completed in the 11th century, stretch approximately 2.5 kilometers and are punctuated with 88 towers and nine gates, serving as a fortress and a symbol of the Reconquista’s power and resolve.

Ávila is also known as the birthplace of Saint Teresa of Jesus, an important figure in the Catholic Reformation and a co-patroness of Spain. Her writings and life had a significant impact on Catholicism and Spanish history. The city’s numerous Romanesque and Gothic churches, along with convents and palaces, tell the story of its rich religious and noble past. In 1985, Ávila’s old city, including its walls and churches, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its cultural and architectural significance.

Visiting Ávila for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Ávila on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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30 Best places to See in Ávila

This complete guide to Ávila not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Ávila and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

San Vicente de Ávila

Avila Basilica De San Vicente, Exteriores
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Zarateman
The Basilica de los Santos Hermanos Mártires, Vicente, Sabina y Cristeta, best known as Basilica de San Vicente, is a church in Ávila, Spain. It is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in the country. According to legend, Christian martyrs Vicente, Sabina and Cristeta were martyred during the rule of the Roman Emperor […]
Location: San Vicente de Ávila, Plaza de San Vicente, Ávila‎, Spain | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting San Vicente de Ávila

We recommend to rent a car in Spain through Discover Cars, they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here.

Casa de la Misericordia (Ávila)

Avila Casa De La Misericordia
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Zarateman
The Casa de la Misericordia is a building in Ávila. It is built in the . The Casa de la Misericordia or House of Mercy, has a sculptures above its door showing St Martin tearing his cape in half to give it to a poor man. It was originally a charitable house where food was […]
Location: La Bodeguita de San Segundo, C. de San Segundo, 19, 05001 Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Casa de la Misericordia (Ávila)

Click here to read our blog about 15 Palaces to Discover in Avila

Puerta de San Vicente (Ávila)

Puerta De San Vicente Avila
CC BY-SA 3.0 / 23Agata
The Puerta de San Vicente is a gate through the . It was the first to be built, along with that of the Alcázar, and retains its Romanesque execution as well as its similarity to that of the Alcázar. It had a double door, a mechanical rake, an advanced arch, on the two towers to […]
Location: Puerta de San Vicente, C. de López Núñez, 14, 05001 Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Puerta de San Vicente (Ávila)

We recommend to rent a car in Spain through Discover Cars, they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here.

Casa de Los Deanes (Ávila)

Casa Deanes Avila
GNU 1.2 / David Perez
This stately home was built in the 16th century in a Renaissance style as the residence of the Dean of the Cathedral. It has two floors and a quadrangular layout. In the centre, there is a porticoed courtyard that distributes the space and is characterised by the presence of basket-handle arches made of brick and […]
| Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Casa de Los Deanes (Ávila)

Explore Ávila yourself with our self-guided walking tour!

Murallas (Town Walls) of Ávila

Avila City Walls2
The ancient walls, which still enclose the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) of Ávila, are the best preserved in Spain. After the Christian Reconquest of Ávila, the ramparts became an important line of defence against the Moors. Raimundo de Borgoña, son-in-law of Alfonso VI, built the massive circuit of protective walls between 1090 and 1099. The […]
Location: Casa de las Carnicerías C. de San Segundo, 17 05001 Ávila Spain | Hours: Winter time From October 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open Monday, November 2. Closed Tuesday, November 3. Open Monday, November 9.Summer schedule From July 1 to October 25 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Open Monday 5 and 12 OctoberAccess is restricted 45 minutes before they close. | Price: General: 5 € Reduced: 3,5 € | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Murallas (Town Walls) of Ávila

We recommend to rent a car in Spain through Discover Cars, they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here.

Palacio del Rey Niño de Ávila

Palacio Del Rey Nino De Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Richard Mortel
Also known as the Episcope Building or the Old Old Palace, it was the former episcopal palace of Ávila. Originally it was a strong defensive house attached to the wall and its mission was to defend the door of the Cathedral of Ávila. It was abandoned as the seat of the bishop in 1775 and since then […]
Location: Oficina de Correos Pl. de la Catedral, 2 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Palacio del Rey Niño de Ávila

Explore Ávila yourself with our self-guided walking tour!

Casa Carnicerías

Avila Casa De Las Carnicerias 1
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Zarateman
Casa Carnicerías or House of meat / the butchers was thought to be built by Francisco de Mora between 1590 and 1591. Initially it was used as a warehouse for selling the wine that came into the town and later became the two main butcher’s shops. The move of the main butcher’s shops led to […]
Location: Casa de las Carnicerías C. de San Segundo, 17 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Casa Carnicerías

Casa de Carnicerías (Ávila)

Avila Casa De Las Carnicerias
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Zarateman
The Casa de Carnicerías is a building in Ávila. It is built in the . Attributed to Francisco de Mora, it was built, attached to the outer face of the wall, in 1590-1591 with the aim of establishing a warehouse to sell the wine that entered the city, also housing the two largest butcher shops. […]
Location: Casa de las Carnicerías C. de San Segundo, 17 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Casa de Carnicerías (Ávila)

Palacio de Sofraga (Ávila)

Palacio Sofraga Avila
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Javiermes
The Palacio de Sofraga is a palace located in Ávila, Spain. The palace belonged for generations to the Águila family, who both in the Middle Ages and in the Modern Age reached positions of power and influence in Castile. The Palacio de Sofraga is one of the palaces in the city that, attached to or […]
Location: Palacio de Sofraga, Ávila‎, Spain | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Palacio de Sofraga (Ávila)

Palacio de los Verdugo (Ávila)

Palacio De Los Verdugo Avila
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Zarateman
The Palacio de los Verdugo Palace in the city of Ávila on Calle Lope Núñez, near the Gate of San Vicente. It was built in 1531, by Don Suero de Águila, stableman of the Infante Don Fernando, (Fernando I), brother of Carlos I. Built in granite ashlar work, the long front, flanked by two very low […]
Location: Palacio de los Verdugo, Calle de López Núñez, Ávila‎, Spain | Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10,00 to 14,00 & 17,00 to 20,00.Sunday and public holiday: 10,00 to 14,00 | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Palacio de los Verdugo (Ávila)

Palacio de los Serranos (Ávila)

Palacio De Los Serranos (Centro Cultural De Caja De Avila) 3
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Zarateman
It was built in the mid-16th century and its style is framed in the Renaissance. What used to be the old flour factory of El Barco de Ávila is now an area destined to host cultural and social events promoted by Caja de Ávila. The basis of its construction is that of granite ashlar. It […]
Location: Palacio Los Serrano Pl. de Italia, 1 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Palacio de los Serranos (Ávila)

Puerta del Alcázar (Ávila)

Murallas De Avila, Puerta Del Alcazar
CC BY-SA 3.0 / AdriPozuelo
The Puerta del Alcazar (Gate of the Fortress) is one of the Gates into the old city, through the . The Puerta del Alcazar is flanked by twin towers, 20 metres high, linked by a semicircular arch (this is a singular and unique element among European walls). Under the bridge there is a series of […]
Location: Puerta del Alcázar C. Don Gerónimo, 17 05001 Ávila Spain | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Puerta del Alcázar (Ávila)

Catedral de Ávila

Cathedral Of Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Richard Mortel
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is a Catholic temple of worship in the Spanish city of Ávila , episcopal seat of the same name, in Castilla y León . It was designed as a temple and a fortress. Construction was originally begun in the Romanesque style, but the project was subsequently taken over by […]
Location: Catedral de Ávila Pl. de la Catedral, 8 05001 Ávila Spain | Hours: 10am-8pm Mon-Fri, to 9pm Sat, 11.45am-7.30pm Sun Apr-Jun, Sep & Oct, 10am-9pm Mon-Sat, 11.45am-9pm Sun Jul & Aug, 10am-6pm Mon-Fri, to 7pm Sat, to 5.30pm Sun Nov-Mar | Price: incl audio guide €6, bell tower €2 | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Catedral de Ávila

Palacio de los Águila (Ávila)

Palacio De Los Aguila Avila
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Outisnn
The Palacio de los Águila, or Miguel de Águila, is located in the city of Ávila. This 16th-century palace was commissioned by Don Suero del Águila. Its Plateresque portal is flanked by two profusely ornamented pillasters. In the interior we have an arcaded courtyard lined with segmental arches. This palace was declared a National Monument in […]
Location: Palacio de los Águila C. de López Núñez, 1 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Palacio de los Águila (Ávila)

Los Velada Palace (Ávila)

Los Velada Palace Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Richard Mortel
Los Velada Palace is a renaissance palace located in Ávila, Spain.  The Palace was built in the first half of the 16th century and has a splendid Mudejar coffering and a magnificent voussoired door. It is located next to the old Episcopal Palace, right in the historic heart of the city. This building is also located […]
Location: Hotel Palacio de Los Velada Pl. de la Catedral, 10 05001 Ávila Spain | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Los Velada Palace (Ávila)

Palacio de Valderrábanos (Ávila)

Avila Palacio De Valderrábanos
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Zarateman
The Palacio de Valderrábanos is a 14th Century Palace located in the  Plaza de la Catedral of Ávila, Spain.  It is also known as the house of Gonzalo Dávila. What does the Palacio de Valderrábanos in Ávila look like? The Palacio de Valderrábanos was designed in the Gothic style, but it has suffered many alterations […]
Location: Hotel Palacio Valderrábanos, Plaza de la Catedral, Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Palacio de Valderrábanos (Ávila)

Palacio de Bracamonte (Ávila)

Patio Del Palacio De Diego De Bracamonte, Avila
CC BY-SA 4.0 / José Luis Filpo Cabana
The Palacio de Bracamonte is a Palace located in in Plaza de Fuente el Sol in the Spanish city of Ávila. Attached within the walls to the northern canvas of the wall, it was ordered to be built, at the beginning of the 16th century, by the descendants of Álvaro Dávila and Juana de Bracamonte, on […]
Location: Palacio de Bracamonte, Plaza Fuente el Sol, Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Palacio de Bracamonte (Ávila)

Plaza Mercado Chico

Plaza Mercado Chico Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Pedro Henrique Ponchio
The Plaza del Mercado Chico , the main square of Ávila , is located in the center of the city, within the walls. It is a rectangular square with arcades on three of its sides. It is oriented along the NE-SW axis, with the Town Hall on the NE side, and opposite the church of […]
Location: Plaza Mercado Chico Pl. Mercado Chico, 11 05001 Ávila Spain | Hours: 24 Hours | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Plaza Mercado Chico

Church of San Juan Bautista (Ávila)

Avila. Plaza Del Mercado Chico
Public Domain / Elena F D
This is a Romanesque church, but it was heavily refurbished in the 16th century in Gothic style. The chevet and transept chapels are in the Renaissance-Herreresque style. The baptismal font in which Saint Teresa de Jesús was baptised is preserved inside. It was declared a National Monument in 1983.
Location: Church of Saint John Baptist Calle Martín Carramolino, 1 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Church of San Juan Bautista (Ávila)

Palacio de los Dávila (Ávila)

Avila, Palacio Davila
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Palickap
The palace was built between the 13th century and the 16th. For this reason, a juxtaposition of styles can be noticed in its design. The oldest part seems to be the gate of the Rastro, or street market. The palace is attached to the fortified wall. The walls had an interior second line of defence […]
Visiting Palacio de los Dávila (Ávila)

Palacio de los Guzmanes (Ávila)

Torreon De Los Guzmanes Avila
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Rowanwindwhistler
Palacio de los Guzmanes is a Palace  in Avila, Spain, although better known in Ávila as the Torreón de los Guzmanes, or Tower of the Guzmanes. Dating from the beginning of the 16th century, the construction of this palace was ordered by the Mújica lineage. It has an imposing quadrangular corner tower in Renaissance style, […]
Location: Torreon de los Guzmanes, Plaza Corral de las Campanas, Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Palacio de los Guzmanes (Ávila)

Palacio de Benavites (Ávila)

Palacio De Benavites Avila
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Paradores
This palace, built in the second half of the 16th century, was the residence of the Henao. Throughout its history, it has suffered multiple ups and downs as a Civil Guard barracks, a private property and currently a Parador de Turismo. In its garden, following the custom of noble houses in Avila, it preserves a […]
Location: Palacio de Benavites, Calle Marqués de Canales y Chozas, Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Palacio de Benavites (Ávila)

Puerta del Carmen (Avila)

AVILA MURALLA PUERTA DEL CARMEN
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Concepcion AMAT ORTA
The Puerta del Carmen is one of the most stunning gates of the Wall of Ávila and undoubtedly the most sought after by visitors. From it you can find spectacular views of the entire North on the city. The Puerta del Carmen gets its name because a Carmelite convent was attached there, later Provincial Prison. […]
Location: Acceso muralla. Puerta del Carmen Pl. Concepción Arenal, 1 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Puerta del Carmen (Avila)

Palace of Polentinos (Ávila)

Avila, Palacio De Polentinos
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Palickap
The Palace of Polentinos is a Renaissance -style building in the Spanish city of Ávila. Located inside the walled enclosure of the city of Ávila ( Spain ), it is part of a set of buildings that house an Army archive and museum . It was the mansion of the Counts of Polentinos until the […]
Visiting Palace of Polentinos (Ávila)

Palacio de Los Superunda (Ávila)

Exterior Photo Of Palacio De Los Superunda
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM
The Palacio de Los Superunda is a Renaissance palace located in Ávila. This construction was built in Renaissance style around 1580 by the Alderman Pedro Ochoa Aguirre. He was a famous alderman who in 1521 settles in Ávila coming from Navarra. In 1580 Ochoa Aguirre orders some works that indicate a transformation of a building […]
Location: Palacio de Superunda, Plaza Corral de las Campanas, Ávila‎, Spain | Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m Free: Tuesdays from 14:00 to 16:00 except public holidays and eve of public holidays. | Price: Individual: 3 €. Reduced: 1,5 € | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Palacio de Los Superunda (Ávila)

Palacio de Los Almarza (Ávila)

Palacio De Los Almarza Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM
Palacio de Los Almarza is a 16th century palace located in Ávila, Spain. Today occupied by the community of the Sisters of Mary. It was designated a National Monument in 1992. What does the Palacio de Los Almarza in Ávila look like? The Palacio de Los Almarza was built in granite masonry with a Renaissance front, […]
Location: Siervas De María Ministras De Los Enfermos Provincia De Castilla Curia Provincial C. Madre Soledad, 2 05001 Ávila Spain | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Palacio de Los Almarza (Ávila)

Puerta de Santa Teresa, Ávila

Plaza De La Santa Avila 001
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Américo Toledano
The Puerta de la Santa owes its peculiar name to the fact that it is located in front of the birthplace of Santa Teresa . Its construction dates from the 16th century. It has the exact same structure as the Puerta del Carmen or La Cárcel. It is also known as the Gate of Montenegro […]
Visiting Puerta de Santa Teresa, Ávila

El Convento de Santa Teresa

Iglesia Convento De Santa Teresa Avila
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Américo Toledano
The church was built on the house in which Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born and is part of the Carmelite convent. Underground, the large vaulted burial crypt, which is currently used as the Museum of St Teresa, is the only example of its kind in Spanish religious architecture. The work was directed by […]
Location: Convento de Santa Teresa, Arenas de San Pedro, Ávila, Spain | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting El Convento de Santa Teresa

Palacio de Núñez Vela (Ávila)

Palacio De Núñez Vela Avila
©
Built inside the walls on the southern face, its construction was ordered by Blasco Núñez Vela, first Viceroy of Peru, around 1541. It was completed in Renaissance style. The front was built in granite ashlar work and the door is a semi-circular arch with large voussoirs. Like the windows, the entrance is framed by thin, […]
Location: Palacio de D. Blasco Nuñez Vela, Plaza la Santa, Ávila‎, Spain | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Palacio de Núñez Vela (Ávila)

Mirador de los Cuatro Postes (Viewpoint of the Four Posts)

Humilladero De Los Cuatro Postes Avila
CC BY-SA 2.0 / M.Peinado
The Los Cuatro Postes shrine is a religious monument located in the city of Ávila . It is made up of four five-meter-high Doric columns on whose capitals rest as many architraves bearing the arms of the city ; In the center of the square formed by the columns, on a plinth, stands a granite […]
Visiting Mirador de los Cuatro Postes (Viewpoint of the Four Posts)

Best Time to Visit Ávila

Spring (April to June): Spring is one of the best times to visit Ávila. The weather is mild, and the landscape around the city blooms with new life. This season is perfect for walking along the ancient walls and exploring the historic sites without the intense heat of summer or the chill of winter.

Fall (September to November): Autumn is another great time to visit Ávila. The temperatures are comfortable, and the city is less crowded than in the summer months. The changing leaves provide a beautiful backdrop to the stone walls and medieval architecture.

Summer (July and August): Summers in Ávila can be quite hot, but this is also when the city is most lively. Various festivals and events take place, including the famous Santa Teresa festivals. However, prepare for higher tourist numbers and hotter days.

Winter (December to February): Winters are cold, and snow can sometimes cover the city, making it a picturesque winter wonderland. This is the least crowded season, ideal for experiencing the local lifestyle and enjoying the medieval charm without the crowds.

Visiting Ávila offers a deep dive into Spain’s medieval history, religious significance, and architectural beauty, with each season providing a unique perspective on this timeless city.

Average Temperatures in Ávila

  • January 9°C 6
  • February 12°C 6
  • March 14°C 8
  • April 20°C 9
  • May 22°C 6
  • June 28°C 5
  • July 33°C 2
  • August 31°C 2
  • September 26°C 5
  • October 21°C 7
  • November 14°C 8
  • December 11°C 7

How to get to Ávila

By Train: Ávila is well connected by train to major Spanish cities including Madrid, which is the most common starting point for trips to Ávila. The journey from Madrid’s Chamartín train station takes about 1.5 hours, making it an easy day trip. Trains are comfortable and offer a scenic route into the heart of Spain.

By Bus: Buses also run frequently between Madrid and Ávila, departing from the Estación Sur bus station. The bus ride takes approximately the same time as the train but can be a more economical option.

By Car: Driving from Madrid to Ávila is a quick and straightforward trip, taking about an hour via the A-6 and AP-51 highways. This option offers flexibility to explore the surrounding countryside at your own pace.