The historic city of Toledo Spain is located on a hill and surrounded on three sides by a river.
It’s location provided a natural defense system protecting it’s inhabitants.
But in modern times, many visitors often wonder if Toledo is a walkable city due to its hilly location.
In short, yes Toledo Spain is walkable. In fact walking is the best way to see all that Toledo has to offer, whether you choose to take a guided walking tour or a self guided walking tour.
Does Toledo have many cobblestone streets?
Toledo has many cobblestone streets, especially on the side streets.
When you get off then beaten path, away from the Calle Comercio, you will experience a more authentic Toledo, the real Toledo, away from the heavily traveled route between the Plaza de Zocodover and the Cathedral.
What makes cobblestone streets difficult to walk on?
The first thing that I noticed about walking on the cobblestone streets was wow these things are as slick as ice when they are wet.
They can also be a little bit of a trip hazard, due to their different heights, shapes, and placements. And more than once I have seen tourists trip as they are looking up at the sights as they are walking along.
Why does walking on cobblestone streets make my feet feel so sore and tired?
For most people, planning a trip to Toledo, or other European destinations, begins with visions of strolling through the old picturesque towns, castles, medieval architecture, narrow alleys, and charming cobblestone streets.
As someone who was, and still is, addicted to watching television shows and reading books about travel, I now have the opportunity to walk on those same cobblestone streets that I used to only see on television or read about.
And I will have to tell you, as charming as they can look, your feet can be really tired after walking on them all day.
Most people travelling abroad are going to be walking a lot more than they normally do back home.
Whether its walking on a half day tour, a full day tour, or striking out on your own to experience Toledo off the beaten path, your feet, and legs, end up feeling really sore at the end of the day.
In fact, your feet might be screaming at you at the end of the day.
Tips for walking on the cobblestone streets
There are some ways that you can minimize your foot and leg pain, and still get to experience all the charm of the cobblestone streets that you will encounter in Toledo and other European cities on your tour.
Choose the correct shoes
Everyone, myself included, has a ¨go to¨ pair of shoes that are always your first choice to wear out in public.
Whether you are trying to fashionably match your best travelling outfit, or just can’t bear the thought of going outside without those favorite pair of shoes, you are risking coming home with sores and blisters all over your tired, sore, and achy feet.
In short, choose function over fashion.
Those shiny red pumps that look great in all your social media posts might not be up to that task of walking all day on cobblestone streets.
What are good shoes to wear for the cobblestone streets during my trip to Toledo?
Because the streets in Toledo can be very uneven, and you will be walking a lot up and down hills, make sure your shoes are comfortable and suitable for walking.
If you do decide that you should buy new walking shoes prior to your trip, make sure that you wear them before you get to your destination.
The reason is you will want to break them in and have them ready to go before you get to the hills of Toledo.
Look for the path of least resistance
There are some simple easy ways to help you walk along the cobblestone streets.
And if you watch how the locals walk along through the historic area of Toledo, you will most often see them walking on these areas.
Typically these ¨walking paths¨ will either be located on the sides or even in the middle of the streets.
The paths can vary in size, material and construction.
They can be anything from a formal, sizable stone walkway like pictured above, a smaller stone path, or even a less informal area that has simply been filled in with concrete to make somewhat of a walking path through the cracks and crevices that are found in cobblestone street.
Look for these areas, it will make your time walking in Toledo much more enjoyable.
Pay attention to where you are walking
Toledo is full of history and and many interesting things to see. But make sure you know where you are walking.
It is very easy to get caught up in just walking along and taking for granted that the surface below your feet is going to be flat and level.
The streets can be uneven, the curb heights can vary, and the stairs might not be the same as you are used to back home.
Stairs in the old town are not going to be built to the same standard as you are accustomed to walking on. The rise and run can vary, and often it can vary in the same flight of stairs.
Sit down, take a break, and relax your feet and legs
So many people are in such a big hurry to go from museum to museum that at the end of the day they really pay the price for walking nonstop on the hills and cobblestone streets of Toledo.
My recommendation is sit down every hour or so. Sit down, relax, and give your feet a break.
Stop and sample some of the foods of Toledo, and take a break and people watch.
Don’t think that by sitting down you are going to be missing out on something else.
In fact, by sitting down you are actually taking more in than you realize.
By tearing through the city and walking, or running, to your next destination you are going to miss out and pass by numerous interesting things.
Grab a seat on a park bench, a wall, or a seat at a bar and eat some tapas.
Stop for a moment, look around, use all of your senses to take in all that Toledo can offer you.
Buy a hiking pole
You don’t need to be hiking through the Himalayas in order to justify investing in a hiking pole.
A hiking pole, also known as walking stick for hiking, is the perfect item to pack in your suitcase and bring with you on your trip to Toledo.
It can help you maintain your balance on the uneven and sometimes slippery cobblestone streets in Toledo.
And it can also help you walk around Toledo’s nature trail that follows the River Tajo around the city.
For less than $40 you can purchase a pair of really strong, lightweight aluminum hiking poles such as the TrailBuddy set available on Amazon. The nice thing I like about this set is they even come with their own bag, which is nice when packing and storing them in your luggage.