Alcalá de Henares is a young and industrial city with a rich cultural
heritage situated by National Road II, about 30 km on the east of
It is also a hub and nerve centre of an important region crossed by the River
Henares. The city is the birthplace of Miguel
de Cervantes (1547).
The house of Cervantes is an excellent
example of 16th century Castilian home that is now a museum to visit. A stroll
down the city’s long and colonnaded Calle Mayor is the best attraction The
Monastery of San Bernardo is another nice sight to visit. Plaza de Cervantes is
a nice relaxation place. The Arts and Crafts Centre should be visited.
Things to Do and See in Alcalá de Henares
The places of interest in Alcalá de Henares include;
City Tours in Alcalá de Henares
the Monastery and Museum of
Hospital de Nuestra Señora de
la Misericordia/de Antezana (Hospitalillo)
Casa de Hippolytus
University colleges and
convents Colegio del Rey
Corral de Comedias
The city tours to participate and discover the Alcalá de Henares include;
- The Cervantes Train takes the visitors to Alcalá de Henares starting out
from the suburban railway station (Atocha) in Madrid. During the trip, a
group of actors perform some of Cervantes’ Entremeses (Interludes) and offer
passengers a traditional Alcalá sweetmeats. In Alcalá, the trip includes a
guided tour of the sightseeing regions and some street theatre performances.
Itinerary: Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso, University façade, former Colegio
de San Jerónimo (Trilingüe), Plaza de Cervantes, Calle Mayor, Cathedral,
Monastery of San Bernardo. The tour is available from the 1st of April to
11th of December. Admission: €16.00 for adults and €11.00 for children. The
train leaves from Atocha Station (suburban line) at 11.00 and returns from
the Alcalá de Henares Station at 19.00.
The Cervantes Train
A tour of Alcalá with Don Quixote - A tour by
Alcalá City Hall and the Tourism Department. It is a tribute to the author
of Don Quixote. The visitors may discover the city where Miguel de Cervantes
was born. Itinerary: Chapel (Capilla del Oidor), Former Theology College
(Madre de Dios), monument to Cervantes, Hospital de Nuestra Señora de La
Misericordia/Antezana (Hospitalillo), the house where Cervantes was born,
Casa de la Calzonera, Discalced Carmelite Convent (De la Imagen), Monastery
of San Bernardo.
Trip to Casa de Hippolytus - It is an hour guided
coach trip to Casa de Hippolytus that is a villa built in the proximity of
Complutum in the late third and early fourth centuries A.D (Open every day
except Mondays at 11.30, 12.30 and 13.30 and the trip is available at only
weekends). Admission: €2.50.
Tour of the City - Various buildings and Alcalá
Museum are visited. Itinerary: Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso, the Cervantes
House-Museum and Museum of San Bernardo. (Admission: €5.00; Times: 12.00 and
The Literary City - A trip to the literary history
of Alcalá de Henares, stopping before 18 plaques alluding to the life and
works of the town’s great writers.
Don Juan Nights in Alcalá - It is guided
theatrical tour by an actor dressed up as Don Juan Tenorio. Travelers are
taken through the old quarter and being told about the adventures of José
Zorrilla’s world-famous character. The tour is organized in late October or
early November as part of the Don Juan in Alcalá commemorative program.
The City of Storks - It is a tour in a cityscape
of the historical and natural heritage of the town dotted with storks’ nests
a top age-old buildings.
The City of Three Cultures - A walking tour
through the mediaeval districts of Alcalá.
Cuisine ~ What to Eat
The restaurants and taverns of Alcalá de Henares offer the
traditional recipes of Castilian-La Mancha cuisine of the dishes referred to in
Don Quixote. The garlic soup, breadcrumbs à la Mancha that is served with
chorizo or fried eggs, fabled sugared almonds, dishes based on fresh vegetables
from the Henares plain and succulent roasts of lamb and kid are the popular
dishes. In addition, the city holds its “Gastronomic Week” in every February.
Handicrafts ~ What to Buy
There is a strong arts and crafts
tradition in Alcalá de Henares since the Middle Ages. The city is popular for
its pottery. Visitors may find wide range of items and wares at the Arts
and Crafts Centre of the City.
Cultural Events &
Fiestas in Alcalá de Henares
Gastronomic Week on the
first week in February
Carnival and the Burial of the Sardine in February
Holy Week. It is an event of Regional Touristic Interest in
Presentation of the Cervantes Literature Award in April 23
Clásicos de Alcalá
second fortnight in June. It is one of Spain’s leading theatre festivals with
performances at Corral de Comedias, Teatro Salón Cervantes, Hospital de Antezana
(patio), the Archbishop’s Palace, Universidad Cisneriana, etc.
Antique Car Rally, Madrid-Alcalá de Henares in May-June
Fiesta. Santos Niños Justo y Pastor in August 6
Alcalá’s fiestas and fairs, dating back to C13 at the end of
August, around San Bartolomé
Fiestas. Virgen del Val in the 3rd Sunday in September
Commemoration of the day Cervantes was christened in October 9.
Cervantes Week. It is one of the city’s major festive events (an
Event of Regional Touristic Interest) with street theatre and musical performances, a huge, baroque
market in the old quarter and Jornadas Gastronómicas Cervantinas.
Jornadas Gastronómicas Cervantinas at the end of September.
Commemoration of Alcalá University’s first academic year
(1508-1509) in October 18, around San Lucas
Travelling theatre show (an
Event of Regional Touristic Interest) in which José Zorrilla’s Don Juan Tenorio
is performed (Plaza de los Santos Niños, Archbishop’s Palace) in late October,
Alcalá Film Festival in November
Presentation of the Quevedo Graphic Humour Awards in November
Anniversary of Alcalá de Henares’ World Heritage City award in
Access to Alcalá de Henares is
There are many convenient ways
to get to Ávila with its
Madrid (26 km).
Travelers may reach the town from National Road II (A11) that is a major
expressway starting in the River Henares Valley. Also the RENFE trains operates
a service between Alcalá and Madrid on the Madrid-Zaragoza route in every 15
minutes. In addition, the nearby international airport of Madrid (Barajas) runs
services to many other destinations.
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Alcalá de Henares Useful Telephone numbers
Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de Henares
Concejalía de Turismo, Plaza de
28801 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid
Phone: +34 918 772 070 - +34 918 797 743
Municipal Tourist Offices
Phone: +34 918 892 694 - +34 918
Municipal Information; Phone: +34
918 802 762
Fundación Camino de la Lengua
Castellana (Spanish Language
Phone: +34 941 203 698
Plaza de San Diego
Phone: +34 918 854 000
OMIC (Municipal Consumer
Calle Mínimos, 1
Phone: +34 918 805 998 - +34 918 806
Comunidad de Madrid. Tourist
Phone: +34 902 100 007
Phone: +34 918 819 263; 34 918
Phone: +34 918 796 390/091
Suburban Railway Station RENFE
(Lines C1, C2 and C7)
Paseo de la Estación
Phone: +34 902 240 202
Bus Station (Continental Auto)
Avda. de Guadalajara, 5
Phone: +34 918 881 622
Madrid Airport (Barajas)
Phone: +34 902 353 570
Phone: +34 918 822 188 - +34 918