Madrid to Ciudad Real
Travel from Madrid to Ciudad Real in Castile-La Mancha is easy by train from Madrid Atocha Station. The train station has excellent high-speed AVE train links connecting Madrid to Ciudad Real Station. The city is one of the stops on the frequent Madrid to Seville Santa Justa route. As a result, Ciudad Real benefits from around 20 daily high-speed trains connecting to the capital in each direction. The average journey time is just 50 minutes. It probably takes that long to travel within Madrid from some of the more outlying neighbourhoods!
In addition to these, AVANT and ALTARIA also run daily train services connecting Madrid to Ciudad Real. When you arrive in Ciudad Real, the city centre is just a short walk west of the train station.
For more information on taking the high-speed AVE service from Madrid, see our guide to departing on the AVE from Madrid Atocha Station. But if you’d rather drive from Madrid to Ciudad Real a with the convenience of your own car, see our Madrid Atocha car rental guides. Many car hire suppliers also offer one-way rentals within Spain. Although there is usually a surcharge, it’s worth considering if you’d rather start and finish your trip in a different location.
Best in Ciudad Real Travel
Ciudad Real is the capital of the province of the same name in Castile-La Mancha. The city doesn’t have many standout attractions but it’s a comfortable place to stay and explore more of the surrounding area from. It’s best known as being the place where Cervantes’ Don Quixote had many of his adventures. And if you’re a big fan of the novel, the Quixote Museum and Cervantes Library, north of Gasset Park is worth a visit. Historic monuments in the city include the Puerta de Toledo, Cathedral and Church of Santiago. And Plaza Mayor in the city centre is a good place to soak up the atmosphere. The old and new city hall are both in the square. You’ll also find mechanised sculptures of Cervantes, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Best beyond Ciudad Real
The Ciudad Real province is most famous for the traditional windmills that dot the landscape. They were also made famous by featuring in Cervantes book. There aren’t many left and the best places to see them are around Alcazar de San Juan (pictured at the top), Campo de Criptana and Consuegra.
Closer to Ciudad Real, Almagro is an attractive and interesting city to visit. Highlights include its Open Air Theatre and National Theatre Museum. If you’re looking for more active adventures on your trip, Ruidera is a good place to stop. Surrounded by a number of lagoons, it’s a good place for water-based activities. Cabañeros National Park and Tablas de Daimiel National Park are also fantastic places to enjoy the region’s natural landscapes. And both have good hiking trails. Ciudad Real is also close to the Valdepeñas, an important wine-making region in Spain. The town has several wineries and a wine museum where you can learn about (and taste) the wine.
And about 110kms north of Ciudad Real, the city of Toledo (pictured above) is a must. As you can see, Toledo has an incredible sitting. But this historic city also has a whole host of incredible attractions that highlight its Christian, Muslim and Jewish influences. The best views of the city can be found at Mirador del Valle (for the entire city) and Puente de San Martin (for a more closer view). In terms of train travel, whilst there are direct train services to Toledo Station from Madrid, there aren’t any from Ciudad Real.
Madrid Airport is the nearest airport. If you’re flying out of there, it’s a good place to return a car hire if you need to.