Are you coming to visit Alcala de Henares for the first time and you don’t know where to start?
Alcalá de Henares is not as big as cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia but for sure it is an important city in Spain. Not only, because of its history and cultural attractions but also for its large array of leisure activities. There are lots of museums, theatres, historical buildings…and some of them are World Heritage sites of the UNESCO. There are so many options that you won’t know where to start. Buckle up! And discover what to see in Alcala de Henares!
What to see in Alcalá de Henares
Miguel de Cervantes birthplace
In the centre of la Calle Mayor, it is situated the house where Miguel de Cervantes was born. After some disputes, it has been determined that he was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1547, for this reason, he is a leading figure in this city. The entrance is free and it’s the perfect opportunity to see how the lifestyle in Cervantes’ era was. In front of the house, there is the Quijote y Sancho bench, where it’s indispensable to take a photo on it.
De Los Santos Justo y Pastor Cathedral
The square where this cathedral is situated is the origin point where the actual Alcalá de Henares was built. According to the story, the children Justo and Pastor were executed in there defending the Christianity. In their honour and to be home of their rests the actual cathedral was established in there.
The Regional Archeological Museum of the Community of Madrid
It was a convent, but now is an archaeological museum where you can find local objects, Roman mosaics and prehistorically expositions.
This palace is the headquarters of Diocese of Alcalá de Henares, it is home of the archbishops of Toledo since the 13th century. Moreover, the first interview between Isabel la Católica and Cristóbal Colón before the first trip to America happened in there.
Performances of Don Juan Tenorio – Corral de Comedias
Generally, from 31st of October to 1st of November, around the All Saints Eve, there is an event called Don Juan en Alcalá which consists on itinerant performances of the work of José Zorrilla, Don Juan Tenorio, in the Huerta del Obispo of the Arzobispal Palace, a space of the Auditorio del Patrimonio. This event has been celebrated for 30 years.
In the 16th and 17th century Corral de Comedias was how tiny public theatres were named. The Corral de Comedias of Alcalá de Henares is one of the oldest of Europe. Nevertheless, the facade is not as beautiful as the inside, which is very impressive; we are sure that when you pass by you will definitely notice it. We really recommend you to attend to the different musical, theatre and flamenco performances that are celebrated in this lovely building.
In a top of what to see in Alcala de Henares, a thematic route always rank on the list! There are lots of interesting thematic routes and guided tours in Alcalá de Henares. These thematic routes are the perfect opportunity to either discover interesting world heritage sites or learn more about the life and work of Miguel de Cervantes and Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros. Furthermore, when you take these routes you discover the emblematic landmarks of the city. Sounds great, isn’t it?
In addition, there are also guided tours for children, where disguised guides explain historical facts telling a story. All these tours are proposed by the Alcalá de Henares tourist office and you can make them with a guided visit or some of them on your own following a map with the tourist attractions, there is also a children’s guide. For further information please visit the official website of Alcala de Henares tourist office.
Festivities of tourist interest
Finally, apart from all the monuments you can visit in Alcalá de Henares, it’s interesting to attend to some of the festivities which take place in this city. During the festivities, the streets are full of parades, shows, historical performances… it’s a very enjoyable experience.
Some of the festivities that are worth it are:
The Holy Week
The Holy Week of Alcalá is the best of the Community of Madrid. During the week, the brotherhoods of Alcalá parade through the Historic Quarter, Patrimony of the Humanity. This parade has become a very attractive show for everybody where more than 100.000 people congregate every year.
This festivity is celebrated around the 9th of October when Miguel de Cervantes was baptised. It’s really good to visit the city this week because there are music, street performances, book fairs, medieval markets… filling the streets of Alcalá.
To complete the experience, we suggest you book a beautiful boutique and historic hotel like Evenia Alcala Boutique, this hotel has everything you need for an unforgettable stay in this magical city. Discover Alcala in style!