Alcala de Henares

Travel Guide
Alcala de Henares showing a park, wildflowers and a statue or sculpture

Take a stroll through the atmospheric streets of the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes and the home of one of Spain’s most elite universities.

The UNESCO-protected city of Alcalá de Henares is an ideal daytrip from Madrid. Pretty plazas and grandiose sandstone buildings decorate the streets of the city’s old quarter, museums celebrate Spanish art and literature and restaurants serve up authentic tapas. Romans built a settlement in Alcalá de Henares in the 1st century B.C. and the Moors later turned it into a fortified town. In 1293 King Sancho IV of Castile established the University of Complutense, one of the world’s oldest universities.

Experience college life at the University of Alcalá, which occupies some of the buildings of the city’s first university. The magnificent Mudejar-style Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso houses the Paraninfo, the setting for the annual Miguel de Cervantes Prize ceremony. See the mausoleum of Cardinal Cisneros, an important university figure, at the Chapel of San Ildefonso. The Museum of Latin American Art of UAH has works by influential artists from Spanish-speaking countries.

Get acquainted with the fascinating life of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, at the Cervantes Birthplace Museum. Inside the Madre de Dios Dominican Convent, the Regional Archaeological Museum has everything from paleontological fossils to Bronze Age relics and Roman mosaics. A group of around 50 sculptures make up the Museum of Outdoor Sculpture of Alcalá, set outside the walls of the Archbishop’s Palace.

Dedicate time to visit other outstanding landmarks such as the Magisterial Cathedral, the burial place of Cardinal Cisernos and baptism site of Catherine of Aragon. Views from the cathedral tower are worth climbing the spiral staircase for. Enjoy more great views from the medieval Santa Maria Tower. Discover artistic influences from the Alhambra, Pompeii and plateresque traditions at Laredo Palace.

After a busy day, take a seat at the tapas bars situated on Calle Mayor and Plaza de Cervantes. Attend concerts, poetry readings and theater productions at the Corral de Comedias. Learn about the history of this 400-year-old theater on a guided tour.

Alcalá de Henares is about 22 miles (35 kilometers) east of Madrid. Getting here is quick and easy by catching the train from Madrid’s Atocha Cercanías station.

Zouk Hotel - Adults Only
Zouk Hotel - Adults Only
2 out of 5
Calle Isaac Newton 2, Alcala de Henares, Madrid
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥8,319 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Situated in Alcala de Henares, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of La Garena Plaza Shopping Center, Puerta de Madrid, and Monastery of San Bernardo. Regional ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (198 reviews)
"Extremely inconvenient location unless driving. Far from metro station, and another 40 minutes from Madrid central."

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019

Zouk Hotel - Adults Only
Complutum Hostel
Complutum Hostel
2 out of 5
Plaza De San Diego 2, Alcala de Henares, Madrid
Located in the heart of Alcala de Henares, this hostel is steps from Colegio de San Ildefonso, University of Alcala, and Plaza Cervantes. Capilla de las Santas ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (36 reviews)
"We had a wonderful stay at Complutum Hostel! So artsy and cool just like in the photos. Its in steps away from historic sites and literally across the street from a gorgeous old spanish court adorned with lush gardens. The staff was very helpful and friendly. The cafe serves delicious food. The a ..."

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2019

Complutum Hostel
Parador De Alcala
Parador De Alcala
4 out of 5
Colegios, 8, Alcala de Henares, Madrid
The price is ¥11,257 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Located in the heart of Alcala de Henares, this spa hotel is steps from Torre de Santa Maria, Colegio de San Ildefonso, and University of Alcala. Corral of Comedies ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (174 reviews)
Good location
"Great location, comfortable bed and friendly staff. Very good breakfast. The only thing we didn’t like was the lack of character and ambience. And the light control system in the bedroom was an absolute nightmare."

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2021

Parador De Alcala
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Maxhost La Casa de Ana
Maxhost La Casa de Ana
Alcala de Henares, Community of Madrid
The price is ¥10,428 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Situated in Alcala de Henares, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Capilla de las Santas Formas, University of Alcala, and Colegio de San Ildefonso. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (3 reviews)
Perfect location - great stay
"The apartment was very clean, well appointed, very close to the old town area and very quiet for sleeping at night. We enjoyed and recommend!"

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2021

Maxhost La Casa de Ana
Big house
Big house
Alcala de Henares, Community of Madrid
This family-friendly Alcala de Henares vacation home is located in a rural location, within 2 mi (3 km) of Capilla de las Santas Formas, Corral of Comedies Theater, ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (11 reviews)
Amazing house , fantastic holidays
"We have just spent the new years eve with my family at this house . We were 11 people and the house is so big and has so much space that we could relax and enjoy the time together . The inside and outside space is fantastic and everything is very well maintaned. Christian was very kind and his response ..."

Reviewed on Jan 7, 2020

Big house
Gran Piso en el Centro de Alcalá
Gran Piso en el Centro de Alcalá
Alcala de Henares, Community of Madrid
Located in the heart of Alcala de Henares, this historic condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Palacio Laredo, Teatro Salon Cervantes, and Plaza Cervantes. ...
Gran Piso en el Centro de Alcalá
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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