Burgos, a magical town in Northern Spain
You know you like a place, when you visit it again. I went to Burgos in February 2019, and guess when I returned: February 2020. When a city has a perfect combination of great people, good things to do and amazing food well... I tend to love it. As soon as I arrived in Burgos the first time I felt this sort of... tingling... like a... Spider-sense? Yeah I guess that's what I felt - I knew I would like it.
The city is not the largest, and as for tourist attractions, you can cover them in two days with ample time to eat and walk around it if you are thorough with all the streets. Some people would take this as me saying:
Ohh so there's nothing to see... Why should I go?
But what I'm actually saying is:
Sometimes you need a city where everything is packed together and you can just wonder around with no specific destination.
And let me just say that Burgos is ideal for that specific reason. It's the perfect place to unwind from a long week, and just sit to enjoy a drink, or eat some delicious garlicky mushrooms.
The different bars and restaurants you will find all hold an important sense of pride in their local cuisine even when they experiment with their dishes. Something to look out for is the great variety of Vermut offered in bars. Please note that this is different to Vermouth, and can be had on its own, rather than Vermouth which on its own would be unpleasant (very, very unpleasant). Vermut is characteristic to Spain, and has become one of my favorite drinks.
What to do:
Burgos Cathedral: This Cathedral's construction began in the 13th Century but the workers decided to take a 200 year break, and finished it up with a dashing Gothic style. Later in the 18th century, some Rennaisance and Baroque details were added. It is the only Spanish cathedral recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site independently. Others in Spain such as Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Córdoba, Cuenca are considered as such in conjunction with the historic center of those cities.
Walk by the Arlanzón River: A river that is surrounded by wonderful green spaces, but at the same time in the middle of the city. It is a great place to walk/run if you have a sunny day.
Statue of El Cid: Redesigned around the 1950s, it is an homage to El Cid, who contributed t the unification of the kingdom of León and Castilla, which was broken down after the death of King Fernando I. After strange events, he was sent to exile, however he never stopped fighting for his ideals. He ended fighting for both Christians and Muslims alike, becoming a legend.
Burgos Castle & Mirador: A bit of a walk, uphill, but it is undoubtedly a great location to see the city. Very worth it because after some photos up there you can walk down and find some food.
Arco de San Martin: An entrance to the city that takes its name from a church that existed nearby. It was supposedly protected during the Independence War by El Cid.
Arco de Santa Maria: One of the 12 medieval doors of the city from the middle ages. This one in particular was rebuilt in the 16th century.
Museo de la Evolución Humana: In 1992, anthropologists discovered the Archeological site of Atapuerca, near the city of Burgos, where they found human remains from 900,000 years ago. The museum was built to maintain and share the findings from Atapuerca to the world.
Monasterio de las Huelgas: This place is a bit further from the center, but it is a nice walk and gives you a sense of the size of Burgos. It was founded in the 12th century and was the site of many royal weddings. It is currently open to the public and holds 14th century music manuscripts which is assumed to have been performed by the nuns in the past.
Restaurants & Bars:
Cobo Vintage: This is a dining experience. Dishes are small, and therefore you are meant to order many. The hostess and the staff are very friendly, and the Chef, who came out at some point to ask if we were enjoying dinner seemed extremely nice. Take their wine recommendations, and if you can, try their fish plates.
La Cueva del Champiñon: By far, my favorite. They have one dish: Mushrooms with a little garlic shrimp inside. They are tapas, so you can order a few, and have a beer, a clara (beer with fanta) or a wine with them.
Norte GastroBar: Great restaurant with good dishes to share and always a good vibe. If you come for dinner or in the afternoon, make sure you make a reservation as it gets very busy. Great patatas bravas here!
Vermuteria Victoria: One of the best Vermut bars in Burgos, which had served 249,302 so far (to the date of my visit).
Viva la Pepa: Good brunch place, with a small menu but you will be pretty pleased with the result.
La Cesteria: Great place for some more tapas, with a good vermut selection. They have a good octopus, and GREAT blood sausage (morcilla) which if you're in Burgos you must try.
La Latina: A good place for dancing at night. The only one we found actually, but definitely worth a visit. Small, but hey, you get good reggaeton and salsa music so no complaints from me.