"Alcala de Henares, Home of Cervantes" Top 5 Page for this destination Alcalá de Henares by Jefie

Alcalá de Henares Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 98 photos

Alcala de Henares is located about 30 km away from Madrid. It is well-known for its university, the oldest in Spain, and for being the city where Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes was born. Because of its many important historic buildings, the old center of the city has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Despite all these claims to fame, however, not many people seem to take the time to visit Alcala de Henares when they are touring around Madrid.

On a rainy morning, Nico (white_smallstar) and I, who both happened to be in Madrid at the same time, met up at the Puerta del Sol to go on a day-trip to Alcala. After Nico had had her daily fix of pastries at La Mallorquina, we were off to the Atocha train station and on our way to Alcala. We had a wonderful day in the city of Cervantes and I hope the following tips will convince you that it's worth the detour!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Many historic sites to visit, a must for all the Don Quijote fans out there
  • Cons:Getting from the train station to the old city is incredibly confusing
  • In a nutshell:A great day-trip destination from Madrid
  • Intro Updated Aug 2, 2008
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Do you happen to know how long Cervantes actually lived in Alcala? The reason I ask is that last year I visited the birth house of Victor Hugo in Besançon. They have recently installed a very informative museum there (opened in 2013), and are obviously proud that he was born in their town -- even though he only spent the first six weeks of his life there and never returned.
    "Birth house of Victor Hugo (1802-1885)" - Besançon Things to Do Tip by Nemorino

    • Jefie's Profile Photo
      Feb 2, 2015 at 1:57 PM

      I can't recall for exactly how long Cervantes lived in Alcala, but I do remember that he moved around quite a bit as a child so maybe he didn't spend that much time there... but if I were a citizen of Alcala (or of Besançon), I'd probably be the first to claim that a famous writer was born in my hometown, even if it had zero influence on his writings!

  • tzuki's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    Hi Jefie, well done with all the great information shared in these pages of Alcalá. Many thanks in sharing so detailed :)

  • Aug 27, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    I hate to admit it, but during my trip to Madrid in '98, I overlooked Alcala de Henares. If I get the second chance, however, I will not make the same mistake twice. Fantastic job!

  • Dester's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    The bronze is so awesome, exactly how I pictured Don Quixote

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    This page is fantastic, even better than the one on Aranjuez; congratulations!


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