Alcala de Henares, Spain
For the past few month’s I have been studying in Alcala de Henares, Spain. Living in this historical city has been very beneficial in teaching me to appreciate the cultural things in life. I have always been someone who is materialistic in some ways and enjoy the city life. I never thought I would enjoy living in a historical city that doesn’t necessarily have the skyscrapers and bright flashy lights. But, I was wrong. I love living in Alcala de Henares and I will be very sad when I leave. Alcala is my favorite place in Spain. I have made so many different memories and will always return when I visit Spain in the future.
If there is one thing I really know how to do in Alcala, it is how to get around and see the sights that are worth seeing and doing it in a small amount of time. I have compiled a list of all of the places and
things to do in Alcala de Henares. Whether you have 24 hours or a few days, Alcala de Henares is a must see place in Spain.
- La Plaza de Cervantes
La plaza de Cervantes is located in the center of the city and is where everyone meets up and spends time together. The rest of the city branches off from the plaza in different locations and burrows. Here, you can find cafes, restaurants, bars, shopping stores, etc.
- Archeological Museum
Not too far from the main plaza, you can find the National Archeological Museum. This museum will take you back in time through the history of Spain and even has free entry.
- The House of Miguel de Cervantes
Alcala de Henares is the birth place of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the world famous Don Quijote de la Mancha. The original house is still intact and has been turned into a museum. There are different rooms that tell the story of the family and the early life of Cervantes. This is also a museum with free entry.
- The University of Alcala
One of Spain’s first Universities was founded in Alcala de Henares. The main building is located just to the east of the Plaza and is less than a 5-minute walk. The outside wall of the University is extremely large and very impressionable. This is something you have to see if you visit Alcala de Henares.
- Coral de Comedias
This is an original theater from the Renaissance period. All of the original structure and architecture can be found. You can catch a show for really cheap and experience what it was like to attend a play back during the 16th century.
You have got to go to the Granier bakery. They have these amazing donuts filled with Nutella that is life changing. Also, try their red velvet muffins filled with cream cheese! Super yummy and well priced.
If you are not into the Spaniard “cafe con leche”, try the tea at the Teteria Guama. They have over twenty different types of tea and fresh fruit juices and smoothies. I go there at least twice a week and have tried a lot of different teas and have never been disappointed. Each pot can serve two people!
- Patatas Bravas
No, this is not a restaurant but that is because this potato dish is served in just about every bar and cafe that you can find in Alcala de Henares. The “brava” sauce is made from tomatoes and garlic and is a Spanish staple.
Chorizo is the most amazing sausage in Alcala de Henares, as well as all over Spain. Slap some on a sandwich and you have a great sandwich.
Cocido is made from beans, meat, pasta, vegetables, etc. Basically, you can put whatever you want inside and it is a big pot of deliciousness. Eat this with a baguette and you will have officially experienced Spain.
Shop Until you Drop!
- Calle Mayor
Located in the front of the plaza, there is a long strip of different shops. You can find clothes, gifts, food, antiques, etc. It is the go-to place to buy anything in Alcala.
- Shopping Centers
Alcala also has a few different shopping malls with stores that are even known in America, like H&M.
Alcala is filled with different bars and clubs. I have become a regular at The Green Irish Pub, located at the end of Calle Mayor in the plaza de Santos Niños. People from all over the world visit the Green and is known for the grunge atmosphere and great beer. The bartenders are friendly and get to know your name and order fast. If you are looking for dancing, just go up the stairs and enter into their night club. They frequently have live bands or great DJ’s playing the latest music. Whatever atmosphere you are looking for; The Green is the place to go!
- Utilize the bus system and the transportation app! There are bus routes for everywhere in the city.
- Eat near the plaza!
- Visit El Corte Ingles in La Garena for a department store experience.
- Stop at the town hall in the plaza for any tourist questions.
- Use Airbnb to find a place to stay! You can get the real feel of what it is like to live there!
- Remember that most shops and cafes close during lunch and siesta, around 2:30-4:30.
- The train station can take you from Alcala to the center of Madrid in under an hour! It is perfect for day trips.
I hope this list of things to do, see, and eat will help inspire you to take a trip to Alcala de Henares. Alcala has become a second home to me and I really enjoy sharing all of my information that I have learned the past few months. If you have any questions, write a comment or send me a message and I would be happy to help!!