Burgos on a Budget

Burgos Cathedral
The stunning Burgos Cathedral.

A few weeks ago I described a road trip I had planned: Madrid – Zaragoza – Logroño – Burgos – Madrid. Since Ale had to work in Zaragoza, we figured it would be a great opportunity to visit some parts of Spain we hadn’t yet been to. As usual, our plans changed around a bit. The dates we were supposed to travel changed, his work days were moved from Thursday and Friday to Monday and Tuesday, and I had reserved a few food tours, limiting my availability as well. But, despite the changes, we were determined to take our route… even if that meant doing it backwards!

Spain road trip
Our revised road trip route.

Our first stop would be Burgos, a town known for its local cheese, blood sausage, and gorgeous cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), in other words a place I was predisposed to enjoy!

Without really even meaning to, we ended up doing Burgos on a budget— although it hardly seemed that way. So if you are looking for a quick escape, or a weekend trip from Madrid I strongly urge you to consider Burgos. It was a perfect budget destination.


We stayed at the Meliá Burgos, which is currently running a summer special for 49,90€ per night. Located right across from the cathedral, with views of both the cathedral and the lovely Arlanzón River, it was an ideal location for a quick visit. It is also right next to the renowned Museum of Human Evolution, somewhere we definitely plan to stop on our next visit. The rooms were comfortable and clean, although quite outdated and with questionable “artwork” on the walls (think passion of the Christ scenes and naked cherubs). Overall, I would definitely stay here again, as long as I wasn’t planning on spending too much time in the room.

Hotel Burgos
Our room at the Meliá Burgos Hotel.


We really weren’t planning on making our short trip to Burgos a budget stay. I wanted to eat a lechazo asado (roast suckling lamb), a generally expensive dinner and a specialty in Burgos. After some Tripadvisor research, I had narrowed down our choices to the modern Restaurante 24 de la Paloma or the more traditional Casa Ojeda. Each of those places would have easily cost 40€ per person with wine. But when it came time for dinner, we realized we really weren’t in the mood for a formal, multi course meal. We had also read about the wonderful tapas at Bocaos, located right aside the cathedral, and decided to check it out. It was fantastic and inexpensive (we spent a total of 30€ with wine and had to take home some of the food!). Stay tuned for a post about our meal there.

Morcilla de Burgos
The famous Morcilla de Burgos at Bocaos.


Honestly, unless you are in Burgos for two days or longer, you can just walk around the town, taking in the lovely sights. We were impressed by the tranquil Arlanzón River, the incredible Burgos Cathedral, the Puerta de Santa María Arch, the wide terraces sprawled throughout the center, and the incredible bakeries around town. If we’d had more time we may have paid the entry to tour the cathedral (7.00€) or to visit the Museum of Human Evolution. But without spending a penny (okay, I did spend a few euro on marzipan pastries and coffee!) we felt like we saw a lot of amazing sights.

Arlanzón River
The relaxing Arlanzón River in Burgos.
statues Burgos
Some of the towering statues as we crossed the river to the cathedral.
Burgos Cathedral
The enormous Burgos Cathedral.
Cathedral Plaza Burgos
The plaza in front of the cathedral is also gorgeous!
Shops Burgos
Checking out the food shops and bakeries in Burgos.
Burgos Marzipan
Typical marzipan sweets from Burgos.
Santa Maria
Everywhere we looked was just picture perfect!

Get There

We arrived by rental car, but you can easily get there by bus or train as well. The high-speed train from Madrid takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes (the same as driving) and costs 70€ for a return ticket. The normal train takes twice as long but costs half the price! The bus takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes and costs 35€ for a round trip ticket. You can see that, for two people, renting a car is a great option!

View in the side mirror
We rented a car for views like this as the sun went down!

I would strongly encourage a visit to Burgos. It has been one of the most gorgeous small Spanish cities I’ve seen. If you’ll be visiting from Madrid and are considering car rentals, you may want to consider the recent offer from Holiday Autos: Up to 15% off all car rental bookings! Just book before the end of August and use the car between August 18th and  September 30th (2012).

Holiday Autos has been around since 1987 but I only just recently discovered them. They usually supply cars by Avis, Alamo, or Hertz (we booked an Avis car for this trip) and even offer chauffeurs if requested– although Ale was my chauffeur for this trip!

Check out their special offers here.

The only regret I have about Burgos is not being able to stay a bit longer. I literally enjoyed every minute I was there, but in total we spent less than 24 hours in the city! I’m 100% positive we will visit again in the future.

Have you ever been to Burgos?

Lauren Aloise
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Lauren Aloise

Professional eater, writer, cook, food tour operator. Fascinated by food and its history. Loves: a gooey slice of tortilla, fish markets, homemade cocktails, train travel. Hates: Overhyped restaurants, wine snobs, long menus, mediocrity. Check out my food tours at www.devourspain.com.
Lauren Aloise
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  1. Kara says

    I was in Burgos last month when I did the Camino de Santiago. Sadly, Burgos is where my Camino ended until I can return and finish the rest. I have wonderful memories there!

  2. says

    Lauren, nice post.
    Brought back memories of El Camino and eating the best morcilla in Spain! and the bars had excellent selections of wines by the glass as well which is unusual in my neck of the woods!

  3. says

    Thanks for this short, informative post about Burgos, Lauren. The city’s never been on my hitlist because I honestly don’t know anything about it besides the Gothic cathedral (and morcilla). Now I’m thinking about going here for the marzipan, human evolution museum, and more. 🙂

  4. althea says

    Hello! Would a day in Burgos be sufficient? From your post, it sounds like at least 2 days would be sufficient. I’m planning a trip there on a Saturday and Sundays usually the town is quiet and everywhere is closed in Burgos right?

    • says

      You’ll certainly get a great idea of Burgos in just a day, but will probably have to skip the museums and not be able to spend too long in the Cathedral. But certainly worthwhile!


  1. […] Burgos was the first stop on our road trip, and it didn’t disappoint. Known for fantastic Spanish classics like Queso de Burgos (a delicious fresh cheese), Morcilla de Burgos (black pudding with rice) and top quality oven roasted meats, I should have known it would offer some excellent dining choices. Despite our plans to eat a lechazo asado (roast suckling lamb) we found ourselves in the mood for tapas. Luckily, the people on Tripadvisor were raving about various tapas restaurants right in the center of the city. We opted for Bocaos, located next to the cathedral and full of people enjoying tapas and pinchos. The house vermouth at Bocaos. The awesome menu at Bocaos. […]

  2. […] While I adore train travel in Spain, sometimes renting a car is the best way to go. Especially when you have the time and ability to make some stops along the way. When we decided to spend a few days in San Sebastían, we knew the only way to go was by car. Not only would it give us the flexibility to properly explore a tiny piece of the Basque Country (we even crossed over to the French side), but we were also able to stop in one of the most beautiful Spanish cities on the way up, Burgos. […]

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