Monasterio de las Huelgas


A 30-minute walk west of the city centre on the southern river bank, this monastery was once among the most prominent in Spain. Founded in 1187 by Eleanor of Aquitaine, daughter of Henry II of England and wife of Alfonso VIII of Castilla, it's still home to 35 Cistercian nuns. Entry is via one-hour guided tour only – unhelpfully, the timing of the tours is decided only at the beginning of each session, so it's worth ringing ahead.

This veritable royal pantheon contains the tombs of numerous kings and queens, as well as a spectacular gilded Renaissance altar. The highlight, though, is the Museo de Ricas Telas, reached via a lovely Romanesque cloister and containing bejewelled robes and royal garments.

To get here, follow the river via Calle de la Merced and turn left on Avenida Monasterio de las Huelgas; the monastery is signposted.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Burgos attractions

1. Mirador

0.76 MILES

Just south of the car park in Burgos' Parque de Castillo is a mirador (lookout) offering great views of the cathedral and across the city.

2. Castillo de Burgos

0.77 MILES

Crowning the leafy hilltop Parque de Castillo are the fortifications of the rebuilt Castillo de Burgos. Dating from the 9th century, the castle has…

3. Parque de Castillo

0.78 MILES

This steep park, with the castle as its centerpiece, overlooks the cathedral and the rest of the city centre from the west.

4. Iglesia de San Nicolás


Close to the cathedral, this church boasts an enormous stone-carved altar by Francisco de Colonia that features scenes from the life of St Nicolas.

5. Catedral

0.85 MILES

This Unesco World Heritage–listed cathedral, once a former modest Romanesque church, is a masterpiece. Work began on a grander scale in 1221; remarkably,…

6. Iglesia de San Esteban

0.86 MILES

Located just west of the cathedral, this is a solid 14th-century Gothic structure with an unusual porch and a Museo del Retablo with a display of some 18…

7. Arco de Santa María

0.86 MILES

The splendid Arco de Santa María was once the main gate to the old city and part of the 14th-century walls. It now hosts temporary exhibitions, but its…

8. Museo del Retablo

0.86 MILES

Just west of the cathedral, in the Iglesia de San Esteban, the Museo del Retablo has a display of some 18 altars dating from the 15th to 18th centuries.