September 27 2022

Alcalá de Henares: the Complutense city is much more than you imagine

The pandemic has left most travelers wanting to know new cities. If you are one of them, don’t worry, Alcalá de Henares is waiting for you and you don’t have to leave the Community of Madrid. It is perfect to spend a day and here we propose a multitude of plans that you can do.

Alcalá de Henares is a city located northeast of Madrid, known for the University of Alcalá and for having, near the buildings of the old town, the home of Miguel de Cervantes.

For theater lovers, Alcalá de Henares has many attractions. Among all of them, the representation that has been made, since 1984, of Don Juan Tenorio of Zorrilla takes place on the weekend closest to November 1 of each year.

Literature has always been linked to Alcalá de Henares: Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca, Quevedo, Mateo Alemán … many Spanish poets and theologians have passed through its classrooms. The city’s Tourist Office offers literary routes that allow you to get to know it as a refuge for writers.

The history of the Corral de Comedias begins in October 1601 when Francisco Sánchez, a carpenter and resident of the town, presented to the Municipal Council the proposal to build “a comedy courtyard in the Plaza del Mercado”, current Plaza de Cervantes, which was the Alcalá’s economic and social center, as well as a meeting point for neighbors and outsiders.

Since its inauguration, and for more than a century and a half, the Corral was the center of Alcalá entertainment and on its stage the verses of the playwrights of the moment resounded in the voices of comedians.


Plaza de Cervantes de Alcalá de Henares.

Alcalá de Henares’s relationship with nature is another of its greatest attractions. The historical urban landscape of Alcalá offers us impressive natural routes along the benches of the Henares River and through the adjacent hills, which we can travel by bike or on foot. A more leisurely way to enjoy the countryside and the river. Some of these hills were inhabited since prehistoric times and not far from there are remains of the ancient Arab city.

To take advantage of the day, you can try Complutense gastronomy. The specialities are the Duelos y Quebrantos, the migas alcalaínas or, if you want something sweeter, the costrada or the caramelised almonds. However, Alcalá is known for its tapas and its cuisine with references to El Quijote.

The great variety of restaurants covers a wide range of prices and menus. They abound in the historic center, where you will have no problem finding whatever you are looking for. The town offers the visitor a wide variety of catering establishments, as well as a great cuisine that you can taste while going for tapas or reserving in its restaurants, some with centuries-old flavor such as the Hostería del Estudiante.

24 restaurants in Alcalá de Henares participate in the XXIII Cervantine Gastronomic Conference. The participating restaurants are: Sacromonte, Sacromonte II, Ki-Jote, Tempranillo, La Casa Vieja, La Cátedra, Goya, Skrei Noruego, Miguel de Cervantes, La Terraza del Mercado, Hemisferio Loft, Nino, El Corte Inglés, Al Andalus, Parador de Turismo, La Cúpula, Casino, Sexto Sentido, Martilota, Plademunt, Vermutería Elena, Guxtos, Nök, y Talanis.

For more info about Alcalá de Henares