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Once the capital of the Kingdom of Castile, Burgos in northern Spain is now home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has an enormous Gothic cathedral towering over Plaza Rey San Fernando. To the east, the caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca are one of the world's largest archaeological sites, with 350,000-year-old fossils. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail runs through the city and brings travellers from many countries to Burgos. Stroll through the historic city gates and across medieval bridges before stopping in a square for a glass of Castilian wine.
For a restful night after a day of walking, book a Burgos hostel with private double rooms, complete with TVs and free Wi-Fi. Many also have en-suite bathrooms and large dining areas where you can tuck into a budget-friendly breakfast each morning. The hostels in Burgos are spread out, so take your pick from quiet country retreats that are a short cycle or bus trip from the centre, or accommodation right in bustling heart of the city.
Burgos is divided in two by the Arlanzón River, with the historic centre mainly found on the northern bank. The quieter southern bank also has its fair share of old buildings and is home to the modern Museum of Human Evolution. For a refreshing walk, stroll down the riverside Paseo del Espolón: a green promenade with cafés and food stalls that links the San Pablo bridge with the Santa Maria Arch.
There are lots of stops to tick off your Burgos to-do list. Climb up to Burgos Castle and the Mirador lookout, from which you can see the city's red rooftops surrounding the cathedral. From here, you can trace the city's 11th-century walls, which wind through cool woodlands – the perfect spot for a picnic. To try some soft Burgos cheese or locally sourced cured hams, wander around the indoor Municipal Market. Or for a cold drink surrounded by vibrant buildings, take a seat at a bar in the city's Plaza Mayor (Main Square).
If you're not hiking to Burgos as a Camino pilgrim, you can fly from Barcelona to the city's airport, 4km from the centre. If you're arriving from abroad, you're more likely to touch down in Bilbao to the north. From here you can either take a bus or train into Bilbao and then hop on a direct service to Burgos. The city itself is easily walkable, or you can rent a bike to get around.