Where to Stay
First things first: We stayed at Hotel La Beltraneja, and I absolutely loved it. The hotel is right in the heart of town and has a variety of unique rooms: we stayed in the Moorish inspired Al-Rabad room. In fact, one of the walls of the room is actually part of the original city walls from when the Moors ruled town. Super cool. l highly recommend you stay there on a weekend in Buitrago de Lozoya.
What To Do in a Weekend in Buitrago del Lozoya
#1. Get bird’s eye views from the tower of La Iglesia de Santa María del Castillo
La Iglesia de Santa María del Castillo has an interesting blend of Romanesque and mudéjar architecture. I recommend a visit and then heading up the tower for some great views of town!
After a good climb up a few staircases, you’ll find yourself at the top of the church’s bell tower. The views are worth the climb!
#2. Wander along the city walls!
Buitrago is one of a few towns in Madrid that has maintained its original Moorish city walls, which date back to the 11th century but were later restored in the 15th century. The walls encircle the peninsula surrounded by the Lozoya River, which is effectively the center of town.
#3. Grab some fresh fish for lunch at Rancho El Portachuelo
The man who welcomed us to the hotel recommended this restaurant, and we enjoyed it!
To work up an appetite, we started with some cañas 🍻 and gambas 🦐 (my fave) at one of the central town plazas (actually in front of the Picasso Museum). Then we headed to the restaurant, where we ordered sopa de mariscos (seafood soup), sea bass, and salmon. The food was delicious!
#4. Take a paseo along the river!
A stroll along the river is a must while spending time in Buitrago. On the east side of the peninsula, you’ll find Buitrago’s Alcázar and castle, although the old walls are really all that remain. Across the river, you’ll get a nice view of the sierra!
#5. Take a tour of the surprisingly interesting Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum was a highlight of our trip to Buitrago. This unexpected museum is home to the art collection of Picasso’s barber, Eugenio Arias, who was born in Buitrago. Picasso and Arias met in France and were pretty much besties. Many pieces in the collection were gifts from Picasso to Arias, so the museum offers unique insight into some of Picasso’s lesser known work. We fortunately coincided with a tour – which I highly recommend! – as we entered the museum. Our guide helped us appreciate the pieces and context of the work that we may have otherwise overlooked. I really enjoyed our visit! 😊
Enjoy your weekend in Buitrago del Lozoya!