Valladolid is a reasonably large, industrial city to the northwest of Madrid. It is the capital of Castile-Leon and a major regional centre. The city has an older core with some interesting buildings, however it has focussed more on industry than tourism. Nowadays (18.02.2007) the population of Valladolid is nearly to 322.000 inhabitants.
Valladolid airport is 15 minutes from the city center. There's a daily bus shuttle to the city at 5:15AM, 4:15PM and 7:20PM. Timetable changes at weekends and holidays (Bus info: +34 983230033). Ryanair offers direct flights to Valladolid from London Stansted, Milano Bergamo and Brussels Charleroi.
The most usual way to reach Valladolid by train is from Madrid (check the spanish rail company, Renfe). €11-€30. It's expected that the highspeed Spanish train AVE will connect Madrid and Valladolid in the middle of 2007 in less than an hour.
Alsa provides a regular bus line from Madrid. Fares are similar to rail (11-20€).
Valladolid has a good bus service, but you can move around the city centre just by feet.
The best cultural thing that Valladolid, has is the polychrome wood museum (MUSEO DE ESCULTURA). Some of the sculptures are used during the Easter holidays when Valladolid becomes a famous city because of its religious traditions. You cannot miss it.
Next to the museum there is the San Pablo church with a beautiful façade. Not far away (3 minutes walking) you can find the Antigua church, representing the Romanesque style in Valladolid. You also have the San Benito church in the city centre which deserves to have a look inside.
One of the most old and interesting areas is the area beside San Martin Church. Really old, all the streets rounding the area have a special charmed ambient.
The cathedral is unfinished because the architect Juan de Herrera was called to build The Escorial. You can see one of the main towers missing.
The main square is attractive, and hasn't suffered too much over the years. Nearby the market hall has an attractive design in iron.
There is a park between the railway station and the centre called Campo Granda which is very attractive and worth a wander through. The park alongside the river is less impressive and not really recommended.
If you are able to visit the city in Holy Week, you will find and discover one of the most great religious traditions of Spain. In Valladolid, the Holy Week is lived with a deep emotion. Its processions are normally in silence, only with music played by the own people who is in the procession. The art that you can see these days on the street is from a incalculable value.
You can buy typical sweets of the city or the province, like "Mantecados de Portillo". You can buy, of course, the best wine of Spain, because in Valladolid there are the most famous wines in the World, like the "Vega Sicilia". But you have a lot of delightful wines at all prices. (See Drink)
In the city centre, you can find many restaurants. Castilla y Leon is known because of the suckling pig and suckling lamb. In Valladolid, it is more famous the suckling lamb, and there are restaurants where you go exclusively to eat lamb and the waiters ask you just for the drinks.
You can also find good places to eat the suckling pig. Valladolid has been getting the tapas culture last years. Unfortunately you have to pay for tapas everywhere in Valladolid. There are many cities in Spain where the tapas are for free with your drink. There is a tapas competition between Valladolid bars that is held once a year. It has so much success that the Council have created a national competition in 2005. If you want to visit Valladolid for a weekend it is worth to see when the tapas competition is.
You get another good chance at the beginning of September when the festival is. All the pubs put bars in the street, and next to the Stadium you can find marquees from different Spanish areas where you can taste all the typical and famous Spanish dishes.
You find good tapas bar in the old part of the city centre, but one favourite is in Calle Correos, on the back of the Council. This pub has won the tapas competition a year.