Astorga is a town in northwest Spain, 45kms from the capital of the province of León. It has a population of less than 12,000 people and more than 2,000 years of history. Astorga hosts a rich variety of landmarks spanning from Roman ruins to modernist buildings, which makes this town truly a hidden gem.
It is believed that there had been inhabitants in the area of Astorga since Pre-Roman times, but the city was founded in the 1st century BC by the Romans, and was called Asturica Augusta. It was an important military and administrative center for the Roman presence in northwest Hispania as a gateway from the gold mines in Las Medulas.
In the Middle Ages, Astorga regained its importance as a major stop on the French route of the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) leading to the construction of the Cathedral.
During the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, Astorga was occupied by the French troops suffering four years of intense battles.
As an outcome of this extensive history, Astorga offers a vast cultural, historical, and architectural heritage.
In the 16th century, Astorga became one of the first places to elaborate chocolate in Europe.
ALSA, +34 902-44-22-42,  runs direct buses to/from several major cities in Spain, including:
A fast option if coming from Madrid is to take Alvia or AVE trains (high speed) to León and transfer to a local train or bus to Astorga. In León, the bus and train stations are within walking distance.
León Airport (IATA: LEN) is located in the municipality of Virgen del Camino, 6kms from León and 40kms from Astorga. It has daily connections to Barcelona and flights are operated by Iberia (Iberia). Access to the airport by road is from the N-120 Leon-Astorga road, and a taxi to León bus and train stations cost between €20 and €25. From there, you can take a bus or train to Astorga.
Other nearby airports are Valladolid-Villanubla Aiport (170kms) and Asturias Airport (200kms). ALSA operates daily direct services from Valladolid Airport to Astorga.
The best and only way to take in this beautiful city is by foot.
Taxis +34 902-44-22-42, are only necessary to visit nearby villages such as Castrillo de los Polvazares.
Information about what to visit can be obtained at the Tourist information office 
Besides all these major landmarks, a walk around the narrow streets inside the walled city is awe-inspiring. There are several churches from diverse periods, sculptures and parks.
Castrillo de los Polvazares , is a very picturesque town 5kms from Astorga. It is one of Spain's Historic-Artistic sites as it is an archetypal and traditional “Maragato” town, preserving the original local stone architecture. All the streets are stone-paved and untouched since the 16th century. In 1980, Castrillo de los Polvazares was declared a historic and artistic monument. The village is typical to eat “Cocido Maragato” and has multiple restaurants and hotels.
Cocido Maragato is a traditional dish comprising of meat (mostly pork), chickpeas, boiled vegetables, and soup. It is a hearty meal which will take you a good couple of hours to finish and give enough energy for the rest of the day. Something unique about this kind of cocido is that it is served in reverse order from the rest of Spain: starting from the meat and finishing with the soup.
A comprehensive list of restaurants can be found here: 
Hojaldres is baked puff pastry sheets with honey.
Chocolate de Astorga. Given the long lasting tradition of chocolate manufacturing in Astorga, there is a large range of small-scale factories around the town. Traditionally well-known for the thick hot chocolate (chocolate a la taza), nowadays the innovation has brought to the table new kinds of chocolates incorporating other local products, such as cecina or chickpeas.
Mantecadas, Hojaldres and chocolates can be found at virtually every cafe, restaurant, and grocery store in Astorga.
The center of the town offers a range of bars and clubs. You can go bar-hopping in the evening ordering a corto (small glass of beer) which in most bars comes with a tapa of free food. Most bars can be found at the Plaza mayor and the pedestrian streets that converge in it.
Nightlife during the summer months is busy on Fridays and Saturdays, especially during the festivals season.
There are multiple youth hostels (Albergues) for the pilgrims doing The Way of St. James.
There are several small hotels in Castrillo de los Polvazares.