Guadalajara HotelsDespite its location - less than 45 minutes from the Spanish Capital - the peaceful town of Guadalajara comfortably holds its own against its illustrious neighbor, and its architecture and Moorish history lure thousands of visitors from Madrid, and beyond, each year. A fantastic alternative to staying in the hectic hustle and bustle of Madrid, Guadalajara is crammed full of attractive churches, and authentic tapas bars - where you can watch the world drift by, sitting below hanging legs of serrano ham. Things to seeThe Santa Maria Cathedral personifies the clash of cultures the town faced after Christian forces moved down through Spain, taking Guadalajara from Moorish rule in 1085. Built in the footprint of a destroyed mosque, the cathedral retains heavy Islamic influences - typical of Spain's mudéjar architecture. The intricate decorative arches, and square brick bell tower, are all telltale signs of the Moorish influence, while the town's Henares Bridge dates back to the 8th century. The bridge's arches join with their own reflections to form perfect circles in the water, and a picnic overlooking the bridge – sound tracked by the gently trickling water - is a pleasant way to soak up the sun. The Palacio del Infantado is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Spain, and the striking building houses a museum where you can embark on an archaeological journey through the town's buried past. Tree-lined gardens - and a courtyard with painstakingly carved lions and griffins prowling its supports – all add to the regal atmosphere. Respectfully attend a somber service at The Church of San Gines to soak in the peaceful atmosphere, and view the impressive golden pulpit inside. Hotels in
GuadalajaraAir conditioning is a must in the scorching summer months and, fortunately, most hotels in Guadalajara have dedicated units in each room. Luxury options give you the chance to rise early and drive golf balls high into the air on the attached courses, before refreshing yourself with a dip in a cool outdoor pool. Cheaper hotels are available, where basic - but clean and functional - rooms are always waiting. WiFi is usually free in shared areas, and many of the hotels have bars attached to them. Where to stayStay in the center of Guadalajara, and the town's relaxed way of life will quickly win you over, as you sample the various bars and cafes. Taste the local specialty of tail of the bull risotto, or simply tuck into a juicy steak, washed down with a bottle of full-bodied red. In summer, make the most of of the cooler morning air to stroll through Parque de Coquins - a patch of flowery park, dissected by the gurgling Henares River. Alcala de Henares is another attractive accommodation option - especially if you'd rather stay a little closer to Madrid. The town is filled with Golden age buildings, which belong to the prestigious university, and its cobbled central street - Calle Mayor – is stunning in full bloom, as flower-tangled balconies overhang it from either side.How to get to GuadalajaraThe colossal, 4-runway, airport that orbits the city will welcome you to Madrid from anywhere in the world, and getting to Guadalajara by train takes around 50 minutes from the airport. Hop on Line 8 of the metro - for a short journey to Nuevos Ministerios station and, from there, you can catch one of the regularly scheduled trains to the town. Various car hire options are available at the terminal, if you'd like a little extra freedom during your stay.