Private (48, 10€, March to November) Santo Tomás de Canterbury, on Avenida La Lastra, left off the Camino shortly after entering the city and about 3km from the centre, signposted. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Café / restaurant. Modern facilities. Also private rooms. Website alberguesantotomas.com Tel 987 392 626 Open 10:00
Private (40, 10€) Albergue Check In, on the Camino before the city centre, on Avenida Alcalde Miguel Castaño. Laundry facilities, microwaves. Spacious and modern. Website checkinleon.es Tel 686 956 896 Open 10:00
Private (146, 10€) Albergue Ademar / San Francisco de Asís, on Avenida Alcalde Miguel Castaños, at Plaza Santa Ana, better to follow Avenida Castaño rather than the Camino. It's on the left after 300m. Laundry facilities (free). In a slightly grim student halls of residence. Tel 637 439 848 Open 08:30
Convent (132, 6€ with breakfast) Albergue del Monasterio de las Benedictinas / la Carbajalas, turn right 100m after passing the city wall on to Calle Escurial, it's about 20m up on the right. Laundry facilities. Mass and pilgrim blessing. The original pilgrim albergue in León. Website www.alberguesleon.com Tel 680 649 289 Open 11:00
Private (60, 15€, March to October) Albergue Muralla Leonesa, from Las Benedictinas continue straight then turn right into Calle los Castañones, then straight on to Calle Tarifa. Laundry facilities. Website alberguemurallaleonesa.com Tel 987 177 873 Open 12:00
Private (20, 18€) Albergue León, on Calle Ancha on the Camino on the left, just after Café Valor, 1st floor. Kitchen. Tel 987 079 907
Private (86, 13€, July to August) Albergue Unamuno, on Calle San Pelayo. Student halls of residence. Laundry facilities. Evening meal and breakfast. No curfew. Recently renovated. Website www.residenciaunamuno.com Tel 601 377 423
León is a major city with all facilities to be found along the Camino. As well as the usual yellow arrows the Camino is marked by metal shells set into the ground. It continues more-or-less straight until an abrupt right turn on to Calle Ancha, which brings you up to the cathedral. From here it zigzags past the city's major sites until it leaves the city centre over the footbridge beside Hostal de San Marcos. Tourist Office opposite the entrance to the cathedral. Supermarkets, Mercadona and Dia on the Camino on the way into town, in the centre on the Camino just after the Convent Albergue, Coviran, and Carrefour on Calle Ancha. Pharmacy, banks and an internet café on Avenida Ordoño II, turn left where the Camino turns right on Calle Ancha. Fiestas, the patron saints of León are San Juan and San Pedro whose festival takes places at the end of June with street theatre and the usual mayhem. La Palomera 16 July. San Froilán 4 October, with a medieval street festival with costumes, music, food, donkeys, camels, owls, everything medieval basically.
There are many restaurants and cafés in the area between the convent albergue and the cathedral, this is the so-called Zona Humida / Wet Zone. Local specialities include Cecina de León, a beef sausage with a dark appearance eaten cut into thin slices; Morcilla de León, made of pig's blood and onions, a first cousin of Morcilla de Burgos except in a semi-liquid form; Sopa de Trucha / Trout Soup with bread, garlic and paprika; Trucha Frita / Fried Trout, sometimes eaten cold. León has a strong Tapas culture, some good places to sample it are: El Botijo on Plaza San Martín, excellent tapas as well as platos combinados. Also on Plaza San Martín Nuevo Racimo de Oro has also been recommended. La Taberna De Trastámara, on Calle Trastámara, near the convent albergue, has been recommended for lunch.
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