Zaragoza is a historic metropolis in northeast Spain and the capital of the area of Aragón. Whereas it’s removed from probably the most well-known place to go to in Spain, that doesn’t imply this metropolis needs to be over-looked. On this put up, we are going to take a more in-depth have a look at what to see in Zaragoza.
Regardless that Zaragoza is the fifth-largest metropolis in Spain, it actually doesn’t really feel prefer it. Lots of the issues to see in Zaragoza are within the compact historic core of town and the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
Lately I visited Zaragoza for a weekend with my spouse and toddler in tow, staying subsequent to La web optimization Cathedral, it was a wonderful location for sightseeing. I’ll have a bit extra about lodging on the finish of this text, however first off, let’s check out a few of the finest issues to see in Zaragoza.
Affiliate disclosure: The hyperlinks to excursions or lodging on this put up are affiliate hyperlinks. This implies if you are going to buy after following one in all these hyperlinks, I make a small fee without charge to your self. Consider it like a win-win.
12 Issues to see in Zaragoza
1. Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
I’d contemplate a go to to Zaragoza’s Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar a must-do when you’re within the metropolis. It’s spectacular, it’s huge, and it’s free to get into . . . who doesn’t love free? With one aspect going through into the plaza, the opposite onto the river, there isn’t any method you’ll be able to escape this well-known Zaragoza web site, nor must you.
Historical past says that the primary chapel right here was in-built 41AD after Saint James had a imaginative and prescient of Mary whereas praying by the River Ebro. All through the years this was constructed on, burnt down and rebuilt once more. The present church that’s on this web site dates again to 1681.
The trendy-day Basilica is free to enter and residential to the Pillar and the picture, a small statue of the Vigen that commemorates Saint James’ vision by the Ebro, which most individuals come to see.
Nonetheless, there’s rather more to see than just a bit statue. The painted domes within the ceiling are beautiful, one in all which named ‘Regina Martyrum’ was painted by the long-lasting Spanish painter native to this area Francisco de Goya in 1781. Additionally, make certain to not miss the huge Klais Organ of Zaragoza, with 5391 pipes (the place do you even start to play that) and reverse that an extremely intricate giant carved altarpiece.
Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar Opening Instances
Winter: 6.45 am to eight.30 pm
Summer season: 6:45 am to 9:30 pm
2. The tower on the Basilica
I like getting excessive. Not in that method, however for the views. When there’s a tower to be climbed, you could be certain I’ll be up there. Within the case of Zaragoza, one of many 4 towers that stand on every nook is scalable.
To seek out it, you must stroll out of the door that behind the organ to the correct. For those who look intently, you will notice a few small indicators, however it isn’t apparent.
As soon as you might be outdoors flip left, and also you’ll discover a small passageway with a window on the finish the place you must pay a €3 entrance charge.
Upon getting finished this, you may be whisked in a glass elevator as much as the tower. As you step out, you’ll instantly see a beautiful view of the Stone Bridge over the Ebro. There are some extra steps to climb to the highest of the tower, and the height is sort of slim.
As soon as on the prime, the panoramic view of the encompassing space is definitely value it, however there are a few drawbacks. The home windows are lined, so the small house does get fairly heat. Additionally, as they’re glassed-in, I discovered it tough to take pictures with out getting a mirrored image, particularly when underneath strain as there’s a queue behind you. These little inconveniences apart, I’d nonetheless fortunately suggest a visit to the highest of the tower.
Zaragoza Basilica tower opening occasions
Winter: 10 am to 1.30 pm and 4 pm to six:30 pm. Closed on Monday
Summer season: from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm 7pm.
3. Catedral del Salvador de Zaragoza additionally know as La web optimization Cathedral
This Cathedral sits la Plaza de la Search engine optimization only a few meters away from Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The positioning of the cathedral is steeped in spiritual historical past. Initially the positioning was the Roman Temple of the Discussion board earlier than changing into the Visigoth church then the Greater Moslem Mosque.
Earlier than coming into the Cathedral, it’s positively value a stroll across the outdoors to soak up the splendor of the facades, and the combination of Romanesque, Gothic and Mudéjar types, topped with a powerful Baroque-style tower. If none of that actually means something to you (in honesty, I wrestle) it is a great spot to see the types subsequent to one another and attempt to get a bit extra of an understanding.
On the within, it’s as spectacular as you’d anticipate. Piped choral music performed within the background as we wandered between the numerous chapels across the outdoors partitions. In whole there are round 20, every chapel very totally different from the final.
The standout function of the cathedral to me was the excessive altarpiece. Relationship again to 1434 and made from alabaster, it depicts three totally different scenes: The Transfiguration of the Lord, the Homage of the Three Smart Males and the Ascension. The unimaginable ability and dedication that should have gone into creating such an intricate piece of labor is form of mind-boggling.
There’s a €4 entry charge which incorporates entrance to the tapestry museum that may be discovered upstairs. Though it homes a few of the most beautiful tapestries on the planet, to be trustworthy, I discovered that half just a little boring. Nonetheless, if tapestries are your factor, then you definitely’ll get a kick out of it. I have to say the dimensions of them impressed me, however then I remind myself once they have been being made there wasn’t a lot else to take action they may focus numerous time on the main points.
La web optimization Cathedral Opening Instances
Monday to Thursday: 10 am to six:30 pm and seven:30 pm to 9 pm.
Friday: 10 am to six:30 pm
Saturdays: 10 am to 12 pm and three pm to eight:30 pm
Sundays: 10 am to 12:30 pm, 3 pm to six:30 pm, and seven:30 pm to 9 pm.
Monday to Friday: 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to six:30 pm
Saturdays: 10 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to six:30 pm
Sundays: 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to six:30 pm
No entry half-hour earlier than closing.
Value: €4 together with entrance to the tapestry museum
4. Fuente de la Hispanidad
On the reverse finish of the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar from La web optimization Cathedral is the spectacular Fuente de la Hispanidad which was in-built 1991 as a part of main renovations to the plaza. Whereas the surprisingly formed fountain is spectacular (and refreshing) from the bottom, it’s whenever you see it from above that you simply understand what it’s, the form of Latin America
The Northern coast of the continent rises up as water cascades down the facade into the decrease half of the fountain.
5. Caesaraugusta Discussion board Museum
Within the occasions of Roman occupation, town of Zaragoza was generally known as Caesaraugusta and these days there are nonetheless some wonderful Roman stays that may be visited.
The Caesaraugusta Discussion board Museum could be present in a placing alabaster dice simply outdoors La web optimization Cathedral. The Discussion board was as soon as the middle of spiritual, civil, administrative and political life in Roman occasions. The museum is house to artifacts and architectural stays of this era.
Love Romans? You’ll want to try the superb Aqueduct of Segovia.
When you can go to this sit by itself, I’d suggest trying out the Caesaraugustra Route which incorporates entrance to 4 Roman websites:
- The Discussion board Museum
- The River Port Museum
- The Public Baths Museum
- Theatre Museum
Every little web site has shows and data devoted to what life in Roman Spain was like and exhibits off the structure that also survives to this present day.
Caesaraugusta Discussion board Museum opening occasions
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm
Sunday and financial institution holidays: 10 am to 2:30 pm
Ticket for simply the Caesaraugusta Discussion board Museum: €3
Caesaraugustra Route: €7
6. Calle de Alfonso I
That is the primary road the leads away from the plaza, beginning reverse the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Both aspect of Calle de Alfonso I are retailers and a few pretty locations to eat. Nonetheless, I did purchase the worst granizado (A Spanish model of a slushy) I’ve ever had the misfortune to attempt. I want I might keep in mind the title of the place so I can warn you, however sadly I can’t. Nonetheless, my favourite half about this road is the views again all the way down to the basilica.
7. Tapas in El Tubo
Oh El Tubo, how I fell in love with you and didn’t have almost sufficient time to discover you totally. El Tubo is the tapas epicenter of Zaragoza the place you’ll be able to bar hop drink and eat till your coronary heart is content material. Or your stomach is full, no matter comes first. In my thoughts, El Tubo Alone makes Zaragoza value visiting and positively a consideration for a Spain bucket list!
The slim streets have been full of individuals simply chatting, consuming, and having time. The environment appeared to bounce off the partitions of the tall buildings, capturing you inside the scene that felt prefer it was straight out of a film.
As we navigated the streets, what I liked most was how easy it was. Lots of the bars appear to specialize, for instance, there’s a croqueterias, it focuses on beer and croquettes. Then there was El Champi, it focuses on mushroom burgers and beer. Every place sells one factor however sells it nicely.
We spent a number of hours wandering earlier than our bellies have been full. My coronary heart might have positively continued, however we left feeling that El Tubo alone can be motive sufficient for us to return to Zaragoza.
8. Aljafería Palace
The Aljafería is an eleventh century Islamic Palace that sits simply on the skin of Zaragoza’s central historic core.
The Aljafería Palace has had many capabilities because it was first constructed. From its roots as an Islamic Palace, it was later a palace for the Catholic Monarchs, a jail for the inquisition, earlier than changing into a navy headquarters after which the headquarters of the Cortes of Aragon
As you may anticipate, all these totally different intervals have left its mark on the palace and turned it into the architectural smorgasbord it’s as we speak.
I’ll be trustworthy and say I discovered our go to barely underwhelming. It’s promoted as one of many principal vacationer websites of Zaragoza, and the magnificent photos from the skin promote it nicely. Nonetheless, as soon as inside, I discovered it to be a bit disappointing. Whereas there are definitely some factors of curiosity, such because the Courtyard of Santa Isabel and a few intricate stonework, there was little else to carry my consideration.
I believe my emotions have been barely skewed by the very fact I had not too long ago visited the Alcazar of Seville and was blown away by the sweetness. I hoped for one thing comparable right here. I ponder had I not been there recently if I’d have obtained the Aljafería Palace otherwise.
Nonetheless, if you’re in Zaragoza for a few days, it’s definitely value visiting as it’s nonetheless a wonderful instance of Mudejar structure.
Aljafería Palace opening occasions
Summer season: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4:30 pm to eight pm
Winter: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to six:30 pm
Sundays (free entry) all yr: From 10 am to 2 pm
Free each Sunday however arrive early in any other case anticipate lengthy strains.
9. Goya Museum
The Goya Museum is a nice arts museum in Zaragoza named after the well-known Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Simply kidding; clearly, it’s based mostly on the works of Francisco Goya who was born within the village of Fuendetodos, about 40 km south of Zaragoza.
In whole, the museum is completely house to over 1000 items of nice artwork in addition to non permanent exhibitions. Out of these, 14 are from Goya together with works from his youth, courting from across the 1770s by way of to mid-1810s.
Apart from the work, the constructing itself is value visiting, particularly to take a look at the Aragonese Renaissance courtyard.
Goya Museum Zaragoza opening occasions:
Winter: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to eight pm
Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 2 pm
Summer season: Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to eight pm
Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 2 pm
Value: Adults €6, underneath 18 or over 65 €3
10. A stroll alongside the Ebro River in Parque Macanaz
Parque Macanaz is a small park on the alternative aspect of the river from town between the 2 principal bridges; Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge) and Puente de Santiago (Santiago Bridge).
By taking the quick stroll to the opposite aspect of the river, the looped stroll affords some lovely views throughout the river again to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. There are additionally a number of bars and cafes that supply good worth food and drinks to relax and calm down.
11. Sundown on Stone Bridge
In addition to climbing tall towers, one other one in all my favourite issues to do in a metropolis is to hunt out an excellent place to observe the sundown. In Zaragoza, I’d extremely suggest watching from Stone Bridge.
Sadly, after I visited, the sundown wasn’t probably the most lovely nature might have offered. The sky didn’t mild up as I’d have hoped, however it’s definitely an excellent spot to observe the solar drop behind the basilica.
For those who needed to get a barely totally different perspective, you’ll be able to cross the bridge and switch to the correct. Right here you’ll discover a small platform the place you’ll be able to seize a beautiful sundown photograph that has each the basilica and the good-looking Stone Bridge in it as nicely.
Try the time of as we speak’s sundown right here: What time is the sunset in Zaragoza?
12. The Exposition Floor by the river
The Expo 2008 was a world exposition held in Zaragoza that was attended by over 104 international locations. The exposition, with the theme of water and sustainable growth, passed off in a meander of the Ebro to the northwest of town.
These days the positioning is house to the Aquarium River, an aquarium devoted to freshwater species solely and a big recreation floor, Expo Plaza, with playgrounds, fountains, and sculptures.
We determined to move over and test it out, pondering it might be an excellent place to unleash the toddler having had him caged up in spiritual buildings many of the day. We weren’t dissatisfied.
His favourite was the run-through fountain the place you’ll be able to hop between totally different areas, attempting to not get moist. Fortunately it was positioned subsequent to a bar. There was additionally a small playground he loved in addition to simply having ample open house to run round.
From an adults viewpoint, it was additionally pretty. The stroll alongside the river has lovely views again to the basilica (verify the header picture of this put up), and as I discussed, there’s a bar. If you’re visiting Zaragoza for 2 or extra days, I will surely suggest taking a night stroll by way of the exposition grounds.
To get to the realm, it’s a few 40-minute stroll alongside the river from the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Alternatively, you’ll be able to catch the tram to Pablo Neruda, and it’s a few 15-minute stroll from there.
Bonus suggestion: Day journey to Belcite
If you’re within the metropolis for a few days and have entry to a automotive (or wish to rent one) you could possibly make a day journey to the ghost city of Belchite. The city was destroyed within the Spanish Civil Battle and relatively than be rebuilt, Franco demanded that it’s lest there as it’s as a logo to the futility of resistance. All of the residents that clung to life there have been compelled right into a New Belchite city, constructed about 100 meters down the highway.
You possibly can learn about my Belchite tour if you want extra info on this.
How you can get to Zaragoza
There’s a small airport that serves many principal worldwide locations, together with London Stansted, Milan, Paris, and extra. It’s situated about 15 kilometers to the west of town.
As all the time, the simplest technique to get from the airport to town is by taxi or non-public switch, anticipate this to price within the area of €25.
Alternatively, a less expensive possibility is the bus service between the airport and town middle. It takes round 25 minutes and a single ticket price €1.70
Zaragoza could be simply reached by prepare from Madrid or Barcelona as it’s a cease on the highspeed prepare line that hyperlinks the 2 cities. You possibly can verify The Trainline for costs and timetables.
The prepare station is about 5km outdoors of Zaragoza, so getting from Zaragoza-Delicias prepare station to town middle is fairly simple, simply hop in a taxi and some euros later you’ll be there.
There may be bus quantity 34 that runs each 7 minutes and can take you from the prepare station to town. Nonetheless, as it’s a native bus, there fairly a number of stops and it takes nearer to 30 minutes. You could be faster strolling!
If you’re driving, it ought to take just a little over 3 hours by automotive from Madrid and about the identical from Barcelona. It’s situated very near the Rioja wine region, so if you’re taking a highway journey in that space, Zaragoza can be simple to incorporate.
If you’re hiring a automotive, make certain that you might be aware of the rules of driving in Spain to keep away from a possible run it with the police.
Warning: lots of the metropolis middle motels wouldn’t have parking, so you’ll have to pay round €10-15 per day to park your automotive in a public automotive park. For those who do that, make sure you let your lodge know as a few of them can provide a reduction.
The place to remain in Zaragoza
After we visited, we have been within the Hotel Tibur. It ran a pleasant stability of Location vs. Value. It wasn’t probably the most luxurious of motels to remain in, however we obtained our room for €70 per night time, which I believe is a good value for the usual of lodge and site. For those who discover they’re charging rather more than this, then possibly look elsewhere.
When on the lookout for a lodge, something inside the space of the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar will likely be an excellent location, however remember, they’re just a little extra $$.
When reserving, I all the time use Reserving.com and would fortunately suggest it to anybody who’s on the lookout for a lodge. I’ve all the time discovered the evaluations, to be trustworthy, and I like the truth that most rooms provide free cancellation up till a few days earlier than your keep.
Extra motels in Zaragoza
So there you’ve got it, that is what I’d suggest seeing in Zaragoza, however in fact, there’s loads greater than this to find.
Last ideas on what to see in Zaragoza
As you’ll be able to hopefully see there are some great locations to go to in Zaragoza. I’d counsel that you could possibly comfortably see all the primary websites in a day, nevertheless, if you want to discover just a little additional afield and attain locations just like the Aljafería Palace and the Plaza Expo, then it’s possible you’ll wish to contemplate staying for a minimum of one night time.
I actually loved my go to, it felt like a relaxed metropolis with sufficient to maintain you entertained and relaxed, not like some locations the place you get house feeling extra drained than whenever you left to do to oppressive sightseeing. I’d suggest a go to for those who get the chance or are on the lookout for a metropolis break someplace just a little totally different.
Have you ever ever visited town? You probably have, be happy to share a few of your personal suggestions within the feedback.