07 Jan 10 things to do if you visit Zaragoza
There are many plans to make in the Aragonese capital, from walking around its streets trying the local cuisine to visit the most iconic places in the city.
It doesn’t matter how long you stay in Zaragoza, there are some typical places you have to see to get the most of your visit to Zaragoza. Let the local culture steep your by visiting some of the historical places of the city, enjoying the most breathtaking views of Zaragoza or going from one bar to another trying its most special tapas.
Visit the Basílica of our Lady of the Pilar
One of the best things to do in Zaragoza is to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, which is the most emblematic symbol of the city, and one of the most important baroque works in the country. Its towers rise like spiers towards the sky a few meters from the bank of the Ebro River.
The building has changed a lot, like the whole city, over the centuries. At the beginning of its construction in the thirteenth century, it was a small Romanesque church, however, it wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century when its last tower was built. If you feel like visiting the building, you can’t miss the opportunity of enjoying one of the best views over Zaragoza. There, in the Basilica, you can take the lift which takes you to the viewpoint of the San Francisco de Borja Tower, about 65m over the floor. The most daring can ascend a few meters more by a helical staircase.
Take advantage of this visit to contemplate the Basilica outside and inside, and pay special attention to the remains of the Civil War bombing, still visible on its walls.
Buy a ribbon of the Lady of the Pilar
One of the best souvenirs you can take from the city is one of the ribbons of the Lady of the Pilar. Actually, it is much better if someone gives it to you as a present, especially if that someone is from Zaragoza. This ribbon measures exactly like the Virgin located inside the Basilica. So, once you have the ribbon on your hands, you start wondering how it is possible that such a big Basilica have a such a small virgin.
If you pay attention during your visit to Zaragoza, you’ll find out that those ribbons are tied in a lot of places, as in most car rear mirrors, suitcases or people’s wrists. And if you feel like buying one of them, you can do it in the Basilica. There are a lot of colours to choose!
Visit the Cathedral of Salvador of Zaragoza (La Seo)
The spectacular building shows a mix of styles ranging, from the Romanesque of its foundation (12th century) to the Baroque of its new Bell Tower (early 18th century). It is located close to the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, so you can visit both buildings and get the most of your experience in Zaragoza.
Take a picture at the Stone Bridge
You cannot leave Zaragoza without walking through the Stone Bridge, where two lions will welcome you. On this bridge the views are spectacular, especially if you go at sunset. The Ebro under your feet and the panoramic view of El Pilar make it very difficult to resist a selfie. This is not the only bridge that crosses the Ebro River at this point in Zaragoza but, sorry for the rest, it is the best.
Tapear in El Tubo and the historic center
El Tubo is a narrow area located in the heart of Zaragoza, where locals and tourists intermingle to taste the wide range of tasty tapas that you can find in those bars, while you enjoy some wines and beers. Each bar has its specialty: at Casa Lac, you can’t miss their vegetable and borage tapas; at Bodegas Almau you must try the croquettes; and at El Champi, their mushrooms are a must. If you keep walking around these streets, you will be able to try some spicy herring in Taberna El Lince and some good grilled sardines in “La Flor de la Sierra”. Once El Tubo catches you, you will not want to leave. Come on, this is one of the best things to do in Zaragoza!
Visit the Roman Zaragoza (River port, Hot springs, Theater, Forum)
Wheather you are from Zaragoza or not, this is one of the parts of the city you must visit once in your lifetime. On this walk we relive the Roman past of Zaragoza, visiting evocative places that offer us a true journey through time.
This itinerary is designed so you can visit the most emblematic places of this era without getting too tired. It starts at Cesaraugusta Walls and, from there, you go to La Seo, through the Pilar Square, to visit the Forum Museum. After spending a time visiting these places, you can go to the Caesaraugusta River Port Museum (believe me, it will not disappoint you) and then to the Museum of Public Baths. The Roman Theater is really close to it, so this is the perfect time to visit it and end with this tour.
Visit the Goya Museum
As you probably know, Francisco de Goya is the most famous painter of Aragón, and here in Zaragoza you can find the Goya Museum. This is the perfect place to learn all about this genius and his works. Don’t miss it, you will be surprised!
Discover the Arab legacy, the Aljafería
There are a lot of traces of the romans, christians, jews and arabs who lived in Zaragoza many years ago all around the city. The Aljafería Palace is without any doubt the arab monument in the city par excellence. Romans, Christians, Jews and Arabs left a deep imprint in the city of Zaragoza. The Arab monument par excellence is the palace of Aljafería. Built in the eleventh century by order of Al-Muqtadir, this recreational palace is a sample of the splendor years of the Taifa kingdom.
Over time and the Reconquest, the Aljafería went on to play other roles, being converted into a military barracks in the mid-16th century and suffering serious damage in wars in centuries to come. Inside the palace you can see the horseshoe arches, the Troubadour tower, the Golden Hall, the mosque and the courtyard of Santa Isabel, typical landscaped enclosure of the Muslim Taifa palaces. Another visit that you cannot miss in Zaragoza.
Make some purchases in the Central Market
If you are into gastronomy tourisim, you can not just try the typical food in the bars or restaurants of the city, also you have to appreciate the local products. The best way of carrying this out is going to the Central Market. This iron and glass structure date of the 1903 and is located on the same site of the original 13th century market. Here you will find the most interesting and high quality food products. Are you going to miss it?
Walking through the Zaragoza Expo of 2008
There are still some wonderfull architectural elements that you can appreciate where the Zaragoza Expo 2008 took place: Water Tower, Bridge Pavilion, Aragon Pavilion, Third Millennium Bridge, Spain Pavilion, and so on. You can even spend the day in the beach built there during the summer or make a tour in the Ebro riverbank.
You can also go one step further and be encouraged to do one of our private tours through the center of Zaragoza and if you liked these proposals for 10 thinks to do, you cannot miss our post of the most popular tapas area in Zaragoza, el Tubo