Things to do in Zaragoza

17 Best things to do in Zaragoza

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Zaragoza is one of the largest cities in Spain and unlike many other popular cities not yet discovered by mass tourism, we found it a perfect city to experience real Spanish life. Zaragoza will amaze you, at least it certainly did for us! There are a lot of great things to do in Zaragoza that should not be missed.

We are happy to tell you about our experience in Zaragoza and hope it will make you want to visit there too. After reading this article, you will know what to do in Zaragoza, where to stay, the best places to eat, and more!

Zaragoza basilic
Bar Cafetería Santiago

Things to do in Zaragoza?

Zaragoza is a city full of things to do and explore. Whether you’re looking for historical sites, cultural events, or outdoor activities, Zaragoza has something for everyone! Here are 17 things to do in Zaragoza that you won’t want to miss.

Tip: use the map to see where all the best attractions and activities in Zaragoza are located. Click on the right top corner to make the map bigger. If you click on the star next to the title, you can save this map in your Google Maps account. On the map, you can show or hide different categories so that you can easily explore what to see in Zaragoza. You can use this map to help you find your way around when you reach your destination.

#1 Awesome things to do in Zaragoza: visit Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Zaragoza is home to a truly incredible sight – the Basilica de El Pilar. For centuries, pilgrims have visited this holy site to honor the Virgin Mary, who is said to have appeared on the now-famous column at its center. The basilica itself has grown over the ages, reaching its current size in the 17th century.

Upon entering, it’s hard not to be struck by its grandeur: vast columns and multiple domes adorn its interior, while iconic artwork from famed painter Goya can also be found here. And the best part? It’s free to visit every day! Whether you’re spiritual or simply looking for an impressive piece of architecture to explore, pass by Zaragoza’s Basilica de El Pilar – one of the most intriguing things to do in Zaragoza.

Things to do in Zaragoza
The best thing to do is to visit Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

#2 Climb the tower of the basilica

For stunning views of Zaragoza, and its iconic Basilica de El Pilar, head up the 90-meter Tower. With an elevator that will take you to a height of 60 meters, it’s possible to experience the breathtaking views that Zaragoza has to offer. If you’re feeling daring, you can climb even higher until you reach the top – at 80 meters – where a narrow platform awaits. From this point, you have the best views of the city.

To visit the Tower, make your way to its riverside entrance – it’s not located by the main entrance – and check if tickets are available or need reserving. Tickets cost €3 / $3.18 per person and can also be booked in advance at the tourist office opposite the basilica. Visiting the tower is definitely one of the most breathtaking things to do in Zaragoza!

tower of the basilica

#3 Plaza del Pilar

If you’re looking for what to do in Zaragoza, head to Plaza del Pilar. This huge square is Europe’s longest at 1500 meters long and is surrounded by buildings that will amaze you. It’s the heart of the historic center with some of the city’s most important buildings located here, including the iconic Basilica de El Pilar, two large fountains, a huge statue of famed artist Goya, and La Lonja – Zaragoza’s commercial building.

But it’s not just about sightseeing – there are also plenty of bars and terraces where you can relax and soak up the local atmosphere.

Plaza del Pilar

Looking for a nice place to stay in Zaragoza?

Option 1 prices & services: Hotel Avenida
We stayed at Hotel Avenida and we think it is really great. It was one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever seen. The inside looks peaceful and relaxing. The rooms are big with very comfy beds. It looks very nice too! Plus, it is in the middle of everything so you can get to places quickly! This hotel is great for people who do a road trip through Spain as they have a special deal with the parking garage in front of the hotel. You can park your car there for only €15 / $15.90 per night.
Check actual prices and availability for Hotel Avenida here.

Option 2 comfortable & big rooms: Catalonia El Pilar
If Avenida is fully booked Catalonia El Pilar is highly recommended. Catalonia El Pilar is a great place to stay if you want to have a nice, comfortable experience. It is centrally located. The rooms are big and very cozy, which makes it perfect for resting after a day of sightseeing.
Check actual prices and availability for Catalonia El Pilar here.

#4 Goya museum

Goya is one of the most important painters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe. Through his paintings and graphic works, he humorously gave his opinion about the everyday matters that were going on at the time. Political and religious topics were also often discussed in his work.

You may not expect much from this museum at first, but if you are interested in art and culture you will love it amazingly. The iconic humorous works of art are magnificent. For €8 / $8.49 per person, you can enjoy a great time.

Goya museum

#5 Catedral del Salvador

Visiting the Cathedral of Zaragoza is one of the most impressive things to do in Zaragoza. Located on Plaza la Leo, this centuries-old cathedral will enchant you with its architectural wonders. Your ticket includes an audio tour that explains the history behind its construction between the 12th and 17th centuries. Tickets are €7 / $7.43 per person, and you can also climb the tower of the cathedral for an extra €1 / $1.06. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover one of Zaragoza’s most iconic landmarks!

#6 Palacio de la Aljafería

If you are looking for things to do in Zaragoza, one of the top things to do is visit Aljafería Palace. This 9th-century palace was built during the time that Zaragoza was occupied by Arabs and is a great example of Moorish architecture. You can enjoy exploring the courtyard with its beautiful plants and columns, and also several of the rooms that are open to the public. This is a unique place to visit, as it is quite different from what you would find in other parts of Spain such as the north.

Tickets for Aljafería Palace cost €5 / $5.30 per person, and it’s only 20 minute walk from the city center. You can also take the bus, although traffic jams may make this slightly longer.

Palacio de la Aljafería

#7 Enjoy the Spanish food

Because Zaragoza has not yet been discovered by mass tourism, you can enjoy fantastic food here. It’s not expensive at all and you only get to be among the locals, it couldn’t be more fun.

We recommend a couple of places which you can read in the chapter: where to eat. There is one place that was ridiculously good: La Republicana. In this bar you can enjoy a menú del día (€11,50 / $12.19 per person). The portions are extremely good, the food quality is excellent and the atmosphere in the bar is very cozy. It’s an amazing place to eat! Try the canelones (cannelloni) as a starter and for main course calamari andaluza (Andalusian squid) or Salsom horno (salmon from the oven).

La Republicana

#8 Visit the central market

Head to Zaragoza and explore the vibrant Mercado de la Almoina – one of the city’s oldest markets. Before 1903, the main market was always held in the old market square, today it is located in Lanuza. This building was designed by an Argonese architect named Félix Navarro Pérez. When you arrive at the market you immediately notice how beautiful the entrance is. This is built in a neoclassical style where you see many elements related to the market.

In the market, you’ll find a bustling atmosphere filled with locals doing their daily shopping and visitors browsing for unique products. Spend some time walking around and to have interaction with the locals – they’re often happy to share their knowledge of the city and offer tips on what to do in Zaragoza. Visiting the Mercado de la Almoina is one of the best ways to get to know Spanish culture!

Central market

#9 Puente de Piedra

If you walk from the basilica to the river Ebro you will see Puente de Piedra on your right, this is a bridge that was built in the 12th century. When you walk over this you notice that on both sides you are welcomed by lion statues. The best thing is to walk across the entire bridge and then stand on top of the roof of the Convento de San Lázaro museum. From this point, you have an impressive view of the basilica, the river, and the bridge. This is also nice for photographers to try to capture a special moment. You can also try to make a timelapse because the sun disappears behind the river, so the shot can be very beautiful.

photography Zaragoza

#10 Old Quarter El Tubo

If you want to immerse yourself in the Spanish atmosphere, head to El Tubo – the old district in Zaragoza’s historic center. This charming area is made up of small streets, alleys, and squares with plenty of outdoor terraces where you can relax and soak up the local vibe.

But what makes El Tubo truly special is its tapas culture. In the evening, locals flock to this district to enjoy delicious small plates paired with drinks at numerous eateries and bars. We recommend taking a leisurely stroll through El Tubo in the evening and visiting different bars to sample a variety of tapas dishes – from traditional Spanish classics like tortillas and croquetas to more innovative creations featuring local ingredients.

Don’t miss out on this unique cultural experience when looking for things to do in Zaragoza – El Tubo is a must-visit destination!

Old Quarter El Tubo

#11 Kayaking on the river

If you want to do something fun in Zaragoza, kayaking on the river Ebro is an activity not to be missed. For just €20 / $21.20 per person, you can embark on a 2-hour kayaking trip along the old center of Zaragoza and take in stunning views of the city from the water.

As you paddle down the river, you’ll pass by some of Zaragoza’s most iconic landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral, and the Aljafería Palace – all while getting a workout and enjoying the fresh air.

To make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience, we recommend making a reservation with ebroNAUTAS – a local kayaking company that offers guided tours and equipment rental. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or trying it out for the first time, this is an unforgettable way to see what to see in Zaragoza from a different perspective!

Kayak Zaragoza

#12 Calle de Alfonso

In the historic center, you find the main street Calle de Alfonso, this pedestrian street is wonderful to walk through because of the many shops you can find there. The best part, however, is that you can see the basilica towering above all the buildings when you walk down this street. It is recommended to walk from the old bank of Aragon towards the basilica, you will then pass all the shops and can make awesome photos.

Calle de Alfonso

#13 Wine tour

Zaragoza is located between the mountains of the Pyrenees, the wine region of La Rioja, and the forests. Because the river Ebro runs to the provincial town of La Rioja Logroño, there has been a good trade route between the two regions for centuries. The most important import product is the wine that is transported via the river. For this reason, Zaragoza is an excellent place to enjoy Spanish wine. Ask at the tourist information desk which wine tour is recommended to follow.

#14 Roman buildings

Zaragoza was formerly occupied by the Romans, so you can still see many ruins in the city. The most important buildings can only be visited by visiting a museum, more about this in the next activity. Nevertheless, you can still see enough Roman influences throughout the city that are free to visit. The main public attractions are located next to Zaragoza’s market. Here you will find the old Roman walls and the monument of César Augusto.

Roman building Zaragoza

#15 Museums

Our favorite museum is Goya, but there are so many more to visit. Below is a list of museums that are worth visiting:

  • Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta: here you can admire the remains of a Roman theater. You will learn more about the history surrounding this theater here;
  • Museo del Foro de Caesaraugusta: Here you can see remains of the Roman forum. The great thing about this museum is that through reconstructions you get an idea of how the people lived in this Roman city;
  • Museo de Zaragoza: here you can see archaeological and painting in an old pavilion;
  • Museo de Pablo Gargallo: in this museum, you can admire copies of the most famous sculptor ever from Aragon.

#16 Visit an olive oil plantation

Finally, it is fun to discover more of the surroundings of the Aragon region by visiting an olive oil plantation. By following a tour, you learn about how olive oil is produced. Also included in the tour is a visit to Belchite, a village that was badly destroyed by bombs during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Nowadays it is possible to visit these ruins which will impress you. Check at the tourist information desk for more information.

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#17 Explore Zaragoza with a local guide

When you prefer exploring cities with a local guide, you can do this at Zaragoza. With a local guide, you discover the hidden gems of the historic center. The benefit of a tour is that the guide can provide useful information. If you prefer a local guide, you can book the tour via the link.

We think you do not need a guide in Zaragoza. But if you would like to have one, go ahead :)!

How many days in Zaragoza?

Zaragoza is a vibrant city with so much to offer visitors. To truly experience all that Zaragoza has to offer, we recommend spending at least 2 days / 3 nights in the city. This will give you enough time to explore its many cultural and historical attractions, as well as indulge in some of the region’s culinary delights.

In just two days, you can easily tick off most of the must-see activities on your list. However, if you want to take your time and do additional activities such as kayaking along the river Ebro, following a wine tour, visiting different museums or exploring an olive oil plantation, we recommend planning for 3 to 4 days depending on how many days in Zaragoza you have available.

Where to stay in Zaragoza?

Zaragoza is a bustling city with a variety of accommodation options to choose from. However, due to its popularity among locals, it’s important to make your reservation as soon as possible to secure your preferred choice.

We recommend booking accommodation well in advance, especially if you want to stay in one of the hotels we recommend below. These are often full quickly, so don’t wait too long to make a reservation!

Hotel Avenida

We stayed at Hotel Avenida and we think it is really great. It was one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever seen. The inside looks peaceful and relaxing. The rooms are big with very comfy beds. It looks very nice too! Plus, it is in the middle of everything so you can get to places quickly! This hotel is great for people who do a road trip through Spain as they have a special deal with the parking garage in front of the hotel. You can park your car there for only €15 / $15.90 per night.

More information
Catalonia El Pilar

If Avenida is fully booked Catalonia El Pilar is highly recommended. Catalonia El Pilar is a great place to stay if you want to have a nice, comfortable experience. It is centrally located. The rooms are big and very cozy, which makes it perfect for resting after a day of sightseeing.

More information

Where to eat in Zaragoza?

As mentioned in activity #7, La Republicana is the best place to eat. In this bar, you can enjoy a daily menú del día for €11,50 / $12.19 per person. The portions are extremely good, the food quality is excellent and the atmosphere in the bar is cozy. It’s a nice place to eat! Try the canelones (cannelloni) as a starter and as a main course calamari andaluza (Andalusian squid) or Salsom horno (salmon from the oven).

Another nice place is Bar Cafetería “Santiago”, this bar is located in a fantastic location, it is located on Plaza del Pilar. If you sit on the terrace you can enjoy an impressive view of the basilica. Inside the bar you need to order, they have several tapas and pintxos that are tasty and also not expensive considering the location. The patatas bravas and pintxos with gambas are recommended to try.

In #10 Old Quarter El Tubo we mentioned that it is best to walk around here in the evening and visit different bars. In the street C. Libertad, you will find some nice places where you can eat delicious pintxos.

Granier Panes Artesanos is a great place to have a typical Spanish breakfast. Here you can order fresh sandwiches with something savory. Another recommendation is Palmaria Cafe because it is magnificently decorated.

Pintxos Zaragoza

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Transportation Zaragoza

The best way to get around Zaragoza is on foot. Many of the city’s top attractions are located within walking distance of each other in the historic city center.

While public transport is available and can be convenient for longer distances, it can also be slow due to traffic jams during peak hours. Walking not only allows you to see more of the city at your own pace, but it also gives you the opportunity to stumble upon hidden gems that you might otherwise miss.

How do you get to Zaragoza?

Zaragoza cannot be reached directly by plane. For this, you need to fly to Barcelona, ​​Madrid, or Bilbao. At one of these three cities, you need to use the train to arrive at Zaragoza. Train and bus tickets can be purchased here.

If you are planning on doing a road trip through Spain, we recommend you rent a car via Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

You can also travel to Zaragoza by car from other places in Spain and park your car at our recommended accommodations. In the overview below you can see how long it takes to reach Zaragoza from some popular destinations:

  • San Sebastian to Zaragoza: 2 hours and 50 minutes | 252 km / 156 miles
  • Bilbao to Zaragoza: 3 hours | 302 km / 187 miles
  • Ordesa National Park: 1 hour and 50 minutes | 157 km / 97 miles
  • Barcelona to Zaragoza: 3 hours and 20 minutes | 310 / 192 miles
  • Madrid to Zaragoza: 3 hours and 30 minutes | 320 km / 198 miles
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What is the best period to visit Zaragoza?

Zaragoza’s location in the heart of Spain means that it enjoys pleasant temperatures year-round, making it an ideal destination for a city break at any time of the year.

You can visit Zaragoza any time of the year, but it is best to go from April to October. There will be less rain and more sunshine during this period.

In the high season (July and August) it can be busy because of the school holidays, which causes prices to rise. If you want to save money and have a quieter experience, try doing a Zaragoza city trip at another time.

Zaragoza things to do FAQ

Is Zaragoza worth visiting?

Absolutely! Zaragoza is a city steeped in history, culture, and stunning architecture. Zaragoza in Spain is a great place to visit. You can see the beautiful Basilica del Pilar and the famous Aljafería Palace. The weather is nice all year round, and it is close to other places like Barcelona and Ordesa National Park.

What to see in Zaragoza in one day?

One day in Zaragoza may not be enough to see everything, but you can still see some great sights. Start the morning by visiting the stunning Basilica del Pilar and the Aljafería Palace.

In the afternoon, go see Catedral del Salvador and if you have time, you can also visit the museum of Goya. At the end of the day, watch a beautiful sunset at Puente de Piedra.

Want to see more of Spain?

If you have visited Zaragoza, there are still many beautiful cities and places in Spain that you can visit. If you want to travel to the north of Spain, as we did, you can use our northern Spain road trip for inspiration. If you follow this itinerary, Ordesa National Park is your next destination.

If you don’t follow our itinerary but are still curious about which places to travel to from Zaragoza, the best options are Barcelona, ​​the wine region of La Rioja, or San Sebastian. San Sebastian is a port city where the historic center is beautifully situated along the sea. In La Rioja you can discover the countryside of Spain with many vineyards and Barcelona speaks for itself, this is a metropolis where you stay for weeks! For more inspiration check out our articles by clicking on one of the links.

What do you think of Zaragoza? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: the prices mentioned in this article may differ from the current situation. We regularly update our articles. Would you like to help us to provide to best possible insights to help other travelers leave a comment with the latest information. Thanks!

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Hello, we are Cynthia & Alexander, the team behind Travel Your Memories! Traveling is our passion. When it comes to exploration, we love sharing our tips and adventures to inspire you. Welcome to Travel Your Memories, where we share our love for travel with you! Read our story.

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