Sitting on the banks of the Ebro River, the city of Zaragoza is one of Spain’s best kept secrets. Capital of the north-eastern Aragon region, the area is home to one of the country’s most famous basilicas as well as a thriving gastronomy scene with great bars to match. A city steeped in history, here’s five great reasons to visit Zaragoza this summer.
Spectacular from every angle, Cathedral – Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is the crown jewel of the city. As beautiful inside as it is out, this piece of Baroque art was built between the 17th and 18th centuries and is free to enter to the public. Take a tour and visit the Santa Capilla, a work of Ventura Rodriguez, where an image of the Virgen del Pilar can be found. Also leave some time to see the Renaissance choir stall and high altar piece made out of alabaster. Declared a national monument, the basilica is one of the most important spiritual destinations in Spain and boasts a collection of first rate art and artefacts from different periods – it’s well worth exploring.
Experience the best of miniature cuisine in the country that started it all. Venture out into the bustling streets and crawl from tapas bar to tapas bar sampling the local dishes in small doses. Taste the city in the Old Town and spend the evening in El Tubo, one of the best areas for tapas. Wander down its narrow streets and drink in the traditional atmosphere. If you’d prefer to settle in for the evening and keep everything in one place, head to Puerto Cinegia Gastronomica, a market in the heart of the city offering plenty of options for you to indulge in. Filled with local traditions, visit Zaragoza this summer for the incredible food, if for nothing else!
Home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, tons of spellbinding ancient architecture, churches, palaces, city-walls and well -trodden picturesque streets, it’s safe to say Zaragoza has stood the test of time. Known as the immortal city, the area has been home to Muslims, Christians, Romans and Jews, all leaving their mark as they went and influencing the cultural surroundings. Take a look and you’ll find Roman ruins, the Aljaferia Palace, Mudejar-style churches and Baroque basilicas. A mixture of heritage, Zaragoza is the ultimate melting pot of cultures meaning you never know what you’ll encounter next.
Aside from its impressive array of historical sights, Zaragoza knows how to throw a good party. Hover around the streets of Moncasi, Royo and Zumalacarrengui as the sun goes down and watch as the picturesque, tranquil streets transform into a hub of activity. Lined with pubs, clubs, bars and terrace bars, mingle with the locals and party until the early hours of the morning. With a constant calendar full of events and plenty of places to grab a drink at, the Spanish city is a great destination for a night on the tiles. Organised into zones that offer cater to different age groups and music preferences, dancing till dawn couldn’t be easier when you visit Zaragoza.
A term used to describe decorative and artistic of Christian – Muslim architecture, the Mudejar style dominates the city’s buildings. Laced with ornate structures influenced by the Arab craftsmen that used to live in the city many years ago, the architecture scattered around Zaragoza is intricate and unlike anywhere else. The buildings feature decorated ceilings, glazed ceramic tiles, geometric shapes, well-constructed archways and delicate brick work. Be sure to visit some of the architectural highlights including the Aljaferia Palace, the La Seo Cathedral, church and towers of San Miguel, La Magdalena, San Gil, San Pablo and the ceilings of the Town Hall. Truly spectacular, the buildings in the city are one great reason to visit Zaragoza this summer.
Thinking of heading to Zaragoza soon? Make sure to tag your photos of what to do in Zaragoza using the hashtag #ryanairstories for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Zaragoza
- Lucy Norris