Zaragoza is located in northeastern Spain, approximately midway between Madrid and Barcelona. It’s a historic city with many classic attractions. At the same time, Zaragoza isn’t anywhere near as full of tourists like so many other destinations in Spain.
You can easily visit Zaragoza as a day trip when you’re staying in Madrid or Barcelona. It is a large and modern train station with connections to the most important Spanish cities.
To and from Zaragoza
Zaragoza has a large train station and the high-speed AVE trains are passing through several times per day.
It doesn’t take long to get to Madrid or Barcelona. Likewise, there are many connections to cities in the Basque Country, such as Bilbao. You can also go south towards Sevilla and Málaga. From Zaragoza, it’s quite easy to explore other parts of Spain.
The station in Zaragoza is known as Zaragoza-Delicias. It is quite large, but that also means it’s easy to spot. Expect to pass your luggage through security before boarding a train. There are also buses departing from Zaragoza-Delicias, and the terminal, as well as the station, is busy for the majority of the day.
Things to do in Zaragoza
When you arrive in Zaragoza, you have a lot of things to do and see. The city has a history that spans over two thousand years. It is widely believed that the Romans founded Zaragoza in year 6 BC.
Zaragoza is also rich in modern attractions. It is the fifth largest city in Spain when we look at population numbers, so there’s plenty of life in the streets – especially when the weather is good.
Here are our favorite attractions in Zaragoza:
1. Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
The basilica in Zaragoza is impressive in every single way. Located near the Ebro River, it’s almost impossible to miss it due to its sheer size. It is located by the Ebro River, and there’s nothing better than taking a long walk around this area at night.
Near this famous basilica, we also have a cathedral which is absolutely worth visiting as well. But at first: Write down Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar as your first priority, and be sure to see it!
Address: Plaza del Pilar s/n, 50003 Zaragoza
2. Caesaraugusta Museum
This Roman museum is located right in the heart of the city and has taken its name after Zaragoza’s original name: Back in the Roman era, the city was first named after emperor Augustus since he was the ruler of Rome when Zaragoza was founded.
Today there is no doubt that the museum is one of the best attractions in the city. You can go in-depth with the local history and learn more about how the Romans influenced the culture on the Iberian peninsula. Through the Caesaraugusta Museum, there is a route leading on to the traditional Roman baths, and to the related theatre museum. Overall, you can experience quite a lot by starting here.
Address: Plaza de la Seo 2, 50001 Zaragoza
3. Aljafería Palace
The third most famous attraction in Zaragoza is the Aljafería Palace – an excellent example of Moorish architecture. It was built by the muslim Moors in the 11th century and the style is quite clear: The palace is decorated with elegant Arabic arches at the entrances.
Generally speaking, Aljafería is more reminiscent of something you would find in North Africa or in the Middle East. But ultimately, it is standing here in Zaragoza. It is one of Spain’s most important and most famous Moorish architectural works, and it is one of the few you will find north of Andalusia.
Through the years, the Aljafería Palace has been used for several purposes. First as a royal palace, then as military headquarters, and now as the main seat of the politicians serving Aragon’s autonomous community. As a tourist you can easily enter the palace. It costs 5 euros, but we highly recommend you to pay a bit extra by booking a guided tour. That assures the best possible experience!
Address: Calle de los Diputados s/n, 50003 Zaragoza
Zaragoza is a fascinating city. We recommend visiting it – primarily in the spring or in the autumn when the weather is fresh and nice. You can easily visit Zaragoza as a day trip from either Barcelona or Madrid. But if you truly want to experience everything it has to offer, stay for an entire week and enjoy the time of your life.