Your Ultimate Zaragoza Travel Guide 2023
Are you looking for an unforgettable travel destination? Look no further than Zaragoza, Spain! Situated in the Aragon region of Spain, Zaragoza is a city full of history, culture, and beauty. From its stunning architecture to its lively local markets, Zaragoza offers something for everyone. This ultimate Zaragoza travel guide will provide you with everything you need to know before traveling to Zaragoza, from the must-see sights to the best places to eat and stay. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing adventure in Zaragoza! You may also want to check out our Bilbao travel guide!
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Zaragoza
- The Basilica Del Pilar: The Basilica del Pilar is a must-see attraction in Zaragoza. It is a grand baroque-style church, located on the banks of the River Ebro, and it is one of the most important Marian shrines in the world. Visitors can climb to the top of one of its towers and enjoy stunning views of the city.
- Aljafería Palace: The Aljafería Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a fine example of Islamic architecture in Spain. This palace dates back to the 11th century and was built during the Muslim occupation of Spain. Today, it houses the Parliament of Aragon, and visitors can explore its stunning halls and courtyards.
- Zaragoza Cathedral: The Zaragoza Cathedral is another significant landmark in the city and is home to many historical and religious artifacts. Its towers dominate the skyline of the city, and its interior is filled with exquisite artwork and carvings.
- La Lonja: La Lonja is a beautiful Renaissance building in the center of the city and was once the site of Zaragoza’s important trading activity. Today, it is home to exhibitions and events, and visitors can admire its intricate stonework and beautiful courtyards.
- The Roman Theatre: The Roman Theatre is a well-preserved Roman site in the heart of Zaragoza and dates back to the 1st century BC. It was used for a variety of performances, including plays, dances, and gladiatorial games, and visitors can explore its ancient remains and learn about its history.
Where To Stay In Zaragoza
- El Casco Antiguo: This neighborhood is located in the heart of Zaragoza’s historic district and is a popular choice for tourists who want to be close to the city’s top attractions. It’s filled with beautiful buildings, cozy cafes, and restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine.
- La Almozara: If you’re looking for a quieter and more residential neighborhood, La Almozara is a good option. It’s a family-friendly area with parks, shops, and supermarkets, making it ideal for travelers who want to experience life like a local.
- Delicias: This neighborhood is known for its large train station and is a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers. Delicias is well-connected to other parts of the city, making it a great option for those who want to explore beyond the immediate city center.
- La Romareda: Home to Zaragoza’s football stadium, La Romareda is a lively and modern neighborhood with plenty of bars and restaurants. It’s also home to the city’s university, which makes it a popular spot for young people.
- El Gancho: El Gancho is a trendy and bohemian neighborhood known for its street art, vintage shops, and nightlife. It’s a great place to stay for travelers looking for a more alternative vibe.
Top Zaragoza Hotels
- Hotel Palafox: This 5-star hotel is located in the heart of Zaragoza and boasts luxurious rooms, an on-site spa, and a rooftop pool with stunning views of the city. With its prime location and top-notch amenities, the Hotel Palafox is an excellent choice for travelers looking to indulge.
- NH Collection Gran Hotel Zaragoza: Another centrally located option, the NH Collection Gran Hotel Zaragoza offers modern and spacious rooms with plenty of natural light. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s gym, sauna, and gourmet restaurant, as well as its close proximity to Zaragoza’s most popular sights.
- Hotel Alfonso: Situated in a beautiful historic building, the Hotel Alfonso offers guests a taste of old-world charm with its ornate architecture and traditional decor. Rooms are elegant and comfortable, and the hotel also features a rooftop bar with panoramic views.
- Hotel Boston: For those on a budget, the Hotel Boston is an excellent choice. Located in a quiet neighborhood just a short walk from the city center, this hotel offers clean and simple rooms at a great price point. Guests can also enjoy a continental breakfast buffet each morning.
- Hotel Sauce: This charming boutique hotel is located in Zaragoza’s historic district and offers cozy rooms with unique decor and vintage accents. The hotel also has a lovely rooftop terrace where guests can relax with a drink and take in the views.
Where To Eat In Zaragoza
One of the best things about visiting Zaragoza is the delicious food. This Spanish city has an amazing culinary scene that’s influenced by its Aragonese heritage. Here are the top five places to eat in Zaragoza:
- Casa Pedro: This traditional restaurant has been around for over a century and is known for its roasted meats, including suckling pig and lamb. They also have a great wine selection and the ambiance is cozy and intimate.
- La Ontina: If you’re looking for seafood, this is the place to go. La Ontina serves fresh seafood dishes like paella, grilled octopus, and fish soup. They also have a beautiful outdoor patio where you can enjoy your meal.
- La Ternasca: This restaurant has a modern and hip vibe, serving contemporary Spanish cuisine. Try the Iberian pork or the steak tartare, and don’t forget to order a glass of wine from their extensive list.
- El Fuelle: This is a popular spot for tapas in Zaragoza. They have a wide variety of options to choose from, including croquetas, fried calamari, and patatas bravas. It’s a great place to try a little bit of everything.
- Casa Lac: This restaurant is a little more upscale and offers fine dining experiences. Their menu features fusion cuisine with Spanish and Asian influences. Try the roasted duck breast or the seafood risotto.
No matter where you choose to eat in Zaragoza, you’re sure to have a great meal. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes and explore the culinary scene. Bon appétit!
How To Get Around Zaragoza
Zaragoza is a relatively small city, which means that it’s easy to get around on foot. However, if you want to save time or avoid the heat during summer, there are plenty of transportation options available.
- Bus: Zaragoza has an efficient bus system that covers the entire city. There are over 30 bus lines that run from early morning until midnight, with a reduced service during the night. The buses are air-conditioned, making them a comfortable option during the summer months.
- Tram: Zaragoza has a modern tram network that runs along two lines. The trams are a convenient way to get around the city, particularly if you’re staying in the city center.
- Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Zaragoza and can be flagged down on the street. The fares are relatively cheap, and the drivers are usually friendly and knowledgeable about the city.
- Bicycle: If you enjoy cycling, Zaragoza is a bike-friendly city with plenty of bike lanes and rental options. You can rent a bike from one of the many rental companies, including Bizi, which is a public bike-sharing service.
- Car: While driving in Zaragoza is possible, it’s not recommended if you’re unfamiliar with the city. Traffic can be busy, and parking can be challenging. If you do choose to drive, be aware of the traffic restrictions in the city center, which prohibit cars from entering some areas.
No matter which transportation option you choose, be sure to take advantage of the extensive network of pedestrian streets and walkways throughout the city. Walking is one of the best ways to discover Zaragoza’s hidden gems and beautiful architecture.
When planning a trip to Zaragoza, it’s important to take the weather into consideration. Located in the northeastern region of Spain, Zaragoza enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from the weather in Zaragoza throughout the year.
- Spring (March to May): Spring is a lovely time to visit Zaragoza as the weather begins to warm up and the city is in bloom with colorful flowers. The average temperature in March is around 10°C (50°F) but it increases steadily to 20°C (68°F) in May. However, you can still experience some rain showers in March and April.
- Summer (June to August): Summer is the busiest time to visit Zaragoza as the weather is hot and sunny. The temperature can soar to over 35°C (95°F) in July and August, making it important to stay hydrated and seek shade when needed. It’s also worth noting that many locals leave the city during August for vacation.
- Fall (September to November): Fall is a popular time to visit Zaragoza as the weather is pleasant and the crowds start to thin out. The average temperature in September is around 22°C (72°F) but it cools down gradually to 10°C (50°F) in November. However, be prepared for occasional rain showers in October and November.
- Winter (December to February): Winter in Zaragoza is mild compared to other parts of Europe. The average temperature in December is around 6°C (43°F) but it drops down to 2°C (35°F) in January and February. While it’s not as cold as other cities, you’ll still need a warm jacket and some layers to stay comfortable.
Best Time To Visit Zaragoza
The best time to visit Zaragoza is during the spring and autumn months, from March to May and from September to November. During these times, the weather is mild and comfortable, making it ideal for exploring the city’s many attractions without worrying about the scorching heat or cold temperatures.
If you’re a fan of festivals and cultural events, consider visiting Zaragoza during the Fiestas del Pilar, the city’s largest and most famous festival. Held in honor of the Virgen del Pilar, the patron saint of Zaragoza, the festival takes place in October and features lively music, dance performances, street parades, and traditional cuisine.
If you prefer fewer crowds and lower travel costs, consider visiting Zaragoza during the off-peak season, from November to February. Although the weather may be cooler and there may be fewer tourist attractions open, you’ll be able to experience the city’s unique charm and beauty without having to compete with other visitors.
Regardless of when you visit Zaragoza, make sure to bring comfortable clothing and footwear, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring. Additionally, be sure to check the weather forecast before you go, so you can pack accordingly.
How To Stay Safe In Zaragoza
Like any major city in the world, there are some precautions that visitors should take to stay safe in Zaragoza. Here are some tips:
- Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Whether you’re walking around the city center or exploring the quieter neighborhoods, it’s always a good idea to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. This means avoiding dark or deserted areas at night and keeping your belongings close to you in crowded places.
- Watch Out For Pickpockets: Pickpocketing is common in crowded areas like markets, tourist attractions, and public transportation. Keep your valuables in a secure bag or pocket, and avoid wearing flashy jewelry or displaying large sums of cash.
- Use Licensed Taxis: Taxis are generally safe and reliable in Zaragoza, but it’s important to use licensed taxis to avoid scams or unsafe situations. Look for the green light on the roof and make sure the driver turns on the meter.
- Be Careful With Your Drinks: If you’re going out for drinks or nightlife, be careful not to leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers. It’s also a good idea to stick to well-lit and popular areas, especially if you’re traveling alone.
- Respect Local Customs And Laws: Zaragoza is a diverse and multicultural city, and visitors should respect local customs and laws to avoid offending anyone or getting into trouble. This includes dressing modestly in religious or conservative areas, avoiding public displays of affection, and following local regulations like smoking bans.
Overall, Zaragoza is a safe and welcoming city for visitors, and by taking a few basic precautions, you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.
Zaragoza Customs And Etiquette
When traveling to Zaragoza, it’s important to be aware of local customs and etiquette to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Greetings: When meeting someone, it is common to greet them with a handshake or two kisses on the cheek, starting with the right cheek. If you are not comfortable with physical contact, a simple nod of the head will suffice.
- Dress Code: While Zaragoza is a modern city, it is still respectful to dress modestly when visiting religious sites and cultural events. Avoid wearing revealing or overly casual clothing in these settings.
- Siesta: Like much of Spain, Zaragoza has a siesta period in the afternoon when many businesses and shops close for a few hours. Be mindful of this when planning your day, and take a break during this time if needed.
- Tipping: Tipping is not expected in Zaragoza, as service charges are typically included in the bill. However, if you receive exceptional service, a small tip is appreciated.
- Language: While Spanish is the official language in Zaragoza, many locals also speak English. It is always polite to try to speak a few phrases in Spanish, such as “hola” for hello and “gracias” for thank you.
By being respectful of local customs and etiquette, you will not only show appreciation for the culture but also have a more enjoyable and authentic travel experience in Zaragoza.
Other Things To Know About Zaragoza
Zaragoza is a city located in the northeast of Spain, in the region of Aragon. The official currency of Spain is the Euro, which is used in Zaragoza as well. Spanish is the official language, and it is widely spoken in Zaragoza. However, you can find some locals who speak Catalan and Aragonese, as they are also recognized languages in the region.
When it comes to time zones, Zaragoza falls under Central European Time (CET) and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during daylight saving time. Keep this in mind when planning your itinerary or making reservations. It’s worth noting that Spain has a reputation for its relaxed pace of life and laid-back approach to timekeeping. Locals may not always adhere strictly to schedules, so be prepared to go with the flow.
Overall, Zaragoza is a warm and welcoming city, with a unique culture and history that’s worth exploring. With the right planning and a little bit of research, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful Spanish city.
Zaragoza Travel Costs
Traveling to Zaragoza doesn’t have to break the bank, but it’s important to be aware of the various expenses associated with the trip. Here’s a breakdown of the different costs you can expect to encounter in Zaragoza:
- Accommodation: There are a range of accommodation options in Zaragoza, from hostels to luxury hotels. Expect to pay anywhere from €15 to €150 per night depending on the level of comfort and amenities you’re looking for.
- Food And Drink: Zaragoza is known for its delicious cuisine, and you’ll want to sample as much of it as possible. Prices at local restaurants and cafes will vary depending on the type of meal you’re having, but you can generally expect to pay around €10-€15 for a decent lunch or dinner.
- Transportation: Public transportation in Zaragoza is quite affordable, with a single bus ticket costing around €1.50. Taxis are also available, with fares starting at €3.50 and increasing by around €1 per kilometer traveled.
- Activities: Many of the top sights in Zaragoza are free to visit, but there are also several paid attractions worth considering. For example, entry to the Aljafería Palace costs around €5, while a guided tour of the Basilica del Pilar costs around €6. You’ll want to budget around €20-€30 per day for activities.
Overall, a budget traveler could comfortably get by in Zaragoza on around €40-€50 per day, while a mid-range traveler might expect to spend closer to €80-€100 per day. Luxury travelers could spend upwards of €200 per day, depending on their chosen level of indulgence.
It’s worth noting that these costs can vary depending on the time of year you visit Zaragoza, with peak season prices tending to be higher. To save money, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (April-May or September-October), when crowds are thinner and prices are generally lower.
Finding Affordable Flights To Zaragoza
Traveling to Zaragoza can be expensive, especially when it comes to booking flights. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you find affordable flights to this beautiful city.
- Use Flight Search Engines: Use flight search engines like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Google Flights to find the cheapest flights to Zaragoza. These websites compare the prices of multiple airlines and travel agencies, making it easier for you to find the best deal.
- Book In Advance: The earlier you book your flights, the better. Flights tend to be more expensive closer to the travel date, so booking in advance can help you save money.
- Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates: If you have flexible travel dates, try to book your flights during off-peak seasons. This will help you save money, as flights tend to be cheaper when there’s less demand.
- Consider Alternative Airports: Instead of flying directly into Zaragoza, consider flying into nearby airports like Barcelona or Madrid and taking a train or bus to Zaragoza. This can be a cheaper alternative, especially if you book in advance.
- Sign Up For Airline Newsletters: Airlines often send out newsletters with special offers and deals. Sign up for these newsletters to stay updated on the latest promotions and discounts.
By following these tips, you can find affordable flights to Zaragoza and save money on your trip. Remember to book in advance, be flexible with your travel dates, and compare prices to find the best deal. Happy travels!
Backpacking Zaragoza Suggested Budgets
Zaragoza is an affordable destination, and backpackers will find plenty of budget-friendly options for accommodation, food, and activities. Here are some suggested budgets for backpackers visiting Zaragoza:
Low Budget: €30-€40 per day
If you’re traveling on a shoestring, you can get by on as little as €30 per day. Stay in a hostel dorm room, which can cost as little as €10-€15 per night. Look for local cafes and tapas bars where you can get a meal for around €5-€7. Visit free attractions like the Basilica del Pilar, the Puente de Piedra bridge, and the Plaza del Pilar. Take advantage of Zaragoza’s excellent public transportation system, which includes buses and trams.
Mid-Range Budget: €60-€80 per day
If you have a bit more to spend, you can upgrade your accommodation to a private room in a hostel or a budget hotel. You can also splurge on some nicer meals at local restaurants, and maybe even enjoy a night out at a bar or nightclub. Take a guided tour or a bike rental to explore the city.
Luxury Budget: €100+ per day
If you’re looking to indulge yourself, you can stay in a higher-end hotel or rent a private apartment. Eat at some of Zaragoza’s most famous restaurants, and enjoy drinks at some of the city’s chicest bars. Take private tours of Zaragoza’s top attractions, such as the Aljaferia Palace or the Goya Museum.
Keep in mind that these budgets are just suggestions, and your actual spending will depend on your travel style, interests, and priorities. However, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still enjoy all that Zaragoza has to offer without breaking the bank.
Zaragoza Money Saving Tips
Zaragoza is an amazing destination, but it can be a bit expensive if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money and still enjoy everything that the city has to offer.
- Use Public Transportation: Instead of taking taxis everywhere, use the excellent public transportation system in Zaragoza. Buses, trams, and the metro are all affordable and easy to use.
- Visit Museums And Attractions On Free Days: Many of the museums and attractions in Zaragoza offer free admission on certain days of the week. Plan your itinerary accordingly to save money.
- Eat At Local Markets And Food Stalls: Instead of going to expensive restaurants, try eating at the local markets and food stalls. The food is delicious and affordable, and you’ll get to experience the local culture.
- Shop At Local Markets: Zaragoza has many local markets where you can find great deals on everything from clothing to souvenirs. Bargain hard and you’ll get some amazing deals.
- Stay In Budget Accommodations: Zaragoza has a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. If you’re looking to save money, consider staying in a budget hostel or Airbnb.
- Take Advantage Of Free Walking Tours: There are many free walking tours in Zaragoza that will take you to all the major sights and provide valuable insight into the city’s history and culture.
- Use A Water Bottle: Zaragoza has great tap water, so bring a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up throughout the day. You’ll save money on bottled water and help the environment at the same time.
By following these money-saving tips, you can enjoy everything that Zaragoza has to offer without breaking the bank. Happy travels!
What To Pack For Zaragoza
When preparing for a trip to Zaragoza, it’s important to pack for the weather and for the activities you plan on doing. Here’s a list of items to consider packing in your luggage:
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: Zaragoza is a city meant for walking and exploring. Pack a comfortable pair of shoes that you can walk in for hours.
- Lightweight Clothing: The summers in Zaragoza can be scorching, so pack lightweight clothing to stay cool. However, it can get chilly in the evenings, so also pack a light jacket or sweater.
- Sunscreen And A Hat: Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat.
- Swimwear: If you plan on visiting Zaragoza during the summer months, take advantage of the city’s waterparks or cool off in the River Ebro.
- Camera: Zaragoza is full of stunning architecture, so make sure to pack a camera to capture all the beauty.
- Adapter: In Spain, they use a Type F power outlet, so if you’re from a country that doesn’t use this outlet, be sure to bring an adapter.
- Passport And Other Travel Documents: Don’t forget to pack your passport and any other important travel documents, such as visas or travel insurance.
- A Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, so pack a reusable water bottle to fill up at the numerous public fountains throughout the city.
- A Small Backpack: A small backpack can come in handy for carrying snacks, water, and other essentials while exploring the city.
By packing these items, you’ll be prepared for the unique experience that Zaragoza has to offer.
Can You Drink Tap Water In Zaragoza?
Yes, you can drink tap water in Zaragoza. The water in Zaragoza comes from the River Ebro and undergoes extensive treatment processes before being supplied to homes and businesses. The quality of tap water in Zaragoza is excellent, and it is safe for consumption. Many restaurants and cafes also serve tap water, so you don’t need to buy bottled water unless you prefer it. It’s worth noting that the taste of tap water can vary depending on where you are in the city, so if you’re not used to the taste, you might want to try it before deciding whether or not to drink it.
If you prefer bottled water, it is readily available at supermarkets, convenience stores, and vending machines throughout the city. However, this is a more expensive and less eco-friendly option than drinking tap water. In summary, tap water in Zaragoza is safe and drinkable. So, feel free to fill up your water bottle before heading out to explore the city and save money in the process.
Other Things To See And Do In Zaragoza
While the top attractions in Zaragoza are certainly worth a visit, there are also plenty of other things to see and do in this vibrant Spanish city. Here are a few additional suggestions to add to your itinerary:
- Basilica Del Pilar: This beautiful Baroque church is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain and a must-see for anyone visiting Zaragoza. Inside, you’ll find stunning artwork, religious artifacts, and even a statue of the Virgin Mary said to have been brought to Zaragoza by St. James.
- Aljafería Palace: This medieval palace is one of Zaragoza’s top cultural attractions and an important example of Mudéjar architecture. Be sure to take a guided tour to fully appreciate the palace’s intricate details and fascinating history.
- El Tubo: If you’re looking for a lively nightlife scene, head to the El Tubo neighborhood, which is filled with bars, restaurants, and tapas joints. Try the local specialty of fried squid or sip a glass of regional wine as you people-watch on a bustling outdoor terrace.
- Parque Grande: This large urban park is a great place to relax and soak up the sunshine on a warm day. There are plenty of walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas to enjoy, as well as several notable sculptures and fountains to admire.
- La Lonja: This ornate Renaissance building once served as Zaragoza’s old stock exchange, but today it houses art exhibitions and cultural events. Check the schedule to see what’s on during your visit.
No matter what you choose to do in Zaragoza, you’re sure to be captivated by the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and friendly locals. Happy travels!
The Bottom Line
Zaragoza, Spain is a beautiful city full of rich history, culture, and delicious cuisine. From the iconic Basílica del Pilar to the charming streets of El Tubo, there is something for everyone in Zaragoza. When planning your trip, make sure to research the best time to visit and the different ways to get around the city. Safety is always a top priority, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the customs and etiquette of Zaragoza. Budgeting for your trip is also crucial, but don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to save money without sacrificing a great experience. Overall, Zaragoza is a destination worth visiting. Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or simply immersing yourself in Spanish culture, you’re sure to fall in love with this charming city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Zaragoza!