Zaragoza, one of Spain’s major cities, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. It’s an hour and a half train ride from Madrid if you take the fast train (30 Euros), the regular train about three and a half hours (19 Euros) or by bus will take about four hours (15 Euros). I recommend taking a day trip being there is not a whole lot to do in Zaragoza, if you have limited time I recommend paying for the fast train.
If you are into art, this is the place for you! With stunning monuments and Baroque and Roman gems this has been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage destination. There’s always something happening here art related so make sure to check the cultural program calendar to try to make it out to an art expo or festival.
Here’s how to get to it all.. I highly recommend taking the bus to the center of the city because the train station is quite far from the center. Take bus number 34 all the way to Ave Cesar Augusto or somewhere close to the center and then start walking it out. The center of the city is not very big, you can walk to all major monuments, plazas and sights and even through the alleys to try some awesome tapas.
Your best option will be the bus. If you are only here for a day you can either get the day pass or single tickets. The one-way ticket is €1.35 for city buses if you plan to walk most of it, if you would prefer you can get the Bus card with €7 and just discount every trip and if you need more you can always reload it. You can purchase tickets and cards pretty much all over town at newspaper stands, in shopping malls, banks, at the town hall, at customer service points and tourist centers and even right at the bus.
You could also get the Zaragoza Card which is valid for travel on sightseeing and urban buses, and can be bought for 24, 48 and 72 hours, at a price of €18 a day.
What to see
You can’t miss the Plaza and Basilica del Pilar, this is the number one site in the city. Right across the street for the Basilica is the Origami museum which could be very interesting, it’s up to your schedule though if not move on to the more popular monuments like the fountain at the end for Plaza del Pilar; Fuente de la Hispanidad. The fountain represents of map of Latin America and was erected about 20-25 years ago when the plaza was remodeled, in honor of the Hispanic Heritage Day which coincides with the day of Our Lady of the Pilar on October 12th. You can climb up the tower, hopefully on a not so windy day, and get an awesome view of the city.
La Aljaferia, an islamic palace that has gone through several remodels and uses, hence its uniqueness. It is now used as an exhibition center, a two story building, representing the main architectural characteristics of several of its inhabitants styles combined and remastered over the years.
Calle Alfonso, the main street, even if you are only window shopping you must walk through it.
The Catedral de el Salvador and tapestry Museum and Iglesia de el Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Also make sure to check out the Lonja, an exhibition center with unique ceilings and pillars. There is a lot more to see I can assure you but this were the major sites I would recommend if you only have some hours here. You can also check out Patio de la infanta, Monasterio de Piedra Park, Museo arqueologico y Bellas Artes de Zaragoza, Caiza Forum and Museo Pablo Serrano.
You can check out Plaza Paraiso for a great view of the University’s buildings.
For Goya lovers, you must check out
The Basilica of our lady of the Pilar, The Zaragoza Museum and The Aznar Museum that showcase Goya’s best work.
I didn’t spend the night here but I hear the city has a buzzing nightlife; the bars are open until late hours of the night or early hours of the morning I guess I should say. With alleys full of food and drinks, I can only imagine it must get pretty busy. Head out to the “tubo” or tube, for the best tapas in town.