Zaragoza is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Aragon. This city is not well-known, yet it is a charming destination for a long weekend if you are passionate about history or want to discover a less touristy Spanish city. Explore which places to see in Zaragoza in slow travel mode.
Visiting Zaragoza, the must-see attractions:
Catedral de la seo
The SEO, also known as the Cathedral of San Salvador in Zaragoza, is undoubtedly the monument you should not miss when visiting Zaragoza. The cathedral is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in the ensemble of Mudejar architecture of the Comunidad.
Medieval artistic trends are concentrated in this sublime monument, spanning from the Renaissance to the Baroque. The cathedral houses 16 chapels, and some of them allow you to discover incredible facades. That’s what fascinated me about this place: the very unique arrangement of the chapels and these exceptional facades. A coexistence of very diverse styles next to each other that gives the whole its charm. Allow 30 minutes to visit the cathedral. It is also possible to take a stroll through the Tapestry Museum.
Located about a 30-minute walk away, the Aljafería Palace stands proudly. This fortified palace was built during the second half of the 11th century, in the era of Al-Muqtadir. The Mudejar remains of this monument were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and bear witness to the Spanish Islamic architecture in the Taifa kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula.
The building features some elements of interest, such as the central courtyard or the ceilings of some rooms. However, after visiting the Alcázar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada, I found the place somewhat uninspiring.
Zaragoza BY NIGHT
To conclude this rather quiet first day, it’s time to feel the atmosphere in the commercial area. If you visit Zaragoza in autumn or winter, you will need to dress warmly, as it gets quite cold, especially when the icy wind blows.
After enjoying the city’s atmosphere at night, it’s time to have dinner. Zaragoza offers a wide range of gastronomic options. Whether you’re tempted by typical Spanish cuisine or in the mood for international gastronomy, you’ll have plenty of choices!
Zaragoza was a Roman colony and had the honor of being named after its founder’s full name: Colonia Caesar Augusta. The city has preserved some remnants from that era.
Start your second day by visiting the Museo del Teatro Romano. Although the theater is not in very good condition, the exhibitions are very interesting and provide detailed explanations to understand the history of the city. In an hour, it is possible to tour the entire building. Continue with the Museo del Foro. The remains of the forum are quite modest but offer good insights for those who are not well-versed in Roman history. The most captivating aspect is the projected video that narrates the life of the inhabitants during the colony’s era. Finally, conclude with a visit to the Museo del Puerto.
BÁSILICA DEL PILAR
The day continues with a visit to the Basilica del Pillar. In a Baroque style, it venerates the Pillar, the column on which it is said that the Virgin appeared to the Apostle James in the year 40. The three naves feature several domes decorated with magnificent paintings, one of which was created by Goya. Another element of great interest is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Pillar, an independent construction within the set of naves. The highlight, of course, is the image of the Virgin: a fully gilded and crowned Mary contemplating the infant Jesus.
EL PUENTE DE PIEDRA
One of the typical images of Zaragoza is the view of the Basilica from the Stone Bridge (Puente de Piedra). Departing from the west of the city, this bridge spans the Ebro River. It was the first fixed bridge built in the locality, with construction commencing in 1336 and concluding in 1437.
Patio de la Infanta
For this last day, a visit to the Patio de la Infanta is essential. In a Renaissance style, this place is distinguished by the profusion of architectural elements. The columns are adorned with human figures. Also notable in the lower part are scenes depicting the labors of Hercules.
To conclude this list of places to see in Zaragoza in 3 days in slow travel mode, take advantage of your last hours in the Spanish city to stroll at your own pace. Take your time to admire passersby, discover its shops, or enjoy its delicious restaurants.
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