At Nativics we have designed this ideal day and night getaway so that you do not miss anything on your visit to Zaragoza. This plan includes an itinerary with the most important places of interest in the city, one night in a hotel in the center of Zaragoza and the best recommendations for your getaway.
If you want to add transport to get to Zaragoza, if you need a rental car in Zaragoza, if you want to add or remove days from the proposed experience or if you want to customize your trip, do not hesitate to contact us and we will find the option that best suits you.
We start the day in the heart of Zaragoza, specifically in the walls of Caesaraugusta. These walls declared of Cultural Interest, were built by the Romans, who gave the name Caesaragusta to the city, in honor of its founder Caesar Augustus. After the passing of the centuries and after years of conquests by Visigoths, Muslims and Christians, this name became the name we know today: Zaragoza. For this reason, we believe that there is no better way to start our getaway to Zaragoza than entering it in a big way, at the Roman Wall of Caesaraugusta. Just to your left, before entering the Plaza del Pilar, stands a large tower, the Torreón de la Zuda, built during the Muslim invasion during the eighth century. You will see this tower several times during your stay in the Aragonese capital as it can be seen from the Ebro River, which passes right in front of it. Continuing along the Wall, on the other end of the right, located on the same Avenida Cesar Augusto, is the Central Market, a place full of stalls selling fruit, meat, fish, deli, flowers and other local products. It is not at all touristy so it is perfect to get to know the local products and feel like a real Zaragozan. It is not a very big market so it will not take much of your time. Also, if you feel like it, inside you will find some cafes where you can have a drink or a snack. Like everything in this city, it is very lively. This market is open from Monday to Friday from 9h to 14h and from 17:30h to 20h, and on Saturdays until 14:30h. Once past the wall, you will enter the most important square of Zaragoza and the nerve center of the city: Plaza del Pilar. This is where the most important celebrations and events take place. The best known are the Fiestas del Pilar, in October, which attracts travelers from all over the world, an essential place for Zaragozans and tourists as it houses the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar and the Cathedral (Seo). In addition, in this rectangular square, there are several terraces and cafes where you can sit and contemplate the imposing Basilica del Pilar and the Cathedral. A view worthy of admiration... You will not be able to stop taking pictures and videos. And if you want to do some shopping, in the surrounding area there are also several stores where you can buy souvenirs, religious objects or typical sweets such as cobblestones or chocolate fruits.
We continue our route by visiting the interior of the Basilica del Pilar, one of the largest cathedrals in the world and whose tradition says it was the first Marian temple of Christianity. Famous all over the world, inside the Holy Chapel, is the Patron Saint of Hispanidad, of Zaragoza and the Civil Guard: the Virgin of Pilar. So called because it is on top of a pillar that is actually made of jasper. In addition to the Virgin, this cathedral is beautiful both on the outside, with its towers that can be seen from afar, and inside where you can find various works of art by Goya and paintings by the painter Antonio González Velázquez, an altarpiece made of alabaster, as well as other sacristies and several other chapels dedicated to Santa Ana, San José, San Antonio de Padua, San Braulio, San Agustín, Santa Rosario, San Pedro Arbués, San Lorenzo, San Joaquín and the apostle Santiago. As a historical note, on the walls, you can find hanging the missiles that were launched during the Civil War and did not explode so they did not manage to destroy the Basilica, they say that surely protected by the Virgin of Pilar. If you look closely, you will also see on the roof, the hole they left. Once you finish your visit, don't forget to stop by the little shop at the exit. There they sell the famous ribbons the size of the Virgin, as a symbol of protection for the sick and travelers. You will hardly see a Zaragozan without this ribbon in the car, motorcycle, baby stroller... So if you are thinking of taking a souvenir, nothing more meaningful than this ribbon.
If you want to enjoy panoramic views of the city, you can climb the Torre Mirador del Pilar. This tower does not have access from inside the Basilica, but the entrance is from one of the sides of the Pilar, in the tower of San Francisco de Borja. From there, a panoramic glass elevator will take you up 62 meters in about 20 seconds. Of course, then you will have to do the rest of the climb (18 meters) by the spiral stairs. Don't worry because there are two sections where you can stop to rest before arriving at the large glass viewpoint, located 80 meters high and with spectacular 360º views of the city, with the Ebro River on one side and the domes of the Basilica on the other. Once you have seen the Pilarica, it is time to discover the Cathedral of La Seo (also called the Cathedral of the Savior), located in the same square. At the end of your visit, between the Basilica and the Seo, is the Museum of La Lonja. Access is free and its interior houses temporary exhibitions. This building, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, is of great importance and beauty as it is considered one of the most important civil buildings of the sixteenth century in Spain, where trade and commercial relations were carried out. In 1983, this building hosted the constitutive session of the I Legislature, after the first regional elections in Aragon. With a Renaissance architecture based on the Lonjas of Mallorca and Valencia, the interior design of La Lonja de Zaragoza consists of a large hall with ribbed vaults and three floors where the different temporary exhibitions are organized. In addition, you can't miss the Caballito de la Lonja, a bronze statue that pays homage to the old papier-mâché horse used by photographer Ángel Cordero Gracia to photograph the city's children. He was in that square, in that same place, taking smiles from 1925 to 1978. Beloved by all Zaragozans, now, children and families from all over the world continue to take pictures and smile on top of the bronze horse. If it's time for lunch, our recommendation is to go to the Santa Marta area, where you will find different restaurants, bars and cafes. Ideal to try some of the tapas and typical dishes of Zaragoza.
During the afternoon, if you have time and desire, you can go to the Museum of the Lanterns and the Rosary of Zaragoza, inside the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here are kept the steps for the procession of the Virgen del Pilar. The Lanterns and the Crystal Rosary represent each of the parts of the prayer of the rosary: Mysteries, Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Glorias and the Litany and are made with more than 300 pieces in the form of floats and illuminated crystal banners. To end the day, there is nothing better than watching the sunset from the Stone Bridge. This bridge, which crosses the Ebro River, is the oldest in the city and along the way, there are several viewpoints with spectacular views of the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, just opposite. If you continue walking to the end you will reach the Balcón de San Lázaro, just across the Ebro River. At night, the views of the illuminated city and the Basilica are spectacular. When night falls, it's time to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere of the El Tubo area. In this neighborhood, you will find taverns, bars and restaurants where you can have tapas or try some of Zaragoza's traditional dishes. Don't leave without trying the ternasco con patatas, borrajas, bacalao ajoarriero or migas aragonesas. Here people are very lively and you can have tapas and drinks until late. So take the opportunity to enjoy yourself like a local.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***
The Virgin of Pilar is only 36.5 cm tall and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world every year who come with devotion in search of her protection and healing of the sick. In the past, the Virgin's mantle was lent to the sick but, with time and widespread demand, this was no longer feasible. From here came the idea of creating the famous ribbons the size of the Pilar for those who needed the healing and protection of the Virgin of Pilar, to whom several miracles are attributed, among them that of Calanda, in which a previously amputated leg was restored.
On Thursdays the Museum of Lanterns and the Rosario de Cristal is closed.
After spending the night in the center of Zaragoza, before returning home and depending on the time you have, you can take advantage of the day to stroll through the Parque Grande de Labordeta or go to one of the the city's museums such as the Zaragoza Museum, with free admission, or the Goya Museum, admission can be purchased at the museum itself or on the website. If you prefer to be more relaxed, have a leisurely breakfast, take the last lap around Plaza del Pilar and say goodbye to this monumental city. See you soon, Zaragoza!
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