As the capital of Spain’s autonomous region of Aragón, Zaragoza marches to the beat of its own drum. Its grand palaces, baroque basilica and turreted castle are a reminder of its former status as a kingdom. Besides its incredible architecture and captivating history, the local tapas scene makes it a city worth eating your way through.
Founded by Caesar Augustus in the 1st century BCE, Zaragoza’s origin story can be explored by visiting the Roman ruins of the Caesaraugusta Forum, thermal baths, Great Theatre and River Port. Other architectural highlights include the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and the 11th-century fortress of Aljafería Palace. A wander through the Casco Antiguo (Old Town) will take you to Salvador Cathedral with its medieval tapestries and the Renaissance-style building of La Longa – just as much a work of art as the pieces it exhibits inside its grand hall.
There are lots of places to experience Spain’s famous tapas culture in Zaragoza, but for some added charm you can dine in Casa Lac, said to be the oldest licenced restaurant in the country. The El Tubo district is perfect for bar hopping and trying out different tapas, with popular plates including Migas (a traditional dish made with breadcrumbs) and mushrooms prepared in a variety of delicious ways. It’s also worth trying the renowned local lamb dish of ternasco and stews made with borrajas (a type of green vegetable).