Welcome to this countdown of free must-see sights in Zaragoza, Spain!
Getting away from the densely packed city, this park is an oasis. Following the fountains and paths you will find stairs (and wheelchair accessible ramp) that will lead you to join Alfonso 1 where he stands looking over the park. There is much to explore and you can often encounter special events or even gigantes y cabezudos (giants and big heads) which are a traditional Spanish customued characters. In the evening you will find the park is still pleasant to visit as it is very well lit. There is no best time to visit the park as it is a wonderful space all day long.
Maybe I am cheating by including this medieval islamic palace on this list because it is only free entry on Sundays. If you go during the week you will need to pay 5€ for entry however between 10am and 2pm on Sundays its free. This palace is an absolutely marvellous medieval islamic fort built in the 11th century. Within the fortifications there is a beautiful garden surrounded by the classic geometric adornments of Islamic architecture.
When I visited the orange trees were heavy with fruit and wafted a gentle aroma through the ancient halls. Nowadays the palace is where the Cortes de Aragon (parliment of the autonomous region) sits so don’t be surprised by the number of security on the grounds.
This is one of my favourite places in the world, even though I am not a religious person. I still feel such wonder and awe as I walk down Calle de Alfonso I watching the cathedral become more visible. To visit Zaragoza without seeing El Pillar is to visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. It is free to enter the church and take in the incredible enormity of the building.
The first chapel to precede the current cathedral is said to be built in its place by Saint James in 41AD. Numerous churches were built on the site over its history and the current cathedral was finished in 1686. When visiting inside the cathedral you can find two bombs on display. These bombs, plus a third, were dropped on the cathedral during the Spanish Civil War however none of them exploded.