Logroño is the often-overlooked capital of the region of La Rioja. Most travellers just stop for the night while walking the Camino de Santiago or head straight out to the vineyards in the surrounding countryside. Here are 10 things to do and see in Logroño that might persuade you to stay longer.
Go tapas bar hopping
Going tapas bar hopping is one of the best things you can do in Logroño. Unlike other cities in Spain, where there are various types of tapas on the menu, many of the bars in Logroño specialise in one particular product. There are a couple of bars, for example, that only offer mushrooms, served lightly grilled and dripping with garlic butter. There are also many bars that serve delicious Basque pintxos. The best street for bar hopping is Calle Laurel, in the heart of the Old Town. Check out our list of Logroño’s best tapas bars to help you decide where to go.
The Museo de la Rioja sits in an old palace from the 18th century and is split into various sections, from pre-history to pre-Roman eras, through to Roman times, the Middle Ages and finally the modern day. It displays multiple historical objects, all found throughout La Rioja, including the old tablets from the famous San Millán monasteries, ancient arrowheads, and collections of swords and spears, as well as Roman coins.
Take a photo in front of the Iglesia de San Bartolomé
The Church of San Bartolomé, constructed in the 12th century, is the oldest church in Logroño. It has an impressive façade, covered in intricate stone carvings; however, its most remarkable feature is its bell tower, built as part of the old city wall and used for defence purposes, as well as a lookout point. Today, visitors can climb to the top of the tower to see some of the best views of the city.
Stand in awe in front of the Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda
Even more impressive than the Church of San Bartolomé is the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda. Construction on the cathedral began in the 15th century; however, its completion didn’t come until the 18th century. The most striking features of the cathedral are its towers, nicknamed ‘the twins’, which are Baroque in style.
You’re in the Rioja region, so you can’t leave without a few bottles of some of Spain’s best wines. One of the best places to shop for wine here is at Vinos El Peso, where you can find a good range of local wines and vermouths.
One of the most recognised symbols of the city is the Puente de Piedra or Stone Bridge, which crosses the River Ebro from the Old Town. Also known as the San Juan de Ortega Bridge, it dates back to 1884 and is also the entrance way to the city along the Camino de Santiago.
Learn to a be a wine connoisseur at the Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta
You can’t come to La Rioja and not have a wine experience. While most of the wineries lie in the countryside, Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta sits just on the edge of the city. Marqués de Murrieta, who brought winemaking techniques from Bordeaux to La Rioja, founded the winery and first produced wine here in 1852. Today, you can tour the winery to find out how it is made and also visit the tasting rooms.
Logroño’s Casa de las Ciencias (House of Sciences) makes its home in a striking red and white building next to the River Ebro. It’s a great place to take the kids, with various changing exhibitions dedicated to science, as well as weekly fun workshops. Outside in the Garden of Sciences, there are also interactive exhibits based on physics, geology, palaeontology and meteorology.
Housed in an old 14th-century tobacco factory, the Sala Amós Salvador is La Rioja’s cultural centre. Inside, you’ll find vast spaces housing touring exhibitors, as well as places for performances and concerts. Take a look at the website to find out what cultural event will be on during your visit.
The lovely gardens of the Paseo del Espolón lie in the city’s Old Town. Its real name is Paseo del Príncipe de Vergara, but it received its nickname of Paseo del Espolón because of its resemblance to the celebrated walk within Burgos. Dating back to the 19th century, they feature a great statue of General Espartero, who lived in Logroño until his death in 1879.