Zaragoza in the northeastern region of Aragón is a fascinating city, featuring everything from Mudéjar architecture dating back to the time of the Moors, to archeological remains from Roman times. Here’s our pick of the best museums in town.
Museo Goya – Colección Ibercaja
The Museo de Goya in Zaragoza is one of the best places to find out all about the life and works of one of Spain’s most famous artists – Francisco de Goya. It features a collection of fifteen of his most prominent paintings that range from his youth in Zaragoza (1762-1774) to his time in Bordeaux, where he died in 1828. The other part of the collection features 48 important works by other artists.
Calle Espoz y Mina, 23, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 39 73 87
Museo de Zaragoza
The Zaragoza Museum is housed in the old pavilion, which was created for the 1908 Universal Expo. Inside, it’s split into two sections – archaeology and fine art. In the first section, visitors can see archaeological remains from Aljafería Palace, as well as the head of Augustus from Tarazona, while the arts section displays works dating all the way from the 12th century to the modern day. There are also some important works here by Francisco de Goya, alongside ceramics and exhibits dedicated to ethnology.
Plaza los Sitios, 6, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 22 21 81
Housed inside the Chapter House of La Seo Cathedral, the Tapestry Museum features a major collection of tapestries which are considered be the most important of their kind in the world. The collection comprises 63 Flemish tapestries and six pieces of heraldic embroidery.
Plaza San Bruno, 11, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 29 12 31
Alma Mater Museum
Located in the former episcopal palace, the Alma Mater Museum was once the residence of the saints, popes, bishops and kings of Aragon. Today it’s a religious museum, which was inaugurated in 2011. It features information on the history of the Aragonese church, delivered through a series of flash multimedia exhibits.
Plaza la Seo, 5, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 39 94 88
An origami museum may not be what you’d expect to find in Zaragoza, but it’s actually home to such a gem. The Museo Origami comprises six galleries featuring both permanent and temporary exhibits of an extremely high standard, and is known throughout the world by origami fans.
Plaza San Agustín, 2, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 876 03 45 69
Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta
The Caesaraugusta Museum is the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, which was believed to have been built here in 14BC – perhaps to coincide with the fiftieth birthday of the emperor Caesar Augustus, who the museum is named after.
Calle San Jorge, 12, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 72 60 75
Museo de Pablo Gargallo
The Museum of Pablo Gargallo is dedicated to the exceptional Aragonese sculptor, Pablo Gargallo, who lived from 1881-1934. The museum is housed inside a grand 16th-century building, which itself is an artwork. Inside, visitors will be able to see not only Gargallo sculptures, but also his drawings, sketches and engravings. One of the most notable works on display is the The Great Prophet – a portrait of Kiki de Montparnasse.
Plaza San Felipe, 3, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 72 49 22
Museo del Puerto Fluvial
Literally translated as the River Port Museum, the Museo del Puerto Fluvial is collection of archaeological remains found along the River Ebro, between 1989-1991. The area was once the centre of food trade in the area during Roman times, and the museum features audiovisual exhibits showing visitors what life was like at the time.
Plaza San Bruno, 8, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 72 12 07
Acuario de Zaragoza
The Zaragoza Aquarium may not exactly be a museum, but it does offer a range of fascinating exhibits. As the largest river aquarium in Europe, it offers a chance for visitors to learn all about the creatures that live in our worlds’ rivers instead of the sea. With over 300 species here from five important rivers on five different continents, it makes for a great day out.
Avda. José Atarés, s/n, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 07 66 06
IAACC Pablo Serrano
The futuristic-looking Aragonese Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture is a centre dedicated to modern and contemporary art, which among other works showcases a vast collection of pieces by the Aragonese sculptor Pablo Serrano (1908 – 1985). Other artists featured here include everyone from Pablo Picasso to Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol.
Paseo María Agustín, 20, Zaragoza, Spain, +34 976 28 06 60