• Hold down Ctrl key and select the sections you want to print. If using a Mac, hold down the Cmd key.
  • Use Ctrl + A or on Mac, Cmd + A to select all sections (if you are using the Chrome browser).
  • Click "Apply" and the site will customise your print guide in the preview below.
  • Click the "Print" button and a print pop up should appear to print to your printer of choice.

Moving to Zaragoza

The capital of Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon, Zaragoza (or Saragossa) is a world-class and wonderfully scenic cosmopolitan city. It is bisected by the Ebro River and its tributaries, but expats moving to Zaragoza will realise that it's far more than just the waterways that pulse energy throughout the city. 

Living in Zaragoza as an expat

Expats living in Zaragoza appreciate the city’s balance of rich Roman history combined with modern conveniences. Residents can kickstart the morning with coffee at a nearby cafe, shop along Calle Alfonso or Paseo de la Independencia, walk through the ancient narrow streets, then get a drink or eat some patatas bravas with friends around El Tubo – the perennially buzzing central area. 

Terraced housing and balconied apartments dominate Zaragoza’s housing market, as they do in the rest of Spain. Modern architecture is sprinkled in among the many historic buildings, and the city has also developed a high-tech tram system and bus network for the ease of getting around.  

What’s more, Zaragoza is well situated to explore Spain. It is located halfway between Madrid and Barcelona and is connected by the AVE high-speed train. Only a couple of hours north lies the Pyrenees, offering a multitude of activities from hiking and abseiling to skiing and snowboarding, with many picturesque villages along the way. 

Many expats move to Zaragoza to teach English as a foreign language, while others may also find jobs in the skilled and service sectors. Unemployment is fairly high though, and securing a job may not always be straightforward.

Cost of living in Zaragoza

Prospective expats can rest assured that Zaragoza’s cost of living is much gentler than the likes of Madrid and Barcelona. Basic utilities, transport and food are all relatively affordable, meaning even expats on a tight budget are able to maintain a high-quality lifestyle.

Expat families and children in Zaragoza

Expats moving to the city with children have a range of schooling options available to them, including state, private and semi-private schools. 

With a plethora of speciality museums, aquariums and water parks, Zaragoza is an educational yet fun paradise for the whole family. Exploring the many historical sites is a breeze owing to the city’s expansive public transport network and walkability.

Climate in Zaragoza

Zaragoza’s climate is temperate with hot and clear summers, allowing for plenty of outdoor activity. That said, air conditioning is a necessity during the warmer months. The winters are cold with snowfall drifting down at least one day annually. 

Thanks to a vibrant culture, fascinating architecture and constant innovation, Zaragoza has seduced many an expat and convinced them to stay far longer than they'd intended. 

See and Do in Zaragoza

Expats moving to Zaragoza will find a thriving nightlife, there’s more than 4000 bars, and plenty to see and do, both during the week and on weekends. 

Like so many Spanish cities, this medium-sized metropolis claims age-old architecture and a charming city centre, both easily explored on-foot.  

The Casco Historico (old town) is also known for el tubo, an area of narrow lanes full of tapas bars. One can spend a few hours strolling from bar to bar, enjoying a beer, a glass of red wine and a delicious bite-sized snack. Serviettes should be dropped on the floor, as it’s the sign of a busy and popular bar. People love to stand on top of each other shouting animatedly on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Keep in mind that the Spanish eat late, even after 10pm, and the nightlife doesn’t start properly until after midnight. In the summer especially, it’s not strange to see many people on the streets in the centre in the early hours of the morning.

While tapas bars serve food until midnight, at the latest, music bars are open till 4.30am. For younger people, El Casco, a lane of bars/discos, is the place to go. Only a few bars and discos are permitted to stay open after 4.30am.

Sala Oasis, La Casa de Loco and El Zorro are the best venues for live music, though Zaragoza is still often ignored by the most famous bands.

Recommended sightseeing in Zaragoza

The Aljaferia Palace

Built in the 11th century as a fortified Islamic Palace, Aljaferia later became the palace of the Catholic monarchs. It now houses the Cortes, the legislative assembly for the Community of Aragon, the regional government. It is an example of Mudejar architecture. It is 15 to 20 minutes on foot from the old town.

Opening times are 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 6.30pm every day except Thursday, Friday morning and Sunday afternoon. Guided tours take place at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm. 

La Magdalena/ Centro de Historia (History Centre)

The Centro de Historia is a free, contemporary art museum in La Magdalena (an alternative, multicultural area) with temporary exhibitions and a cinema. This institution is highly recommended, as it always has interesting and informative exhibitions and a modern restaurant/bar and outdoor terrace café in the summer. It can be found at the end of Heroismo Street, a cobbled lane full of tapas bars/restaurants. El Barrio, a small lively late-night reggae bar, can be found in this area too. Plaza San Bruno hosts an antiques market on Sunday mornings, which is worth a wander.

El Pilar

The huge square in front of the Basilica, the ‘Plaza del Pilar’ is the site of many events, from the reconstruction of a nativity scene every Christmas to concerts and markets. It was also the place where thousands gathered to watch Spain win the World Cup. When there is no special occasion, one can still enjoy the fountains, statues, outdoor bars and cafés.

In mid-October Zaragoza enjoys its ‘Fiestas del Pilar’, a week-long festival centred around a huge procession of Spaniards dressed in traditional costumes bringing flowers to the Pilar. It’s also an excuse for a huge party with drinking, eating, music, theatre, fireworks and everyone out on the streets and in high spirits.