The city of Huesca is a popular town in northeastern Spain. One of the main charms and attractive features is the beautiful medieval Old Town. The romantic cobblestone streets and architecture attract many tourists throughout the year. We’ll take a look at all the things to do in Huesca to make sure, that you are not skipping any attractions.
An interesting fact about the city of Huesca, that it’s also the capital of the Province of Huesca. With a population of around 50,000 people, this charming town is among the smallest province capitals in Spain. One of the main reasons people visit this holiday destination is to see the local cathedral. Undeniably, it’s a great sight, however, we’ll hook you up with even more things to do in Huesca for a complete holiday guide.
What is the best time to visit Huesca?
A vacation in Huesca is all about sightseeing. You can expect to do a lot of walking around the city. To fully enjoy a sightseeing holiday, either spring or fall are the best months to visit. The weather will be very mild, around the 20 Celsius mark. You will have an awesome time with a slight breeze on your face and the sun shining down onto the city. Without a question, these two months are the best to visit, if you are planning a sightseeing holiday.
If you are visiting during summer, you can expect the weather to be quite hot. Although Huesca is in northern Spain, it’s still in the south if you are looking at Europe as a whole. For your visit during the summer, we recommend you bring enough water and protection against the sun. Other than that, you can enjoy pleasurable hot weather and a beautiful city.
How to get to Huesca?
The closest airport to Huesca is the Zaragoza airport. However, apart from some Ryanair and Wizzair flights, there aren’t any regular international routes to Zaragoza. If you are flying from one of the cities that have a direct connection then this airport is your best bet. In order to get to Huesca from Zaragoza taking the train is the quickest way. It’s only a 45-minute ride for around 18 Euros. If you want to rent a car, you can easily drive between the two cities with the added flexibility once in Huesca.
The biggest international airport near Huesca is the Barcelona El Prat. Although Barcelona is a lot farther than Zaragoza, it has better connections to the rest of Europe and the World. There are tons of daily international flights into Barcelona. If you rent a car at the airport, you can be in Huesca after around a 3 hour 30 minutes drive. You can also take a bus from Barcelona to Huesca, which will have a journey of around 4 hours.
Things to do in Huesca
Now that you are aware of the best time to visit Huesca and the way to get there, it’s time to look at all the places to see and things to do. Just don’t forget to pay attention to the local cuisine and try the restaurants or take a break in a love coffee shop.
1. Huesca Cathedral
One of the main attractions in the city is the Catedral de Huesca. This beautiful religious building is a place you must see on your trip. The cathedral itself was completed in the 13th century. However, it was not built from the ground up. Due to its interesting history, it’s started out as a Roman temple. Soon after, the Visigoths have taken over the city and converted the temple into their own religious place. After the Visigoths, the city of Huesca has become under Arabic influence. In these times the church was a Muslim mosque.
Only after these uses it was expanded and constructed to be the beautiful cathedral that we know today. Today the Huesca Cathedral shows an image of a Gothic Cathedral. Its beautiful exterior is awe-inspiring, especially when you are aware of the history. From the original temple in Roman times to the impressive religious place it is today, it has been a truly amazing journey.
2. Huesca City Council
On the opposite side of the square from the Huesca Cathedral, you will be able to find the Town Hall. The building is an old Renaissance Palace with impressive towers. It’s a long-standing landmark in the Province of Huesca, that’s used as the Huesca City Council in modern times.
As a things to do in Huesca it’s an important place to see. Although today it’s used as an official government building, you can still take a look at the exterior and enjoy the architecture.
3. Monasterio de San Pedro el Viejo
Finished in the 12th century, the Monastery of San Pedro el Viejo is an important landmark with a Romanesque style. There are some unofficial findings that suggest, the building was once a Roman temple, however official documents only mention the monastery around the 12th century.
It is one of the oldest churches in Spain. In fact, only a few churches have managed to stay mostly intact from the time of the Visigoths. In 1886, the Monastery has received a national monument title, as one of the most important buildings of Romanesque architecture in Aragon. The monastery is located in the city center and has a big garden.
4. Pedagogic Museum of Aragón
When you are looking at things to do in Huesca, you can discover truly hidden gems. The city has a museum dedicated to pedagogy. It’s a very unique experience, as such museums are very rare in the world.
You should think about visiting the Pedagogic Museum for its uniqueness. It’s a journey through time, where you will be prompted to discover Spain’s educational history. Starting from the simplicity of the middle ages all the way to the modern era. There are classrooms, completely furnished and exhibited as per their time period. You will also find many other original items exhibited such as toys from the different ears.
5. Museum of Huesca
Whenever you want to learn about the history of the city, you have to seek out the Museum of Huesca. Conveniently located in the city center, it’s an old palace building that was once the residence of the local royal family. The museum was established at the end of the 19th century.
You will find exhibitions of local relics on display. Ever since its creation, the museum has a growing collection of important archeological finds from the Province of Huesca. Come here and you’ll be able to learn about the people and cultures that came before. From medieval relics to remains of a Roman colony, anything that bears importance is here for you.
6. The Old City Wall
Coming out of the Museum of Huesca, you can loop around the building to discover the remains of the original city wall. As the capital of the Spanish province and a historically significant town, it was always important to protect Huesca. The small old town was once enclosed by walls to defend against invaders.
Unfortunately, the city wall has been demolished at many places in order to expand the available public spaces and residential buildings. However, there are still some historic sites around the city where you can find the remains.
7. Discover the Old Town
We have already covered the most important things to do in Huesca’s old town, however, you should consider simply exploring the cobblestone streets and enjoying the mostly medieval architecture. A lot of the residential buildings bear their original style. It’s very easy to get lost between the narrow streets.
As an extra, you can find many smaller shops selling local produce or handicraft items. They are a perfect holiday gift for your loved ones. Just like many smaller cities, the atmosphere is very authentic, and so is the cuisine. Even if you only spend one complete day in Huesca, it’s easy to find great restaurants, where you can taste the local meals. For the ultimate authentic experience, go for menu del dia, which is the daily menu, mostly prepared for locals.
8. Parque Miguel Servet
Those who love outdoor activities will be pleased to learn about Miguel Servet Park. Located just outside of the old town, it’s a great place to stroll around and take it slow. Apart from being a beautiful nature area, it’s also one of the oldest public parks in Spain. Construction began in the late 1920s, with plants transported from exotic countries like China and Japan.
The park offers numerous walking trails for you to enjoy. You can discover all the hidden sculptures, fountains, and buildings inside. It’s also an important place for birds as one of the biggest green public areas in the city. Many different species of birds take shelter between the trees and plants.
9. Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park
If you are looking for some good hiking trails and outdoor activities as full-day outings, then you need to take a look at Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park. Located north of the town, a visit to the national park is amongst the best things to do in Huesca. The park was established in 1990 and it covers the Sierra de Guara mountain range.
You will be able to enjoy full-day outings at the park, as there are multiple different hiking trails for you to try out. Whether you are looking to do some simple and quick hiking or want to push your limits and climb the highest mountains in the park, you will find what you are looking for in Sierra de Guara.
10. Aguarales de Valpalmas
Another nature preserve that’s easily accessible from Huesca is Aguarales de Valpalmas. This nature park is full of interesting rock formations. Many tourists feel like this one is for Star Wars fans. It’s easy to see, once you come here, you might think, that you are walking on the surface of Tatooine.
Although this nature park is a little far from the city, it’s worth the trip. The otherworldly landscape will inspire you to take tons of pictures and from precious memories. Even better, it’s an off-the-beaten-path tourist attraction that many travelers miss out on.
How many days to spend in Huesca?
Whenever you are thinking about traveling to Huesca, you need to consider how much time to spend in the city. If you are quick and keep a tight schedule, you can see the city in one day. This makes it a popular option for a day trip, and many tourists consider Huesca as one of the best day trips from Zaragoza.
On the other hand, if you want to take it slow, there are enough things to do in Huesca and the area to keep you occupied. A good choice would be picking a weekend trip. Spending 2-3 days in the city will give you enough time to take it slow and enjoy all the attractions.
Hidden Gem in Spain
As you can see, Huesca is full of great surprises. The medieval castle and beautiful churches make it an attractive tourist destination. Regardless, a lot of people seem to miss this city from their holiday itinerary. If you are looking to see something different from all the popular things to see in Spain, then Huesca is perfect.