As the capital of La Rioja, Logroño is the perfect starting point to explore this glorious wine region. Many visitors stop here on their way to Santiago de Compostela, but it’s worth spending a day in Logroño to discover its picturesque squares and historical churches. Beyond these landmarks, the city is also famous for its cuisine, with pintxo bars waiting to welcome you in every corner.
Our guide below includes the best things to do in Logroño, including tips on where to eat and where to stay.
Most people come to La Rioja to sample its wine, so why not begin
your tour of Logroño with a wine tasting? In the countryside,
surrounding the city, you’ll find many wineries that host cellar tours.
Marqués de Murrieta, Bodegas Campo Viejo, Bodegas Ontañón and Bodegas
Olarra are all worth a visit.
If you want to stay a bit closer to the city centre, however, there’s also the Bodegas Franco Españolas.
After visiting one or two wineries, it’s time to explore the city’s landmarks. Several bridges cross over the Ebro river in Logroño, but the most iconic ones are the Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge) and the Puente de Hierro (Iron Bridge). Walk through any of these and you’ll end up at the old town centre.
In the heart of the old town is the Church of Santa María de Palacio. It gets its name from its location, on the site of a former palace donated by Alfonso VII of Castile. Established in the 11th century, the church was later extended in the 16th century. It features three naves with abbatial chapels and an altarpiece by Arnao of Brussels, but it’s the Gothic-style tower outside that stands out with its pyramidal shape. Near the church is a pink building that houses the Centro de la Cultura del Rioja, a cultural centre that promotes Rioja’s Wine heritage.
Next stop is the Church of San Bartolomé. This is one of the oldest churches in Logroño, dating back to the 12th century. As you walk by, you can’t help noticing its striking façade with intricate stone carvings. Another remarkable feature is the bell tower. Once part of the old city wall, it now serves as a lookout point. Visitors can climb to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of Logroño.
The Cathedral of Logroño might be more recent than the city’s other churches, but it’s as stunning as the rest. Construction for the Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda began in the 15th century, but it was only completed in the 18th century. Its towers, known as “the twins” and the opulent altarpiece inside are a fine example of Baroque architecture in the Rioja region. Look out for the painting of Christ on the Cross behind the altar, which is attributed to Michelangelo.
The last church on this tour of Logroño is the Iglesia de Santiago el Real. Established in 1513, it was a meeting point for the Municipal Council and many important documents were kept inside. The outdoor façade is a later addition from the 17th-century and follows the design of a triumphal arch. It features two sculptures of the apostle Santiago, one where he’s dressed as a pilgrim, and the other as a warrior.
A few steps away from the Iglesia de Santiago el Real, you’ll find the El Cubo del Revellín. Dating back to the 16th century, these stone walls were part of a fortress that protected the city against the Franco-Navarrese army.
From El Cubo, continue walking towards the Museo de la Rioja. Housed in an 18th-century palace, this museum showcases historical items uncovered all across the Rioja region. The collection is divided into several sections, from prehistoric times to the Roman era and the modern day. Highlights include Celtiberian stone carvings, along with Roman statuary and 19th-century paintings.
After visiting the museum, enjoy a stroll through the Parque del Espolón. The real name of this 19th-century park is Paseo del Príncipe de Vergara, but it got the nickname Espolón due to its resemblance to a walk of the same name in Burgos. In the middle of it, there’s a statue of General Espartero on a horse.
To wrap up your day in Logroño, make sure to stop for some tapas around Calle Laurel. Most Spanish cities have a menu with multiple tapas, but many bars in Logroño often specialise in a single product. You can also find a few places here offering Basque pintxos. Some of the best tapas bars in Logroño are Bar Soriano, Bar El Cid and Bodeguilla Los Rotos. Don’t stick to just one place though, instead, go bar hopping and try a couple of different dishes.
Logroño is a small city, making it easy to explore on foot. Kids will enjoy wandering through the old town and climbing up the tower of the Church of San Bartolomé. Another family-friendly attraction is the Casa de las Ciencias, a museum dedicated to science with plenty of interactive exhibits and fun weekly workshops. Further out, there are other activities you can do, including cycling along the Vía Verde del Oja or interacting with animals at the Rioja Natura Park Zoo.
Wine tasting is only for adults, but there are other activities you can enjoy with your kids while visiting the Rioja region, including grape harvesting and treading. You can book this kind of experience with Riojatrek.
La Rioja is a region of wine, but it also makes excellent food. In Logroño, pretty much every bar has its own speciality. It could be a small plate of mushrooms drizzled with garlic butter or spider crab fish cakes. The city is also very near the Basque country, so you can often find Basque pintxos on the menu too. Below are some of the best places to eat in Logroño:
The best time to visit Logroño is between June and September. These are the best months to enjoy mild temperatures and avoid rainfall. August has the highest average temperature at around 28ºC. In September the temperatures start cooling down, but this is the best time to come if you want to catch the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival. If you visit in the winter, you can also combine your visit with a trip to the Cantabrian mountains.
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