Zaragoza after the Expo: a regenerated city
The Zaragoza Expo has left in its wake a city which been completely and totally transformed, and is today ready to welcome you with brand new infrastructures, green areas, leisure facilities and cultural centres. Come and marvel at the city and enjoy its newly-recovered areas on the river embankments. Discover the keys to this “new Zaragoza” as it advances towards the future.
Now more than ever before, Zaragoza, in the Region of Aragón, will be the setting for Spain’s most important business and cultural events. Located between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao, the Expo has modernised the city and made it a destination not to be missed. Here you will find new buildings with incredible architecture, a business park with impressive leisure facilities, a river beach, white water canal, green areas, major monuments such as El Pilar Basilica, refurbished cultural centres… A huge number of ideas that will help you understand just why Zaragoza stunned the world for three months.
Major symbols of the Expo
One of the things that surprised Expo visitors most was its avant-garde architecture. If you were not lucky enough to attend, don’t worry because its three main symbols are still open for visits. One of these is the Water Tower, which measures 76 metres in height. Its glass design offers stunning views of the city and it is to be converted into a museum. The spectacular Bridge Pavilion is destined to become a museum too. Designed in the shape of a gladiolus, visiting its interior is a unique experience. We would also recommend Europe’s largest River Aquarium. There you will find 8,000 square metres dedicated to the Nile, Mekong, Amazon, Darling Murray and Ebro Rivers. Ideal for the children.
Besides these three emblematic attractions, the Spain and Aragón Pavilions will be reused as administration buildings and the Conference Centre will become Zaragoza’s largest facility of its type. Nevertheless, one of the most ambitious projects will be the conversion of the Expo site into Spain’s most modern business park. Covering 160,000 square metres, it will offer avant-garde offices for prestigious companies. Furthermore, you will be able to visit the areas reserved for shops, open-air shows and markets, as well as a deck ideal for looking out over the garden areas that the pavilions are to have. A world-leading project in urban transformation.
The Water Park
A few metres from the old Expo site you will find one of the biggest post-Expo attractions in Zaragoza: the Metropolitan Water Park. This area covers 120 hectares, where you can rest, relax, look after your health and live intense experiences. Why? Because sports enthusiasts will love its 9-hole golf course and white water canal for rafting, hydrospeed and kayaking. Looking for something more peaceful? There is a jetty for trips on the canals, a river beach and a wonderful botanical garden. Furthermore, this same area is to have a thermal spa centre with Moorish baths, swimming pools, saunas, hydrothermal treatments… All this on the banks of the Ebro River, an ideal setting for walking, running and cycling.
Modernity and tradition hand in hand
If the Ebro River has always been an important symbol of Zaragoza, then this is even more the case after the Expo. When you visit you will be able to see the 24 bridges and walkways that were built over the city’s four river courses for the event, including the impressive Milenio Bridge and the beautiful, restored Imperial Canal. What is more, major improvements are taking place to the riverbanks and surrounding neighbourhoods, along with the construction of new parks such as Calaverde and Plaza-Canal. In these new areas you will find extensive gardens, an open-air gym, games areas, more than 100 kilometres of cycle lanes and an artificial lake. Add to this the illumination of traditional bridges and a dam that makes the Ebro navigable all year round, and you can see that a visit to Zaragoza will be a most satisfying experience.
This is city is nature, but it is culture too. While on one hand it has traditional monuments such as the Aljafería Palace, the Cathedral and El Pilar Basilica, on the other hand there are many cultural centres that are to be revamped on account of the Expo. Besides the Auditorium and Principal Theatre, we would also recommend the forthcoming extension of the Pablo Serrano Museum and buildings soon to be built such as the Fleta Theatre and the Goya Area with its Zaragoza Provincial Museum.
Another advantage that the Expo has definitely brought to the Aragón capital is ease of access via a range of transport. Although road access has also been updated, if you prefer to travel by air there is a modernised international airport with a brand new terminal. Prefer the train? Zaragoza has an AVE (high speed train) station and will soon open a new station alongside its Exhibition Centre. The new Delicias Interchange (with rail and bus services), the cable car that runs to the business park and a tram system planned for the future will make it easy to get into and around the city.
Summing up, a growing city awaits you, with more accommodation and shopping areas than ever. During the Expo, renowned figures such as Mijail Gorbachov, Rigoberta Menchú, Ian Gibson, Paulo Coelho and Noah Gordon all came to enjoy the city. Now it is up to you to discover its embellished cityscapes, to stroll through its streets and see the new buildings, and to verify that Zaragoza is a major city for tourism and business. Over the course of three months Zaragoza opened its doors to the world. Now you are invited to discover it again.
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