Things to do in Ronda
Ronda is one of the most beautiful (and visited!) villages in Andalusia. Close to Seville (1h45 by car) and Malaga (1h30), this village located on a rocky promontory offers magnificent panoramas over the whole valley. Divided in 2 by the Guadalevin river, it’s famous for the Puente Nuevo, the bridge linking the 2 sides of the 100m deep El Tajo Canyon.
The village can be visited on foot and a single day is enough to discover all the must-see attractions and points of interest.
Here is our Top 10 things to do and see, with an itinerary to visit Ronda in 1 day. At the end of the article, you will also find our list of the best accommodations in town!
So, what are the best places to visit?
- Things to do in Ronda
- 1. Plaza de Toros de Ronda
- 2. Ronda Viewpoint
- 3. The Puento Nuevo
- 4. Ronda’s Mondragón Palace
- 5. Duchess of Parcent Square
- 6. An Unusual Visit : The Bandit Museum
- 7. Puerta de Almocabar and the Arab Walls
- 8. Ronda’s Arab Baths
- 9. La Casa del Rey Moro
- 10. Plaza del Socorro
- Bonus : 2 Things to visit around Ronda
- Ronda in a day
- Where to stay in Ronda
- Ronda Tourist Map
- You’re traveling in Andalusia? These articles will help you!
1. Plaza de Toros de Ronda
I suggest you start your visit with the Ronda Arena (in Spanish, Plaza de Toros de Ronda), one of the oldest arena in Spain. Ronda is known to be the birthplace of bullfighting.
Built in 1785 by the same architect who built the Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge” in english), it can host 5,000 spectators.
One of the best bullfighters in Spain founded the bullfighting school of Ronda. You can visit the bullfighting arena as well as the museum, located at the same place.
All information for the visit is available in a on Ronda Plaza de Toros official website
2. Ronda Viewpoint
From the Plaza de Toros, take the Paseo Blas Infante to the edge of the cliff. Start from the right side (ending in a dead-end street) and follow it to the end, you will walk along the edge of the cliff and will be able to admire beautiful views of the valley below.
Then turn back to Ronda Viewpoint. The opportunity to scare yourself on the footbridge over the cliff, as well as realize the exceptional situation of this perched village.
3. The Puento Nuevo
Continue on your way to Plaza España and you will finally see the Puento Nuevo (New Bridge), the main attraction of Ronda and the emblem of the city on all the postcards! You should definitely cross the bridge for a picture stop at the Aldehuela viewpoint.
Completed in 1793, after 42 years of construction, the Puento Nuevo crosses the valley and connects the old and new town previously separated by the El Tajo valley and the Guadalevin River. This spectacular bridge is nearly 100 metres high.
To have the most beautiful view on the bridge and take the perfect picture, follow the Calle Tenorio until you reach the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora. A path will take you down to the first viewpoint .
Be careful, the viewpoint is not well secured, so watch your steps and your camera! Every year, hundreds of cameras are found at the bottom of the ravine.
You can then go down to the second viewpoint which will allows you to see the bridge + the waterfall and the river that flows underneath. A second opportunity to take nice pictures!
4. Ronda’s Mondragón Palace
Mondragon’s palace, mixing Moorish architecture (its patio) with Renaissance architecture for the later developments, was built in 1314. It was formerly used by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand’s as their main residence when visiting Ronda.
Today it houses the Ronda Municipal Museum, which presents a permanent collection on the history of the village and examples of Roman and Arab tombs. You can also visit the palace’s gardens which offers a beautiful view over the old town.
5. Duchess of Parcent Square
Continue on to Duchess of Parcent Square (Plaza Duquesa de Parcent in spanish), considered as one of the most beautiful square in the city. It’s surrounded by several monuments including the city hall but the most remarkable is undoubtedly the St Mary Major Church
The construction of this church took almost 200 years and presents a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic style. Do not hesitate to go inside to admire its Gothic style nave and columns, its 2 floors Renaissance style choir and the beautiful baroque elements.
6. An Unusual Visit : The Bandit Museum
Yes, you read it well, there is a bandit museum in Ronda. It’s located next to Plaza Duquesa, in Calle Arminan. This museum retraces the history of the region’s most famous outlaws through photos, documents and anecdotes about their lives.
Among them we learn there were bullfighters, flamenco singers and of course smugglers. These men stole from the rich to help the poorest, with a spirit of justice. While being generous, they were merciless killers.
A short unusual visit that will teach you a lot about this little-known aspect of the region.
For more information about the visit, you should go on the official website of the museum (in spanish).
7. Puerta de Almocabar and the Arab Walls
Continue your way through Calle Arminan and Calle Cuesta de las Imagenes to the Puerta de Almocabar, the former city gate.
Because of its geographical location, and thanks to its high walls and gates built during the Islamic period, Ronda was one of the impregnable cities of Andalusia.
In Muslim times, the Puerta de Almocabar was the main entrance to the city and the largest gate. It’s surrounded by two semicircular towers for defensive purpose.
Other ancient walls can be found in the eastern part of the city, with the Cijara Gate. In the western part, you can see the Albacara walls, built to protect the windmills. You can also see 2 other gates: The windmills (Puerta de los Molinos) gate and the wind gate (Puerta del Viento)
8. Ronda’s Arab Baths
When Going back to Ponte Nueve, you can make a detour and head to Ronda’s Arab Baths, located in San Miguel district. These are the most well preserved in Spain.
Built towards the end of the 13th century, they are arranged like the Roman baths with a cold, warm and hot zone. Surprisingly, the hydraulic system is still almost intact today.
You can still see the boiler used to heat the water. Take a look at the ceiling and you will see the star-shaped vents directly inspired by the Alhambra of Granada and its baths.
9. La Casa del Rey Moro
Located in Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, this palace was built by the Moors in the 14th century, who installed an ingenious water pumping system.
The mine water system runs all the way down the gully to the Guadalevin River. You can also take a staircase cut from the rock of 236 steps and which goes down 60 meters to reach a platform allowing you to have a very nice view.
As you go back up, have a thought for the Christian slaves who, every day, made this journey to fetch water.
You can also stroll through La Casa del Rey Moro (House of the Moorish King) sumptuous gardens. Designed by a French architect, Jean-Claude Forestier (the same architect who built the Maria Luisa Park in Seville), these terraced gardens with canals and fountains are simply magnificent. And the view too!
10. Plaza del Socorro
Finish your city tour with the Plaza del Socorro, a pretty little square surrounded by bars and restaurants terraces. The ideal place to take a refreshing break to end this day of visits. You will enjoy a beautiful view of the Nuestra Senora del Socorro Church.
Bonus : 2 Things to visit around Ronda
The Andalusian Winery
Ronda has recently been added to the official list of the Andalusian Wine Route. Hidden in the middle of nature, many small bodegas produce excellent wines that are increasingly appreciated both nationally and internationally.
About twenty institutions are registered in the wine route and some of them offer tours of their facilities, with, of course, wine tasting.
The 2 best known and most visited are the Chinchilla Bodegas and the Descalzos Viejos Bodegas, located in a convent.
20 kilometres from Ronda, Acinipo is an archaeological site. It was once the capital of the region before being abandoned in favor of Ronda.
The best preserved element of the site is its Roman theatre. Its bleachers were dug directly into the rock using the natural slope. You will also be able to admire numerous Roman architectural elements as well as remains of the thermal baths and ancient waterworks.
The setting is very beautiful with views of the surrounding mountains and the Sierra de Grazalema.
Ronda in a day
In one day in Ronda, you will have the time to see all the places I’m talking about in this article. I have presented them in the best order of visit, so you can follow the itinerary easily!
I really enjoyed visiting Ronda, it’s the ideal place for a day trip if you are in Malaga or Seville.
Once parked, you can do everything on foot and see the main attractions during the day. And it must be said that the Puente Nuevo is particularly impressive! It makes Ronda a must-see attraction to visit in Andalusia.
On the other hand, you should not expect to alone there, Ronda is really touristy with a high concentration of tourists per square meters, especially on weekends!
The price of restaurants and cafés in the main squares and historic center reflects it, as they are quite expensive for the area.
Where to stay in Ronda
- Ronda Sol Hostel: Located 100 meters from the city’s arenas, this can be used as a youth hostel because it offers single rooms. Rooms with a little old-fashioned decoration but very clean and with a nice view on the patio from 17€ per night, breakfast included. In addition: the unbeatable price with a hearty breakfast!
- San Francisco Hôtel: Located in the heart of the historical center but quiet. Classic room, clean and comfortable from 49€ per night, breakfast for an extra 6.5€. In addition: the geographical location and the very friendly welcome. The best value for money in town!
- Enfrente Arte: Located 5 minutes’ walk from the Puente Nuevo, this hotel is made for lovers of unusual and original places. Large room with very original decoration from 88€ per night, breakfast at 8€. In addition: the outdoor swimming pool, terraces, excellent breakfast, quiet location.
- Parador de Ronda: Located at 10 minutes on foot from Ronda old town. Large double room with balcony and an amazing view on the mountains, starting at 180€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: The breathtaking view on the gorges and Puente Nuevo, the location, the room confort, the swimming pool, the perfect breakfast and the underground parking (very important in Ronda!). It’s the best choice for a luxury stay in Ronda!
Ronda Tourist Map
Here is a map of Ronda, with all the touristic attractions.
Ever had the chance to visit Ronda? Did you enjoy your stay there?
Andalusia travel Guides
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Andalusia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the Lonely Planet Andalusia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the Rick Steves Snapshot Andalusia guide on Amazon.com
You’re traveling in Andalusia? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Spain: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Spain are listed there.
The 20 Best Things to Do in Andalucia: The ultimate bucket list!
- Itinerary: 4-5 days in Andalucia – The perfect itinerary for a short stay in Andalucia!
- Itinerary: 1 week in Andalucia – With all my best tips + accommodation suggestions!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Andalucia – Discover how to visit Andalucia in 10 days, with all my best tips!
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Andalucia – The best itinerary to visit Andalucia in 14-15 days
- Cadiz: The 12 things you must-see in town!
- Cordoba: Top 15 best things to do and must-see attractions
- Granada: Top 15 best things to do
- Malaga: The 15 best places to visit
- Seville: Top 15 best things to do and places to visit