Ronda is one of those villages that simply can’t get any more spectacular. Perched on a rugged rock plateau high above a gorge, it is adjoined by the photogenic stone bridge called Puente Nuevo. No doubt Ronda is one of the most popular travel destinations in Andalusia for a reason.
In this blog article, you will find out what there is to experience on a day trip to Ronda. We will also share with you the most beautiful sights in Ronda and reveal our personal tips. To make sure you don’t miss any of the highlights, we have put together a city tour that will guide you around the most important locations in Ronda.
1. Ronda Travel Guide: Interesting & Important Facts
Ronda is one of the most popular travel destinations in Andalusia and for good reason. The small town sits enthroned on a rocky plateau and is indescribably photogenic. Known for its monumental stone bridge called Puente Nuevo, it spans the El Tajo gorge, which drops down to about 100 meters deep. The bridge separates the historic Old Town of Ronda (La Ciudad) from the younger district of El Mercadillo.
Ronda is one of the famous white villages in Andalusia, so the white houses are a typical sight here in Ronda – some have even been built directly on the abyss. Despite being home to around 35,000 inhabitants, the winding streets of the Old Town are more reminiscent of a small mountain village.
How much time should I spend in Ronda?
We ourselves (as you can see from the title of the article) visited Ronda as a day trip. Since it’s pretty easy to get around, a few hours in Ronda would be enough to see all the most important sights.
However, next time, we would probably choose to spend a night in Ronda (or nearby), as we feel like you could then enjoy your time there a bit more. Ronda is typically rather busy, especially during the high seasons, so you can use the quieter evening and morning hours to sight-see.
Is Ronda Touristic?
Given that Ronda is the most famous of the white villages in Andalusia, you can probably already guess what’s coming: Yes, Ronda is super touristy. More specifically, it is one of the most touristic destinations in all of Andalusia. We read a wide range of review and opinions in advance – everything from “crowds” to “half as bad” was included.
Our conclusion: We personally did not experience Ronda as overcrowded. However, we have to say that we visited Ronda in November, which is in the off-season. We can imagine that things would look very different in the high season. But at the same time, the city is so magically beautiful that you could easily forgive that.
2. What to Do & See in Ronda: Discover the Most Beautiful Places in a Day
In this section, we are going to share with you the best places for sightseeing in Ronda. We have arranged them in such a way that they create the perfect route for a self-guided tour. In just a few hours, it will take you around all the main highlights of the city. We have also pinned the locations mentioned here in a map at the end of the blog article, so that you can get a better picture of where everything is.
Carrera Espinel & Plaza del Socorro
Let’s start by the parking garage at the end of Carrera Espinel. (You can park your car here for 1.50 Euros per hour. The exact location can be found on the map at the end of the article.) Carrera Espinel is Ronda’s main shopping street. Follow the road towards the centre to the bullring. You can make a short stop at the Plaza del Socorro.
Bullring of Ronda (Plaza de Toros)
If you want to visit a bullring in Spain, now is a good time to do so. The Ronda bullring is one of the most beautiful and oldest in Spain. Aside from this rather questionable tradition, the building is simply stunning to look at.
From the outside, the arena is simple and not overly astounding – it’s only once you’re inside that it shows off how impressive it really is. You can walk along the bleachers and enter the battle area. The arena also has a small museum (Museo Taurino), which you can visit, as well as the stables.
Although bullfights still happen in the arena these days – it’s very rare, which is a good thing. September is the month of the Festival de Pedro Romero, making it a popular month to experience the bullfights.
Another tip: If you just want to have a bird’s eye view of the arena, then go to the roof terrace of the Hotel Catalonia Ronda. With an espresso in hand, you can enjoy the view of the bullring quite comfortably from there. This is also the hotel we would recommend when staying in Ronda. We’ll tell you more about it at the end of this blog article.
Information about visiting the Bullring
Price: 8 Euros per person (9.50 Euros with audio guide)
Opening times: November to February from 10 am to 6 pm, March and October from 10 am to 7 pm, April to September from 10 am to 8 pm
Mirador de Ronda
Before you arrive at the famous Mirador de Ronda, just walk a little bit further north from the bullring to the Parque Alameda del Tajo. From there, you have a great view of the beautiful landscape around Ronda.
As you continue south along the Paseo de Orson Welles, you will then pass by some viewpoints. One of the best known is the Mirador de Ronda at the pavilion, although from here, you can’t quite see the bridge just yet. Keep walking past the terrace of the Parador Hotel (Cafetería del Parador) and from there, you will have a wonderful view of the Puente Nuevo bridge and the El Tajo gorge.
Extra Tip: At the start of the bridge, you see the Centro de Interpretación del Puente Nuevo. You can go down a few stairs here and visit a room below the bridge. The entry fee is only 2.50 Euros, but in our opinion it’s not super worth it.
Jardines de Cuenca (with Mirador de Cuenca)
Before you walk over the Puente Nuevo bridge (which we will save for later), follow the street for a little while longer. Our next destination is the Jardines de Cuenca. These terraced gardens are particularly worth seeing during its blooming season.
Looking back towards the Puente Nuevo, you will have an incredible view and photo opportunity – this time from the other side. There are significantly fewer people in the Jardines de Cuenca than in the area around the bridge. We would imagine the gardens to be very lush, especially during the summer season. Entry is free.
Leave the Jardines de Cuenca at the lower entrance and walk over the Puente Viejo bridge. It is the oldest of the three bridges in Ronda. From the bridge you can already see the next destination on the left: the Baños Árabes – the historic Arab baths.
Baños Árabes de Ronda
Dating back to the 13th century, these historic Arab baths of Ronda are among the best preserved in Spain. Especially on the inside, you can almost imagine how things must have been here. There is also a short video explaining how the baths work. Overall, the Baños Árabes was a pretty quick visit.
To reach the Baños Árabes from the Puente Viejo, you have to go a little bit downhill. If you don’t have much time, you might consider skipping this stop altogether. In our opinion, this wasn’t a huge highlight, especially when compared to the rest of the Ronda. However, they were certainly very interesting to see.
Information about visiting the Baños Árabes
Admission: 3.50 Euros (free on Tuesday from 3 pm)
Opening times: Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm (7pm in summer); Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10 am to 3 pm
Mirador Puente Nuevo de Ronda: The Perfect Photo Spot
The Mirador Puente Nuevo de Ronda is, without a doubt, one of the best view points in the city. For those who are more sure-footed and up for an adventure, this is definitely something you should not miss! From the Baños Árabes (or the Puente Viejo, if you skipped the Baños Árabes), simply walk uphill again towards the Old Town (La Ciudad) – which we will cover soon.
To get to the viewpoint, start at the Plaza de María Auxiliadora. It should take you down to the lookout point in about 10 minutes. Neither the path nor the viewpoint are well signposted, but it’s pretty hard to get lost. Caution: if you are travelling with children, just beware that there is no railing! So you have to be extra careful with your footing.
From the lookout point, you are rewarded with a stunning perspective of the bridge and gorge. A real postcard motif from Ronda.
La Ciudad (The Old Town of Ronda) with the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent
Once you’ve walked back to the top, it’s time to explore the Old Town of Ronda – also called La Ciudad. With its narrow, winding streets, white houses and magnificent buildings, it’s hard not to be charmed. The buildings in this Old Town dates back to the time of the Moorish rule.
One of the most significant sights in the Old Town is the Church of Santa María la Mayor. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited, but the view from up the tower is said to be very worthwhile. The church is located in the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, a beautiful square where you’ll also find the Town Hall.
Walk across the Puente Nuevo
Last but not least: It’s time to cross the most famous bridge in Ronda – the Puente Nuevo. Until now, you have only admired this bridge from various angles around the city. But the last highlight of your day trip will be the walk over the famous bridge itself.
You are rewarded with spectacular views from the bridge, looking down about a hundred metres on both sides into the El Tajo gorge. Once you cross the bridge, you can get from the Old Town (La Ciudad) back to the newer district of El Mercadillo. If you head back towards the Carrera Espinel, you will arrive back to the starting point of your tour.
3. Restaurants and Cafes in Ronda: Our Tips
Since Ronda is rather touristic, there is a large selection of restaurants to choose from. Here are some of our personal recommendations.
BioPicnic: Small, secluded café located on a side street in the middle of the historic Old Town. Perfect place for a little snack in between. They have delicious freshly squeezed juices, coffee, cakes and small snacks – all organic!
Restaurante Las Maravillas: Restaurant located directly on the shopping street near the bullring. Serving excellent tapas in a modern, cozy atmosphere. The vegetarian selection is limited, but we still really enjoyed it.
Restaurant with a view of the bridge: In Ronda, it is very popular to enjoy a solid lunch or dinner with a view of the bridge and the gorge. We personally haven’t visited any of these restaurants, but the restaurants of the Hotel Parador and the Restaurante Albacara are rather well-known and have very good reviews.
4. Accommodation in Ronda: Where to Stay?
Unfortunately, we decided against spending a night in Ronda and instead just did a day trip from Málaga. However, we would probably do it differently next time. If we had booked a hotel, our choice would have definitely been the Catalonia Ronda.
The hotel is located next to the bullring, so it’s very central. The rooms are modern and spacious. One of the highlights is the awesome rooftop pool with a beautiful view of the arena and the surrounding landscape. Breakfast is also said to be very good.
You can view and book the hotel here: Catalonia Ronda
Transparency: Affiliate Links
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, then we will receive a small commission. This does not change the price for you at all. A million thanks from the both of us!
Have you ever been to Ronda? We would love to hear about your experiences and tips. Perhaps you’re planning a trip to Ronda and still have some questions for us? Either way, we look forward to reading your comments below!