6 things to do in Ronda, Spain

Ronda is a mountain top city in southern Spain, near Malaga and Marbella. It makes the perfect day trip from either place, being only a 30 minute drive from Malaga. That said, I think visiting Ronda warrants a trip in itself and is perfect for a weekend getaway. The city is perched above a huge ravine, which makes for dramatic views and sweeping landscapes. Its also Spain’s first bullfighting town, with a rich tradition of the bull fighter woven in to its culture. Couple that with cobbled streets, plenty of tapas and a good dose of sunshine and Ronda is quite a magical place to visit.

Here are some of the things not to be missed if you are visiting this beautiful city. If you’ve longer than a couple of days here, you may also want to explore some of the surrounding area – including the historical Roman town at Acinipo and the incredible rock town of Setenil de las Bodegas (post coming soon).


1. Ronda Old Town

The heart of the old Moorish town is a labyrinth of little cobbled streets, pretty balconies full of flowers and sun drenched bright white houses. It’s fun to just stroll around, grab some food and enjoy taking it all in. Of particular interest is the Iglesia de Santa Maria la Moyor which is a Mosque turned Catholic church and has a nice viewing deck out over the old town.

Walking the streets of the old town

2. The New Bridge

The most famous site in Ronda is the New Bridge. Ronda is split in half by the 120 meter deep ravine which is home to the Guadalevin river. A bridge was originally built at this point in 1735, but collapsed in 1741, killing 50 people. Thankfully the current bridge is much safer, constructed in 1759 and taking 34 years to build. It’s quite a striking monument and the views all around it are breathtaking.

The incredible ‘New Bridge’

Interestingly, there is a chamber above the central arch which has even been used as a prison! During the 1936-39 civil war, both sides also allegedly used the prison as a torture chamber, killing some by throwing them from the windows on to the rocks at the bottom of the gorge. Today the chamber is much more inviting, being a museum telling the story of the bridge and well worth an hour of your time.

3. Mondragon Palace and Museum

Mondragon Palace was the home of the Moorish king, and then when the Nasrid dynasty took control it became the home of Grenadian governors. Ferdinand II even briefly used the palace following his conquest of Ronda in 1485 (it was a busy year – also the year of the Wars of the Roses’ final battle in England at Market Bosworth).

Mondragon Palace is now the Municipal museum, detailing Ronda’s history from the stone age to today. It’s incredible to see how much the city has changed – from Roman conquest, to Moorish traditions, to Ronda’s heyday in the 1800s. The gardens are also maintained in Moorish style and lovely to stroll around.

The Moorish gardens (L) and views from the palace (R)

4. The Bullring

The bullring is a special place in modern Spanish culture and history. It is the home of the Rondeรฑo style of bullfighting and the Real Maestranza De Caballerรญa De Ronda. This is the oldest and most noble order of horsemanship which traces back to that busy year of 1485, when Ferdinand and Isabella defeated the Moors in Ronda, bringing the city back under Christian rule after 773 years of Islamic rule.

The bullring was built entirely of stone in the 18th century, and is now open to the public to explore. I personally don’t agree with bullfighting, but found it interesting to learn about the history and culture.

Inside the bullring

5. Arab Baths

An incredible historic gem, these baths from Moorish times have survived to today. The baths are similar to the design perfected by the Romans, except that steam was used to sweat out pollutants from the body rather than soaking in hot water as the Romans did. The baths are still in great condition and one of the highlights of a visit to the city.

Inside the Arab baths

6. Roman Bridge

The final stop of the list for a visit to Ronda is the Roman Bridge. To get here, it’s a walk from the grand New Bridge to the oldest and smallest bridge of Ronda that was built over the remains of an ancient Roman bridge. It has been restored over the centuries and very few of its original Roman and Moorish characteristics can still be seen. The bridge is also pedestrians only and the views are beautiful!

View down to the Roman Bridge

And that brings the top things to do on a trip to Ronda to a close. What do you think? Remember, if you’re in the city for more than a day or two, then I also recommend a day trip out of the city (post coming soon). Thank you for reading – stay safe and happy travelling!

28 Comments

  1. Lots of interesting recommendations for things to see and do in Ronda Hannah. Several years ago I spent a few hours there arriving by train from Malaga. It would be lovely to return sometime and explore the city in more detail and to perhaps stay at the Parador Hotel overlooking the ravine. Marion

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    1. Yes it’s a really beautiful city which I think often slips off the radar a bit for the more famous places. Staying at the Parador Hotel overlooking the ravine would be wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a lovely day Marion and thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lyssy! It is a really underrated place I think and so beautiful – I love Spain. Fingers crossed for a trip there soon! Hope tax year end isn’t too horrific and you get some time off soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. That is such a good point, especially hundreds and hundreds of years ago – it must have taken years, and I imagine with a considerable death toll as well. The Arab baths are beautiful, definitely worth a visit! Thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Great post and fantastic photos. Ronda is without a doubt, one of the most amazing hidden gems in Andalucรญa, a stunning region in Southern Spain. I would love to visit the small yet charming hilltop city one day. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks Aiva so much for your kind words. Yes Ronda and the area all around it are beautiful and well worth a visit. I hope you get to visit one day soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely day.

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  3. Ronda looks amazing – so beautiful, old, full of history and secrets. The New Bridge is incredible. How grand. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. I visited all but the Mondragon Palace and the Arab Baths in Ronda when I was there over four years ago. The Mondragon Palace reminds me greatly of the unique arches of Alhambra in Granada and the Arab Baths similar to that of Dona Maria de Padilla at the Alcรกzar of Seville, which come as no surprise considering they’re all inspired by Moorish architecture in that part of Spain, i.e. Andalusia region. Ronda is really a pretty little gem of a place, and it’s definitely worth a spot over to take in the beauty of it all. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes that Moorish feel through all of Southern Spain is so striking and unique (and absolutely beautiful). I can’t wait to be able to visit again soon. Thanks as always for your comments and for stopping by – have a great day Rebecca ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Ah! I was there on a day trip from Sevilla and now I wished I had stayed a night or 2. Missed out on the Arab Baths (we maybe had them pointed out to us from the bridge) and getting to explore the city.

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  6. Wow! Such a fascinating destination. There is so much to explore in this world! Ronda is teeming with history and heritage. The rustic old towns and the arch bridges are charming. I wonder why it is still not a popular choice for tourists. I would definitely love to visit When I visit Spain.

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  7. Such a lovely article. Thank you for sharing its gems and secrets. I think I have been there when I was 14 years old but I must have looked at it through different eyes than I would now. Definitely on my list when returning to Spain!

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