17 Reasons You Need to Visit Ronda, Spain

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by admin

Ronda is a beautiful town in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia. It’s known for its bridges, baths, bodegas, and bullfighting ring. Perched in the mountaintops, this quaint Spanish town spills over two sides of a steep gorge, with several bridges connecting the two halves of the city. Ronda is known as the City of Dreams, and I have to agree it merits the title.  I’ve visited Ronda numerous times over the years. (I used to live in Spain!) In this guide, I’m sharing my top 17 reasons why you should add Ronda to your Spain itinerary!

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How to Get to Ronda


Ronda is a famous pueblo blanco (white town) in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia. Nestled in the hills, Ronda has unparalleled views of the El Tajo Gorge, the Sierra de la Nieves Natural Park, and the Serranía de Ronda (Ronda Mountain Range).

Ronda is easily reached as a day trip from several nearby cities, including Malaga (101 km away), Seville (133 km away), and Cadiz (144 km away). 

You can reach Ronda by car, although you should know that parking can be an issue. Ronda is a small town and there’s limited street parking. There are some garages, but just be sure to leave some time in your itinerary to navigate parking. During my third trip to Ronda, we took a car. It took us some time to find a parking spot, but we were ultimately successful. 

You can also take a bus to Ronda. I took the bus on my two other trips to Ronda. It was very easy to navigate the public transportation system, and the bus was comfortable.

Another option is to take a train to Ronda. The Ronda Train Station (run by ADIF) is located centrally in town. (It’s only a 13-minute walk from the train station to the famous bridge.) 

The nearest major airport to Ronda is the Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (airport code AGP).

TIP:If you’re looking for flights to southern Spain, I recommend checking the SkyScanner website to search for the best airfare prices for your dates of travel. 

Driving to Ronda, Spain
A beautiful scene at golden hour from our drive to Ronda

About Ronda

Ronda is one of the oldest cities in Spain. (If you want to check out the oldest city in southern Spain, check out our post on Cadiz!)

The El Tajo Gorge divides the city in two distinct halves. There are 3 bridges that connect the two sides of the city. The Guadalevín River runs through the gorge.

El Tajo Gorge in Ronda
A peek down at the bottom of the gorge


Ronda is divided into two halves: El Mercadillo (in the New Town) and La Ciudad (the Old Town). 

Early cave paintings in the Cueva de la Pileta demonstrate that people lived in the area at least since the Neolithic period (informally known as the Stone Age). In the 6th century BC, the Celts arrived in Ronda and named the city Arunda. Since that time, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Carthaginians, and the Moors have all had settlements in Ronda. 

Ronda, Spain (Andalusia)

Ronda currently has a census of approximately 35,000 residents. Ronda has approximately 163,000 international tourists visit each year, making it one of the most popular destinations in Andalusia.

Tip: If you want to have a more quiet experience in Ronda, we recommend staying overnight. That way, you can see the city early in the morning before the crowds arrive by train and bus.

Ronda is known for being the birthplace of the Spanish bullfighting tradition. The city is also known for its Puente Nuevo, which is a large bridge that connects the city’s two halves. 

While you’re in Andalusia, check out our full guides to Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera, and Vejer de la Frontera!

Ronda in Spain

Guide Books for Spain

Before you head to Spain, make sure to pick up a guide book! Here’s a few that you might be interested in:


I personally like to buy a guide book, sit down with a cup of tea, and start daydreaming about the details of my upcoming trip!

17 Reasons to Visit Ronda

There are tons of reasons to visit Ronda, and here are 17 of our favorites!

1. Puente Nuevo (New Bridge)

Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Spain
This bridge was my favorite part about Ronda!


Although the Puente Nuevo is called the new bridge, it was actually completed in 1793. However, it is the newest of the 3 bridges that connect the two halves of Ronda. 

The Puente Nuevo is a majestic sight to behold. The towering bridge runs 120 meters (390 feet) deep into the gorge. If you’ve ever seen a postcard of Ronda, it’s likely that the Puente Nuevo bridge is the image depicted. It took 34 years to build the bridge.

The Puente Nuevo has a triple arch with giant stone columns. A chamber above the central arch that was used as a guardhouse and a prison. Today you can enter the chamber for yourself as it now contains an exhibition about the bridge’s construction. 

I first saw the Puente Nuevo when I was in high school visiting Spain for a mini study-abroad field trip. We stopped in Ronda for a night and I hadn’t seen any photos of the town. We arrived to Ronda at night, so when I walked across the Puente Nuevo for the first time, I had no idea just how deep the gorge was below. When I walked over the bridge again in the morning, I was absolutely stunned to see just how tall the bridge was! Photos truly don’t do justice to the scale of the bridge when you see it in person.

2. Puente Viejo (Old Bridge)

The Puente Viejo is the second-oldest bridge in Ronda. It is the lowest of the 3 bridges and only carries pedestrian traffic.

The Puente Viejo was built in 1616. It’s believed that the Puente Viejo was built over the remnants of a pre-existing bridge. 

3. Puente Arabe (Moorish Bridge)

The Puente Arabe is sometimes called the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge). The bridge itself was built by the Moors, but it’s believed it was built over the remnants of a previous Roman bridge. This bridge was built at the end of the 14th century. This bridge is located just steps away from the town’s famous Arab baths. 

4. Arab Baths

One of the major things to see in Ronda is the Arab Baths (Baños Arabes). These are the best-preserved Moorish baths in all of Spain. The baths were operational from the 13th to the 16th centuries.

The bathhouse was built next to the entrance of the city, so its visitors could cleanse themselves before entering Ronda. 

The Arab Baths contain three primary rooms: a cold room, warm bathing room, and hot bathing room. The main room of the bathhouse features large arches and skylights carved in geometric patterns. When you visit the Arab Baths today, you’ll also see the Saqiya (water pump tower) and the aqueduct.

When I visited the Arab Baths in Ronda, I enjoyed learning about the cultural and religious practices of the Moors. The bathhouse demonstrated excellent engineering for its time, and the architecture was beautiful.

5. Bullfighting Ring (Plaza de Toros)

Bullfighting Ring (Plaza de Toros) in Ronda, Spain, Andalusia

Ronda is known as the birthplace of bullfighting, and the city’s Plaza de Toros seats over 5,000 people. The bullring is even larger than Madrid’s Plaza de Toros. The bullfighting ring was built in 1785.

Currently, the Plaza de Toros hosts bullfighting only once a year for the Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero that occurs each September.  

You can enter the bullfighting ring for a small admission price. We also recommend that you visit the adjacent museum. At the museum, you’ll be able to see bullfighting costumes and regalia, and learn about the history of bullfighting.

Fun fact: Pop-legend Madonna shot her video “Take a Bow” in this bullring. 

6. Puerta de Almocábar (Old City Gates)

Another location you’ll want to visit in Ronda is the Puerta de Almocábar. The old city gates were built in the 13th century and are massive. Technically there are two city gates. The Puerta de Almocabar is the first gate, and a later-built gate was named the Charles V Gate. 

Because Ronda was situated on the top of a hill, it had a strong defensive position. The old city walls created a fortress that helped to protect the city. 

7.  Walk Along the Alameda del Tajo

Reasons to Visit Ronda in Spain, Andalusia (Photo of the Alameda del Tajo)

One of the most picturesque things to do in Ronda is to walk along the Alameda del Tajo. This public park consists of a promenade and balconies that overlook the gorge below. It’s the perfect place for scenic photos! The park also contains fountains and a duck pond. 

8. Palacio del Mondragón

The Palacio del Mondragón is one of the oldest buildings in Ronda. It was built in the 14th century and currently serves as a museum. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella even made this palace their residence when they were in Ronda. Currently, the museum will provide you an overview of Ronda’s history. The building also contains a beautiful Moorish courtyard. 

9. Walk Down to the Gorge

One of the best views of Ronda is actually from the gorge below. From the river, you’ll be able to see the massive bridge and towering city. The path down to the gorge can be found in the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora. 

10. Iglesia del Espíritu Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit)

The Iglesia del Espíritu Santo is a Christian church located in Ronda’s Old Town. King Ferdinand ordered the church to be built over the remains of a Moorish tower that was in the shape of an octagon. 

11. Museo Lara

The Museo Lara is a museum filled with items related to witchcraft, weapons, clocks, and more. The entire museum is from a private collection. There are 12 different rooms and there is a small admission price. 

12. La Casa del Rey Moro

La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda, Spain

This 18th-century building has hanging gardens, a water mine, and a Neo-Mudejar-style house. The palace gardens were my favorite part about visiting La Casa del Rey Moro. There’s a really beautiful old well with the most perfect backdrop.

13. Eat Tapas in Ronda

While you’re in Ronda, be sure to stop by a tapería (restaurant that serves tapas). 

Some places you might consider are:

  • Taberna El Almacen: This restaurant is located just a few minutes’ walk away from the Puente Nuevo. This tapas bar has a large variety to choose form. (Address: C. Virgen de los Remedios, 7, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain)
  • Toro Tapas: This tapas bar is in the heart of Ronda. (Address: Carrera Espinel, 7, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain)
  • Restaurante Don Miguel: This hotel has excellent views, as well as a restaurant. Grab a drink and some tapas and enjoy! (Address: C. Rosario, 6, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain)
  • Restaurante Bardal: If you have the finances, you will definitely enjoy visiting Restaurante Bardal. This restaurant has one-Michelin star. Of course, you’ll dine on more than just tapas! (Address: C. José Aparicio, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain)

14. Visit a Winery in Ronda

Ronda is situated in an excellent wine region. In fact, the nearby Roman city of Acinipo was literally named “City of Wine”! Ronda produces all sorts of wines, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, tempranillo, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. You can book a wine tour from Malaga, which also includes a vineyard lunch. 

15. Visit for a Festival

Whether you’re visiting Ronda during the Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero, Carnaval, or Semana Santa, it’s always fun to see a Spanish town’s unique festivals.

I visited Ronda during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) festival. I was in high school visiting Spain over spring break, and I didn’t know anything about the traditions. When we arrived in Ronda, I heard loud music and followed the crowds. I saw a procession of Nazarenos, whose members are known as penitentes (penitent ones). They traditionally wear a capirote, which is a cone-shaped hat used in Catholic processions. Needless to say, my first thought as an American was an entirely different group!

16. See the Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent

Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent in Ronda, Spain

You can find the Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent in La Ciudad side of Ronda. This is the main plaza, or central square, in Ronda. It’s also called the Plaza Mayor. This is the primary public gathering space in Ronda.

The gardens here are filled with cypresses, palm trees, and laurels. You can also find the Fuente de la Duquesa de Parcent (a beautiful fountain).

There are many beautiful monuments in this plaza, including the Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mayor. The church with its large bell tower was purposely built over the ruins of a mosque. The church took over 200 years to build and is filled with numerous architectural details. It’s worth staying in this plaza until the hour changes, because you just might hear the bells ringing. 

Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mayor in Ronda, Spain

17. Visit La Melonera

La Melonera is a bodega (winery) located about a 20-minute drive outside of Ronda’s central city. The winery specializes in “forgotten grapes” of the region, such as La Melonera grape and the Blasco grape. You can book a guided experience of this winery, and we recommend that you make reservations in advance. The winery estate is gorgeous!

Guided Tours of Ronda

One of the best ways to see Ronda is through a guided tour or experience. Here’s a few you might be interested in:

Ronda in Spain (Andalusia)

Best Hotels in Ronda, Spain


There are many beautiful hotels in Ronda. Here’s a few to consider:

Parador de Ronda: This 4-star hotel has excellent views of the gorge and the Puente Nuevo. The hotel is housed in Ronda’s previous Town Hall building. The hotel has large rooms, balconies with a view, and a gorgeous pool.

Hotel Montelirio:  Another beautiful 4-star hotel with views of the gorge is Hotel Montelirio. The hotel is set in a 17th-century palace. The hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool, air conditoning, Turkish bath, and a restaurant.

Hotel Alavera de los Banos: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, this is a hotel you might want to consider. The hotel is located near the Arab Baths. 

For a list of hundreds more lodging options in Ronda, click here

Ronda, Spain (Espana)

What to Pack for a Trip to Ronda

If you’re visiting Ronda, we recommend that you bring the following:

  • Voltage converter: If you’re traveling from the United States, you’ll need one to use your electronics in Europe.
  • Power bank: If you’re walking around all day, you’ll want a power bank so you can charge your phone on the go. We use our phones heavily for navigating and photography, so we never run out of battery power.
  • Insulated water bottle: An insulated water bottle will keep your water cooler for longer. We’ve linked the one that we personally use.
  • Day pack: Make sure you have a good day backpack to store all your valuables and souvenirs.

(Click on any of the above images for current pricing and shipping information.) 

About my Trips to Ronda

I’ve visited Ronda on at least 3 separate occasions. As I mentioned above, my first trip to Ronda was part of a travel-abroad excursion I took with my high school Spanish teacher and classmates. I was instantly drawn to the city and it left quite an impression on me.

Three years later, I decided to study abroad in Spain and I lived in Cadiz for a semester. My Spanish host-dad drove myself and two classmates to Marbella (a beautiful coastal town) and Ronda for a day-trip. Once again, I was charmed by the geography and architecture of Ronda.

Later that semester, my entire study abroad program visited Ronda as one of our planned excursions. During this visit, we learned more about its history. I especially enjoyed getting to visit the Arab Baths during this visit.

Tiles depicting Ronda, Spain

Frequently Asked Questions About Ronda

Is Ronda, Spain, worth visiting?

The city of Ronda is absolutely worth visiting. A steep gorge divides the city into two halves, and picturesque bridges connect the two sides of the city. I’ve personally visited Ronda several times, and I would definitely bring family and friends to Ronda as part of their Spain itinerary.

What is Ronda, Spain, known for?

Ronda is famous for being the birthplace of Spanish bullfighting. It’s also well-known for its Puente Nuevo, a massive bridge that connects the two sides of the city across a steep gorge. For this reason, over 160,000 international tourists visit Ronda each year.

How many days do you need in Ronda?

To see the main sights in Ronda, you’ll need two days. However, if you’re primarily interested in the bridge (Puente Nuevo) and the bullfighting ring, you could easily visit Ronda as part of a day trip. 

Is Ronda, Spain, walkable?

Ronda is a small town and is very walkable. In fact, walking is the best way to see the city. Parking is limited, so it’s best to stroll through the Old Town to see all it has to offer.

Is there still bullfighting in Ronda?

Despite being the birthplace of bullfighting, the city of Ronda only hosts one bullfight per year. This occurs during the Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero.

Ronda, Spain (Andalusia)

Summary: Travel Guide to Ronda, Spain

Even after having visited Ronda several times, I would gladly return to this beautiful Spanish city. Because of its central location in Andalusia, it’s possible to visit Ronda as a day trip from several prominent cities. However, if you have the time, I definitely think it’s worth spending at least one night in the city. There’s enough to see over two days, and even more importantly, it’s nice to have the time to soak in the views and not be rushed.

Ronda, Spain (Espana)

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Thanks for reading!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading Spanish novels, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!