Updated: May 13, 2021
Logroño is the capital of the province of La Rioja, in northern Spain. It is a town in the heart of wine country, filled with character, amazing people, outstanding food, and of course, delicious wine. It is located on the Ebro River, and lies 152 km (94 mi) from Bilbao, 172 km (107 mi) from Zaragoza, 336 km (209 mi) from Madrid and 468 km (291 mi) from Barcelona.
This engaging city is so full of life. There are parks and shops inviting you in. Pintxos bars with spectacular food and heavenly drinks. People are always out and about. In the mornings, an espresso is often enjoyed, up until mid-afternoon. Lunch is usually around 13:00 (1:00pm), and siesta, or nap time, is generally around 14:00 - 16:00 (2:00pm - 4:00pm). As is typical in most of Spain, dinner is usually around 21:00 (9:00pm), and often enjoyed with the company of others. On a Saturday night, at 20:00 (10:00pm) you will find the streets bustling with people from infant to elderly, out enjoying the air and the fares.
If you come to Logroño, one thing they do really well are mushrooms. In this city, these fungal bites of heaven are known as champiñones or setas...but they are different preparations and types of mushrooms as seen below.
Both of these are fantastic, but I must say the champiñones, a butter and garlic salt basted cooked mushroom with a shrimp inside, served on toast is SO GOOD.
The food is, well to be honest, another level here. They have some of the best pintxos bars I've ever been to. There are lots of seafood options, meat options, vegetarian options, and all available to be washed down with some of the best local wines you'll ever taste. Of course beer or vermouth are also popular options, though I don't often see people drinking cocktails.
The city has shopping, everything from big brand name stores like Zara, to small boutique shops. As you stroll through this very walkable city, you will see everything from florist stores, to hat shops, the huge church in the center of the city, children's clothing stores to book stores, and wineries. You'll even find markets that are filled with fresh produce and meats...oh the meats. I've mentioned before that jamón is king in Spain, and oh it is so true. It is also so incredibly enjoyable to eat. What's more, the unbelievable number of ways it is prepared and served, and you can find many of these in these markets!
While Logroño may not be on the most beaten travelers path, it should be. The views are spectacular, the people are warm and welcoming, the weather is cool enough in the winter to need a coat and warm enough in the summer to not need one, but not extreme on either end. There is an airport (a quick 50 minute flight from Madrid), a train station with a high speed train that will get you to Barcelona in 3 hours 40 minutes, a bus station that will take you 2 hours north San Sebastian. There are exquisite villages just outside the city full of history and charm.
If you are looking for a place to experience on your next adventure, put Logroño, La Rioja, Spain on your list. You may just find this city gives you an amazing experience and takes a piece of your heart at the same time.