WEEKEND IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Table of Contents
15 THINGS TO DO FOR A WEEKEND IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Santiago de Compostela is probably the first place that comes to mind when you think about the things to visit in Galicia. But do you really know what this city has to offer? For everyone it is the goal of the famous Camino de Santiago where pilgrims from all over the world gather.
However, Santiago de Compostela is much more than this! Not only will believers find something interesting there. Not for nothing it is considered one of the essential tourist destinations to visit in Coruña. The city impresses every visitor and makes them want to return when they leave.
Now we explain why you have to add Santiago de Compostela to your bucket list.
FACTS AND A LITTLE HISTORY...
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia, located in A Coruña (one of the provinces of Galicia). It is a medium-sized city, with less than 100,000 inhabitants (a third of them are students). The atmosphere of the city is formed by university life and the presence of pilgrims who visit it throughout the year.
The history of Santiago de Compostela dates back to the 10th century A.D. when the Celts founded their villages there. Then the territory was occupied successively by the Romans, Swabians, Visigoths and Moors. However, the city gained importance in the 9th century when the alleged remains of the Apostle James were found there. Since then Santiago became the third most important pilgrimage destination in the world.
WHAT TO SEE AND TO DO A WEEKEND IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA?
Santiago de Compostela is one of these charming Galician cities where every corner will delight you. Therefore, it is difficult to point out the most remarkable sites. However, we have good news for you: since Santiago is quite small you can contemplate all its charms, even if you do not have much time.
Then don’t be frightened by the number of locations we recommend! They are very close to each other, in the heart of the beautiful Galicia. We present them in three categories that reflect three reasons to visit Santiago de Compostela: its architecture, art and nature.
The Cathedral of Santiago
The impressive church, whose construction began in the 11th century and lasted centuries. The Cathedral is an essential place to see in Galicia for every tourist. It is especially important for pilgrims who treat it as the symbol of the end of the Camino de Santiago. Visiting the Cathedral goes up to its roofs, to contemplate the breathtaking views of the city.
Plaza de Quintana
Right next to the Cathedral, with the Torre da Berenguela (the clock tower), known in all the provinces of Galicia.
Plaza del Obradoiro
From there you can see the façade of Obradoiro: the baroque façade of the Cathedral of Santiago, built in the 17th century.
Mercado de Abastos
Markets are something to see in Galicia. All of Spain has interesting markets, but those of Coruña, with the delicious Galician food, its fresh products… Not to be missed during your holiday in Galicia.
Hostel of the Catholic Monarchs
Probably one of the oldest hostels in the world, built in the fifteenth century to the order of the Catholic Monarchs to accommodate pilgrims who made one of the ways of Santiago.
Monastery of San Martín Pinario
Located in the wonderful old town of Santiago, the monastery is the second largest religious establishment in Spain. Definitely something to see in Galicia.
Convent of San Francisco de Santiago
Another religious building in the center of Santiago de Compostela. Its fame is due to the legend, according to which the convent was built to the order of Saint Francis of Assisi himself.
Rúa do Franco
The street of the historic center known for its bars and restaurants, in Rúa do Franco you will feel the vibrant student atmosphere of Santiago de Compostela. The students organize their Paris-Dakar route there, which consists of taking a cane and a tapa in each of their bars.
ART AND MUSEUMS
Ciudad de la Cultura de Galicia
The modern construction located on Mount Gaias, designed by Peter Eisenmann. At the moment it is composed of four buildings that reflect the architecture of contemporary Santiago.
Museum of the Galician People
There you will know the history of the Galician people and their traditions. In the Museo do Pobo Galego , (located just 1 minute from the office of Galicia Travels) you will also find the famous triple helical staircase, something essential to see.
Centre Galego de Arte Contemporáneo
Place that houses pieces of contemporary art of the world renowned authors. Also the building designed by Álvaro Siza draws attention.
The Park of the Alameda
Nature is what makes you feel Galicia, the freshness and beauty of its forests is present in each of the provinces of Galicia. And in Santiago you will not lack. The park of Alameda is a huge green area in the middle, with spectacular views of the cathedral and intriguing sculpture of Las Marías de Santiago (two sisters who lived there in the sixties).
Smaller, but just as charming, the Bonaval Park is a perfect place to rest and have a snack during the tour of Santiago de Compostela.
A mountain outside Santiago, with wonderful views of the city.
Monte de Gozo
Another mountain with views of Santiago de Compostela. Monte de Gozo is a very important place for pilgrims, since from there they see for the first time the Cathedral of Santiago, after performing the French Way. That is why there is a statue of two pilgrims.