Santiago de Compostela is not only the destination for the thousands of pilgrims who travel the route every year, but it is also a marvellous city, a world heritage site that houses a multitude of places and activities that will surprise you. Let yourself be captivated by the charm of one of the most historic cities in our country in the following article.
How to get to Santiago?
Santiago de Compostela is the capital and one of the most important cities of Galicia. This makes it a perfectly connected and easily accessible place from anywhere in Spain and Europe. The airplane is the most recommendable means to cover long distances. Santiago has a well communicated airport with domestic and international flights.
Land transport is also highly recommended, whether by car, bus or train. The biscuit capital is connected by highways and railway networks with the main cities of Galicia such as Coruña or Vigo as well as with Madrid.
How many days are recommended to visit Santiago?
This is something very personal that will depend on the time we have. We must not forget that Santiago is one of the most important cities and capital of Galicia, even so its dimensions make it a welcoming place and easy to travel.
Most of the tourist attractions are close to each other so two or three days is an ideal time to get to know the Galician capital. One of the handicaps can be the climate, quite rainy, which can make us lose one day although we must bear in mind that Galicia without rain would not be Galicia.
Headquarters of one of the oldest universities in Spain Santiago also stands out for the youthful and leisure atmosphere that is breathed in the city. This can be seen in the great atmosphere in its streets and places of leisure until well into the night.
Is it expensive to visit Santiago?
The value for money of this city is enviable. You will be especially surprised by their prices in terms of gastronomy, transport and accommodation. We must not forget that Santiago is also the seafood capital par excellence where you can enjoy the best quality at popular prices.
What to eat in Santiago?
We are not exaggerating if we say that in Santiago one eats in luxury. There are plenty of places to eat good, nice and cheap without losing quality. Its proximity to the Galician coast makes shellfish its main but not only attractive.
Among its most award-winning products we can also find fresh fish, pimientos del padrón and the world-famous Pulpo a Feira or Pulpo a la Gallega: cooked octopus seasoned with olive oil, salt and paprika that you cannot miss.
The gastronomic offer is completed with typical dishes such as the Galician broth, the empanada, the lacón con grelos or the Galician veal with denomination of origin that can be consumed in any of its forms: churrasco, chuletón or sirloin.
In order to water these delicacies, be sure to try one of the wines with the designation of origin of the land or its most famous beer: Estrella Galicia. To finish off, there is nothing better than a pomace or a coffee liqueur accompanied by a piece of Tarta de Santiago.
What to see in Santiago?
Santiago Cathedral: According to legend, here is the tomb of Santiago. In addition, it is the place of the famous pilgrim mass, with its only botafumeiro of more than 53 kilos. Entrance to this mass is free every day from 12 noon onwards.
Market of Supplies: The second most visited place in the Galician capital just behind the cathedral. It was built in 1937 to house all the vendors in one place, the current building consists of more than 5600 square meters where you can enjoy the freshest and ecological products of Galician cuisine. Don’t stop shopping and talking to any of the nearby bars to have your food prepared on the spot. An essential visit.
Monte do Gozo: Especially recommended for those who make the Camino de Santiago as it is one of the points where you can glimpse the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago for the first time.
Plaza del Obradoiro: Considered the center of the city, it is the meeting point for the thousands of pilgrims who make the famous Way of Saint James. Some of the city’s most emblematic buildings can be found here, such as the cathedral and the town hall. If the weather allows it, we recommend making a stop along the way to enjoy the transfer of life in Santiago.
La noche de Santiago: Being one of the university cities par excellence you can breathe a youthful atmosphere with a lot of nightlife. We recommend a night walk to enjoy the illuminated monuments, listen to the tuna or look for the enigmatic shadow of the pilgrim in Quintana Square.
Where to eat?
With an almost unlimited gastronomic offer, choosing where to eat can become a real odyssey. Therefore, to make your task easier, we have listed below our personal recommendations where you can enjoy the best quality at the best price:
If you fancy a taste of Galician seafood, there are two restaurants that stand out above the average: El SextoII (Rúa da Raíña, 23) and Xantares (Rúa do Franco, 40). Another good option is to go to the market, there you can buy whatever you want and for a small price any of the adjacent restaurants will cook it for you.
To taste the famous Pulpo a Feira and/or a good Galician beef steak, we recommend Mesón do Pulpo (Calle de Vista Alegre, 57). Another good option, especially if you accompany the weather, is pulpería O Tangueiro, located on the outskirts of Santiago next to the French road has free swimming pool and spectacular views of Mount do Gozo.
Tita (Rúa Nova, 46) has the best tortilla in Santiago. For its part, the restaurant Orella (Rúa da Raíña, 21) is a good, pretty and cheap place where, as we can see its name, they put some incredible pork ear tapas. Other recommended places are bar Orense (Rúa da Raíña, 25) with one of the best coffee liqueurs in the capital and cuncas of wine at only 50 cents.
To enjoy Santiago’s nightlife, the Casa das Crechas bar offers good live music and magnificent decoration. Pub Momo (Rúa da Virxe da Cerca, 23) has three different rooms where you can party or have a more relaxed drink. Another good option is A Gramola with its typical Celtic live music. To be informed of cultural activities do not forget to take a look at the agenda Compostela.oxe with a comprehensive summary of all events that are organized daily.
If you’ve come this far, you’ll have noticed that Santiago has many places and experiences to discover for those who visit. Whether you are a pilgrim or just passing through Galicia, this is an essential visit that you will surely enjoy.
Do you know other sites that are not included in this article? Don’t forget to leave us a comment with your recommendations.
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