Santiago De Compostela hotels
Suave Santiago De Compostela
Renovations and various architectural additions have meant that, like fine wine and Sean Connery, the northern Spanish city of Santiago De Compostela has only improved with age.
While it’s advisable to immerse yourself in Santiago De Compostela’s odd (and rather far-fetched) history at the Cathedral Museum, you should spend just as much time investigating the local food scene. Get your hands on a bottle or six of some Albariño wine andpair it with the local speciality, pulpo (cooked octopus), to make the city proud. Santiago De Compostela’s World Heritage-listed Old Town dishes out more cheese than a Hollywood rom-com, while the pimentos de padrón is worthy of its own saying: ‘Los pimientos de pardon, unos pican y otros no’ (‘in a single serving, some are spicy while others are not’). Which pretty much sums up a city that is anything but predictable.
Santiago De Compostela's Top 10
10. Colexiata de Santa María do Sar A little like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it owes its fame to its tilt.
5. Mosteiro de San Martiño Pinario Church This old church now operates as a museum, and features the original Renaissance choir stalls.
9. Museo de Arte Sacra Visit in the evenings to hear the nuns singing vespers.
4. Mosteiro de San Paio de Antealtares Keep the nun jokes under your breath in this convent, and don’t miss the statue of the slit-throated San Paio.
8. Ciudad de la Cultura A modern cultural centre on Monte Gaiás, it includes a library and museum.
3. Catedral del Apóstol Built in the 18th century, so a baby in the eyes of many of the other buildings.
7. Praza das Praterías Don’t miss the beautiful views and the Fuente de los Caballos fountain.
2. Catedral de Santiago De Compostela Supposedly the burial spot of the apostle St James – which is a pretty decent claim to fame. To say it is ornate would be an understatement.
6. Praza do Obradoiro Pilgrims have been visiting this spot for centuries. It gets its name from the stonemason workshops that once stood here.
1. Museo da Catedral Explains the centuries-old significance of the cathedral. There’s lots to learn, so make sure you leave enough time.
Santiago De Compostela History
- Catedral de Santiago De Compostela – Most of this church was built in 1075 and 1211, but it has been added to and rebuilt over the centuries.
- Museo da Catedral – An impressive cathedral that features an original stone choir designed in 1603.
- Praza do Obradoiro – Many of the Camino pilgrims migrated to this place. Also, stonemasons set up their shops here during the building of the Catedral de Santiago De Compostela.
- Museo de Arte Sacra – A simple church that contains the original altar that was raised of the relics of Santiago.
- Casa do Cabildo – A place for the clergy to stay, it was built in the 18th century and faces the Fuente de los Caballos.
Santiago De Compostela Art & Culture
- Museo das Peregrinacions – A museum of eight rooms that explore the phenomenon of the Camino de Santiago.
- Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea – An art gallery that hosts exhibits of modern Santiago De Compostela art.
- Fundacion Eugenio Granell – An art gallery containing the surrealistic and ethnic works of Granell.
- Ciudad de la Cultura – A cultural centre built on top of Monte Caias featuring a library, an archive and a museum.
- Museo do Pobo Galego – Formally the Convento de San Domingo, this museum contains exhibits on Galician life and arts.
Santiago De Compostela Shopping
- Sargadelos – Old town Santiago De Compostela contains numerous small shops selling jewellery, handicrafts and Galician lace.
- Area Central – A market that sell fresh produce, meat and fish.
- El Corte de Ingles – A five-level department store that sells household goods, footwear, clothing and other necessities.
- Follas Novas – A bookstore where you can get information about Camino de Santiago and other historical events.
- Farmacia Bescansa – An old chemistry where you can get traditional items like eau de toilette.
Gay & Lesbian Santiago De Compostela
- HS – A dance club that is popular with the local GLBT community.
- O Curruncho – A music bar with dancing and great drinks.
- Man Ray – A neighbourhood Santiago De Compostela pub.
- Disco Ruta – A nightclub featuring disco music.
- Hotel Pazo de Altamira – A gay-friendly hotel.
Santiago De Compostela Outdoor
- Cathedral Rooftop Tour – An outdoor tour that provides a bird’s-eye view of Santiago De Compostela.
- Compostur – A walking tour of the city that takes approximately two hours to complete.
- Praia del Orzan – Located in La Coruna, this beach is a great place to sunbathe or participate in water sports.
- Praia As Catedrais – A beach with lots of natural areas to explore, including lagoons and natural rock formations.
- Albarino Wine Tour – Private tour of the Albarino wine country.
Santiago de Compostela Sport
- Go hiking along the Pilgrimage Route to Santiago de Compostela.
- Hire horses from Saint James Way Tours and go horseback riding along the Portuguese Trail.
- Go surfing at the Praia del Orzan or Praia As Catedrais.
- Take advantage of the amenities at the Santiago Fontes do Sar Multi-Purpose Complex.
- Take in a sports game at the University of Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago De Compostela Events
February/March brings the Santiago De Compostela Carnival. Just before Lent, everyone celebrates by dressing up and gorging on lots of indulgent foods.
June sees the Noite de San Xoán or Night of St John. Bonfires blaze throughout the city and locals jump over the flames in a ritual believed to ward off evil spirits.
The Feast Day of St James takes place in July. The night preceding it, the town is alight with fireworks, music and laser shows.
December and January bring the Todo Lírica Festival. A series of evening performances take place to celebrate the zarzuela – a form of Spanish operetta.
When To Go
- The winters in this part of Spain are very wet, and can last from September until the following June.
- Summer is less rainy, but only slightly warmer, with temperatures pretty consistent throughout the year.
- While the yearly average is 19ºC (66ºF), January temperatures can drop to 8ºC (46ºF).
Being a fairly small city, Santiago De Compostela is easy (and safe) to walk around.
Several buses circle the city. A single ticket costs around €0.90.
Taxis are relatively cheap, and drivers are usually willing to give advice.
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