Things to Do in Santiago de Compostela

What to see in Galicia's finest city

Santiago de Compostela is Galicia's most famous city and is the destination of the Camino de Santiago. On this page you'll find my suggestions for the best things to do in Santiago de Compestela.

Read more practical information on visiting the city in my Santiago de Compostela Guide

See also: Spain's Best Sights: City by City

  • 01 of 10

    Santiago Cathedral

    things to do in santiago
    ••• Santiago Cathedral. Image: (c) Damian Corrigan

    Santiago's cathedral is one of the oldest in Spain. It holds the tomb of St James, which is nominally why pilgrims walk the Camino de Santiago (though the pilgrimage is actually much older than that).

    See more pictures of Santiago Cathedral.

  • 02 of 10

    Try the Galician Seafood

    Pulpo (octopus) in Santiago de Compostela
    ••• Pulpo (octopus) in Santiago de Compostela. (c) Damian Corrigan

    Galicia is famous for its pulpo or octopus. If you find the slippery texture too much for you, Galician food has plenty of other dishes that are worth a try.

    Read more about Galicia Food,

  • 03 of 10

    Take Part in a Queimada

    Take part in a queimada
    ••• Take part in a queimada. Dani Vázquez

    The queimada is both a way of hoarding off evil spirit and a smokin' drink to rid you of the rain-induced blues often induced by Santiago de Compostela weather.

    Lar das Meigas in the city center organizes regular queimadas.

  • 04 of 10

    Walk to Santiago!

    Follow the yellow arrows to Santiago
    ••• Follow the yellow arrows to Santiago. (c) Damian Corrigan

    Santiago de Compostela is the destination of the Camino de Santiago. Traditionally you walk from your own home. These days most people who want to do the 'whole' thing walk from the French border. But the minimum that is accepted as having 'done' the Camino is to walk the last 100km (most people start from the town of Sarria if they want to do this). These 100km take most people three or four days. There's a certificate waiting for you in Santiago if you complete it!

    Read more about the Camino de Santiago

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Visit Finisterre

    The end of the world, also known as Finisterre
    ••• The end of the world, also known as Finisterre. Image: compostelavirtual.com/Creative Commons (Some Rights Reserved)

    Finisterre (Fisterra in Galician) is the old final destination of the pilgrimage that is today known as the Camino de Santiago. The most westerly point of the Roman Empire (well, not quite, but who's counting) Finisterre's position at 'the end of the world' has been important to pagans ever since. The treacherous waters (which have earned the coast along here the name 'the Cape of Death') have enhanced the apocalyptic ambience here.

    You can take a bus here or walk from Santiago - the journey takes about three days.

    See pictures from Finisterre or read about my Camino de Finisterre.

  • 06 of 10

    Check out Santiago's Modern Art Scene

    Cidade da Cultura no Monte Gaias
    ••• Cidade da Cultura no Monte Gaias. Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias

    A very good (and free!) modern art gallery in Santiago is the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, which concentrates on the Galician art scene but which also has exhibitions of more international artists. And not far away is the Museo Fundación Eugenio Granell, dedicated to the work of A Coruña's surrealist painter. Also worth checking out is the Cidade da Cultura no Monte Gaias (pictured)

  • 07 of 10

    Take a day trip to A Coruña

    A Coruña's Roman lighthouse
    ••• A Coruña's Roman lighthouse. (c) Damian Corrigan

    A Coruña is Galicia's other major city. The Tower of Hercules, the beautiful coastline and some excellent restaurants are some of the attractions of A Coruña. Read more on A Coruña and How to Get from Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña.

  • 08 of 10

    Alameda Park

    Go for a walk in the picturesque Alameda park. There is a great view of the city from here.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Cathedral Museum

    Learn about the history of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in its excellent museum.
  • 10 of 10

    Museo de las Peregrinaciones

    If you've walked to Santiago, or even if you haven't, the pilgrimage museum is a fascinating display of just how historic this route is.