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

Check out Santiago's Modern Art Scene

Cidade da Cultura no Monte Gaias
Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias
R. de Ramón del Valle-Inclán, 2, 15703 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Phone +34 981 54 66 19

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)

02 of 10

Santiago Cathedral

View of the Cathedral in Santiago

 Chris VR / TripSavvy

Praza do Obradoiro, s/n, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Phone +34 981 58 35 48

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.

03 of 10

Try the Galician Seafood

Pulpo (octopus) in Santiago de Compostela
(c) Damian Corrigan
Galicia, Spain

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,

04 of 10

Take Part in a Queimada

Take part in a queimada
Dani Vázquez
Rúa do Vilar, 47, 15705 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Phone +34 981 56 44 59

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.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Walk to Santiago!

Follow the yellow arrows to Santiago
(c) Damian Corrigan
Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain

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

06 of 10

Visit Finisterre

The end of the world, also known as Finisterre
Image: Commons (Some Rights Reserved)
Fisterra, A Coruña, Spain

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.

07 of 10

Take a day trip to A Coruña

A Coruña's Roman lighthouse
(c) Damian Corrigan
Torre de Hércules, Av. Navarra, 15002 La Coruña, Spain

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

15705 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain

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

Praza do Obradoiro, S/N, 15705 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Phone +34 881 55 79 45

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

10 of 10

Museo de las Peregrinaciones

Praza das Praterías, 2, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Phone +34 881 86 73 15

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.

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Things to Do in Santiago de Compostela