The historical center of Santiago has great monuments that reflect its richness and the settlement of important people with great influence and power.
The main axis is around the Cathedral, a building that was begun in 1075 over the remains that Almanzor left and finished in 1128, with sculptures by Mateo.
The architectural complex that is formed by the Cathedal with its eclectic facades, the Plaza de Obradoiro with the buildings of the ancient hospital for pilgrims, the university, the archiepiscopal palace, the city hall and the Quintana square is considered to be one of the most beautiful complexes in the world.
The Obradoiro facade was made by Casas Novoa in 1740, baroque style, like the Azabachería one, made by Ferro Caaveiro and Fernández Sarela, modified by Ventura Rodríguez.
No less beautiful is the Platerías, made by Mateo in 1103 and, above all, the Pórtico de la Gloria, a masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture concluded by Mateo in 1188, a second facade behind the Obradoiro one, that protects it from the rain and humid weather of Santiago.
One of the most beautiful places I've ever been, I must say I really enjoyed the road to Santiago, which I travelled along for 7 days, and the day I arrived was very special. I encourage you to visit it. CATHEDRAL EXCELLENT INSIDE AND OUT, facade of the Obradoiro Square. You can see St. James and in the tower on the right is Mary Salome. The tower on the left you can see the Zebedee. To the left, on the balustrade Santa Susana and San Juan can be seen. To the right, on the rail to Santa Barbara and James the Menor. Disciples.
This Parador is considered, along with the Parador de San Marcos (León), as one of the gems of the Paradores network. Without a doubt, both sites are definitely worth a visit at least once in your life. This building is located in one of the most symbolic places in Spain (and Europe), the Plaza del Obradoiro, it conforms with the cathedral and the university ... It deserves to be honoured in it's setting; no wonder it was built by Ferdinand as a pilgrim hospital (1499). For those ve do not want to go as a pilgrim and have the pleasure of staying for lunch / dinner...Here you have all the necessary information:
Good quality / affordable price, 180 euros
Pl Obradoiro 1, Santiago de Compostela Tel 981 582 200 Fax: 981 563 094
The Market of Abastos of Santiago, designed by architect Joaquin Vaquero Palacios, was built in 1941 where the City Market used to be and is undoubtedly one of the city's liveliest places. With a spectacular setting, people come from many parts of Galicia to sell their products like potatoes, cheeses, liqueurs, Padrón peppers, etc. According to many guidebooks, this market is one of the five largest in Spain and the second most visited in the Galician capital. Something that is odd is to refer to a city full of art treasures, culture and tourism. In the market cafe, you can eat anything you bought plaza: clams, prawns or squid. The price? Ten percent of the purchase amount. The charm of this market never ends, the stone, the peasants, the smell, the colours.
We had just arrived to the city and, after spending several hours walking around Santiago, before returning to the hotel as we had thought to just sit and relax, when a Galician friend encouraged us to visit the Alameda Park. It's really beautiful! And if you go at sunset, you'll love the views of the cathedral. Full of sculptures, this huge park focuses on students on full "kit-kat" athletes, that practice jogging or even nature loving tourists. If you go to Santiago try to spend at least a few minutes here.
The City of Culture, while unfinished, has several buildings open to the public. You can take a free tour which will explain a little about the project. For more information, look online at www.cidadedacultura.org to see more information about the temporary exhibits. Overall, we enjoyed out experience.
Certainly Platerías Square is busiest around Santiago, I would say that more than the Obradoiro, one is famous and the other just supports the village. The place is so called because in ancient times it's where the goldsmiths went to sell their silver, even today there is a beach shop and jetti with interesting prices. In the middle of the square there's the fountain of horses from the 19th century but certainly the fame of the square is because it is accessed from the side of its south facade, the only Romanesque cathedral.
The Bonaval park is behind the Church of Santo Domingo de Bonaval (which houses the Galician People Museum, the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians, and the famous staircase) and the CGAC, the Galician Centre for Contemporary Art. The Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza was commissioned to design both the museum building and the park. Santiago is a city with no shortage of greenery, but this spot has become a favourite of many locals. An ancient cemetery and the garden of the monks are the foundation of this park that offers views of the Basilica of Compostela that are quite different from the norm. You can see all the chimneys of the city from this park, most of them in homes that belong to the church. A further feature of a city full of religious symbolism. Another curiosity in the park is Santiago's only private cemetery, which for over five centuries has been used for members of the Rosary Confraternity.
This is the current city hall for Santiago and the Galician Government, Rajoy Palace is on the east side of the Plaza del Obradoiro, just opposite the Cathedral. The horse statue on top of the building, representing Santiago Matamoros stands out. Whenever I've been in Santiago it's always been the first thing I've seen when in this square.
On the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela you'll find the Monte del Gozo. It's a part of the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrims pass through this part. So, there are 2 statues signifying the arrival of pilgrims to Santiago. From Mount del Gozo, in the distance, you can finally see Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral.
This Christian pilgrimage route was of great importance during the Middle Ages, leaving an important artistic and cultural imprint across Europe. People have been flowing across this path for ten centuries, and in recent years it's been revitalised so much that it's in danger at times of being overcrowded, contrary to the spirit of the pilgrimage. The Camino has eight main routes across Spain: the sea route, the north route, the Primitivo, the Via de la Plata, the English way, the Portuguese way, and the extension to Finisterre, but the most common route is the Camino Frances, or French Way, which starts in Spain in Valcarlos (Navarra).
It can be said that there are as many routes as there are pilgrims, and the long history of the Camino has created hundreds, if not thousands, of variants. Goethe said that "Europe began with the Camino de Santiago", and it is probably the best slogan for a project of common coexistence that is still going strong ten centuries later. There are routes that run through a wide number of Spanish provinces. The architecture of the Camino de Santiago is essentially Romanesque, as it was in the eleventh and twelfth centuries when it had its greatest splendour. The attached photos are of Santo Domingo de la Calzada in La Rioja, one of the most beautiful parts of the journey, and Puente La Reina.
The city of Santiago de Compostela has a wonderfully rich and historic appeal to amaze its visitors. Such is the importance that it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco a few years ago. Between its main artifacts, we find its renowned Cathedral of Santiago, a center of pilgrimage for the Christian religion and a masterpiece with a Gothic facade. Among its main attractions, we have to mention the Gelmírez Palace, the Royal Hospital, the Palacio de Rajoy and the Colegio de Fonseca.
Santiago de Compostela Airport is located about fifteen minutes from the center of the city. It is relatively small but has great facilities. At the entrance is a large self-service cafeteria and shops selling Galician products - cheese, wine, spirits and souvenirs. It is the only Galician airport offering intercontinental flights (to South America) as well as European destinations (Dublin, Rome. Paris, Liverpool, London...) and of course domestic flights to Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Bilbao, and others. A taxi from the city center to the airport costs around 16 euros. If you prefer to go by bus, there is one that starts at Calle Doctor Teixeiro and also passes by the bus station, for 1.80 euros. The service begins at about 6 in the morning and runs almost until midnight. Iberia, Vueling, Clickair, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Berlin and Ryanair are among the carriers that operate lines here.
To get to know the true Santiago de Compostela you must walk through its old streets. Undoubtedly, the Ruela of Entrerrúas is one of my favorite places in Santiago. It is the second narrowest street in the city (the narrowest is the Ruela saesepodes, Alley salsipuedes), although the latter is not strictly a street as it doesn't have any doorways. The main peculiarity of the Ruela of Entrerrúas is that the rocks that form the streets are numbered. It is impossible for two people to walk through it in opposite directions. It has a wonderful light, is very special, and it still has a sewer, street lights, houses and 2 BARS! ...
In San Miguel dos Agros Street, you can find the Pilgrimage Museum, explaining everything about the Camino de Santiago and its history. This is a fourteenth century building known as Gothic House, renovated in the seventeenth century, and one of the oldest secular buildings in the city. Here you can see a fascinating collection of art, and learn all about the history of the Camino. The museum opened in 1996, and is spread over three floors, with a huge, comprehensive collection, and everything you could possibly want to know about the Camino.
The Market Square is not anywhere near as big as the Boqueria market ... But it has something that makes it special. Among the churches of San Felix and San Augustine, and the stalls offering seafood, meats, fruits, and vegetables, you'll find a remarkable glimpse of local colour, and this is said to be the second most visited spot in the city, after the cathedral. The cooperative that runs it has introduced some modern services - you can now buy online - but the traditional feel remains, with the bustle, the smells, the noise of the chickens ...
The Rúa do Vilar is one of the most important streets in the old city. It runs between Rua Nova and Rua do Franco and ends at the Plaza de las Platerias and the cathedral. The most important buildings on this street include the Casa do Dean, a stately building overlooking the Plaza de las Platerías where pilgrims completing the Camino de Santiago can receive their official certificates. Some of the city's oldest and best-known shops can be found here, including the Iglesias hat shop, which has been open since 1912. At number 78, Baraka sells traditional hand-crafted jewelry with a modern touch. Libreria Encontros is one of my favorite bookshops in the city, with all kinds of books, including a large selection about Santiago and the Camino. On the cultural level, Rúa do Vilar is home to the Caixa Galicia Foundation and the Gallery of Modern Art.
Plaza de la Quintana is one of the largest squares in Santiago. It is also important because it is behind the Cathedral of Santiago (east gate) and has the entrance to SANTA DOOR, which is only opened in the Jacobean years (any year where July 25th falls on a Sunday). One of my favorite things about this place is its austerity and its stairway, where many pilgrims and tourists stop to rest and it is always filled with all kinds of people, including many hippies and world travellers. Another great thing is to hear the chimes of the cathedral at dusk. The Clock Tower which containing the bell Berengaria is very close, and whenever it chimes it can be heard echoing in this square. In summer there are events of all kinds in this square. There is usually a stage for concerts or performances, especially in the festivities of July 25, the day of St. James. Another peculiarity of this place is that one side, opposite the Cathedral, there is a huge cloistered convent (Convento de San Paio Antealtares), which is still inhabited by nuns. Also in summer there are many terraces where you can enjoy a drink in the square. To eat: Creperie Cre-Cotte.
There are endless things to do in Santiago de Compostela, a city full of places to get lost. One of the best experiences you can have in the capital of Galicia is to venture through its winding streets. The supply of stuff to do in Santiago de Compostela is varied, starting with the Camino de Santiago. Most pilgrims try to complete at least one stretch of road to finish at the cathedral, the center of worship and Christian pilgrimage and without a doubt the most famous of the places to visit in Santiago de Compostela.
After a nice morning walk, there's nothing better to rest your tired legs than enjoying some Galician octopus or traditional pies outdoors. The pork, seafood, and Padrón peppers are the perfect accompaniment to pair with a Galician wine. For dessert, a piece of Santiago cake -- often flavored with almonds -- is the ideal way to finish.
Wondering what to do in Santiago de Compostela and interested in a cultural experience? You can visit the City of Culture of Galicia. Admire the architecture and interior exhibitions and events at this exciting and educational Santiago de Compostela attraction.
If you want to organize a route of all the best things to see in Santiago de Compostela, it is best to go to one of the tourist offices. They'll probably recommend some top Santiago de Compostela activities, like visits to La Alameda and San Domingos de Bonaval, which has one of the best views of the city. Abastos Market is the second most popular of the attractions in Santiago de Compostela. The University in Santiago de Compostela has more than 500 years of history. Around the campus you can see the main shopping streets and buy some handicrafts.
Visit Minube to learn more about the top Santiago de Compostela attractions.