Cultural Santiago de Compostela
A route through Santiago
Santiago de Compostela is the final destination on the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route and its old quarter has the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
If there is one outstanding thing in this ancient city, it is its stunning buildings and monuments. Be sure to look at the palaces, churches, alleyways and squares in the historic centre and you will see why.
The best thing is to make a good plan for your stay in the capital of Galicia before you arrive. Dress comfortably, get a map of the city and don't forget the camera. This is our suggestion for a pleasant day out in Santiago.
An excellent way to start is with a good walk around the streets and squares of the historic centre. Here you will find a series of narrow streets, squares and granite buildings with centuries of history. Many of them date from the Middle Ages. The Cathedral is particularly outstanding. Its majestic façade towers above Plaza del Obradoiro Square. After visiting this architectural gem you can attend the 12.00 midday pilgrim's mass. During the service they swing the botafumeiro, a gigantic incense burner, from the ceiling of the church. Watching this spectacle from close to is a memorable experience, for sure. Make the most of the occasion to head up to the roof of the cathedral and look out over the whole city.
Before you continue, head for any of the bars and restaurants to discover the gastronomy of Galicia. Once the stomach is full, a good idea is to spend the first few hours of the afternoon in one of the many parks and gardens to be found in Santiago. We would suggest a visit to Alameda Park, in the centre, close to the old town. The park dates back to the 19th century and is, to this day, a privileged viewpoint over the old quarter.
After another pleasant stroll across the centre, you will come to Santo Domingo de Bonaval, another beautiful park situated in an old cemetery with a truly peaceful atmosphere.
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Did you know?
Tradition dictates that when you reach the end of your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela you must embrace the statue of Saint James