Santiago de Compostela
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The 5 Best Things to do in Santiago de Compostela

Built around an iconic cathedral, Santiago de Compostela offers plenty to see. With tourism its major industry, visitors are more than catered to, and welcome to explore the capital of Galicia, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

This huge cathedral offers numerous Catholic services throughout the day, including an English mass at 10:30AM. The real showpiece is the midday Pilgrims' Mass. Arrive early.

Botafumeiro

Botafumeiro

This ornate thurible, in which incense is burned, is found in the library portion of the Cathedral. Suspended from the ceiling, it is only used during important services.

Plaza del Obradoiro

Plaza del Obradoiro

This vast square is the heart of Santiago de Compostela and is one of its main attractions. The buildings all hold particular history; join tours to understand their significance.

Casco Historico

Casco Historico

This is the Old City, and its name is no understatement. A visit to these cobbled streets is like a step back in time. Try getting a little lost - you never know you'll see!

Museo da Catedral

Museo da Catedral

Art and archeology date back to Roman times in this museum, where you can learn everything you need to know about the Cathedral. Entry is just 6€ per visitor.

Planning Your Santiago de Compostela Visit

Walk the pilgrims' path

Also known as the Camino de Santiago walk, or the Way of St. James, this pilgrimage can take a couple of weeks, or even months, although many complete it in stages. Any route between St. James and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral qualifies, but some routes are more popular, so do your research and make sure you are up to the challenge. Routes are marked throughout Spain, France and Portugal and hostels dot the way, making accommodation relatively simple.

Getting there

Fly into Santiago de Compostela Airport from around central Europe. Visitors from further afield may have to connect in London or Amsterdam.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +34
  • Best time to visit
    April, May, June, and September are the best months to visit, especially if you plan to walk the pilgrims' path, because they are warm and dry, and everything is open.

Things to Do in Santiago de Compostela

Top Attractions in Santiago de Compostela

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What people are saying about Santiago de Compostela

The trip was a great experience for the value. Even when you were just sitting in the bus between destinations, the views and surrounding area were beautiful. I think there were maybe 20-30 minutes at each stop - aside from lunch, which was probably around 2 hours - but that was usually enough time to explore and take pictures. The guide was great. (I cannot remember her name, but she was Italian.) I was the only English-speaker in the group, and she made sure to pull me aside so she could explain everything to me and let me ask any questions. She also directed me to a nice restaurant for lunch. The food might have been a little more expensive, but the waiter I had was so helpful and awesome, my lunch was one of the highlights of the trip. I really enjoyed the trip and would recommend to others.

We covered a lot of ground. Our tour guide was very good, the bus was comfortable., the only downside was that Muxta was fogged in, but then that made for some interesting lighting effects if you're a photographer. Ezara Falls was less than exciting due to the adjoining power plant and resultant inability to get close, but nevertheless worthwhile. Ponte Maceira was better than anticipated and the bus driver proved his skill crossing the narrow bridge in the face of a stalled vehicle. Fog or no, good trip, recommended.

From Santiago: Full-Day Finisterre & Muxia Guided Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 11/11/2019

The experience was wonderful. First class all the way. Our guide Paloma was very knowlegeable about the historical significance of the towns we visited and was a wealth of information. The tour was relaxed and unhurried. We were given a lot of opportunities to enjoy the scenery, take beautiful photographs and create wonderful memories to remember.

We had a great experience. Overall, Simon was our guide and he was great. His English is fluent, excellent (which is not so common for Spanish people). In the end of the tour, he gave us many Gastronomic tips in Santiago, which helped us to get along in the city.

Santiago: Cathedral and Downtown Tour with Local Guide Reviewed by Anonymous, 02/07/2020

Simon was an excellent guide.he knew about the history - all 2000 years od it. He was very engaging, showed us places off the beaten path. this tour was an afternoon well spent to better appreciate and enjoy all of our Tim in Santiago de Compostela.