Like most of the scenic old towns of Spain, Santiago de Compostela in the north offers a lot of touring experience, historical landmarks, and other wonderful places. But like most of you, the question is: where do I start? And where do I go?
Luckily, we are here and we got you covered. BCN Montjuic Tourist Point is here to tell you the top five activities, places, and historical landmarks you need to visit.
But before we start, here are some honorable mention that you need to take a look at in the final resting place of one of the 12 Apostles, Saint James:
1. Monastery of San Martiño Pinario - A picturesque monastery founded by Benedictine monks in the 9th century.
2. Parque de la Alameda - Come for the well manicured flower beds, ponds, sculptures and fountains stay for the cathedral view.
3. Praza da Quintana- A wonderful square surrounded by amazing architecture and historical figures.
4. Mercado de Abastos - This 300 years old market is a place to behold, both for the goods and the view.
5. Colegiata de Santa María del Sar - If you love Romanesque architecture then this collegiate church is for you.
6. Hostal dos Reis Católicos - This is the oldest operating hotel in the world. Dating back from 1486.
7. Noia - Aside from the grand view, the gothic church of San Martino is enough for you to visit.
Enough with the preliminaries, let’s get started with the main event. Here are the top five places to visit in Santiago de Compostela:
1. Camino de Santiago
One way to visit Santiago de Compostela is to do it via a pilgrimage. And the pilgrims end up at the Camino de Santiago. Also known as the “Way of St. James” this Europe-wide network of pilgrimage trails all lead to Roncesvalles up to Northern Spain in Santiago.
All devotees of St. James take this route and visit the final resting place of the catholic saint. How do you know you’re in the right place? The scallop shell marker is the main point in this pilgrim site.
2. Catedral de Santiago de Compostela
Speaking of pilgrims, St. James’ remains are purportedly laid at the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. What makes this church stand out from all the rest is its romanesque features and other ornate details.
The cathedral is the center of the city. The Baroque building has been the epicenter of all the cultural, historical, and religious makeup of the city.
3. Pórtico de la Gloria
An attraction of its own, this is the cathedral’s main gate. You may find yourself staring at this incredible portal, mouth agape for a very long time.
That’s down to the detail of the Romanesque carvings made by the local sculptor Maestro Mateo in the late-1100s.
Fair to say that this was his life’s work: He agreed the contract in 1168 and the carvings weren’t completed until 1211, six years before he died.
4. Praza do Obradoiro
This vast square is ruled by the cathedral’s spellbinding baroque facade, and as you look around you’ll see masterworks spanning 700 years of the city’s history up to the 18th-century.
In the centre is a stone slab marking “kilometre zero” on the trail.
It’s a suitably monumental setting for the fireworks that take place on the 24th of July, the eve of St. James’ Day.
5. Casco Historico
Within Santiago’s city walls you’ll be forgiven for believing that you’re stepping around a film set.
The Santiago tourism office lets you download an mp3 that you can listen to as you take a languid, three-hour amble around the most prestigious sights in the city’s historic centre, guiding you to all the main squares and ending up in the leafy Alameda Park.
There are still a lot of things to do and visit in Santiago de Compostela and the Galician province of Spain. So what are you waiting for? Call us here at BCN Montjuic Tourist Point and we will take you there.