With medieval landmarks, a winding seafront promenade, Atlantic beaches and a superb culinary scene, this Galician port city is a great vacation spot.
Set on Galicia’s northwestern tip is La Coruña, an enigmatic city with over 2,000 years of history. Legend states that Hercules founded La Coruña; the Romans, Celts and Moors settled here; and the Spanish Armada set sail from a nearby port in 1588. Spend hours admiring the Romanesque and Baroque landscape of the historic quarter. Relax on sandy beaches and discover the flavors of Galician cuisine.
The Old Town sits on an isthmus between the port area and Orzán Bay. Start in Plaza de María Pita, a regal square framed by the majestic Concello da Coruña town hall. Wander atmospheric streets to Santiago Church and Santa María del Campo Collegiate Church. Don’t miss the Emilia Pardo Bazán House Museum, Museum of Fine Arts of A Coruña and Picasso House Museum.
Visit the Castle of San Anton, a 16th-century stronghold home to an archaeology and history museum. From here the Paseo Maritimo follows the coastline to the city’s peninsula. Here you’ll find the UNESCO-protected Tower of Hercules and Manolo Paz’s Menhirs granite statues. Spot Atlantic and Galician marine life at Aquarium Finisterrae.
Continue back to the city center via the promenade and relax at Riazor Beach and Orzán Beach. More relaxation awaits at picturesque gardens such as Xardíns de Méndez Núñez and Xardín de San Carlos.
La Coruña’s cuisine combines Galician flavors from the coast and countryside. Sample merluza a la gallega (hake with onion, garlic and carrots), goose barnacle and velvet crab at the Old Town taverns. Enjoy a night of musical and theatrical entertainment at Palacio de la Opera, Teatro Colón da Coruña and Teatro Rosalía de Castro.
Outside of the city center there are great views from Monte de San Pedro, accessible via a funicular. Hike trails around Parque de Bens or attend a soccer match at the Estadio Municipal de Riazor stadium.
Get to La Coruña by flying to La Coruña Airport or Santiago de Compostela Airport, which is 37 miles (60 kilometer) to the south. A rental car is a good option to visit more of Galicia’s coastline.