Santiago de Compostela Vacations

Explore this ancient city built around a shrine to one of the Twelve Apostles. It is packed with historical landmarks: museums, churches and a palace.

Santiago de Compostela is a Spanish city in the Galicia region built around a prominent shrine of Saint James the Great. The city has been an important Catholic pilgrimage route since the ninth century with many intriguing landmarks. Visit the historic center, now a UNESCO site.

Relax and enjoy a picnic in Alameda Park. Relish the calm atmosphere in the serene grounds with unobstructed views of the city’s landscape, which includes the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Go to the old town to gaze up at the giant gothic structure, identified as the burial place of St. James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. This is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics. See the intricate façade bathed in light at night.

See the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Museum inside the building. Peruse ancient artifacts, religious symbols, tapestries, rugs and furniture. The cathedral and museum sit on Obradoiro Square, a large plaza in the historic center. Here, you can find the Palacio de Rajoy, a wide 18th-century structure. It serves as the Town Hall and contains Galicia’s presidential quarters.

Spend several hours at the Museum of the Galician People to learn about the region’s culture, history, music, art, industry and archaeology.

Stroll down the Mercado de Abastos de Santiago (Santiago Supplies Market). Haggle with vendors over the price of fresh food products, including meat and fruit. Taste local cheese and fresh fish. Browse stalls of clothes and perfumes.

In the Plaza de la Quintana area, locate the San Martino Pinario Monastery. The buildings are now an educational institution.

This part of the country has hot, dry summers and mild, very wet winters with one of Spain’s highest winter rainfalls. The Galician language is still widely used in the city, although almost everyone understands Spanish. 

Santiago de Compostela is located in northwest Spain, just north of Portugal. Learn about its rich history before crossing the border for additional Iberian adventures.

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