48 Hours in Santiago de Compostela: See, Do, Eat

0
(0)

Santiago de Compostela is tucked in the north-west corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Since it is the capital of the Galicia region, it is one of Spain’s most important cities.

Filled with fascinating museums, lively tapas bars, beautiful architecture, and gorgeous parks, this historic city is well worth a visit. And 48 hours is just enough to explore all the best Santiago de Compostela has to offer.

Why Go?

Each year, this glorious Spanish city welcomes hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Although it is primarily a Christian pilgrimage to the grave of Saint James, it is popular with adventurers, hikers, and cyclists from all walks of life.

While most of these pilgrims reach Santiago de Compostela on foot, after hundreds of miles of walking, the town also welcomes those who prefer to arrive by more modern transport.

- Advertisement -

There is much to appreciate in the city even if you take the easy route. Thanks to the rivers of exhausted yet exhilarated pilgrims who enter the city each day, and the locals who wholeheartedly welcome visitors, Santiago de Compostela is always beaming with life.

Day One

Morning

If you want to enjoy a cup of coffee in an atmospheric square, head down to the Old Town. After you energize yourself, you can explore the magnificent monuments, stone archways, and cobbled streets around Santiago’s most beautiful quarter. It is a great place to simply take in the Santiago life as well as shop for some souvenirs.

Afternoon

If you want to sample some local dishes for lunch, there are many traditional Galician restaurants in the area. O Curro da Parra is a great choice because they offer excellent three-course dishes on weekdays at attractive prices.

Your first traditional Galician lunch might look something like this: Galician cockles as a starter, roasted lamb in semolina sauce as the main course, and a red wine sorbet and chocolate coulant for dessert.

To learn more about the magnificent history of the city and how it became such a popular pilgrimage, you can visit the Museum of the Pilgrims and Santiago (Museo de Peregrinos y de Santiago.) The visit may even inspire you to walk the last few miles of the Way of Saint James and become a pilgrim yourself.

Evening

This is a great time to learn more about the ancient pilgrimage that has made this old city such a popular destination.

- Advertisement -

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient network of pilgrims’ ways that lead to the shrine of Saint James located in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Naturally, this is a very short version of the story of the Camino.

If you want to learn all about the history and significance of the pilgrimage as well as admire an impressive collection of sacred art and ancient relics, visit the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Museum. Take this opportunity to go on a guided tour of the cathedral’s rooftop, and you need to visit the cathedral itself as well.

Every evening at 7:30 pm, there is a Mass at the cathedral. If you are not religious, the service itself may not be that interesting to you, but the giant swinging censer that disperses incense from the top of the church will certainly grab your attention.

If you want to try the best tortillas (Spanish omelets) in the whole region of Galicia (or in the entire kingdom of Spain, according to the locals), head down to Bar la Tita for dinner. Just half of a tortilla is enough to feed 6 people, so be sure to bring some company.

Day Two

Morning

At this point, you will have learned a thing or two about Galician cuisine, so why not make a Galician breakfast by yourself? The best place to pick up some traditional Galician produce for breakfast is Mercado de Abastos—the most famous food market in the city.

The market is filled with over 70 stalls and has a rich history that dates back to 1873. If you are planning on taking some of Santiago’s delights home with you, this is the best place to buy some Traditional Galician honey and cheeses.

Afternoon

On a hill just outside the old town lies the famous Convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval. It is home to the Museum of the Galician People (Museo do Pobo Galego). Dating back to 1220, this establishment is the perfect place to learn more about the rich history of the region.

Aside from this museum, you will have plenty of time in the afternoon to visit the Center for Galician Contemporary art —CGAC, which is located right next door. Showcasing over a thousand works from the second half of the 20th century, it is one of the best art galleries in the country.

Evening

There are many great restaurants and tapas bars nestled between the cobbled streets of Santiago de Compostela. If you want to try more typical Galician dishes, boiled octopus with paprika (pulpo a la Gallega) is a great choice for dinner. A traditional sweet and moist almond cake, locally known as tarta de Santiago, makes for an excellent dessert.

If you want to mingle with the locals, Restaurant Marte may be your best option. It is a great place to try the famous local white wine—Albariño, as well as grilled meat and fish dishes.

Casa de Manolo on the Praza Cervantes is an excellent place for those who prefer to dine with the pilgrims. This restaurant offers big portions and very attractive prices—just what the pilgrims prefer.

The Weather

From fall to spring, the weather in Santiago is usually rainy. May, June, and September are the best months to visit Santiago if you want to enjoy soft temperatures and avoid the rain. The temperatures are usually between 44 and 57°F in winter. In summer, the temperatures typically range between 77 and 95°F.

Getting Around

The city’s best restaurants, museums, and landmarks are condensed within a fairly small area, so you can easily get around on foot.

Currency

Obviously, since Spain is in the Eurozone, you’ll be using Euros. However, do note that most restaurants, bars, and locals prefer to deal in cash. Most places and ATMs accept MasterCard and Visa, but watch out for exorbitant exchange rates.

How useful, enjoyable, or helpful was this post?

Click to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

- Advertisement -
Rebecca Brown
Rebecca Brown
I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm, and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.

Related Articles

Trending

Three Washington State Spots to Soothe Your Hobbit Soul

Pining for the Shire? Here are a few places to visit to quell your hobbity cravings in Washington State without visiting Middle Earth (or at least New Zealand).

Going Victorian in Port Townsend

If you want to explore times of yore (sorry about the rhyme), head to Port Townsend for their annual Victorian Festival. We did in 2018 and encountered many a thing, including frightening(ly beautiful) ball gowns, tintype photography, and ghost stories.

In the Trees: Your PNW Treehouse Bucket List

We visited the Nelson Treehouse Company’s B&B Treehouse point, along with a couple of other in-the-tree locations (the Forest House, Free Spirit Spheres, and -- at least in spirit -- the treehouse at Doe Bay) in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a lowdown on getting high (up in the trees at least) along with a listing of other treehouses in the PNW you can rent.

Feeling Drawn to the Water? A PNW Wetsuit Guide

The Pacific Northwest is a great place for water sports, but it can be cold. Here are some great tips for choosing a wetsuit for the Pacific Northwest from evo -- a Seattle based outdoor gear retailer.

Visiting the Sequim Lavender Festival: A (Tiny) bit of...

Sometimes referred to as "America's Provence," Sequim sits in the Olympic rain shadow, so it sees more days of sun that some other parts of western Washington State -- and grows a LOT of lavender! Here's more about Sequim's Lavender Festival that takes place each July, tips for visiting, information about a few of the farms, and a link to an interative map of area lavender farms you might want to visit.

Famous Seattle Graves (and Where to Find Them)

If celebrity burials are your thing, the number of Seattle's famous dead denizens does come close to rivaling many larger, and older, cities. But we do have a few here, and they're worth visiting if you like cemeteries. Here's more about where to find the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee, Jimi Hendrix, and Chief Sealth (Seattle), along with a listing of a few others with a more local claim to fame.

Popular Categories

Top Rated Posts

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x