Santiago de Compostela is one of the most famous cities in Spain, as it marks the end of the Camino de Santiago. Check out our list of the top places to visit in Santiago de Compostela.
The Cathedral, the number one place to visit in Santiago de Compostela
This is an absolute must-see when you visit the city. The cathedral itself in enormous, with architectural designs encompassing Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic. The cathedral is situated in an enormous square, which allows you to have plenty of vantage points. The most important site to visit in Santiago de Compostela is the relic of St. John, located inside the cathedral. This is what draws thousands of pilgrims every year and is extremely important to the Catholic church. The church also has an excellent rooftop viewpoint where you can see all of Santiago de Compostela. The interior of the church is also spectacular, the chapel of St Gloria being a particular highlight.
The cathedral museum
It would be a shame not to visit the cathedral museum once you have seen the cathedral. This is also one of the highly recommended places to visit in Santiago de Compostela. The museum tells the story of the city, from it´s birth and religious importance, to it´s modern day heritage. You can also see artworks related to the city and several architectural wonders, such as a cloister and library.
The City of Culture
This is a design masterpiece and one of the best exhibition places to visit in Santiago de Compostela. It looks a little like a range of hills, surrounding a mound and inside it has houses seasonal exhibitions. The design itself is impressive even if you decide not to go inside. There are also concerts and workshops that run alongside the exhibitions.
San Martin Pinario Monastery
The beauty of this church is that it houses a particularly impressive stairway and wooden choir stalls. These are considered to be the best to visit in Santiago de Compostela, if not in all of Galicia. There is also a museum to visit with several religious artefacts, but the monastery itself is now a hotel and student residence. However, for a little slice of history, it is well worth seeing.
This is the perfect respite from the sometimes crowded streets of the city centre. The main walkway offers some beautiful views of the old town and the cathedral. There are also plenty of resting spots to have lunch or to relax and people watch. You can also see statues relating to Spanish, Galician and city history. This is one of the more relaxed sites to visit in Santiago de Compostela and is perfect for charging your batteries.
There are actually two of these museums, one which focuses on Santiago de Compostela and the second which has exhibitions relating to global pilgrimages. This provides an informative insight into the importance of pilgrimage in religious life and why Santiago de Compostela is so preeminent in pilgrim culture. The best part of this is that both are free, which makes the two museums an excellent recommendation for what to visit in Santiago de Compostela.
After this, if your appetite has been piqued by seeing the hordes of pilgrims arriving into the city, you can attend the Pilgrims Mass. This is a special mass at noon every day, welcoming new pilgrims on the completion of the Camino Santiago. You may also see the Botafumeiro, which is an enormous incense-spreader, one of the many traditions that can be found in the city.
This is just a short list of what to visit in Santiago de Compostela, so please contact Iberinbound for more information on city breaks in Galicia.