Santiago de Compostela is the endpoint of every Camino, and the prized destination for every pilgrim
This is a beautiful city with a great history and culture to match.
There is so much to see and do in Santiago and many pilgrims choose to spend an extra few days to soak up the atmosphere before saying goodbye to the Camino.
For those of you who have a little less time in Santiago, here is a rundown of things to see and do in 24 hours.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The Cathedral at Santiago is the number one destination for all pilgrims entering the city. Many pilgrims head directly to the square in front of the cathedral to celebrate their journey of a lifetime.
Mercardo de Albastos
The Mercado de Albastos is the market that has served the good inhabitants of Santiago for centuries and is the second most popular place to visit after the cathedral.
The Market sells a mind-boggling array of produce and Galician delicacies. You can visit one of the many restaurants that have popped up around the market or, for a small fee, you can cook the produce you buy in their kitchen.
The Alameda Park
The location of La Alameda Park is one of the best places to view the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago in the distance, especially at sunset. A quiet oasis in the middle of a very busy city, it´s the perfect place to recharge, reflect, share a picnic or meet fellow Pilgrims to share your Camino memories.
The Dos Marias (Two Marys)
If you visit La Alameda Park, don´t forget to visit the two Marys statues, located close to the entrance of the Park. The Two Marys were legends in the 1950s and Santiago has honoured their memory with two bronze statues.
The Pilgrim Office
Every Pilgrim who has walked the Camino de Santiago is entitled to receive a “compostela” (certificate). The compostela can be obtained from the Pilgrim Office close to the cathedral.
Casco Historico means historical centre and is the old town of Santiago de Compostela, as well as being the location of the cathedral. Wander around the ancient streets, take a coffee or lunch at one of the many restaurants, or purchase your Camino souvenirs to take home.
San Martin Pinario Monastery
The 10th-century Benedictine monastery is now a hall of residence for University students, although you can still pay a visit to appreciate the beauty of this baroque building. The church, which is still open to the public, has a beautiful stairway and its walnut choir stalls made by Mateo de Prado are considered the most impressive in Galicia.
The City of Culture
The City of Culture is located outside of Santiago Centro, on a hill above the city. This modern building is a great white mound copying the curves and bumps of earthy hills. The cost has caused much controversy in Santiago. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit, even just to take in the architecture. If you would like to visit, a regular bus service runs from the city centre.
San Francisco Convent
Feeling hungry? Then head over to the San Francisco Convent which housed Franciscan monks in the 18th century. While the monks have now moved to a more modern building, the old convent serves as a hotel and restaurant offering a special pilgrim menu with typical convent or monastery dishes.
If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credit Santiago de Compostela