Santiago de Compostela

Capital of Galicia

42°52'50"N 08°32'44"W
Altitud máxima: 530 m
Distancias: 599 km a Madrid
1095 km to Barcelona
804 km to Sevilla
957 km to Valencia
537 km a Lisbon

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Santiago de Compostela

The heart of Galicia, the Campus Stellae is located at an almost one hour trip from the main population centres and at thirty minutes from the Atlantic coast. The weight of history and the Way of Saint James, root and foundation of Europe, made the Galician capital a world destination of pilgrimage and tourism over centuries.

Travellers can access Compostela easily by train or flying to Santiago airport. If visitors arrive by car they can use many car parks and service areas in the city and its surroundings, because the dimensions and the structure of Compostela invite to have a walk at any time of the day in a city where time has transformed the rain and the stone of its streets into monuments.
Santiago is based on two inseparable blocks: the monumental area the contemporary one. The historic centre was declared World Heritage in 1985, it is a pedestrian area from the streets Rúa Nova and Rúa Vilar which make an entry to the Cathedral and the squares around it. In front of the main facade there is the majestic Obradoiro square where five architectonical jewels from different eras and in different styles reside. The Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, el Pazo de Raxoi, y el Pazo de Fonseca give a perspective which both visitors and locals can enjoy every day of the year and that together with the basilica, which you can enter for free, are the main attractions of the city. It is recommended visiting the roofs, the museum and the tribune and don't miss the pilgrim's mass and the botafumeiro, its symbolic censer. All this is part of a rich cultural offering, broad as well as pluralistic, which extends to the entire city.


Without leaving the historic centre, nightlife and gastronomy are two attractions you shouldn’t miss. All types of shops with typical products surround the Mercado de Abastos (food market) which became the most visited site in the city after the cathedral. Really close you can find the streets Rúa da Raiña and O Franco, maybe the most representative gastronomic exponents of the old Compostela. They meet the tradition of the primitive medieval taverns. It will be quite difficult to decide on one of the meat, fish and seafood menus of dozens of restaurants and tapas bars that show up on our way.

Out of the old kernel, urban transformation shaped the Ensanche (expansion) of the city decades ago. Outstandingly commercial the area develops in several axes around Rúa do Hórreo (Hórreo Street) which ends at the train station. It also connects with the Alameda Park which is at the edge of the historic centre and has been part of the history of Compostela since the XIX century as a main space for leisure and venue for festive celebrations. A few metres away the balcony of Ferradura Park opens up dramatically to the South Campus where most of the university facilities like student residences and sports facilities can be found.
The historic footprint of Santiago makes a contrast to the contemporary architecture. The most significant example is the City of Culture. This architectural complex designed by Peter Eisenmann at the top of Mount Gaiás recreates the symbolic picture of the scallop shell. It has a wide car park and the visitor can also access taking the paths through Forest of Galicia which offers fantastic panoramic views of the city. The Library and Archive of Galicia is of special interest. It has a cultural programme for all ages, especially during the summer and the City of Culture offers guided tours throughout the year.
In Santiago, arts and nature go hand in hand in thousand ways throughout the city, offering infinite reasons to discover ancient secrets and to enjoy it without a hurry.
Who decides to leave the city can always count on the possibility to make excursions to the surroundings: pazos (specific type of Galician house), riverside parks, historic gardens or beaches are among the main options. Santiago is worth it. Really.

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