Whether you're visiting Santiago de Compostela for the first time or you're a returning visitor, there's so much to do and see. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Santiago's atmospheric old town is home to a range of churches, monuments and museums.
The Cathedral of Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Its Baroque and Romanesque stylings blend together in a truly stunning architectural experience.
Casco Antiguo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important tourist attractions in Santiago de Compostela. Its labyrinth of medieval streets and ancient buildings are a treat for the senses, combining Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture with quaint old-world ambience.
It is the home of the Cathedral of Santiago, a stunning Romanesque structure looming over Praza do Obradoiro, the heart of the Casco Antiguo district. You can lose hours exploring its intricate details, soaking up the history and admiring the incredible architectural design.
You can also visit the Art Centre of Santiago for a glimpse of the latest trends in contemporary Galician art. Here you will find exhibitions, workshops and lectures. The venue also holds special events to celebrate the local community and culture.
Cathedral of Santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago is one of the city’s top attractions and one that you won’t want to miss. With its stunning Romanesque architecture and elaborate opulent Baroque main altar, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites worldwide.
The cathedral has three naves separated by opulently carved Romanesque arches, and the Churrigueresque Altar Mayor (High Altar) rises towards the east end. Its awe-inspiring pillars and ceiling are an impressive sight in themselves, but the highlight of the building is undoubtedly the crypt beneath the main altar that contains the tomb of St James.
While the Cathedral draws pilgrims for its religious significance, it’s also a cultural attraction that’s brimming with art. There’s a museum inside that features a large 16th-century Plateresque cloister, and displays of Galician art are regularly on offer as well.
Parque do Lago
Parque do Lago is a pleasant place to stroll around and relax, taking in the view of the city. It also has a lot of activities and events that take place here throughout the year.
This green space is a popular destination for locals and visitors to Santiago de Compostela, as well as for tourists who want to enjoy some fresh air. You can spend the day reading a book under the shade of an oak tree, go for a picnic or just watch the world go by.
The CGAC (Galician Contemporary Art Centre) is located here. It's a striking structure designed by Portuguese architect lvaro Siza.
Another museum that is worth visiting is the Gaias Centre. It has a collection of contemporary art and is free to visit. It also has a library, a theater and a central plaza for outdoor performances.
Pazo do Faramello
Pazo do Faramello is one of the best places to visit in Santiago de Compostela, especially for those who are interested in the region’s rich history. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once home to the city’s first industrial factory, which produced paper until it closed in the 19th century.
- It also has a thriving wildlife habitat that shelters a variety of creatures like owls, foxes, herons, squirrels, vermillion frogs, and kingfishers. This makes it a great place for those who enjoy nature to get away from the city and explore Galicia’s unique ecosystem.
- Another UNESCO World Heritage site in Santiago is the Parque do Lago, which boasts beautiful lakes and hiking trails that are perfect for a relaxing stroll. It is a must-visit for both locals and visitors to the city.