The Camino de Santiago is much more than an enriching experience. It is also an opportunity to visit the Santiago city, cradle of the pilgrimage, and house of the St. James Apostle mortal remains.

What to do in Santiago, the 4 must that you cannot miss

You have done it! After exhausting days of walking or cycling all that way, here you are. What to do in Santiago now?

You are ready to drop, but alive. And now, what? The city of Santiago is a spiritual goal, and finish line of the most famous pilgrimage of Spain. But also, is a medieval city where you can have a whale of a time.

1/ Get lost in its streets

Santiago is one of the few Spanish cities that seem to conserve untouched that medieval style which give it a secular fame.

That is why, after the compulsory hug to the Apostle statue, you cannot miss the opportunity to walk by its alleyways looking for another pilgrims to contact with.

This city has two very well defined parts: the old medieval city, in the ancient times protected by rampart, and the new city, situated at the south of the wall´s old gates, where the neighbors use to have their main activity.

The old city is a labyrinth of small, narrow and cobbled streets, which convey your steps in the Cathedral. The real centre of the touristic activity, with bars, coffee shops, restaurants and souvenir shops, is located close to the Cathedral, and in the south side of it. It is the most crowded area. But, beyond this zone, between the streets and squares situated at the east side, and out of the people crowded everywhere, you can discover the real life pulse of the citizens of Santiago.

What to do in Santiago, the 4 must that you cannot miss

2/ Visit the Mercado de Abastos (Farmers Market)

Do not you know what what to do in Santiago? The Mercado de Abastos it’s a good option. It looks like the many street markets that you can find all around the Spanish geography, and also in other European countries.

It is located in the old zone of the city. You can find on it different areas for meat, fish, fruit and grocery, and they seethe of activity in the morning.

The market closes at 14. And that is the perfect moment to drop by the multiple bars or restaurants in that area, and discover the freshest products in the city.

3/  Enjoy the Galician cuisine

The north region of Spain is known because of its plates and wines. What to eat at the Way of St. James?

If it is time to have lunch by you visit the Mercado de Abastos (Farmers Market), it is also time to speak about shellfish. Galician people say that they have the best in Europe.

You will find, almost everywhere, excellent fresh shellfish, arrived from the Galician ports.

The most famous restaurants in the city are located in the La Rúa do Franco Street.

We recommend you to ask for the daily menu del día (the set menu), by the lunch time. It usually includes generous portions (sometimes 2 plates) and dessert just by 12 Euros.  

Beyond the shellfish, you can also taste the famous Carne a la Piedra.

It is a big piece of Galician beef presented in the table still cooking in a very hot stone. You can serve yourself while it is cooked.

What to do in Santiago, the 4 must that you cannot miss

4/ Culture and museums

The whole city is a medieval museum, to get lost on, but you can also find good museums, with very high quality exhibitions:

The Cathedral Museum, the Galician Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museo do Pobo Galego (the Galician people museum)

All they are great museums, that deserve some of your time, but if we should prefer one among them, probably we should advise you the last one, with a very good representation of the Galician´s people and culture.

Here we finish with this brief (really scanty) summary about what to do in Santiago, There are also other activities, that we will talk about in next post of the blog Living the Camino.