Places to see
The first thing to do is to go out and walk the streets and squares of the old town. After that, you can see the cathedral, 40m away from your apartment. We recommend you to wait until 12h to get inside the cathedral, so you can attend the pilgrim mass and see how the “botafumeiro” works. Once there, do not miss the opportunity of seeing the cathedral's roof. This majestic building, built in 1212, has been all over the years the aim of thousands of pilgrimages.
We suggest you as well to walk around the two main parks and gardens with panoramic views of the monumental area: San Domingo de Bonaval and the Alameda.
San Domingo de Bonaval contains two interesting museums inside. The main ethnographic museum of Galicia, the “Museo do Pobo Galego” (museum of the Galician people), placed in the old monastery of San Domingo, has a beautiful gothic church and a fantastic baroque staircase compounded by a triple spiral.
Besides this museum, in Bonaval we can find the CGAC (Galician Centre of Contemporary Art) which is very remarkable both for its inside and exterior, for it has been designed by the internationally renowned architect Alvaro Siza. Both museums have in common the park of San Domingo de Bonaval, which offers exclusive views of the old Santiago.
The central park of the Alameda is the most noble and beloved one for the citizens of Compostela. From this park we can take the best picture of the cathedral, standing out majestically in the horizon.
Back on the historical part of the town, we will also find the photogenic Abastos market. This is the main and most traditional market of the town, and also the most visited place of Santiago besides the cathedral. This market tells us many things about the gastronomy (we will find fresh fish and seafood, but also fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese...) and traditions in Galicia. This market could be considered a monument itself.
Near the Abastos market we find the Faculty of History and Geography, which belongs to the five-times centenary University of Santiago. This faculty has a magnificent library and a main hall that you can see with a guided visit, as well as the terrace with its wonderful panoramic view of the historical zone.
At night, you can have a drink and relax yourself in one of the classical pubs of Compostela, or even enjoy an amazing cultural programme, classical music, theatre, dancing, pop, folk, small concerts, jam sessions, cabaret, storytellers, etc. All these activities within a 250m radius.
Things to see (A little bit further)
We cannot forget the famous “Cidade da Cultura de Galicia” (Galicia's Culture City). Its magnificent and original architecture was created by the New Yorker Peter Eisenman. In this place we can also attend to temporary expositions and important cultural activities. Some entities organize trips and guided visits to the rest of Galicia from Santiago: Fisterra, Costa da Morte, Rias Baixas, A Coruña, the rest of the “camino”...
By car, it is possible to travel to the surroundings and see historical gardens with their manors, hidden monasteries inside green forests and small populations near their rivers, that keep all the charming of traditional Galician villages.