Are you planning a trip to Santiago looking for reasons to go? You’ve come to the right place! In this article I’m going to tell you things to see and do in Santiago de Compostela in 2 days.
Santiago de Compostela is a place that has been on my list for a long time and I was lucky to cross it off a few weeks ago. Living in Spain and not visiting Galicia is a crime! Almost the same as living in Granada and not visiting the Alhambra.
🗺 Santiago de Compostela in 2 days: things to do and see
Have you ever heard the phrase “All roads lead to Rome“? Well, something similar is true of this city.
Santiago is the city of pilgrimage. It is the end point of the route that thousands of pilgrims follow every year. Most of them walk it for religious reasons, but also for cultural reasons, or for personal interest.
Cathedral, Plaza Obradoiro and Hostal do Reis Católicos
The cathedral is an obligatory stop. The main façade of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is located in the Plaza Obradoiro. This is also the site of the Pazo de Raxoi, the seat of the city council, and Hostal do Reis Católicos.
The Hostal do Reis Católicos is a building with a lot of history. It used to be an old pilgrims’ hospital and is now one of the best hotels in Santiago de Compostela. You can take a tour to learn about its history.
The Cathedral is currently under construction. Fortunately, only a part of it. A few years ago the main façade was just like Big Ben, totally unrecognisable. I hope that when you visit the city you will be lucky enough not to find it under construction.
Its interior is worth a visit because it houses the relics of the Apostle St. James the Greater, the Portico de la Gloria and the Botafumeiro. Admission is free, although you can also book a guided tour of the Cathedral and its Museum.
At night, don’t forget to look for the pilgrim’s shadow in the Plaza de la Quintana.
Walk around Santiago de Compostela streets
One of the things I like most when I travel is to get lost in the most central area of the place I visit. I think it’s the best way to let yourself be surprised (even if you always have a list of places you want to see).
In Santiago de Compostela everything is close by and you’re going to get everywhere. The most symbolic places are in the squares and streets surrounding the cathedral: Plaza de la Inmaculada, Plaza de Platerías, University, Plaza de Cervantes, etc.
Free tour around Santiago de Compostela
Free tours are one of the best ways to get to know any place for the first time. They help you to create a mental map of its streets, you know curious stories of its buildings from the hand of a guide.
In Santiago de Compostela you have two types of free tour: the normal one and the theatrical one. When I was in Cordoba on a trip I went on one of these dramatised tours and it was super dynamic and fun.
Museum of the Galician People and Galician Centre of Contemporary art
The Museum of the Galician People and the Galician Centre of Contemporary Art are located in Bonaval Park.
Admission to the Museum of the Galician People costs 2€, although it is free on Sundays. It is a museum dedicated to the life of the Galician people over the years. Its spiral staircase is a highlight.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is free and has various exhibitions. When I visited there was an exhibition on women, homeless people and sensations (the latter a bit strange for my taste).
You can also visit La Ciudad de la Cultura de Galicia, but it is a half hour walk from the centre.
Another place you should put on your list is the Alameda Park. From here you have incredible views of the Cathedral. There is also a statue of the Two Marías and a statue of Valle-Inclán, sitting on the same bench where he used to contemplate Santiago de Compostela from this park.
The library of the University of Geography and History is beautiful. But to visit it you need to make a reservation. Tourists are strictly forbidden there.
There are guided tours in Spanish every day to visit the university and they cost 7€.
🍴 Recommended places to eat in Santiago de Compostela
They say that calories don’t count when you travel, and let’s hope that’s true because when you go to Galicia you’re going to put your boots on and eat well. In this article you have my recommendations of places to eat in Santiago de Compostela.
Although I’ll give you a sneak preview to tell you which places you can’t miss for anything in the world: El bar la Tita, the best Spanish omelette in the world.
For breakfast I recommend Cadrado Doce, a tiny speciality café. And if you want to try the Tarta de Santiago, in the Monastery of San Pelayo de Antealtares.
🚌 From the airport to Santiago de Compostela city center
The cheapest way to get there is by bus, although you can also take a taxi or book a transfer. In this article I detail how to get from the airport to the centre of Santiago de Compostela.
🏨 Hotels to stay in Santiago de Compostela
When I was in Santiago de Compostela I had a very good experience with the accommodation we chose. Both were located in the city centre, cheap and good.
If you are looking for accommodation, I recommend this article with the best hotels in Santiago. There is accommodation available for all budgets.