By Faith Walter..
Like for many of you, Santiago de Compostela holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it the goal of the Camino, it’s also the place we’ve called home the last eight years. We regularly return to certain places and we’ve discovered that most touristy spots in town really do deserve to be visited! And other spots are hidden but also worth the time. Whatever you choose to do in Santiago (and there are so many more good places than what I could list here), it’s all good.
These are a few of my favorite spots in Santiago:
Parque da Alameda (also called Carballeira de Santa Susana)
Parque Alameda is perfect when one just wants to be in the bustle of Santiago life. The path loops around the entire park and there are beautiful views of the city.
Delicatessen As Monxas – Rúa de Xelmirez, 17
A favorite Tarta de Santiago is found in a tiny shop called Delicatessen As Monxas. The tartas are made with just a few ingredients and are naturally gluten-free.
Cervezeria Rua Bella – Rúa Nova, 17
Cervezeria Rua Bella is next door to Pilgrim House, but even if it weren’t, we’d come here for some of the best tortilla española (in the mornings) and the best sangría (in the evenings). The menu is varied with good prices, and the restaurant is big and roomy.
Parque de Carlomagno
A little way back on the Camino Francés, Parque de Carlomagno has a fantastic mirador, or overlook of the city. There are a few ways to approach the park, but our favorite is to walk down Rúa Roma and take the walk up that is shaded with trees on both sides.
City of Culture
This sprawling complex of architectural marvels and plazas is a bus ride or an hour’s walk from Santiago old town. If you have extra days in Santiago, it’s definitely worth visiting and walking around the museum, library, cafe, and buildings.
If you have even more time when you’re in Santiago, check out La Coruña. A short train ride away, it’s a nice ocean getaway and a place to clear your mind after the Camino. The 13-km-long paseo maritimo, or ocean promenade, is perfect for walking, looking out on the ocean, and reflecting on your journey.
Our team opened the Pilgrim House welcome center iin Santiago in 2014 and designed it as a place of solitude as well as community for pilgrims just finishing the Camino. Please do stop by when you’re in Santiago. We’d love to meet you and hear about your Camino. Buen Camino!
Thank you to Faith and Nate Walter for their contribution to Shamrocks and Shells. To learn more about the Pilgrim House Welcome Centre and the services they provide, you can find more information at https://pilgrimhousesantiago.com/about.