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Christmas eve / Christmas day in Santiago

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
My plans for a short Christmas camino are firming up pretty nicely, but I'm interested to hear the experiences of anyone who arrived in SDC on Christmas eve, or was there through Christmas eve and Christmas day. Were there any restaurants / bars open at all? Do I need to plan to visit a supermarket and DIY my food on Christmas day? I figure church services are a safe bet on Christmas day, but meals...?
Interested in how anyone else has found it.
 
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Deleted member 67185

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My plans for a short Christmas camino are firming up pretty nicely, but I'm interested to hear the experiences of anyone who arrived in SDC on Christmas eve, or was there through Christmas eve and Christmas day. Were there any restaurants / bars open at all? Do I need to plan to visit a supermarket and DIY my food on Christmas day? I figure church services are a safe bet on Christmas day, but meals...?
Interested in how anyone else has found it.

That is an excellent question :)

I think that if I were doing a Christmas Camino, that I would rent lodging that included a small kitchen and plan on preparing a Christmas Eve and Day menu for the celebratory meals.

What a fun and interesting time of year to do a Camino :)
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I once spent Christmas Day in Rouen, France, and while nearly all the restaurants were closed, some ethnic restaurants (from non-Christian societies) were open. We had Chinese for lunch and Moroccan for dinner!

So you could try to seek out these types of places in Santiago and contact them in advance to see if they'll be open. A quick google search shows several Chinese options, and I’ve been to and enjoyed Malik Bistro a couple of times. It’s run by a lovely Palestinian man and could be open at Christmas.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
We booked a perfect little Airbnb apartment for 2 / 3 people in Santiago. We stayed there a few weeks ago for two nights when we'd finished walking our Portuguese Camino. Nice area, shops / restaurants close by. (Message me if you'd like details)

Also check out Seminario Menor but I don't know whether it's shut during the Christmas holiday. They have a useful shop in the basement, there are also cooking and laundry facilities. A single room is inexpensive, however at that time of year you'd quite likely find you've a dormitory to yourself! Dormitories have single beds, well spaced and each person has a good sized locker next to their bed. Locker is big enough for a rucksack AND has a power point inside the locker so you can safely leave your phone to charge. WiFi is very good. We stayed there for one night before moving to our Air bnb apartment.
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
That is an excellent question :)

I think that if I were doing a Christmas Camino, that I would rent lodging that included a small kitchen and plan on preparing a Christmas Eve and Day menu for the celebratory meals.

What a fun and interesting time of year to do a Camino :)
I hope it will be a very different experience - it will be my sixth but definitely shortest Camino! I’ve booked a little hotel room with a view of the cathedral bell tower (😎) and i’m Happy to take my chances, but it will be interesting. Some things I’ve eead suggest restaurants will open, others are less hopeful.
Pilgrim office stats suggest only 30-odd people finished on Christmas Eve last year; I think it was 2 in 2013. Can’t wait to see what it’s like this year!
 
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DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
I once spent Christmas Day in Rouen, France, and while nearly all the restaurants were closed, some ethnic restaurants (from non-Christian societies) were open. We had Chinese for lunch and Moroccan for dinner!

So you could try to seek out these types of places in Santiago and contact them in advance to see if they'll be open. A quick google search shows several Chinese options, and I’ve been to and enjoyed Malik Bistro a couple of times. It’s run by a lovely Palestinian man and could be open at Christmas.
This is a great idea...and a nice challenge!
Last year, on Halloween, a couple of Camino compadres and I went on a(n ultimately fruitless) search for a mythical Indian restaurant in the newer part of Santiago...maybe it’s waiting for me yet!
I’ll keep Malik bistro in mind too: sounds very interesting!
Muchas gracias!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Bear in mind that the ONLY two days of the entire year that the Pilgrim Office is actually closed are Christmas DAY and New Year's DAY. They will try to close early on both evenings before. So plan arrival accordingly and do not shave it too closely.

The Hospederia San Martin Pinario should be open. A killer buffet breakfast is included with the room rate. There is also a restaurant on premises for lunch and dinner. As an arriving pilgrim, you should be able to get a room on the upper Peregrino floor for about €25 per night. The rooms are small, and old, but clean and safe. Then there is the breakfast, Wi-Fi, etc.

IIRC the policy at SMP is that if you arrive with a valid pilgrim credencial, you can have up to two nights, and more if there is availability, but this is on a day-by-day basis and in person...after your two-nights.

SMP also has two floors of regular hotel type rooms. They charge about €60 - 65 for these rooms. The sole difference IMHO is there are curtains on the windows and the Wi-Fi works in the rooms. These "hotel" rooms are typically larger and brighter. The plumbing is relatively newer.

Both represent perhaps the best deal in all of Santiago, especially when one considers the location, immediately next to the Cathedral.

Regardless of how you plan your Camino, PLEASE reserve a room ahead of time. If your plans change, inform the property.

Also, at SMP, you can use their online reservation service or Booking.com to reserve ONLY the hotel level rooms. All peregrino level rooms must be reserved ONLY either by email or phone. The counter staff speak English. Simply ask for "Ayuda en ingles por favor" when they answer and greetings are exchanged. I usually use email. They provide a six-digit reservation number for reference. DO NOT LOSE IT.

To be sure, other properties are open. I recommend SMP for cost convenience,and the likelihood they will be fully operational over the holidays.

Hope this helps.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I once spent Christmas Day in Rouen, France, and while nearly all the restaurants were closed, some ethnic restaurants (from non-Christian societies) were open. We had Chinese for lunch and Moroccan for dinner!

So you could try to seek out these types of places in Santiago and contact them in advance to see if they'll be open. A quick google search shows several Chinese options, and I’ve been to and enjoyed Malik Bistro a couple of times. It’s run by a lovely Palestinian man and could be open at Christmas.
As I nice Jewish boy from the Bronx, New York, Chinese food is a staple for Jews in general and especially on Christmas Day! When I was young, as with many Jewish families our lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then a movie. In the United States movies are now crowded with all religions and races on Christmas Day but many years ago, (in New York City at least) it was crowds of Jewish families eating and then a packed house at the Loews Paradise movie theatre on the Grand Concourse! We Jews love our Chinese food and they were also the only restaurants that seemed to be open!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Bear in mind that the ONLY two days of the entire year that the Pilgrim Office is actually closed are Christmas DAY and New Year's DAY. They will try to close early on both evenings before. So plan arrival accordingly and do not shave it too closely.

The Hospederia San Martin Pinario should be open. A killer buffet breakfast is included with the room rate. There is also a restaurant on premises for lunch and dinner. As an arriving pilgrim, you should be able to get a room on the upper Peregrino floor for about €25 per night. The rooms are small, and old, but clean and safe. Then there is the breakfast, Wi-Fi, etc.

IIRC the policy at SMP is that if you arrive with a valid pilgrim credencial, you can have up to two nights, and more if there is availability, but this is on a day-by-day basis and in person...after your two-nights.

SMP also has two floors of regular hotel type rooms. They charge about €60 - 65 for these rooms. The sole difference IMHO is there are curtains on the windows and the Wi-Fi works in the rooms. These "hotel" rooms are typically larger and brighter. The plumbing is relatively newer.

Both represent perhaps the best deal in all of Santiago, especially when one considers the location, immediately next to the Cathedral.

Regardless of how you plan your Camino, PLEASE reserve a room ahead of time. If your plans change, inform the property.

Also, at SMP, you can use their online reservation service or Booking.com to reserve ONLY the hotel level rooms. All peregrino level rooms must be reserved ONLY either by email or phone. The counter staff speak English. Simply ask for "Ayuda en ingles por favor" when they answer and greetings are exchanged. I usually use email. They provide a six-digit reservation number for reference. DO NOT LOSE IT.

To be sure, other properties are open. I recommend SMP for cost convenience,and the likelihood they will be fully operational over the holidays.

Hope this helps.
Hi Andreo! Mr. Pilgirm office expert on all things SDC. I have one question. I always try to stay in SMP when I get to Santiago. I have always had good WiFi in the lobby near the reception desk but I have never had WiFi in my pilgrim room. Have you been able to get WiFI upstairs in your Pilgrim room? Just wondering.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you, You are much too kind. I merely soak up facts like a sponge. I also ask questions, and I noodle around back hallways and utility closets... You would be surprised what a little curiosity can teach you.

The Wi-Fi router on the 4th floor ONLY works well in the central seating area on the 4th floor near the elevator. The signal diminishes as you move north or south away from the central lounge area near the elevator.

They installed wireless router signal repeaters on the routers on the 1st and 2nd "hotel room" floors. This is why the hotel floors (1 & 2) generally get a better signal in the rooms, while the pilgrim floor (4) does not get much of a signal at all...if any. You pays yer money...etc...

BTW and just FYI, the 3rd floor is for clerical / religious persons only. It is set up like the hotel floor and has the improved Wi-Fi signals. It also has a separate, dedicated, access control system to ensure than only these religious persons are on this floor.

When I am in a 4th floor peregrino room, I rely on LTE data coverage instead of Wi-Fi. If you are on the west side of this floor you can get maximum signal bars. The cell towers are out of the city to the west. On the east side, where you face an internal courtyard, the signal is usually crap.

This said, the Wi-Fi signal is strongest in the Piso 0 lounge area, opposite the reception desk. Frequently, you will find people camped in the hallway, adjacent to the reception desk, on the benches located there, to scoop free Wi-Fi.

Finally, they intentionally did NOT provide Wi-Fi in the dining halls. This was to encourage "turn-over." There are finite tables and facilities to feed a large number of quests. It is also possible to walk in "off the street" to buy breakfast for €6,00 there. I have done this frequently. So, providing Wi-Fi would slow the entire feeding process down. It makes perfect sense to NOT have Wi-Fi in the dining areas in SMP, at least IMHO.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
As I nice Jewish boy from the Bronx, New York, Chinese food is a staple for Jews in general and especially on Christmas Day! When I was young, as with many Jewish families our lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then a movie. In the United States movies are now crowded with all religions and races on Christmas Day but many years ago, (in New York City at least) it was crowds of Jewish families eating and then a packed house at the Loews Paradise movie theatre on the Grand Concourse! We Jews love our Chinese food and they were also the only restaurants that seemed to be open!

I grew up in Northern NJ and relate to your story, I also married into "the tribe." So I get it. This said, the unique approach to being a non-Christian on Christmas does not translate well to Spain, especially Santiago de Compostela, at least in my observation.

Sorry, but I cannot recommend any Chinese food in or around Santiago. If anyone knows of a Chinese restaurant run by Chinese, with a Chinese cook. that might be worth exploring. Hmmm, I return in July for another month at the Pilgrim Office.

All suggestions appreciated... addresses or restaurant name would also be good.

In this regard, I note that there was a Mexican restaurant at the southern end of Dua da Horreos near the train station. All the "Mexican" food came out of frozen food boxes. But the Mojitos and Margaritas were very good. They closed over a year ago. The owner was not Mexican. That is why I emphasized a Chinese restaurant actually operated by Chinese folks. You have a better chance at decent food there. Just my opinion...
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I grew up in Northern NJ and relate to your story, I also married into "the tribe." So I get it. This said, the unique approach to being a non-Christian on Christmas does not translate well to Spain, especially Santiago de Compostela, at least in my observation.

Sorry, but I cannot recommend any Chinese food in or around Santiago. If anyone knows of a Chinese restaurant run by Chinese, with a Chinese cook. that might be worth exploring. Hmmm, I return in July for another month at the Pilgrim Office.

All suggestions appreciated... addresses or restaurant name would also be good.

In this regard, I note that there was a Mexican restaurant at the southern end of Dua da Horreos near the train station. All the "Mexican" food came out of frozen food boxes. But the Mojitos and Margaritas were very good. They closed over a year ago. The owner was not Mexican. That is why I emphasized a Chinese restaurant actually operated by Chinese folks. You have a better chance at decent food there. Just my opinion...
I have never been in Santiago during Christmas so I have no idea what it is like. But I am sure it is very interesting to say the least and would be a great experience I am sure. Did find pretty good Chinese Restaurant in Gijon when I had a rest day. Ate there twice. I wouldn't recommend GIjon as a rest day but I really needed one. I never eat Mexican food on the Camino and probably wouldn't as I live in Mexico and am married to a Mexican woman, so I get fed the real thing every day!!!!
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
@DebR I haven’t booked my Dec 24-28 lodging yet, but have been looking at studio apt style lodging near the Cathedral in case holiday meals are sparse. Also thinking of picking up some holiday treats the last day or two of hiking just in case. I humbly invite you to my temporary Santiago abode for whatever holiday fare we can muster. 🎄🍻🎄
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
Bear in mind that the ONLY two days of the entire year that the Pilgrim Office is actually closed are Christmas DAY and New Year's DAY. They will try to close early on both evenings before. So plan arrival accordingly and do not shave it too closely.

The Hospederia San Martin Pinario should be open. A killer buffet breakfast is included with the room rate. There is also a restaurant on premises for lunch and dinner. As an arriving pilgrim, you should be able to get a room on the upper Peregrino floor for about €25 per night. The rooms are small, and old, but clean and safe. Then there is the breakfast, Wi-Fi, etc.

IIRC the policy at SMP is that if you arrive with a valid pilgrim credencial, you can have up to two nights, and more if there is availability, but this is on a day-by-day basis and in person...after your two-nights.

SMP also has two floors of regular hotel type rooms. They charge about €60 - 65 for these rooms. The sole difference IMHO is there are curtains on the windows and the Wi-Fi works in the rooms. These "hotel" rooms are typically larger and brighter. The plumbing is relatively newer.

Both represent perhaps the best deal in all of Santiago, especially when one considers the location, immediately next to the Cathedral.

Regardless of how you plan your Camino, PLEASE reserve a room ahead of time. If your plans change, inform the property.

Also, at SMP, you can use their online reservation service or Booking.com to reserve ONLY the hotel level rooms. All peregrino level rooms must be reserved ONLY either by email or phone. The counter staff speak English. Simply ask for "Ayuda en ingles por favor" when they answer and greetings are exchanged. I usually use email. They provide a six-digit reservation number for reference. DO NOT LOSE IT.

To be sure, other properties are open. I recommend SMP for cost convenience,and the likelihood they will be fully operational over the holidays.

Hope this helps.
Thanks - this is really good advice!
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
@DebR I haven’t booked my Dec 24-28 lodging yet, but have been looking at studio apt style lodging near the Cathedral in case holiday meals are sparse. Also thinking of picking up some holiday treats the last day or two of hiking just in case. I humbly invite you to my temporary Santiago abode for whatever holiday fare we can muster. 🎄🍻🎄
😁. Thank-you...that’s so kind!
I’ve tentatively booked a little hotel that does have a bar, but it’s hard to know if it will be open throughout. (I was in Vancouver for Christmas a couple years back and the hotel’s three restaurants were closed on Christmas itself...)
I’m going to look into the San Martin Pindaric option suggested here too..,that would be fun.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2009, 2014, 2017
@t2andreo China Ming is great! Run by a Chinese husband/ Spanish wife duo, the menu and food are quite decent. We order from them all the time. It's on Romero Donallo, right by Domino's :)

@DebR We plan to have a Christmas party again this year at Pilgrim House, either on December 23 or 24. We'll keep you posted! It's always a lot of fun and seems to bring pilgrims out of the woodwork, since otherwise the streets ARE really quiet. And of course, do come by during our opening hours to hang out and chat. We'd love to meet you.

Cafes and restaurants will mostly be closed on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve you can stock up.

Buen Camino!
Faith
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you, You are much too kind. I merely soak up facts like a sponge. I also ask questions, and I noodle around back hallways and utility closets... You would be surprised what a little curiosity can teach you.

The Wi-Fi router on the 4th floor ONLY works well in the central seating area on the 4th floor near the elevator. The signal diminishes as you move north or south away from the central lounge area near the elevator.

They installed wireless router signal repeaters on the routers on the 1st and 2nd "hotel room" floors. This is why the hotel floors (1 & 2) generally get a better signal in the rooms, while the pilgrim floor (4) does not get much of a signal at all...if any. You pays yer money...etc...

BTW and just FYI, the 3rd floor is for clerical / religious persons only. It is set up like the hotel floor and has the improved Wi-Fi signals. It also has a separate, dedicated, access control system to ensure than only these religious persons are on this floor.

When I am in a 4th floor peregrino room, I rely on LTE data coverage instead of Wi-Fi. If you are on the west side of this floor you can get maximum signal bars. The cell towers are out of the city to the west. On the east side, where you face an internal courtyard, the signal is usually crap.

This said, the Wi-Fi signal is strongest in the Piso 0 lounge area, opposite the reception desk. Frequently, you will find people camped in the hallway, adjacent to the reception desk, on the benches located there, to scoop free Wi-Fi.

Finally, they intentionally did NOT provide Wi-Fi in the dining halls. This was to encourage "turn-over." There are finite tables and facilities to feed a large number of quests. It is also possible to walk in "off the street" to buy breakfast for €6,00 there. I have done this frequently. So, providing Wi-Fi would slow the entire feeding process down. It makes perfect sense to NOT have Wi-Fi in the dining areas in SMP, at least IMHO.

Hope this helps.
You are the Davebugg of SDC!!!!! I don't mind not having WiFi. When I do need it to call home on Whatsapp, I go to the lobby and take a seat on the bench between reception and the bar. I am too busy stuffing my face during breakfast so I never noticed that there isn't Wifi there. You do get what you pay for and for the $25 Euros I think you get a lot. I always get a great nights sleep. Like the nice hot showers and it is always nice and quiet at night.
If you want a treat and want to splurge, last year a wonderful Pilgrim treated 6 of us to dinner at the Parador dining room. A beautiful restaurant. Our waiter was wonderful. I asked him to pick out my whole menu; appetizer, main course and dessert. The food was fantastic, the ambiance wonderful and my dinner companions the absolute best! I have no idea what the bill came out to for all of us, including about 5 bottles of wine but I can tell you that what I ordered was reasonably priced for the quality of the food.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
😁. Thank-you...that’s so kind!
I’ve tentatively booked a little hotel that does have a bar, but it’s hard to know if it will be open throughout. (I was in Vancouver for Christmas a couple years back and the hotel’s three restaurants were closed on Christmas itself...)
I’m going to look into the San Martin Pindaric option suggested here too..,that would be fun.
You can't go wrong at San Martin Pinario.
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
@natefaith How early do the shops start closing on Christmas Eve? My Christmas wish is to get my Compostella dated Christmas Eve, so the plan is to allow 6-7 days Sarria to Santiago and walk into Santiago early Christmas Eve.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
@natefaith How early do the shops start closing on Christmas Eve? My Christmas wish is to get my Compostella dated Christmas Eve, so the plan is to allow 6-7 days Sarria to Santiago and walk into Santiago early Christmas Eve.
I was just telling 2tandreo (check out my post above) that last November myself and 5 others were treated to an amazing dinner at the Parador. It wasn't cheap but it sure was delicious. It might be open on Christmas Eve. If it is I am sure you would need a reservation but believe me you would be in for a treat.
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
😁. Thank-you...that’s so kind!
I’ve tentatively booked a little hotel that does have a bar, but it’s hard to know if it will be open throughout. (I was in Vancouver for Christmas a couple years back and the hotel’s three restaurants were closed on Christmas itself...)
I’m going to look into the San Martin Pindaric option suggested here too..,that would be fun.

San Martin Pinario sounds like a great holiday treat! I think there will always be options available. It may just be a matter of booking early enough. Very special Christmas
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
I was just telling 2tandreo (check out my post above) that last November myself and 5 others were treated to an amazing dinner at the Parador. It wasn't cheap but it sure was delicious. It might be open on Christmas Eve. If it is I am sure you would need a reservation but believe me you would be in for a treat.

Thanks for sharing that! I imagined a magical evening of great food and entertaining stories when I read your post. I saw another post about a celebratory dinner at Parador near the holidays that definitely peaked my interest. Christmas was always my favorite time of year, but somehow it transitioned into a day to get past. Desiring to turn that around, I committed to starting a new tradition of walking the last bit of the Camino and getting a 24 Dec Compostella every year. I’ll be the goober walking with lights on my pack 🤠
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
@t2andreo China Ming is great! Run by a Chinese husband/ Spanish wife duo, the menu and food are quite decent. We order from them all the time. It's on Romero Donallo, right by Domino's :)

@DebR We plan to have a Christmas party again this year at Pilgrim House, either on December 23 or 24. We'll keep you posted! It's always a lot of fun and seems to bring pilgrims out of the woodwork, since otherwise the streets ARE really quiet. And of course, do come by during our opening hours to hang out and chat. We'd love to meet you.

Cafes and restaurants will mostly be closed on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve you can stock up.

Buen Camino!
Faith
Thanks so much for this, Faith...iI’ll definitely come and visit the Pilgrim House again! Love the idea of the pilgrim Christmas party too: I can imagine you meet just about everyone who’s still in town! Also making a mental note re China Ming on generat principles!
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
Thanks for sharing that! I imagined a magical evening of great food and entertaining stories when I read your post. I saw another post about a celebratory dinner at Parador near the holidays that definitely peaked my interest. Christmas was always my favorite time of year, but somehow it transitioned into a day to get past. Desiring to turn that around, I committed to starting a new tradition of walking the last bit of the Camino and getting a 24 Dec Compostella every year. I’ll be the goober walking with lights on my pack 🤠
Oh, what a terrific idea. I feel that tinsel may also be in order...
On another note, I emailed San Martin Pinario and it’s closed Christmas Day. The Parador is open (a stay is not cheap😫) but that may mean the restaurant is open...
 
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DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
I was just telling 2tandreo (check out my post above) that last November myself and 5 others were treated to an amazing dinner at the Parador. It wasn't cheap but it sure was delicious. It might be open on Christmas Eve. If it is I am sure you would need a reservation but believe me you would be in for a treat.
Yes..,I may email them to ask. Walking in on 24/12, a Christmas Eve compostela and dinner at the parador...this is sounding like one amazing day!
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
Oh, what a terrific idea. I feel that tinsel may also be in order...
On another note, I emailed San Martin Pinario and it’s closed Christmas Day. The Parador is open (a stay is not cheap😫) but that may mean the restaurant is open...

I checked rooms at Parador just for grins when I first started planning, but ruled it out. When I stay several days somewhere I prefer the cozy charming feels like I live there bookings. Indulging in a lavish dinner, on the other hand, is totally up my alley 🤗 even if it means waiting til 26 Dec for a reservation.

Like the tinsel!
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2009, 2014, 2017
@natefaith How early do the shops start closing on Christmas Eve? My Christmas wish is to get my Compostella dated Christmas Eve, so the plan is to allow 6-7 days Sarria to Santiago and walk into Santiago early Christmas Eve.

HI Suzi, it depends on the store...I think some may only be open in the morning, and then the shopkeepers may close for the afternoon so they can spend time with their families. Others, especially the chain stores, may be open all day since they'll be closed the following day. Buen Camino!
 

DebR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
I checked rooms at Parador just for grins when I first started planning, but ruled it out. When I stay several days somewhere I prefer the cozy charming feels like I live there bookings. Indulging in a lavish dinner, on the other hand, is totally up my alley 🤗 even if it means waiting til 26 Dec for a reservation.

Like the tinsel!
I usually make a point of having cava in the bar at the parador whenever I visit Santiago...it’s my ritual. Nothing says it can’t bookend a fancy dinner! Shall we?
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
I usually make a point of having cava in the bar at the parador whenever I visit Santiago...it’s my ritual. Nothing says it can’t bookend a fancy dinner! Shall we?

Most definitely! Excellent ritual.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Oh, what a terrific idea. I feel that tinsel may also be in order...
On another note, I emailed San Martin Pinario and it’s closed Christmas Day. The Parador is open (a stay is not cheap😫) but that may mean the restaurant is open...

Double check with SMP. It is rare that a hotel is closed over a holiday. The dining facilities may be closed. If this is the case, hotel open but dining facilities closed. Stay at SMP and make dinner reservations elsewhere, including at the parador.

SMP is very large and employees a lot of people. These folks do not get many days off, a six-day week is typical. So Christmas is special to them and their families.

Pilgrims can assess, adapt and overcome. Other places will be open. You will not perish.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
@t2andreo China Ming is great! Run by a Chinese husband/ Spanish wife duo, the menu and food are quite decent. We order from them all the time. It's on Romero Donallo, right by Domino's :)

@DebR We plan to have a Christmas party again this year at Pilgrim House, either on December 23 or 24. We'll keep you posted! It's always a lot of fun and seems to bring pilgrims out of the woodwork, since otherwise the streets ARE really quiet. And of course, do come by during our opening hours to hang out and chat. We'd love to meet you.

Cafes and restaurants will mostly be closed on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve you can stock up.

Buen Camino!
Faith

If you have your party on the 24th count me in! Im doing a Camino from Braga and hope to do a short final etapa that day.

Glad I have seen this thread because I was going to book into SMP around September but after reading this I checked their website and they are down as closed.

I have spent two days on the Camino at xmas and arrived at Santiago on New year's Day once, quiet is a understatement. Some cafes and bars opened around 8ish I'm hoping for that on Xmas day as well.
 
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Hi Andreo! Mr. Pilgirm office expert on all things SDC. I have one question. I always try to stay in SMP when I get to Santiago. I have always had good WiFi in the lobby near the reception desk but I have never had WiFi in my pilgrim room. Have you been able to get WiFI upstairs in your Pilgrim room? Just wondering.
I have stayed there many times and this May ,for the first time had WiFi in my 4th floor room. Excellent!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
the policy at SMP is that if you arrive with a valid pilgrim credencial, you can have up to two nights, and more if there is availability, but this is on a day-by-day basis and in person...after your two-nights.
@t2andreo
This does not correspond to my experience, unless they have changed their policy recently. I have stayed at St Martin Pinario after all three of my caminos: for three nights in 2015 and 2016, and for four nights in 2017, as I arrived a day early and they had space. There was never any mention of limited stays for peregrinos. However, I was always there in November, as I walk in the fall. If this is a recent policy change, I should like to know, as I have already planned for my usual three nights there and I have not thought it necessary to email them this far ahead of time. I do not want to have to move or to look for another place to stay for my last night. Could you please check this for me?
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I stayed in SMP from the 1st January to the 7 January. I had primarily planned on arriving on New year's eve and setting of for Finisterre on the 2nd but due to an injury the plans went out the window and I just stayed put in SMP, they didn't seem to have an issue with me booking for the pilgrim rooms everday.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
SMP does not post or mention the policy, unless they need to. I repeated the policy from experiences I have had over the past six years.

On three of my Caminos, I arrived significantly earlier than my reservation dates. They permitted me to stay for the duration of my need. In one case, this was a full week. SMP remains my default sought after room on arrival at Santiago. But, in the past couple of years, it has become increasingly unattainable by advance email reservation.

Being able ti get a room for more than a night or two It depends primarily on WHEN you are arriving. For example, if you arrive in April or early May, or in late September or October, before or after the season is in full-swing, you might be able to stay longer.

But from June through early September, it is difficult to find space. That is one reason why ANY accommodation needed at Santiago on arrival, during the summer months, needs to be booked and confirmed in advance.

In particular, in recent years large groups of pilgrims (schools, scouts, churches, civic groups or clubs) have found they can advance reserve blocks of rooms at SMP. Evidently, management is just trying to fill the rooms. Advance group bookings are more reliable for room management that solo pilgrim reservations.

In the summer months, this practice consumes most rooms on most weeks. Also, if the Spanish military is in town for one of their many annual ceremonies at the Cathedral, SMP is literally booked to overflowing.

During the peak summer months, solo pilgrims are used to "fill in the gaps" between the groups, at least in my perception.

While SMP remains the single best housing deal in town for pilgrims, the secret is out and solo pilgrims are usually on the losing end. I expect this condition to get worse as the Holy Year (2021) approaches.

Hope this helps the dialog
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
SMP does not post or mention the policy, unless they need to. I repeated the policy from experiences I have had over the past six years.

On three of my Caminos, I arrived significantly earlier than my reservation dates. They permitted me to stay for the duration of my need. In one case, this was a full week. SMP remains my default sought after room on arrival at Santiago. But, in the past couple of years, it has become increasingly unattainable by advance email reservation.

Being able ti get a room for more than a night or two It depends primarily on WHEN you are arriving. For example, if you arrive in April or early May, or in late September or October, before or after the season is in full-swing, you might be able to stay longer.

But from June through early September, it is difficult to find space. That is one reason why ANY accommodation needed at Santiago on arrival, during the summer months, needs to be booked and confirmed in advance.

In particular, in recent years large groups of pilgrims (schools, scouts, churches, civic groups or clubs) have found they can advance reserve blocks of rooms at SMP. Evidently, management is just trying to fill the rooms. Advance group bookings are more reliable for room management that solo pilgrim reservations.

In the summer months, this practice consumes most rooms on most weeks. Also, if the Spanish military is in town for one of their many annual ceremonies at the Cathedral, SMP is literally booked to overflowing.

During the peak summer months, solo pilgrims are used to "fill in the gaps" between the groups, at least in my perception.

While SMP remains the single best housing deal in town for pilgrims, the secret is out and solo pilgrims are usually on the losing end. I expect this condition to get worse as the Holy Year (2021) approaches.

Hope this helps the dialog

@t2andreo
Thank you. I shall try to get my booking in November made soon. On my last walk, on the VdlP, one Korean pilgrim had booked her time as San Martin Pinario before she left Korea, so perhaps there is no disadvantage to making an advance booking. In any case, I always know months ahead when I want to stay there, as I book for when I arrive in Santiago. That date has to work with the date of my return flight home, allowing for travel time to the airport.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
You can ONLY book online to the hotel floors (1 & 2) using Booking.com or the SMP online reservation functions.

To make a pilgrim reservation, you MUST send an email making your request. While there are English speakers at the desk, I usually send an email translated into Spanish with the original English text below.

If your request is accepted, they will send you a six-digit reservation number. DO NOT LOSE THIS NUMBER.

Hope this helps.
 

El Cascayal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Andreo! Mr. Pilgirm office expert on all things SDC. I have one question. I always try to stay in SMP when I get to Santiago. I have always had good WiFi in the lobby near the reception desk but I have never had WiFi in my pilgrim room. Have you been able to get WiFI upstairs in your Pilgrim room? Just wondering.
I stayed at SMP pilgrim wing, way down the corridor, November 2019. The WiFi was strong and reliable. We however lost power twice, all us Peregrinos camped out in the hallway chatting each other up and telling tall tales until the lights came on.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I stayed at SMP pilgrim wing, way down the corridor, November 2019. The WiFi was strong and reliable. We however lost power twice, all us Peregrinos camped out in the hallway chatting each other up and telling tall tales until the lights came on.
Could not check it out this year because to mu shock when I arrived in Santiago the first week of December the Pilgrim rooms were full. I did wait until about 4 days out to call. I was lucky to stay at Hospederia Tarela which was a small hotel in a little square in the center of the city that was about 7 dollars a day more than SMP. I do think I really lucked out on the price but I really enjoyed my stay there. Good bed, super clean, really nice people and I even had good wifi!!!!
 

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