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How much time is needed in Santiago?

CGPratt

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, del Norte 2019
After ambling along the Frances with two teenagers, I would hate to rush in and out of Santiago. It is such a lovely city and I bet they will be ready for some city time. I personally would spend at least a couple of nights there if possible. There are great restaurant and cafe choices and staying would allow your boys to make some choices as to what to see and do...there is so much. That would be a great reward for successfully walking on a pilgrimage route for a week with parents!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
What month will you be walking?
If it's a busy month it's possible that you won't be able to receive your Compostelas on the same day that you arrive because of the numbered ticket system that is in place. There are a limited number of Compostelas that can be processed by the Pilgrim's Office staff and volunteers each day - once they hit that number they will stop distributing tickets that day. In September 2019 when I arrived in Santiago numbers stopped being given out around 1:00 pm.

It's too bad that you don't have enough time to enjoy all that Santiago has to offer. Can you change your plans with your family? How many walking days do you have planned? Perhaps you can finish in fewer days, or walk farther the day before your arrival in Santiago so that you can get there earlier in the day.

If you post your stages we might be able to help you adjust your schedule.
 

CGPratt

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino
What month will you be walking?
If it's a busy month it's possible that you won't be able to receive your Compostelas on the same day that you arrive because of the numbered ticket system that is in place. There are a limited number of Compostelas that can be processed by the Pilgrim's Office staff and volunteers each day - once they hit that number they will stop distributing tickets that day. In September 2019 when I arrived in Santiago numbers stopped being given out around 1:00 pm.

It's too bad that you don't have enough time to enjoy all that Santiago has to offer. Can you change your plans with your family? How many walking days do you have planned? Perhaps you can finish in fewer days, or walk farther the day before your arrival in Santiago so that you can get there earlier in the day.

If you post your stages we might be able to help you adjust your schedule.
Thank you! This is around June 17/18/19. Our stages are: Sarria-Portomarin-Palas de Rei-Arzua-Pedrouzo-Santiago.

Yes my concern is primarily the Compostela processing on the afternoon of our arrival. With this being our first Camino, I just have no idea what the situation will be that day. I agree that departing the very next day isn't ideal. But I don't want to risk not getting our Compostelas, and if that is a legitimate risk then I will add an extra night, I am sure we would enjoy it very much!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
But I don't want to risk not getting our Compostelas, and if that is a legitimate risk then I will add an extra night, I am sure we would enjoy it very much!
I think that it is a legitimate risk, but the greatest risk is that you will feel that your Camino was too rushed. You and your sons will enjoy meeting up on the plaza with those that you walked with, and just celebrating your arrival. You don't want that day to be stressful with rushing to Santiago to arrive in time to get your Compostelas, getting to mass, etc. It's a day that you should be able relax as you celebrate your accomplishment.
 
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CGPratt

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino
I think that it is a legitimate risk, but the greatest risk is that you will feel that your Camino was too rushed. You and your sons will enjoy meeting up on the plaza with those that you walked with, and just celebrating your arrival. You don't want that day to be stressful with rushing to Santiago to arrive in time to get your Compostelas, getting to mass, etc. It's a day that you should be able relax as you celebrate your accomplishment.
Thank you very much for the advice!
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
There were no queues** last October as everyone is asked to upload their information to the website (CV19 restrictions). Not sure if there will be a change back to the old system but perhaps @ivar could confirm.

**There were quite a few people outside the Pilgrim office furiously uploading their information on their phones though.
 

teeranaic

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances | Jan. 2022
I was going to ask a similar question. I'm slated to arrive in Santiago this Friday (HYPE HYPE HYPE). I wonder if I should go straight to the Pilgrim's Office / attend Pilgrim's Mass or do it the next day? I leave Santiago for Seville on Sunday.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I was going to ask a similar question. I'm slated to arrive in Santiago this Friday (HYPE HYPE HYPE). I wonder if I should go straight to the Pilgrim's Office / attend Pilgrim's Mass or do it the next day? I leave Santiago for Seville on Sunday.
Go straight to the Pilgrim's Office. This time of year there should be no wait at all.
Yesterday only 27 pilgrims arrived.


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henrythedog

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Time of past OR future Camino
X
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
You really need to give yourself a clear day in Santiago. It’s your destination after all.

To avoid future disappointment you should know that your names will not be read out at mass. The nationalities of pilgrims arriving the previous day are read out, but that’s it.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
By my own experience travelling with teens: 2 days should be ok, 3 days were nice to have. If you roam the city / old town, take a small detour to the cidade de cultura, 2,2km from Praza do Obradoiro.

Visit the Pilgrimage Museum and the Abastos market, too.
 
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EGW

EGW
Time of past OR future Camino
-
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
CGPratt,
if it were me, I'd definitely spend a second night in Santiago. As it is your family's first camino, getting your compostelas is important to you. At present, it is not known how busy the pilgrim office will be this year due to the evolving global health situation. Furthermore, it is still a jubilee year. If you are lucky and manage to get it the same day you arrive, then you could consider joining a day excursion to Finisterre and Muxia or to the Rias Baixas vineyards on your second day. It will not be a wasted day.

(If you are a Roman Catholic, then you'd want to enter the catherdral via the Holy Door, which among other conditions, is a requisite for gaining a plenary indulgence. The door is open only in jubilee years. To protestants, this may be less important religiously but still significant culturally. For this, there could be a queue depending on the time of the day.)

Compostelas are 'personal': each pilgrim having walked at least the last 100km into Santiago will be issued one in their own name by the pilgrim's office on presentation of a credencial that has been stamped at least two times a day from Sarria onwards. These are issued free of charge but there is a donation box if you wish to contribute towards it. (BTW, compostelas are issued for 'Religious/Spiritual' motivation and 'certificate of welcome' for any other motivations. These are not the same documents. I mention this because whilst volunteering at the pilgrim office one year, I met a family like your's whose teenage children got certificates of welcome while the parents got compostelas because at different desks, they ticked different boxes. I am guessing that the teenagers were being honest. Anyway, subsequently there was much unhappiness when the parents eventually realised and wanted for them all to have the compostela. Unfortunately, this could not be changed as the documents were already issued. Just so your family all know what to do if it is the compostela specifically you want.)

However, as a family, you can additionally request for a 'distance certificate', either individually or as a family with all four names written on the same certificate. This may make a good momento for your family. These cost 3 euros per certificate.

Finally, as pointed out by henrythedog, names of pilgrims are not read out at the pilgrim mass, only their nationalities. This is always done at the next day's mass. So even if you get your compostelas on the morning of your first day, as may be possible if you start off very early from Pedrouzo, your country's name is not read out until the next day. This is another reason for staying a second night.

Buen Camino. I am quite envious of you and your family because the first camino is always the most special, in my opinion.
 
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Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
When I walked it in 2019 I walked from Arzua to Lavacolla (when I was aged 73 so it is doable but I was fairly fit by this stage having walked from SJPdP) on my penultimate day so it only left 6/7 miles to Santiago on the last day. I set off for Santiago just after 06.00 which let me get there with plenty of time to get my Compostella despite stopping for a coffee along the way so that I could get a sello on my last day. There was a long queue to get the Compostella however I guess it only took 60/90 minutes which still left me with plenty of time to visit the Cathedral which was still undergoing refurbishment work. Only a suggestion but this could get you there in advance of most pilgrims.
 
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Pilgrim1960

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/Frances 2021
Future- del Norte 2022
I would go to your accommodation immediately and make sure they will take your bag for the day until you check in later when you come back- you need to get rid of your bag in order to get into the cathedral. Then I would go to the pilgrim's office and get your number and estimated time. You will have submitted all your information on-line and it will go quickly. If you are late coming back, you do not lose your spot, at least when I was there, and you can go right in.
I would suggest taking the bus to Muxia and Finisterre as it provides a perfect end to the Camino. You need to book ahead of time and it is a complete day trip. Make sure you clearly know where to go to take the bus because it is a little confusing.
Buen Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
When I walked it in 2019
Please note that since August/September 2019, a numbered ticket system is in place.

As @trecile mentioned earlier in this thread, since then, the number of Compostelas that are issued during the day is limited and if you arrive / register later in the day there is no guarantee that you will obtain your Compostela on your day of arrival. I would advise anyone who is short of time during their stay in Santiago to acquaint themselves with the practical aspects of this system beforehand.

Of course, I would also advise any pilgrim to stay longer than just half a day in Santiago and not rush from accommodation to Pilgrim Office to mass at the Cathedral to departure point for their return journey ... but that's an entirely different topic.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Because Santiago is your destination, you should experience it. Your teenagers might get a thrill by doing the cathedral rooftop tour- how many of their friends would be able to say they walked on top of a cathedral!!!
 

Kim 59

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2016)
I too suggest an extra day in Santiago. This is a beautiful city which you won’t want to regret experiencing. Of course the compestella is important as is Pilgrims mass. With teens I would suggest the rooftop tour and finisterre as a day trip via bus. Best wishes to your family!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
You MIGHT be able to get your Compostelas and attend a 7:30 pm Pilgrim Mass. Do NOT plan on trying to make the noon Pilgrim Mass. Everyone tries that and the Masses are full. COVID caused the Cathedral to reduce capacity from over 800 to about 225 - including celebrants and attendants. So, plan ahead, go early and get in line to enter the Cathedral.

This said, I always advise people to plan at least two nights in Santiago, just-in-case. Plus the old city is fascinating. There is a lot to see. So, you arrive as early as possible on the first day, spend the night then have a full day in Santiago. You spend your second night, then plan to leave Santiago on the third day - second wake up.

Extra days are not wasted.

If you are flying out of Santiago to make same day connections at Madrid to return home, you departure from Santiago could be as early as 0630 or about 0900. Plan around that as well.

Do NOT presume being able to take municipal busses for an early morning flight. The standard fare from downtown to the airport is / was €21 - as recently as mid-September 2021 - when I was there. You can put four people in one taxi.

Finally - individual names are NOT read out at the Pilgrim Masses. Only the countries represented that day are read.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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Bogong

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!


In Spain, the locals virtually everywhere told me that of all there were two magical cities, Santiago de Compostela and Toledo. Don’t rush things. You never know if the opportunity will ever arise again.

De Colores

Bogong
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
Good news:

When I worked as a volunteer at the Pilgrims Office (PO) in 2019, there was an option for groups containing 4 or more persons to be treated as a group, not needing to que up. Ask the volunteers in the PO if this is stll possible. Starting early from O Pedrouzo, you should be able to have your Compostelas ("certificate") as well as attending the noon mass, giving you the whole afternoon and evening exploring SdC. Go to the taverna Do Bispo in Rua Do Franco (the main pedestrian street through the old town) for excellent tapas.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Del Norte from Irun to Santander, Primitivo from Oviedo to Frances to Santiago September 2016
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
My daughter and I arrived early to mid morning, got our certificates went to mass and stayed 2 nights. You need that day to decompress and enjoy Santiago.
 
Hello! This is our first Camino, family of four with 2 teen boys from the US. Just doing the stage from Sarria to Santiago. We will walk our last day from Pedrouzo to Santiago. My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago? My understanding is that there are masses at noon and 7:30 pm. I'm more concerned about whether we can get our certificates that same afternoon (given lines and crowds), and if we do, whether our names would be read at the 7:30 mass. We are trying to leave Santiago the following morning to meet up with family. Many thanks for your advice!
At a minimum I think you would need two days in order to complete what you want. I’ve completed three Caminos and the time (3 days each time) in Santiago has been fantastic. Next time I’ll aim for even more time - the atmosphere is fantastic. In saying this, however, it really comes down to personal preference.
 

Bob from L.A. !

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Since it will be your first Camino, I would suggest adding a day or two at the end to enjoy and savor your walk.
During that time attend a mass (or several), get your Compostela's and take in the history and sites this beautiful city has to offer. (Especially if you're traveling from afar).
Welcome to the forum and Ultrea!
 
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Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
To explain my reasoning, perhaps it may be that I am not religious, but I walked the Camino Frances for what I call a journey rather than a pilgrimage as I do on other long-distance walks e.g. Land's End to John O'Groats - it is the journey, not the destination that is important for my enjoyment although the destination is the aim. I usually take a few photos at the end and then travel home. I travelled alone on the CF, although I walked with others along the way. My wife stayed at home for the 36 days I was away from home (including travelling time). I enjoy walking, the fresh air, the views, the food, the drink. the people I meet even churches (not meant to be disrespectful) but walking around a city is not my thing. Having arrived early in Santiago, I can't recall the time but about 10.00, I had time to visit the Cathedral and walk around and leave early the next morning to get home. I am not sure what I would have done in another 24 hours apart from visiting Finisterre. As I posted at the start it is just to explain my reasoning for leaving 24 hours later, we are all different.
 

Geoff Shepherd

I’m the big fella on the left.
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: 2018,19, scheduled May-June22.
Well - SdC is a long way from Australia, so on both my Camino Frances I spent one night on the way through to Fin. and Muxia, then 4 days after that each time. A charming, small and intimate city. I plan on the same in May/Jun 22; 1 night on the way through then 5 days after returning from the coast. Lotsa time to experience the place a little like a local. Cooee
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I can't conceive why anyone would put in all that effort to reach Santiago and then leave 24 hours later.
My own views are pretty much the same as @Harland2019 posted above. Although the destination is important in itself my focus is mainly on the journey. Once I have visited the cathedral, given the Apostle a hug, and spent a few moments in silence in the crypt then my important business in Santiago is over. If friends are in town then I will try to meet up with them for a meal or a drink. Otherwise a few hours strolling around fairly aimlessly are all that I need or want. I don't feel compelled to tick off every church or museum on a list. If something new or unfamiliar catches my eye then I'll take a look. Or I might follow up on a recommendation I've been given. Otherwise I just soak in the atmosphere for a while then head home wondering how and when I will be back.
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
I can't conceive why anyone would put in all that effort to reach Santiago and then leave 24 hours later.
Perhaps because there are so many pleasanter places to spend one's last few days of post-camino reflection than in a noisy, crowded, commercial city centre.
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I love Santiago and spend at least two days wandering around and exploring each time. The historical area comes alive with bustling, happy pilgrims who bring a vibe all its own to the city.😊
That said, let's not forget that some are still employed and must return to work, so not all have the luxury to add in extra days as the retirees are often able to.
I rather enjoy the noise. I then move on to Muxia to truly unwind.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Good news:

When I worked as a volunteer at the Pilgrims Office (PO) in 2019, there was an option for groups containing 4 or more persons to be treated as a group, not needing to que up. Ask the volunteers in the PO if this is stll possible. Starting early from O Pedrouzo, you should be able to have your Compostelas ("certificate") as well as attending the noon mass, giving you the whole afternoon and evening exploring SdC. Go to the taverna Do Bispo in Rua Do Franco (the main pedestrian street through the old town) for excellent tapas.
The number of people that constitute a group for Compostela purposes changes according to workload and staffing during the day. It might be as low as four if traffic is light. Conversely, if a lot of pilgrims arrive and the queues gets long, the number constituting a group could change to go up - I have seen as many as 10 pilgrims be required. The number is dynamic.

If they are still using the advance, online submission of demographic data before arrival at the pilgrim office, you can create a group online and avail yourself of that, if they allow you to. COVID forced the office managers to turn to automation to reduce multiple handling of items like forms, pens, and clipboards when collecting this data. This was a vector for spreading the COVID-19 virus. I presume they are still using it. Check the Pilgrim Office advance registration website at: https://catedral.df-server.info/agencias/Banderas.aspx?ind=1

Click in the flag representing the language you desire then follow the instructions. E.G. all English speaking folks click on the Union Jack (UK) flag.

You can submit this data at any time before you arrive at the pilgrim office. The Cathedral server returns a QR code. SAVE THIS CODE! This is what gets you into the Pilgrim Office to obtain a queue number (aka 'next served'). This is also a QR code, but on a separate piece of paper. Multiple, individual numbers can be taken as a group - but only once you arrive and speak to the security person at the front door.

If you have four people, you will have four QR codes form your advance data submission. These can be on separate or one smart phone. Show these to the security fellow and - if your number of people qualifies at that moment in time as a group - you are good to go. If not, each person will need to obtain a queue number and wait.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

RosemaryMcG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 León a Santiago de Compostela
I walked alone on CF a few years ago. When I arrived in Santiago I of course went to get my compostela that day which took a few hours. Then rested and got up early the next morning to attend mass at the cathedral and it was more than I had even expected. I got there about 9:30 I believe. Then I sat in the plaza and watched pilgrims arriving. It was heartwarming to see their pure joy. I wondered around the central area, visited some stores and cafes. Returning to my hotel, which was modern but too far from the action, I met up with a couple ladies also waiting for the hotel restaurant to open for dinner. They had just finished the Camino as well. They invited me to join them for dinner which was nice since it was my last night in Spain. I was delighted to be asked. Then others they had met on the Camino arrived. They didn't know these others would be there at the same time. Anyways one of the ladies turned to me and said sorry, we won't have room for you at our table. As it was I sat alone and directly in view of these two ladies and their Camino friends and one empty chair. I decided to have a nice meal and a bottle of wine to celebrate on my own. But I did look over occasionally and these two ladies were not comfortable looking at me which I decided was their issue. So I write this for a couple of reasons, Just because you didn't walk with someone it doesn't mean you can't share a meal and share in the celebration. I did think this and other times people may invite me over but it happened only a couple times. Should I have approached groups? I was in my 60s female on my own and I'm reluctant to intrude but would have accepted. I must admit I felt invisible many times but no more so than my last night in Santiago. I must admit I think next time I might just carry on to the coast. Anyone else have this type of experience?

Also what would you consider the ‘must sees’ other than the plaza and cathedral and central shops and cafes?
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
Thanks to you all for the suggestions and advice! We have decided to stay 2 nights in Santiago. I think our family will really enjoy it. Looking forward to this wonderful experience!
Enjoy Santiago! And do visit the market; lots of local produce, like meat, fish, and vegatables on display. You can buy some and have it prepared for lunch at nearby cafes.

I walked alone on CF a few years ago. When I arrived in Santiago I of course went to get my compostela that day which took a few hours. Then rested and got up early the next morning to attend mass at the cathedral and it was more than I had even expected. I got there about 9:30 I believe. Then I sat in the plaza and watched pilgrims arriving. It was heartwarming to see their pure joy. I wondered around the central area, visited some stores and cafes. Returning to my hotel, which was modern but too far from the action, I met up with a couple ladies also waiting for the hotel restaurant to open for dinner. They had just finished the Camino as well. They invited me to join them for dinner which was nice since it was my last night in Spain. I was delighted to be asked. Then others they had met on the Camino arrived. They didn't know these others would be there at the same time. Anyways one of the ladies turned to me and said sorry, we won't have room for you at our table. As it was I sat alone and directly in view of these two ladies and their Camino friends and one empty chair. I decided to have a nice meal and a bottle of wine to celebrate on my own. But I did look over occasionally and these two ladies were not comfortable looking at me which I decided was their issue. So I write this for a couple of reasons, Just because you didn't walk with someone it doesn't mean you can't share a meal and share in the celebration. I did think this and other times people may invite me over but it happened only a couple times. Should I have approached groups? I was in my 60s female on my own and I'm reluctant to intrude but would have accepted. I must admit I felt invisible many times but no more so than my last night in Santiago. I must admit I think next time I might just carry on to the coast. Anyone else have this type of experience?

Also what would you consider the ‘must sees’ other than the plaza and cathedral and central shops and cafes?
Very sorry about that. Not the Camino spirit, IMHO. One of the joys of the Camino is to socialise with complete strangers and explore how much we have in common, strangers as we are. I'll take you to lunch when we meet.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
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My question is whether I will have enough time to sort out our 4 pilgrim certificates and attend mass on the day of our arrival in Santiago?
For me, this question is a bit like wanting to know how long is a piece of string. There are just so many variables, most of which one has no control over.

Thanks to you all for the suggestions and advice! We have decided to stay 2 nights in Santiago. I think our family will really enjoy it. Looking forward to this wonderful experience!
For me, this is a grand decision you have taken.

For my first arrival, also from Sarria, it took me four days (three nights) to wind down. Seven years later I moved on to Fisterra almost straight away.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 

pepi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last: 2021, next: August 22
If you absolutely must, one night only is OK if you change your routing plan: Sarria-Portomarin-Palas de Rei-Arzua-Lavacolla-Santiago.
The Arzua-Lavacolla stage is about 30 km, long but doable.
From Lavacolla is just 12 km to SdC, arrive there at 10 am and have plenty of time for the sights.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
I met up with a couple ladies also waiting for the hotel restaurant to open for dinner. They had just finished the Camino as well. They invited me to join them for dinner which was nice since it was my last night in Spain. I was delighted to be asked. Then others they had met on the Camino arrived. They didn't know these others would be there at the same time. Anyways one of the ladies turned to me and said sorry, we won't have room for you at our table. As it was I sat alone and directly in view of these two ladies and their Camino friends and one empty chair. I decided to have a nice meal and a bottle of wine to celebrate on my own. But I did look over occasionally and these two ladies were not comfortable looking at me which I decided was their issue. So I write this for a couple of reasons, Just because you didn't walk with someone it doesn't mean you can't share a meal and share in the celebration. I did think this and other times people may invite me over but it happened only a couple times. Should I have approached groups? I was in my 60s female on my own and I'm reluctant to intrude but would have accepted. I must admit I felt invisible many times but no more so than my last night in Santiago. I must admit I think next time I might just carry on to the coast. Anyone else have this type of experience?

Also what would you consider the ‘must sees’ other than the plaza and cathedral and central shops and cafes?
I must admit I haven't had that kind of experience and would find it quite a downer. No group of people is, of course, obliged to invite others to join them but they had taken the initiative to invite you. I can certainly see them wanting to dine with their friends in Santiago, but in my experience that would more commonly be accomplished by inviting the others to join the three of you and making introductions. Especially if there was enough seating!

I think the plaza and Cathedral are the two main "must sees". Other places that might be worth some time are the Parque da Alameda, the Pilgrimage Museum near the Cathedral, and Pilgrim House on Rua Nova.
 
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An interesting article about Santiago. https://www.caminosantiago.org/cpperegrino/prensa/verprensa.asp?PrensaID=18585&fbclid=IwAR1cHH6Ix71cm8xRC4oJEeRgzqXuXRBSYUWZNkfHsX0EB_bsW4soUbQRXjs
Is it my imagination or is there not an announcement before the Pilgrim Masses at the Cathedral asking people NOT to take photos or videotape - which would include the swinging of the Botafumeiro?
The pilgrim office website is currently showing a total of 4,108 Compostelas issued today. That may not even be the final figure for the day. In the year I walked my first Camino there were 4,918...

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