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Recommended highlights in Santiago

Humbertico

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#1
Hey Peregrinos. Starting CF next week. I wanted to ask for recommendations about highlights and special places to visit in Santiago. ie. What to see and do in Cathedral. Time of mass, Steps up to statue of Santiago etc. We will be there two days when we return from Finisterre and Muxia. Don’t want to miss anything on this Special Spiritual Journey.

Gracias y que Dios los bendiga siempre,
Humbertico
 

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Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#4
Website from the Oficina de Peregrinos.
Website from the Xunta de Galicia.

One person's highlight is another person's dissapointment.

I personally do not even go into the Cathedral anymore when in Santiago. I prefer to visit the smaller parish churches.

You will always " miss " something and that is not a bad thing.
 

Humbertico

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#5
Website from the Oficina de Peregrinos.
Website from the Xunta de Galicia.

One person's highlight is another person's dissapointment.

I personally do not even go into the Cathedral anymore when in Santiago. I prefer to visit the smaller parish churches.

You will always " miss " something and that is not a bad thing.
Thank you !
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#6
I understand a little what the others said, but I'm happy to give you my two cents for things I loved!

I haven't been into the Pilgrimage Museum since it moved, but loved it when I walked back in 2011. The roof top tour was great, even for someone with a pretty good fear of heights. My new fav museum is the on on Galician Culture. You even get a discount as a pilgrim. It helped me understand a little more all the villages, houses and farms I'd seen along the way.

As for the Churches, I like the Cathedral in the early morning hours. Try going in at 7 or 7:30 in the morning. Lovely and quiet. But I'd have to agree with @SabineP that the smaller local churches are great. I actually try to catch mass at one of them when I'm there too, in addition to the English mass in one of the side chapels in the am.

Happy Googling and planning!! Buen Camino
 

Humbertico

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#7
I understand a little what the others said, but I'm happy to give you my two cents for things I loved!

I haven't been into the Pilgrimage Museum since it moved, but loved it when I walked back in 2011. The roof top tour was great, even for someone with a pretty good fear of heights. My new fav museum is the on on Galician Culture. You even get a discount as a pilgrim. It helped me understand a little more all the villages, houses and farms I'd seen along the way.

As for the Churches, I like the Cathedral in the early morning hours. Try going in at 7 or 7:30 in the morning. Lovely and quiet. But I'd have to agree with @SabineP that the smaller local churches are great. I actually try to catch mass at one of them when I'm there too, in addition to the English mass in one of the side chapels in the am.

Happy Googling and planning!! Buen Camino
Thank you for sharing those special moments. Humbertico
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#8
In case you missed the recent posts about the shadow pilgrim check out this thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/pilgrim-in-the-shadows.57471
It's currently obscured but might be visible when you get there.

Attached to the cathedral as a chapel is an old romanesque church that used to stand by itself. I liked it. Also in the cathedral is a statue of Santiago Matamoros where the church has obscured the Moor with flowers.

Follow the Camino to Finisterre early in the morning for a bit to where you can see the cathedral being lit up by the sunrise.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#9
Please do come see the team at Pilgrim House and say hello!

The Museo do Pobo Galego is interesting and shares what life was like for the Gallegos over the years. And a walk around Alameda Park is wonderful. And one of my favorite cafes is Café Casino on Rua do Vilar.
Buen Camino!
Faith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata in May of 2017 from Ourense to Santiago. Bilbao to Santander on Camino Norte (2018).
#11
I understand a little what the others said, but I'm happy to give you my two cents for things I loved!

I haven't been into the Pilgrimage Museum since it moved, but loved it when I walked back in 2011. The roof top tour was great, even for someone with a pretty good fear of heights. My new fav museum is the on on Galician Culture. You even get a discount as a pilgrim. It helped me understand a little more all the villages, houses and farms I'd seen along the way.

As for the Churches, I like the Cathedral in the early morning hours. Try going in at 7 or 7:30 in the morning. Lovely and quiet. But I'd have to agree with @SabineP that the smaller local churches are great. I actually try to catch mass at one of them when I'm there too, in addition to the English mass in one of the side chapels in the am.

Happy Googling and planning!! Buen Camino
I agree re: the Pilgrim Museum and going early to Cathedral. Also, fun to watch the student musicians in the restaurants and square after dark (other musicians too of course).
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#13
Just a few steps away from the pilgrims office is the church of St Francis I love very much. Go to the Mercato (apparently there is a new one dedicated to galicia). Personally I prefer the evening pilgrims mass. Also go visit the cathedral early morning ..it is serene and not as crowded. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#14
Everything here is very good advice. My two cents worth are to go to the Tourism Office for the city of Santiago de Compostela, at #63 Rua do Vilar. They will provide you with an excellent free map of the city as well as plenty of information on what to do and where to go.

If you desire to visit places in Galicia beyond Santiago, such as Finisterre or Muxia, there is a collocated Tourism Office for the Province of Galicia at the Pilgrim Office. They also have excellent free information, but their focus is more on places out of Santiago, per se. To access this office, enter off Rua Carretas, proceed to the water fountain in the courtyard, and turn left. The tourism office will be directly in front of you, inside and across the outer hallway.

Hope this helps.
 
#16
I will throw in a few suggestions to add to the mix. I try to do new things in Santiago, but I will make an exception for visiting the Pórtico de la Gloria. I’ve also tramped around the roof of the Cathedral a few times, and those are both things I never tire of. But depending on how much time you have....

I loved walking up to the Cidade da Cultura. It is a crazy modern complex that has not really taken off as planned. A white elephant that cost the Xunta a boatload of money. But the walking route takes you down across the river Sar so you can visit the Romanesque church there (it’s actually the Via de la Plata route into town). And the buildings themselves are interesting and there is some beautiful stone work. There was an exhibit on Brazilian Indians in one of the buildings the time I was there and it was very interesting, and very uncrowded. The tourist office frequqently gives out free tickets for the exhibits. http://www.cidadedacultura.gal/en/cultural-program

Take the walking tour Route of the Routes, a walk that intersects all caminos that converge in Santiago. Nuala posted the document, which gives clear walking instructions, here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/running-in-santiago-a-question.57731/#post-658099

There is a BEAUTIFUL little walk along the River Sarela. You take the route that goes to Finisterre, down the steps in front of the Parador,down the Rua das Hortas, cross Rua Pombal and pass the Café Tertulia (highly recommended), following the arrows down Rua da Poza de Bar. When the camino crosses the little bridge over the stream, the camino goes left, but you turn right. Lots of little houses hidden in the trees, benches, babbling water, it is hard to believe you are about 300 m from busy central Santiago.

If it’s your first time in Santiago, you will probably want to stay close to all the historic sites, but if you are a repeat offender, go to the Praza Roxa and sit in a café and see how non-pilgrims live in Santiago!

It’s usually bittersweet to arrive in Santiago, but there are many ways to break out of your post-Camino depression. Buen camino, Humbertico, Laurie
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#17
Humbertico,
We actually took a free tour of SdC! Check out free tours in the town. Ours was wonderful. It gave us all the highlights...and we did not have to naviagate...
Learned a lot. The tour leader was a Galacian historian. We were asked for a donation...Our Tour started in Central square where the Camino ends....There are several companies providing tours.. We actually signed up for a Tapa tour. It cost us 20 euros pp but was well worth it. We went to four or five bars...where she explained the various wines we drank and the tapas we were eating...and additional history.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#19
Next time I would try to arrive with a friend or other pilgrims at the cathedral for the first time. I came from the lonely Camino de Invierno and felt a little bit lost in front of the cathedral... alone with so many tourists.

As mentioned before: ... going early to Cathedral if you do not want to wait in long queues for visiting a mess / portico da gloria / Relics of St. James ... at noon or in the afternoon many tourists are going to the Cathedral.

The open house of SYates was a highlight for me as well:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/2018-open-house-forum-meet-up-in-santiago.48513/
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#20
Next time I would try to arrive with a friend or other pilgrims at the cathedral for the first time. I came from the lonely Camino de Invierno and felt a little bit lost in front of the cathedral... alone with so many tourists.

As mentioned before: ... going early to Cathedral if you do not want to wait in long queues for visiting a mess / portico da gloria / Relics of St. James ... at noon or in the afternoon many tourists are going to the Cathedral.

The open house of SYates was a highlight for me as well:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/2018-open-house-forum-meet-up-in-santiago.48513/
Sorry you found the Invierno lonely. It is solitary that's for sure. And I do have to admit it's a bit weird when you go from super quiet to the madness of SdC!! I guess I hit it lucky as I meet a few folks who'd been on the Sanabres etc as I came in so I wasn't totally alone.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#21
If it’s your first time in Santiago, you will probably want to stay close to all the historic sites, but if you are a repeat offender, go to the Praza Roxa and sit in a café and see how non-pilgrims live in Santiago!
Best term ever!! LOL!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SEPT '13 CF - SJPP to Santiago
OCT '14 Porto to Santiago
#22
Just a few steps away from the pilgrims office is the church of St Francis I love very much. Go to the Mercato (apparently there is a new one dedicated to galicia). Personally I prefer the evening pilgrims mass. Also go visit the cathedral early morning ..it is serene and not as crowded. Buen Camino
Yes I agree the St Francis Church is wonderful ....simple peaceful... not the obvious display of wealth like the Cathedral
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#23
Hey Peregrinos. Starting CF next week. I wanted to ask for recommendations about highlights and special places to visit in Santiago. ie. What to see and do in Cathedral. Time of mass, Steps up to statue of Santiago etc. We will be there two days when we return from Finisterre and Muxia. Don’t want to miss anything on this Special Spiritual Journey.

Gracias y que Dios los bendiga siempre,
Humbertico
If you check the resources, Ivar has a new Guide just for Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) Spring (2016)
Portuguese (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) Spring (2018)
#24
Please do come see the team at Pilgrim House and say hello!

The Museo do Pobo Galego is interesting and shares what life was like for the Gallegos over the years. And a walk around Alameda Park is wonderful. And one of my favorite cafes is Café Casino on Rua do Vilar.
Buen Camino!
Faith
Another vote for Pilgrim House and Café Casino. Plus LOVED the Cathedral rooftop tour. You'll need to check in at the Cathedral office first thing in the morning to see if they have a tour In the language you need. They don't all happen everyday and they don't usually know until that day exactly what will be offered. One of the most interesting Tours I've ever taken. You actually get to go on top of the roof!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
#26
Hey Peregrinos. Starting CF next week. I wanted to ask for recommendations about highlights and special places to visit in Santiago. ie. What to see and do in Cathedral. Time of mass, Steps up to statue of Santiago etc. We will be there two days when we return from Finisterre and Muxia. Don’t want to miss anything on this Special Spiritual Journey.

Gracias y que Dios los bendiga siempre,
Humbertico
Fabulous city. There is a free city tour that meets in the Plaza, I believe, at 11am. Look for a lady with a big umbrella. The pilgrims museum is wonderful and there is a special pilgrims' rate on Sundays. Take the roof tour at the Cathedral and the underground tour. They are both very special and unusual. Enjoy that great city!
 
#28
Are the museums open on Sundays? I suppose they are closed on Mondays?
As natefaith indicates, yes, museums are mostly closed on Mondays. In my experience, they are also frequently closed on Sunday afternoons as well, so it is important to check schedules for each particular monument or museum. But there is plenty to do on Sunday afternoons and Monday mornings in Santiago!
 



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