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Tips for a Smooth Visit to the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago?

LesBrass

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I'm sorry if this has been covered lately but can someone update me on the pilgrim office?

I'm on the Portuguese and will be in Santiago in a few days. I've registered on the Cathedral website for my Compostela but I'm curious how things are?

Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?

Ps. I'm happy to queue, I'm just trying to learn how things are?

Thanks 😊
 
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Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?
They are processing a lot of applications just now - averaging about 2,000 per day in the last week. I don't know how that is translating into waiting times. Apparently the new registration system has speeded things up a great deal. As has having Compostelas printed rather than hand-written.

The office now expects you to register online with your details before you collect your Compostela. There is a link on the pilgrim office website and apparently a QR code for the same system at the office door. For those without internet-access tech there are terminals in the office for public use
 
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I'm sorry if this has been covered lately but can someone update me on the pilgrim office?

I'm on the Portuguese and will be in Santiago in a few days. I've registered on the Cathedral website for my Compostela but I'm curious how things are?

Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?

Ps. I'm happy to queue, I'm just trying to learn how things are?

Thanks 😊
Friends of mine who went through yesterday shortly after midday report taking less than 10 minutes. I went through in mid-Apr around 2:00 pm and there were no queues, but the numbers do seem to have increased since then.

If you collected a Compostela last year, the system has changed slightly. This year my details were printed onto the Compostela, not hand written, and there are some small changes to the layout of the counters and perhaps the shop, but nothing that I expect would confuse anyone. The other arrangements to get your queue ticket are the same, so if you are already registered, you should have a smooth run through the process once you have arrived, and there is no need to physically queue after that except perhaps for a very short while at the very end of the process.
 
The process as far as pilgrims are concerned, hasn't changed since last year, though the overall process is now much faster. However, it's important to be careful about the accuracy of your details such as starting date, route(s) and most importantly, the spelling of your name, as your compostela and distance certificate are printed directly from the information you submit. Whilst these details can be modified by the staff member, it saves time and potential wasted paper if this information is accurate to start with.

The new system with printed certificates isn't perfect and there are still some small glitches to be worked out, but it's remarkably efficient. Like many, I will continue to lament the personal touch of handwritten compostelas but progress is a one way street and it's here to stay. Best time to go to the office is earlier in the day when it's calmer and you should have no trouble.
 
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I'm sorry if this has been covered lately but can someone update me on the pilgrim office?

I'm on the Portuguese and will be in Santiago in a few days. I've registered on the Cathedral website for my Compostela but I'm curious how things are?

Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?

Ps. I'm happy to queue, I'm just trying to learn how things are?

Thanks 😊
I last went in early March. I completed my details online (allowing that some of the terminology on the website is a little strange in English - I stuck to Spanish) received my QR code and duly turned up at the office, where there were no other Peregrinos and just one member of staff behind the desk.

I was in and out in < 3 minutes.
 
On Sunday March 26th...it was quick and efficient with no lines late in the day...I went thru about 30 minutes before closing. Lots of pilgrims in the square that day...but I think most attempt to claim their Compostella earlier in the day when I heard lines were longer.
 
Last September ( busy period) I arrived 2-3pm sorted the online check in , showed my qr code and walked in, checked the numbers on the display and quickly realised it wouldn't be more than 10 mins

Compared to previous years it was silky smooth
 
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I'm sorry if this has been covered lately but can someone update me on the pilgrim office?

I'm on the Portuguese and will be in Santiago in a few days. I've registered on the Cathedral website for my Compostela but I'm curious how things are?

Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?

Ps. I'm happy to queue, I'm just trying to learn how things are?

Thanks 😊
Could you pass on the link to register for the Compostela please.

Thanks!!!
 
We were there at 11am 3 days ago ..need to download the QR code and fill in your details on your mobile phone which takes a few minutes but there were no queue and once done went it and certificates were printed
 
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Ok, so I registered and got a code when I started the Camino. When I finish, I show up at the office and it will be clear what to do then?
 
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I'm sorry if this has been covered lately but can someone update me on the pilgrim office?

I'm on the Portuguese and will be in Santiago in a few days. I've registered on the Cathedral website for my Compostela but I'm curious how things are?

Is it busy? Are there queues? Is the system the same as last year?

Ps. I'm happy to queue, I'm just trying to learn how things are?

Thanks 😊
I tried to register online and couldn’t figure it out, so at 10:30 this morning we walked over and easy peasy it was too fast! In and out in 15 minutes. Now that a human doesn’t write out your name it comes through a printer and bam!
 
Yes, show them your code when you get there. It's a good idea to write it in your credential.

It's also a great idea and it's required, to write your own details in your credential too. Half the pilgrims that present them appear to be too lazy or too dopey to bother. Email or whatsapp number no harm too.. wiĺl help reunite you with it, should you lose it.
 
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I never go to the pilgrim office on the day of arrival in Santiago. I always go the following morning after a good sleep and shower. If you happen to be one of the first ten in line in the morning before the office opens, you are rewarded with a free lunch at the Parador hotel which my wife and I have enjoyed on three occasions now.
I'm sad to hear that the personal touch of a hand written compostela is now history. Makes me cherish the five hand written ones that much more.
 
Hi, I am looking at the new system. We are starting in Le Puy, walking to St Jean Pied de Port, and then closing with a walk into Santiago from Ourense. What would be the best way to register. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Hi, I am looking at the new system. We are starting in Le Puy, walking to St Jean Pied de Port, and then closing with a walk into Santiago from Ourense. What would be the best way to register. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Register as on the Via de La Plata. If you want a distance certificate I doubt that it’ll include your prior distance. The system is only set to deal with you walking one route as only the last 100km is considered relevant for a compostela.
 
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How far in advance should you go to website for QR code? One day to SDC? One hour?

in 2021, CF, I got the QR code 4 days prior to arriving in SDC.
There is no maximum time limit that I saw, and the minimum is when you are at the door! You can do it there on the couple of machines in the foyer.
 
Hi, I am looking at the new system. We are starting in Le Puy, walking to St Jean Pied de Port, and then closing with a walk into Santiago from Ourense. What would be the best way to register. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


As the current registration stands, you should put 'otros caminos' and the starting point as Le Puy initally. This can be ammended as Camino Frances and Camino Sanabres at the desk if you want a distance certificate. Assuming you have sellos to show progress along both stretches, your distance certificate will show something like 848km (736km from Le Puy to St Jean and 112km from Ourense to Santiago).
 
As the current registration stands, you should put 'otros caminos' and the starting point as Le Puy initally. This can be ammended as Camino Frances and Camino Sanabres at the desk if you want a distance certificate. Assuming you have sellos to show progress along both stretches, your distance certificate will show something like 848km (736km from Le Puy to St Jean and 112km from Ourense to Santiago).
Thankyou for this. It is clear.
 
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Register as on the Via de La Plata. If you want a distance certificate I doubt that it’ll include your prior distance. The system is only set to deal with you walking one route as only the last 100km is considered relevant for a compostela.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 
Thankyou for this. It is clear.

Sorry, I've pointed you wrong here. 'Otro Caminos' won't allow you to put Le Puy as a starting point, but in this case it's fine to just put in any starting point when registering on your phone. Once at the desk, it can be modified on the screen before printing to Camino Frances & Camino Sanabres with Le Puy as the starting point. As others have said, the online registration has some anomalies that might in time get straightened out, meantime it can be modified at the desk as necessary.

I hope that's still clear!
 
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I have gotten a Compostela twice. Once I had to wait in life for a long time (pre-registration existed, but they weren't doing it that day). The other I pre-registered and was in and out quickly. Both times I walked up to the counter with my credential and my euros (to pay for the distance certificate and a tube) ready to go. Both times, things went smoothly. But the first simply required more patience. People in line were pretty happy/excited to be in Santiago and we socialized while waiting in line. Just come with time and patience and you will be fine either way.

So do they still check and look at your credentials since it automatically prints your Compestella?
Yes. You register. You get in line. Give them your credential. They still hand wrote my name on the Compostela and stamped my credential in late June 2022.
 
I have gotten a Compostela twice. Once I had to wait in life for a long time (pre-registration existed, but they weren't doing it that day). The other I pre-registered and was in and out quickly. Both times I walked up to the counter with my credential and my euros (to pay for the distance certificate and a tube) ready to go. Both times, things went smoothly. But the first simply required more patience. People in line were pretty happy/excited to be in Santiago and we socialized while waiting in line. Just come with time and patience and you will be fine either way.


Yes. You register. You get in line. Give them your credential. They still hand wrote my name on the Compostela and stamped my credential in late June 2022.
I was asking about the new way since they print it out from when you registered.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Go in the morning, or otherwise when there's no long queue ; say you have a Windows Phone or dumbphone so you can't pre-register (helps if this is actually the case) ; get a printout ticket from the bouncer, walk in.
Yes. But in my recent experience rather quickly and with little interest. The process has become rather impersonal IMHO.
Not my experience at all only a little less recently, but then I absolutely will NOT get one of those new-fangled virtual credenciales, nor will I go through the process for a pre-printed Compostela. The horror !!

If you go in without pre-register, as I did, couldn't pre-register anyway because of Windows Phone, it's the same old process as always (even though that was my first time at the new new pilgrim office -- I liked the old one best, though it would be totally unsuitable nowadays, and the new new one is much better than the old new one was).
 
Go in the morning, or otherwise when there's no long queue ; say you have a Windows Phone or dumbphone so you can't pre-register (helps if this is actually the case) ; get a printout ticket from the bouncer, walk in.

Not my experience at all only a little less recently, but then I absolutely will NOT get one of those new-fangled virtual credenciales, nor will I go through the process for a pre-printed Compostela. The horror !!

If you go in without pre-register, as I did, couldn't pre-register anyway because of Windows Phone, it's the same old process as always (even though that was my first time at the new new pilgrim office -- I liked the old one best, though it would be totally unsuitable nowadays, and the new new one is much better than the old new one was).
To be fair; I suspect your credenciale was a good deal more interesting than most
 
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My credencial did get queried as it seemed to not have enough stamps ( it did but based on my walking speed )

so they are indeed checking. The speed of the process as mentioned above is needed to get the numbers thru
 
I was asking about the new way since they print it out from when you registered.
No, it is printed when you arrive. You will be asked about the details to confirm they are correct before the Compostela and distance certificate are printed.
 
No, it is printed when you arrive. You will be asked about the details to confirm they are correct before the Compostela and distance certificate are printed.
If you do it old style, it's not printed -- it's filled in manually.

My latest Compostela, October 2022, is hand written where needed.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
If you do it old style, it's not printed -- it's filled in manually.

My latest Compostela, October 2022, is hand written where needed.

This is not the case.

The OP wasn't asking about the process in October 2022 when everything was handwritten.

The only thing that will be handwritten into a compostela now is a second surname if it doesn't come out in the print, nothing else.
 
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This is not the case.

The OP wasn't asking about the process in October 2022 when everything was handwritten.

The only thing that will be handwritten into a compostela now is a second surname if it doesn't come out in the print, nothing else.
Weird, false comment about my most recent Compostela.

Dnum (my Latin Christian Name in the Accusative) (my very Late Latin Surname properly invariable) then 7, Octobris, 2022 are all hand-written.

YMMV, but please don't tell me the content of my own document.

The general process at the end of last year is no different to the general process in 2023. My own Compostela was nevertheless done manually.

I'm sad if your own most recent one wasn't.
 
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Weird, false comment about my most recent Compostela.

Dnum (my Latin name in the Accusative) (my very Late Latin Surname properly invariable) then 7, Octobris, 2022 are all hand-written.
@JabbaPapa I think the point being made is that the system has been changed since you visited the pilgrim office last October. When I called in January for a sello the new equipment was being set up. No one has questioned the content of your Compostela but the date of it is significant
 
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Weird, false comment about my most recent Compostela.

Dnum (my Latin Christian Name in the Accusative) (my very Late Latin Surname properly invariable) then 7, Octobris, 2022 are all hand-written.

YMMV, but please don't tell me the content of my own document.

The general process at the end of last year is no different to the general process in 2023.


Your own document was written 7 months ago. At that time yours and everyone else's was handwritten.

This is May 2023. There is now a new process at the Pilgrim's Office, which the OP was enquiring about and your own comments about last year are irrelevant.

Please don't refer to my comments as weird or false.
 
@JabbaPapa I think the point being made is that the system has been changed since you visited the pilgrim office last October. When I called in January for a sello the new equipment was being set up. No one has questioned the content of your Compostela but the date of it is significant
Bradypus mate, IIRC you didn't get one yourself this year.

IT-generated Compostelas have been given out since longer than that.

Flog might be right, though I hope not -- but I just don't see how someone in my own situation could have one given to me except manually. Sounds like more extra effort than it's worth.
 
The general process at the end of last year is no different to the general process in 2023. My own Compostela was nevertheless done manually.

I'm sad if your own most recent one wasn't.

Jabbapapa..

In September/October 2022, I "wrote" approximately 550 compostelas.
In April/May 2023 I "printed" approximately 650 compostelas.

Your own compostela wouldn't have been any different to anyone else's. As qualifying pilgrims, we are all entitled to the same, and there is no hierarchy.

My most recent one, some years ago, was handwritten just as yours was, and I was entitled to it, just as you were.
 
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I'm sorry but the reality is, you are truly no more worthy of a compostela than anyone else. We are all equally special.
???

No idea what you read into my comment, but there was certainly no suggestion of anything like that !!
 
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Thanks for all the good advice. We finished and getting the Compostela was a breeze.

We used this link https://catedral.df-server.info/agencias/Banderas.aspx?ind=1

I got each member of my group to register a few days before, make sure you select the Costa route on the Portuguese if you are walking that route.

Each received an email with their QR Code and showed this when we arrived at the Pilgrim's Office. We walked straight in, waited maybe 5 minutes for our number to be called and each went to the desk and chatted with the assistance behind the desk. They scan your code and deliver your Compostela... it was a breeze.

Thanks for the guidance!
 
Thank you so much for the info provided around registering for a Compostela, and indeed for asking the question @ LesBrass. I had no idea things had changed, somehow I missed this in the last few months before flying out from Australia in April 🙄🤷🏼‍♀️

Currently walking the Norté not far from Ribadeo, arriving SdC 22-23 May. Just went to register online on my iPhone using link provided above, and despite completing all fields am unable to continue the process. There appears to be no ‘Next’ box at the bottom of the page 🤔 Should I try doing it in Spanish, not English or maybe use a different browser? Sorry but am not at all techy, worst case scenario I’ll wait a week and do it in person. Thanks again. 🙏
 
Just went to register online on my iPhone using link provided above, and despite completing all fields am unable to continue the process. There appears to be no ‘Next’ box at the bottom of the page 🤔
To continue, press the button that says “Create a group” at the top right. It is mislabelled. It should say “Next” or “Submit” or similar but it doesn’t. I emailed the Pilgrim Office months if not years ago to draw their attention to these errors but they have not been corrected …
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Yesterday almost 1600 people went through the pilgrims office. But the wait was only about 10 minutes at 5:30 in the afternoon. It was very easy.
 
4 of us went through at 2:30 today, May 18. No waiting, just walked in, got a ticket and went to the counter. Very smooth process.
 
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4 of us went through at 2:30 today, May 18. No waiting, just walked in, got a ticket and went to the counter. Very smooth process.
The pilgrim office website is saying there have been 1944 Compostelas so far today. In past years that would probably have meant quite lengthy queues. Though I'm not a great fan of the new system it does seem to be very efficient.
 
I never go to the pilgrim office on the day of arrival in Santiago. I always go the following morning after a good sleep and shower. If you happen to be one of the first ten in line in the morning before the office opens, you are rewarded with a free lunch at the Parador hotel which my wife and I have enjoyed on three occasions now.
I'm sad to hear that the personal touch of a hand written compostela is now history. Makes me cherish the five hand written ones that much more.
Thank for sharing this information about being early at the Pilgrim office. What time does it open ?
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
They are processing a lot of applications just now - averaging about 2,000 per day in the last week. I don't know how that is translating into waiting times. Apparently the new registration system has speeded things up a great deal. As has having Compostelas printed rather than hand-written.

The office now expects you to register online with your details before you collect your Compostela. There is a link on the pilgrim office website and apparently a QR code for the same system at the office door. For those without internet-access tech there are terminals in the office for public use
I am trying to picture Tom (Martin Sheen) standing at the new counter getting the new version of his Compostela, and trying to change the name to Daniel (Emilio Estevez), in an updated version of The Way.
 
They are processing a lot of applications just now - averaging about 2,000 per day in the last week. I don't know how that is translating into waiting times. Apparently the new registration system has speeded things up a great deal. As has having Compostelas printed rather than hand-written.

The office now expects you to register online with your details before you collect your Compostela. There is a link on the pilgrim office website and apparently a QR code for the same system at the office door. For those without internet-access tech there are terminals in the office for public use
Since I am not a techie and don't have a phone, I want to see if I understand your last paragraph, Bradypus. If I have internet access before SdC, I can use the Pilgrim Office's website to register and they will email me a QR that I can receive on my iPod? Or do you mean if I do not have a mobile phone, I must use the terminals at the Office? Thanks.
 
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Since I am not a techie and don't have a phone, I want to see if I understand your last paragraph, Bradypus. If I have internet access before SdC, I can use the Pilgrim Office's website to register and they will email me a QR that I can receive on my iPod? Or do you mean if I do not have a mobile phone, I must use the terminals at the Office?
I have not used the new system myself. @Kathar1na described the process recently in this post: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...gistering-for-a-compostela.80652/post-1138562
 
Since I am not a techie and don't have a phone, I want to see if I understand your last paragraph, Bradypus. If I have internet access before SdC, I can use the Pilgrim Office's website to register and they will email me a QR that I can receive on my iPod? Or do you mean if I do not have a mobile phone, I must use the terminals at the Office? Thanks.
I think that you can register at any time before arriving in Santiago - even before you travel to the Camino. Just write down the alphanumeric code that they email you on your credential.

If this is incorrect please let me know.
 
And if you don’t have a phone - there are people at the office who will help you.
 
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I think that you can register at any time before arriving in Santiago - even before you travel to the Camino. Just write down the alphanumeric code that they email you on your credential.

If this is incorrect please let me know.
Yes, that’s fine. The office email contains a QR code which one scans on arrival. It’s actually easier to do than describe.
 

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