What to do when you arrive to Santiago?
And now that you’ve reached your goal, what are the latest steps in this day?
The first thing to do when you get to the old town is go to the Plaza del Obradoiro, to the center of the same or above the portic of the Palace of Rajoy in case of rain. Stand, lie down if you can and enjoy. Only let a little time and see how all beats around you. We know it is a pity the scaffolding on the facade of the Cathedral but you must know that is to have an excuse and opportunity to come back and visit next time.
If you have backpack we suggest you to leave one of the lockers near the Cathedral (Campus Stellae or Correos, for example) or you approach to your accommodation to ask for keep it there.
Enter into the cathedral by the Plaza de Platerías, which is accessed through the right side up the Fuente de los Caballos crowning by a female representation of the city of Compostela. The second door on the left, once you enter the Cathedral, is the Sacristy and there we suggest you ask what time they plan to flight the Botafumeiro during your stay.
Attends the Pilgrim’s Mass at 12 am or take the opportunity to walk through the cathedral and enjoy this jewel of Romanesque built in three stages and coated on the outside of a baroque and neoclassical linen. (The cathedral is open from 7.00 am in the morning and, without a doubt, is visiting hour we recommend: silence, quiet, great times to take pictures from a different perspective, or just to think about the great challenge that you has finished.)
Returns to the Plaza del Obradoiro and looking in the left hand after scafoldings you can see the Gelmirez Palace. Ask about guided tours to the cathedral rooftop (definitely the Must in Santiago de Compostela), or to the Tribune or to Archaeological Excavations. Grab tickets combined with the permanent collection of the Museum of the Cathedral and enjoy the secrets and treasures of our Cathedral.
At some while you must book for a moment to pick up your Compostela, certifying that have made at least 100 km on foot and 200 km by bicycle or horse. The Pilgrim Office from this year is on the street Carretas, below the Parador Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos. Although it has an extensive schedule if we get a large flow dates you must book more and more time to get your hands on it. We recommend going to midday (about 14 hours) or to late afternoon so that there is less people.
We recommend to eat tapas or “raciones” on the Raiña street. We know it is near the Franco and is the quintessential tourist street, but if the people of Santiago have to go to this area, we prefer the Rua Raina. Head over to the Sexto II, the Gato Negro or María Castaña, which are the three restaurants in quick succession. A little further on are the Caracoles, Central or San Jaime. We recommend that in these places first order the drink, just the drink and then they bring you the free Tapa. Once they bring it you request the rest of food remembering that the next place you can order your drinks on the same way. There is another very close area to sample wines, “cortos”, beer and tapas. It is on the other parallel of Franco, behind the post office. Taste spanish tortilla in Marte or almost eaten with San Clemente tapas.
After lunch time leaves a while for “siesta” or take an alternative plan: Spa session in Spagat, best urban spa in the city. You can also request a massage in your hotel room to enjoy your rest and enjoy your stay in Santiago de Compostela.
Do you want tapas as people from Santiago in the afternoon? Then approach the area of the Plaza de Cervantes. This place is where many people from here start routes to Bierzo Enxebre terraces, Casa Felisa, La Flor, Casa Pepe, Caballo Blanco, Café de Altamira, Abastos 2.0 … or come and towards Rúa de San Pedro stayed where we have the Catro, Rua Moa or more tha recommended O Dezaseis. Only enjoy yourself like would a “santiagués”.
For the first day it is fine. We leave nothing, but if we have reserved some less known, essential corners or routes to Rias Baixas or how to get to Finisterre (Fisterra). Soon we will present to do in a second day after arriving in Santiago doing your Camino de Santiago or just visiting the city. We’ll have more information and restaurant recommendations, cultural, or just useful info.