Santiago de Compostela, commonly known as Santiago, is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain.
The city has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the city's cathedral, as destination of the Way of St. James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century. In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ancient pilgrimage centre of Santiago de Compostela ranks among the most beautiful cities in all Spain. A superb ensemble of twisting stone lanes, majestic squares and ancient churches, interspersed with countless hidden nooks and crannies, its medieval core remains a remarkably integrated whole.
To this day, locals and visitors alike continue to flock to the old quarter for its round-the-clock sense of life and vibrancy, making it far more than a mere historical curiosity. Modern tourists are as likely to be attracted by its food, drink and history as by religion, but pilgrims still arrive in large numbers, sporting their vieira (scallop shell) symbol. Each year at the Festival of St James on July 25, a ceremony at his shrine re-dedicates the country and government to the saint. Those years in which the saint’s day falls on a Sunday are designated “Holy Years”, and the activity becomes even more intense. The next will be in 2021.
The University of Santiago de Compostela - USC is one of the world's oldest universities in continuous operation. the many students in the city help to give it a vibrant atmopshere.
Santiago de Compostela airport is 11km east of the city and has international and domestic flights. Many European airlines operate direct flights into this airport which increase during the Summer months.
You can take a taxi or bus to your hotel easily from here.
A Coruña Airport LCG (alternative if your airline schedule or flight from your city does not suit)
A Coruña Airport has international and domestic flights and is 71 km from Santiago de Compostela. You could take a taxi although it may be expensive. Trains depart this airport for the city of A Coruna every 30 min (15 min trip time). From here change to hourly trains to Santiago de Compostela (28 min trip time).
Weather & Clothing
Galicia is heading out of their 'very wet' season, but it is still a mixture of wet and dry days. If you're elsewhere in Spain and are heading to the north-west, check the weather forecast before you come. Temperatures are rising but don't rule out some wet and chilly days. The humidity here is also high. They do however say that Santiago looks its best in the rain! Make sure to pack clothing for all kinds of weather, Spring clothing, warm jacket, raincoat, umbrella.