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Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela)

star-5
281 Reviews
Santiago de Compostela

The Basics

Whether you’re a pilgrim wishing to bask in the presence of an important holy site or merely interested in one of the most fantastic spots in Europe, the cathedral is a must-see for the sweep and scope of its art and architecture.

Many visitors explore the cathedral and surrounding town on a day trip from Porto just across the Portuguese border. To get a sense of the pilgrimage experience, it’s also possible to take a self-guided walk along the last 62 miles (100 kilometers) of the Way of St. James over the course of a week or opt for a weeklong guided cycling tour of the pilgrimage route.

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Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch

Traveler Favorite

Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
star-4.5
$132.15 per adult
Relaxing trip
We move to Santiago de compostela riding in a very fast car with Ricardo as our driver and tour guide. He was good in driving while narrating the history of Porto and the places we have to visit. He speaks fluent english. We will look for him the next time we visit again Portugal.
Dannilo V, Oct 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Santiago de Compostela

star-5
Living Tours is Outstanding!!! 10/10
William_K, Jul 2021
Full-Day Tour to Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho from Porto
After having seen most of the sights around Porto, my wife and I thought that a trip to medieval Santiago de Compostela in Spain would be exciting. At first the trip seemed like a no-go, because four people are required for this trip. However, after finding out that we REALLY wanted to go, Living Tours made an exception and took us anyways. We really want to thank Living Tours for bending over backwards to make us happy. Needless to say, the trip was fantastic and our guide Francisco F. was outstanding. Francisco was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and took us to a fabulous restaurant for lunch. As for Santiago de Compostela, make sure you go, it’s living history. On the way back, we stopped in the small border town of Valença, again a winner! In sum, we had an unforgettable day thanks to Living Tours and Francisco.
star-5
Santiago in one day
dbinckly, Feb 2020
Santiago de Compostela and Viana do Castelo small group full-day tour from Porto
Very knowledgeable guide, engaging and keeping you entertained during the long ride to Santiago. Very good visit, even if the cathedral is under renovation so it is a very limited visit, probably should be mentionned at booking time. It was raining when we went, but we still enjoyed our day.
star-5
Amazing!
Anzelle D, Nov 2019
Full-Day Tour to Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho from Porto
Santiago de Compostela didn't disappoint! I wish we had more time to explore the Galician capital. Not even the rain could ruin the beauty and the strong emotions that you feel when you see the pilgrims celebrate the success of their journey.
star-5
Great Trip
Janice R, Sep 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
Our driver Ricardo was very knowledgeable and friendly. Our lunch was fantastic. This trip was well worth the price.
star-5
Santiago
Cviale49, Sep 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
My guide Paula was good on the history,explained everything very well, but will like interactive on her part.
star-4
Guide was fantastic !! Driver was mediocre art best !!
Pamela L, Oct 2019
Santiago de Compostela Private Tour from Vigo with Hotel or Port Pick-up
We had a driver - only - to pick us up at the port . He was not out front with our name card as we exited the terminal - he was just sitting in the van down by the shuttle/ tour buses, with our name laying flat on the dashboard — he did not speak English, so not only did he not communicate with us about our 1.3 hr drive to Santiago, we couldn’t even convey to him that we would like the A/C to be turned on as it was quite warm in the van ! When we arrived in Santiago de Compostela we met up with our guide - Lucia - and she was fantastic - so pleasant with a great manner of conveying the history and sites of this glorious city. !! 👍. She took amazing care of us , catering to our interests and our specific tour desires —
star-5
A wonderful day!
Marjorie M, Sep 2019
Full-Day Tour to Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho from Porto
We thoroughly enjoy our tour to both Santiago de Compostela & Valenca do Minho. Our tour guide was great and took us to a wonderful restaurant where we had course after course of absolutely delicious food! We went to mass at San Francisco church & toured the main Cathedral even though it is being renovated. Valenca had several churches to visit and great linens & towels in the shops. A wonderful day!
star-5
Superior Experience. Try It You'll like it
Dave S, Sep 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
Paola was our guide/driver and she made the experience exceptional due to her deep knowledge and apparent love for the history of this area. Plus, her driving skills were admirable. The cafe we stopped for "lunch" was a real treat and the food was both delicious and plentiful. I cannot imagine a better way to visit this area and shrine than through our Viator day trip. P.S. It included a stop at the fortress on the Minho River and that was a delightful respite, too.
star-5
Better than expected
sydney147, Sep 2019
Full-Day Tour to Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho from Porto
An SMS was sent the day before as a reminder. Pick-up time was on the dot. There were only five of us in the van. Very roomy travel. The high praise to our guide Ricardo. He is very knowledgeable and accomodating. He mentioned and showed us other places that might be of interest to us. This tour is highly recommended.
star-4
Santiago de Compostela - a remote gem in northwest Spain
Alan C, Nov 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
This renowned pilgrimage site is worth a visit even for those not up to the rigors of a pilgrimage on foot. Viator offers a day trip by bus from Porto, Portugal. The stop in Valenca, a fortress town on the border with Spain, is basically a long restroom stop. Santiago is full of historic and awe-inspiring architecture, first and foremost the Cathedral. The cathedral is currently under renovation. The scaffolding and rebars substantially diminish the majesty and grandeur of the place. Other sites of interest include the Monasteries of Saint Martin and Saint Francis and the University of Santiago de Compostela. The Viator trip is not a guided tour. Once inside the city, you are free to explore on your own. But the guide provides a map and directions. The historic center is relatively compact and you can easily see the major sights on your own. A tapas lunch is included.
star-4
Good day trip
Fay S, Oct 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
Picked up on time,very informative guide with excellent English,a nice drive in the countryside,a short stop for coffee,arrived in Santiago with 1 hour free time to visit the cathedral before a very nice lunch,another hour to walk around the town before leaving for our trip back to Porto,another short stop before dropping off at our hotel. Very disappointed as cathedral inside is covered in scaffolding,unable to see much of the interior.Why wasn’t this done in stages.? A very enjoyable day,a good lunch with wine,the only disappointment was the interior of the cathedral in Santiago. Certainly not the drivers fault. .

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a must-see for spiritual travelers and architecture buffs.

  • Remember to dress respectfully, as the cathedral is an active place of worship.

  • The cathedral offers an audio guide in English covering the basilica and museum collection.

  • Entrance to the cathedral is free, but the museum requires a ticket.

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How to Get There

Most visitors arrive at the cathedral on foot as part of a pilgrimage, and it’s easy to walk to and from just about anywhere in the relatively small Santiago. The easiest way to get there from other cities in Spain is to take the train; the station is within walking distance of the city center. You can also visit as part of a day trip from Porto, Portugal.

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When to Get There

The basilica and its museum are both open daily throughout the year, though the museum closes on some holidays. Winter is an ideal time to visit the cathedral, as pilgrimages are rare, so you won’t have to queue up. Arrive early if you plan to attend mass in July or August, the busiest months at the cathedral.

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Botafumeiro

On some holidays, a huge incense burner known as a Botafumeiro is hung from the main dome of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Eight men use a pulley system to swing the giant censer from side to side some 65 feet (20 meters) above the congregation.

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