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How to Spend 3 Days in Santiago de Compostela

How to Spend 3 Days in Santiago de Compostela

The crowning glory—and capital—of Spain’s Galicia province, Santiago de Compostela will easily fill three days of your time. From discovering the city’s medieval treasures and sampling its famous cuisine, to exploring rural Galicia, here are our top tips for a 72-hour stay.

Day 1: City sightseeing

Stroll pilgrim-trodden lanes on a walking tour, and you’ll see why Santiago’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the twin-towered cathedral (most tours view the outside only), the reputed burial site of St. James. Then, experience the Plaza del Obradoiro, the Plaza de la Inmaculada, and other sights as you untangle their history and Santiago’s pilgrimage heritage with a guide.

Later, return to the cathedral, this time stepping inside to marvel at the ornate interior. Highlights include priceless art, the Romanesque Pórtico da Gloria, and the botafumeiro —a giant incense burner that swings from the ceiling during special masses.

Come dusk, experience another side of old Santiago on a tapas walking tour. With a guide to showcase local eateries and the rituals of ordering the bite-size dishes, savor delights such as grilled octopus, empanadas, and Santiago’s beloved almond cake alongside local wines.

Day 2: A day trip

With its verdant valleys and craggy coastline, Galicia beckons from all around, so dive into its charms. Day tours make exploring convenient with door-to-door transport that eliminates the need for rental cars and research. The Ribeira Sacra region is a popular destination, with its monasteries, vineyards, and deep gorges. Alternatively, consider the postcard-pretty Rías Baixas river inlets—tours typically include boat trips and tastings of the mussels from the estuary waters. Other options combine Cape Finisterre with the Coast of Death—a dramatic chunk of coastline that’s seen many a shipwreck.

Day 3: Focus on food

Spend your final day on another of Santiago’s claims to fame—its cuisine. Some tours combine sightseeing with gastronomy stops to give you a rounded picture of the Old Town and its culinary offerings. You’ll visit markets, pastry shops, seafood bars, and off-the-beaten-path food haunts, sampling everything from classic tapas to full-blown lunch.

After the sun goes down, join the locals for a walk through Old Town or a nearby park before celebrating your last night in Santiago over dinner and drinks.

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3 Tours and Activities | All Santiago de Compostela Tours

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Finisterre Day Trip from Santiago de Compostela

Finisterre Day Trip from Santiago de Compostela

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37
Discover some of Galicia’s most ruggedly beautiful scenery on this full-day tour from Santiago de Compostela. Meet in the city center in the morning, and hop aboard your air-conditioned vehicle. Your destination is the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death)—so named because its choppy waters have caused numerous shipwrecks. Visit the charming fishing town of Muros, see the Ézaro Waterfall; explore Cape Finisterre (one of the Iberian Peninsula’s westernmost points), and drop by the coastal village of Muxía.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.64
From
$33.64
Taking safety measures

Old Town of Santiago de Compostela Walking Tour

Old Town of Santiago de Compostela Walking Tour

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88
• Ticket to participate in a 2 hour walking tour through the main streets of Santiago de Compostela Old Town • Includes the main squares around the cathedral • Local places you won't find in tourist guides: Mercado de Abastos, narrow streets, hidden squares • The best views of the Cathedral from the Alameda Park.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1.20
From
$1.20
Taking safety measures

Galicia's Death Coast Day Trip from Santiago

Galicia's Death Coast Day Trip from Santiago

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5
Make the most out of a visit to Muxia and Cape Finisterre on this guided day tour from Santiago de Compostela. With all the details arranged ahead of time and a guide in the lead, you'll learn much more about the area than you would exploring on your own, with the bonus of not having to worry about logistics or directions. Snap photos of the dramatic landscapes and learn about the many shipwrecks that have met their doom on the so-called "Coast of Death" through your guide's engaging commentary.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.05
From
$42.05
Taking safety measures