The city has also several museums that are worth the visit
- Cathedral Museum: it shows the Cathedral’s history and artistic testimonies, from the first basilicas and archaeological remains, the Romanesque period, the work of Master Mateo, with the reconstruction of the Cathedral’s Stone Choir; sculpture in the Cathedral between the 13th and 18th centuries, a tour of the Mannerist Cloister, Library, where the Botafumeiro censer is exhibited and the Chapterhouse, ending on the top floor with an important tapestry collection, which includes a room dedicated to Goya, and the spectacular continuous balcony that dominates Plaza del Obradoiro and the streets of historical Santiago. It opens all the days except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, January 6th, St. James’ Day and August 15th. The prices depend on the person, but it’s between 3 and 6 €. Praza do Obradoiro.
- Museum of the Galician People: the former Convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval, situated on a hill outside the walls of the historical city, beside the road used by pilgrims to enter Compostela, now houses the Museo do Pobo Galego (Museum of the Galician People), which, provides a general view of the most representative expressions of Galicia’s own culture. It displays different aspects of costal life, traditional trades, the country, traditional costumes and architecture. It also includes sections of Galician archaeology, painting and sculpture. Different temporary exhibitions are regularly organized on a variety of subjects. The entrance is free and it’s open all the year except on Mondays. It’s also the place where many important Galician figures are buried. Rúa de San Domingos de Bonaval.
- CGAC (Galician Centre of Contemporary Art): open since 1993, and holding a stable innerspace. The entrance is free and it’s open always except on Mondays. Rúa Ramón María del Valle-Inclán.
- Pilgrimage Museum: the exhibition highlights the importance, for European culture and Hispanic America, of the pilgrimage and worship of St. James. The entrance is free for people under 18 and over 65, and it costs 1.20 € for students and 2.40 € to the rest of people. Rúa de San Miguel.
- One of the best ways (and maybe one of the most comfortable) of seeing the city and learning things about its building and history is to get on a little train that will take you through different parts of the city showing it in an unique way. It has an English speaking guide. It departs from the Praza do Obradoiro.
- If you want a guided visit on foot through the Old District, just try one of the guided visits that the City Hall organized with an English speaking guide. These visits depend on the day and the season.
- There are several guided visits, but they are only available in Spanish. For Although this, if you’re a big group (more than 15), you could ask for them in the Official Tourism Office at Rúa do Vilar, 63.
- Fundación Museo Eugenio Granelñ, Plaza world showing works by Granell and other surrealist artists old and new. You can also visit its two libraries And children can enjoy the Didáctic Área. Its shop offers souvenirs as well as jewelry by local artists. 2€.
Just outside of Santiago is a small town called “Monte do Gozo”. Some Pilgrims stop there before entering the city. It’s a huge center and has almost 2000 beds. There is a frequent bus line that will take you to walking distance of the town center.
People with a bigger budget can stay in the luxury “Hotel Dos Reis Católicos”, the former medieval pilgrim hostel, situated on the same square, O Obradoiro, as the cathedral. It is owned by the Paradores group, a large hotel-chain which operates hotels exclusively in historic buildings.
There is a 3 stars hotel near the cathedral, called Hesperia Gelmirez with very good rates.
For the budget traveler you can try Hostal R at Republica Argentina 33. It’s just a few blocks away from the train station. Another budget option is Hostal Pazo de Agra on Rúa Calderería 37. It is an easy two-minute walk from the cathedral.
Cape Finisterre is the final destination for many pilgrims
Cape Finisterre is about a 90-km walk from Santiago de Compostela. It is a recent tradition for pilgrims to burn their clothes or boots at the end of their journey at Cape Finisterre.
Cape Finisterre has some spectacular beaches, including O Rostro, Arnela, Mar Riveira, and Corbeiro. Many of the beaches are framed by steep cliffs leading down to the Mare Tenebrosum (or dark sea, the name of the Atlantic in the Middle Ages).
There are several rocks in this area associated with religious legends, such as the “holy stones”, the “stained wine stones”, the “stone chair”, and the tomb of the Celtic crone-goddess Orcabella.
Camino de Santiago • Locations & Activities