With two days in Santiago de Compostela, you can explore the cathedral and plazas of its UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town, feast on local fresh seafood and tapas, and still have time for a day trip into the countryside. Here’s how to make the most of your 48 hours in the Galician capital.
Begin with a walking tour of Santiago’s pedestrian-only Old Town (Zona Vella), where you’ll find the city’s signature sights. Visit top attractions such as the Romanesque cathedral, the Plaza del Obradoiro and Inmaculada squares, and Alameda Park, all with a guide to help unpack the city’s history.
Santiago is a foodie hot spot, so spend the afternoon on a culinary-themed tour to sample its top specialities and eateries. Choose a tour that takes you into the Old Town for a gourmet lunch or restaurant hopping or one that focuses on casual food spots and the central Abastos market, where you can sample local cheeses and other delicacies.
Continue your gastronomic discoveries with a tapas-oriented, evening stroll in the Old Town as the locals come out to play. Discover Galician classics such as octopus and mussels, with a guide to lead you to the best spots and explain the etiquette of ordering these tasty bites.
Today, head out to discover rural Galicia. Choose a day trip to the Rias Baixas, four coastal river inlets; Cape Finisterre; the ominous-sounding Coast of Death (Costa da Morte), where the seas have swallowed many ships; or the beautiful Ribeira Sacra region. Tours offer the benefit of guides for background and hassle-free return transport.
If you chose a day trip earlier, continue it this afternoon—exploring Rias Baixas’ fishing villages, admiring Finisterre’s lighthouse, tracing the Coast of Death as you hear about its shipwrecks, or experiencing the monasteries, river gorges, and wines of Ribeira Sacra.
Ease into your last evening at some of Santiago’s tapas haunts and eateries. Practice tapas tips gleaned from your first night’s food tour as you hop between bars, and settle at a buzzing restaurant to dig into specialties such as Galician beef or seafood from the Cantabrian Sea.