A day in Santiago de Compostala with an Adopted Citizen

24/01/2023

I am Olga Balugo Andrade, head of Rosalia de Castro-Santiago de Compostela Airport service.

I started working for Iberia in 1982. Since then, I have had the opportunity to develop my work in the different areas that make up the airport’s operations, lost and found, check-in, coordination, load sheets and Red Coats. Since then, things have changed a lot, but the magic of seeing “our planes” take off every day is still intact.

I want to invite you to visit Santiago de Compostela, the city I moved to when I started working. Compostela has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. It is a modern city open to the world, welcoming thousands of pilgrims from all continents every year.

These are my must-do’s in Compostela:

You should start the day at the Costa Vella Hotel’s Café-Jardín. Its magnolia, apple and lemon trees around a fountain make it ideal for breakfast or a coffee at sunset.

The best views: From there, a gateway opens that takes us to kilometre 0 of the Camino de Santiago, to the Plaza del Obradoiro. There is nothing like enjoying the beauty of this square framed by the Pazo de Raxoi (city hall), the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos (Parador Nacional), the Pazo de San Xerome (headquarters of the University’s Rectorate) and, of course, the Cathedral itself.

A stroll: Walking through the historic centre, admiring all the squares surrounding the Cathedral – Quintana, Platerías, Rua del Villar and Del Franco -, and strolling along the rooftops of the Cathedral itself on a guided tour is a must for all visitors to Santiago.

Delicatessen: At midday, there is nothing better than a walk around the Plaza de Abastos, browsing the stalls to see the best fish and seafood from our Rías, freshly picked vegetables and, of course, tasting all these delicacies. My recommendation is Abastos 2.0, in Nave number 5 of the market. It is a Galician tavern where they cook the fresh products of the day every day, including, of course, the typical Pulpo a Feira.

A museum: The Museo do Pobo Galego, in the convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval, which also houses the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians, is well worth a visit. It is a magnificent place for family visits due to the activities that the museum itself organises.

If you go out with your family: at sunset, and to end the day, take a stroll through Alameda Park, which borders part of the historic area amidst a wide variety of trees. A walk that the youngest members of the family, and not so young, will enjoy. In addition, from the Paseo de la Herradura you will have one of the most spectacular views of the Cathedral.

Not to be missed: Santiago is not only history. In recent years, the city has undergone a great transformation, and proof of this is the City of Culture, an avant-garde architectural complex by the architect Peter Eisenman, located on Mount Gaias, from where we can have another great perspective of Compostela.