Galicia city guides
The main cities in Galicia are Santiago de Compostela, la Coruna, Lugo, Tui, Ferrol, Pontevedra, Ourense, Vigo and Lugo. To find out more about any of these places, click on the photo next to the city summary below.
Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of Galicia and is some 30km inland from the coast. It has a famous cathedral and a beautiful medieval area. It is the regions most visited city and also has a famous pilgrimage associated with its long history. It is serviced by an international airport and has a large number of hotels both inside and on the outskirts of the city. It is the home of Galicia’s parliament.
The city and province of lugo offer a view of the un-commercial side of Galicia. Lugo province is the largest of the regions four provinces and has a capital city surrounded by a 1700 year old Roman wall. The city has clearly defined old and new towns and is also a cathedral city. Lugo can be reached from Santiago de Compostela by a main road network in less than one and a half hours and is increasing in tourist popularity.
La Coruna is often ignored at the expense of neighbour, Santiago de Compostela, but it is an important and toursit rich city with much to endear it. The harbour area is especially well known, not just for its commercial exploits, but for the many glass fronted building which adorn it and have given rise to its naming as the crystal city. La Coruna’s most famous structure is an ancient lighthouse dating back to Roman times, but it also has castles and the remains of an old Roman wall.
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pontevedra is the site of Galicia’s smallest provincial capital city and it is dwarfed in size by the massive metropolis of Vigo, just a few kilometres away down the coast. Pontevedra does however possess many of the qualities looked for by visiting tourists and has one of the regions best old towns with a wealth of courtyards, old buildings and a long history of war and political unrest.
Close to la Coruna, Ferrol is built on the Galician coast and has a long seafaring history. Commercially, Ferrol is an important port, but it has yet to capture the imagination of Galicia’s tourists despite being the launching point for Spain’s Armada in its failed attempt to conquer Britain. The town has both new and old quarters and boasts several beaches, a large maritime harbour and seafood cuisine .
Situated inland, Ourense is Galicia’s least populated and least visited province, but its capital city is large and has a central old town. Highlights of the city are its cathedral and a small but elegant church off the main town courtyard.
Found in Pontevedra province, Vigo is the largest and most prosperous city in Galicia with a population of about 300 000. Vigo combines a modern and forward looking city with historic connections and the regions best climate.
Tui is not the most popular of Galicia’s cities when it comes to foriegn tourism, but it does have several features to endear it. Located in Pontevedra, it was originally a Roman settlement and although possessing city status, has a population of less than 15 000 people.
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