Summarizing all the essential places to see in Galicia in a few lines is impossible because in this land of contrasts, full of myths and legends, towns, cities and natural environments are piled up that you should not miss.
Each of the 4 provinces that you can visit in Galicia has its charm and in all of them we will find beautiful places that will surprise you. The Camino de Santiago has helped Galicia to be known throughout the world and more and more people are falling in love with this place.
Galicia is a community in which you can find places to visit for all tastes, for all ages and where you will find many corners to visit both in its cities and in its towns as well as in its natural wonders.
Routes through Galicia for days
To make your visit easier, we have created a series of routes depending on the days you have to visit Galicia. On routes of up to 5 days we offer two possibilities depending on where you establish your base since Galicia is a very large community and in so few days it is impossible to see everything. In our 7-day route we establish two bases so that your displacements are less.
That is why we recommend that you spend at least 7 days to get to know Galicia, although even then they will be few and you will need a second visit.
And if you are traveling as a family, do not miss our article with the best things to see in Galicia with children.
The essential places to see in Galicia
Santiago de Compostela. World Heritage
Without a doubt, the best city to see in Galicia is Santiago de Compostela. And not only thousands of tourists arrive every year but also pilgrims who make the Camino de Santiago. Visiting Santiago is essential.
The Plaza del Obradoiro is the nerve center of Santiago de Compostela and from where the main streets to see in the city start. In it we can visit the main monument of the city, the Cathedral of Santiago.
Other places to visit in Santiago and that you should not miss are the University or the Monastery of San Martiño Pinario, places that contribute to beautifying this city that is a World Heritage Site.
Not far from Santiago is another of the main cities that you should visit in Galicia. La Coruña is the most populated city in the region and its attractiveness is indisputable.
In it we can admire from the Tower of Hercules, the oldest Roman lighthouse that is still in operation, to unique modernist buildings, such as the Town Hall located in Plaza de María Pita, to which there are wonderful beaches.
Another big city with an old town that you should know about is Pontevedra. It can be explored in a very short time since everything you need to visit in Pontevedra is very close.
Its alleys and squares will transport you to another era, so taking a walk through Pontevedra is a must if you are on tourism in Galicia.
And also from Pontevedra you can start some of the best excursions to do in Galicia. Like for example, to Combarro, one of the most beautiful Galician towns.
Lugo and the Roman wall
Another of the most important cities that we can see in Galicia is Lugo. It is one of the great unknowns of the region but it is home to the Roman Wall, which is a World Heritage Site and whose upper part we can even walk.
Lugo is not a very big city and can be visited in a short time, so we recommend paying a visit and not only enjoying its Roman Wall but also the rest of the monuments that fill the city.
Another of the great cities that you can visit in Galicia is Vigo. It is not the most monumental but it is the most populated city in the community
The main point of interest in Vigo is its old town with a maritime scent, where the Co-Cathedral of Santa María and some of the most beautiful squares in the city are located. Also very interesting is the Ensanche de Vigo area and, of course, the Port.
The capital of the only Galician province that does not have access to the sea is Ourense, a fantastic city on the banks of the Miño River, of which we must highlight its old town and, of course, one of its best-known places, the Termas de As Burgas.
Taking a walk through the old town of Ourense will take you to its Cathedral, its main monument, and its Plaza Mayor, although the bridges that cross the River Miño are also very interesting.
The sea, the great attraction of Galicia
Galicia is one of the regions of Spain with the most kilometers of coastline. It doesn’t look like it looking at a map, but its steep orography forming beautiful estuaries contributes to it. In addition, it is the only one that is bathed by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea. Of course do not miss the best beaches to see in Galicia.
The sea is one of the great protagonists of Galicia. It has several hundred kilometers of rugged coastline and the Rias Altas are some of the best areas to visit.
From the famous Playa de las Catedrales, to the no less famous Fisterra Lighthouse, you will find spectacular places full of beauty and mystery. The Costa Ártabra is another exceptional place in the Rías Altas.
Throughout the entire Rías Altas you will find incomparable landscapes, mysterious lighthouses and charming fishing villages such as Ribadeo, Cedeira, Ortigueira or Viveiro.
And continuing to the south we have the Rías Baixas with the most touristic areas to visit in Galicia. The Rías de Vigo and Pontevedra accumulate places of such beauty as Cambados, Pontevedra itself, Combarro and many other places.
Another of the very interesting areas of the Rías Baixas is the Ría de Aldán, a place not very well known famous for its beautiful beaches.
Beach of the Cathedrals
Framed in the beauty of the Rías Altas, Playa de las Catedrales deserves a special chapter thanks to its beauty and the ability to see two different beaches every day, one when the tide is high and the other when the tide is low.
To visit the Playa de las Catedrales you have to book a ticket, free of charge, in advance and anticipate when the tides will be. Without a doubt, one of the best things to see in Galicia.
The Coast of Death
Half in the Rías Altas and half in the Rías Baixas, the Costa da Morte is another wonder of nature whose culminating point is Fisterra and its lighthouse, the place where the Camino de Santiago ends.
But it is not the only thing we can visit on a coast of legends where we can also highlight the Mirador de Ézaro, Carnota Beach and towns such as Malpica, Camariñas or the beautiful Muxía, the most beautiful town on the Costa da Morte, where it is the famous Santuario da Virxe da Barxa.
Touring the Costa da Morte is an activity that you should not miss.
Another great natural wonder is the Cíes Islands and visiting them is one of the best things you can do in Galicia. They are located in front of the Ría de Vigo and they can only be accessed by boat and also by booking in advance.
The interior of Galicia
The cities and the coast are not the only things you can see in Galicia. You also have several places in the interior that are worthwhile, among beautiful towns as well as natural wonders that you can visit. The rural areas of Galicia that are well worth a visit.
One of them is Ribeira Sacra, where vineyards and medieval monasteries embrace so that we can enjoy a beautiful area.
The Sil River Canyons are essential and you have different viewpoints to admire them. Monforte de Lemos, the capital of Ribeira Sacra is also a very interesting city.
In the province of Ourense we find one of the most beautiful towns that we can find in Galicia. It is Allariz, a small town in the interior with one of the most beautiful old quarters in the Galician community.
Taking a walk through Allariz will take you to see its convents and churches as well as its beautiful streets and squares in a town bathed by the Arnoia River.
You can find more information about the best things to see in Galicia on the official Galicia tourism page.