It is possibly the great forgotten of Galicia but we have a lot to see in Ourense, a city that is worth visiting thanks to its monuments, its surroundings and its thermal waters.
It is located on the banks of the River Miño and was already of great importance in Roman times, attracted by its thermal baths, leaving a legacy that we can still admire today in Ourense.
We tell you what to visit in Ourense in one day if you decide to get to know this wonderful city touring its Historic Center and the river bridges.
The best things to see in Ourense in one day
The Thermal Springs of As Burgas
A tour to see what to see in Orense in one day should start at As Burgas, the most famous hot springs in Galicia.
From the underground aquifers water flows at 60 degrees that attracted the Romans and that today continues to amaze.
These are 3 springs located on 3 levels. In the lower part, the Burga de Abaixo, surrounded by the city’s first public gardens, in the middle, the Burga do Medio, where there is an Interpretation Center and the modern thermal pool, and in the upper part, the Burga de Arriba, the oldest.
In the upper part you can find the archaeological remains that corresponded to the original Roman baths.
The main square
A few meters from As Burgas is the Plaza Mayor de Ourense, the heart of the Old Town and the main meeting point of the city.
In it we can find the City Hall building, on the only side that there are no arcades, and the Old Episcopal Palace.
On the other 3 sides of the Plaza Mayor we find a series of arcades with bars, restaurants and terraces where the social life of the city takes place.
From one of the corners of the Plaza Mayor de Orense there are some stairs that lead to the facade of the Church of Santa María Nai, in baroque style and where it is believed that the first cathedral of Ourense was.
After this visit we can walk around until we reach another of the great monuments to see in Orense, the Cathedral of San Martiño, built at the end of the 12th century and with important subsequent renovations.
From its exterior you should not miss its Romanesque doors, its main façade and its three towers, one of them unfinished, although any of its façades is spectacular.
After entering its interior, our attention will be drawn to the Pórtico del Paraíso, a simplified reproduction of the impressive Pórtico de la Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which was built 50 years later.
Nor should you miss the Chapel of Santo Cristo or the High Altar with its beautiful altarpiece.
Other places to visit in the Historic Center of Ourense
Next to the Cathedral of Orense we find the Church of Santa Eufemia, from the 17th century and which will surprise you with its spectacular Baroque façade that contrasts with a very austere interior but with a Baroque altar.
We are in an area of tapas bars where you can enjoy the atmosphere and gastronomy of Ourense in a series of streets that will take you to Plaza del Hierro, the square from which almost all the tapas streets start.
In the Plaza del Hierro there is a beautiful fountain and Calle de Santo Domingo starts from it, where there is a church of the same name and which flows into the Parque de San Lázaro, in a very modern area of the city but which hides a large masterpiece, the Cloister of San Francisco.
This cloister is located in the Church of San Francisco, almost hidden among the trees. Its façade is beautiful but its great point of interest is the Cloister, with its 63 arches that have survived the passage of time and are decorated with animal, plant and human motifs. Without a doubt, an essential place to see in Ourense in one day.
The River Miño and its bridges
If we continue walking north we will reach the River Miño, the great Galician river par excellence to admire this area of the city and its bridges.
Of all of them, the most important is the Old Bridge, of Roman origin and the first to be built in Ourense, being a great milestone in its time. Not much remains of the original Roman bridge but its central arches are a symbol of the city.
This bridge is a good place to admire the Millennium Bridge, a symbol of Ourense in the 21st century with a pedestrian walkway that rises 22 meters above the river. Behind it is the Novísimo Bridge.
If we turn around and look at the other side of the Old Bridge we can admire the New Bridge, the second to be built in the city.
You can find more information about what to see in Ourense on the official tourism page of Ourense.