Tips for Santiago visitors

Whether walking the road to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain as a pilgrim or visiting the city as a day-tripper, you may want to add an additional day or two to experience some of Santiago de Compostela’s highlights.

For breathtaking views of Santiago de Compostela, climb the narrow staircase and enjoy the bird’s-eye view of the city from atop the Cathedral. The entrance and ticket office for this adventure is located in the Pazo de Xelmírez, to the left of the main staircase on the city’s main plaza. The entrance fee is about €6.

The small but fascinating Museo de Peregrinos (Rúa de San Miguel, 4. 15704 Santiago de Compostela; phone 981 581558 or fax 981 581955) is dedicated to the past thousand years of history surrounding the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Entry, about €5 (closed Monday).

The Cathedral Museum, also located on the main plaza, is housed in the lovely 16th-century Cathedral cloisters. The museum holds relics of the long history of Santiago de Compostela plus historical archives and the library.

The Cathedral treasures stored here include the botafumeiro (giant incense burner) when it is not being used for the Mass. The archaeological section includes fragments of the original Romanesque cathedral structure, while the tapestry galleries have splendid French and Spanish hangings.

If planning to stay in Santiago for a few days, why not venture off to the coast with Viajes Atlantico (Plaza de Fuenterrabía, 3. 15702 Santiago de Compostela, Spain; tel. +34 981 585 899, fax 561 951 or visit I have not personally taken a trip with them, but I have been sending clients out with them for years and they always comment on how great the trip was.

Viajes Atlantico organizes day trips to coastal fishing villages throughout Galicia, including Cabo Finisterre (Cape End of the Earth). A full-day excursion usually costs about €45 (near $54) per person.

My most recent visit to Santiago was in October ’05.

Aspen, CO