Long a popular pilgrimage site for those taking the Way of St James, Santiago de Compostela has flourished in recent years to become an important cultural destination in Northern Spain! The capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela has some interesting attractions that you won’t find elsewhere in Spain, as well as its own culinary and linguistic traditions. Closely tied with Portugal, Galicia is a truly unique destination for visitors to the Iberian peninsula.
Despite its historic and religious significance, Santiago de Compostela is a relatively small city that does not have many travel guides. This can make figuring out where to stay difficult, as the city centre is often included as one large area rather than small, distinct neighborhoods. It’s important to gain a good overview of these neighborhoods so your itinerary fits around your wants and needs.
That’s where we come in! We consulted travel experts, local guides and bloggers to come up with the three best neighborhoods in Santiago de Compostela. Whether you want nightlife, culture or somewhere quiet to spend time with the family we have you covered with three handy categories to show you what each neighborhood is best for.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Santiago de Compostela
- Where to stay in Santiago de Compostela for the first time – Old Town
- Where to stay in Santiago de Compostela on a budget – USC
- Best neighborhood in Santiago de Compostela for families – Angrois
- Museo do Pobo Galego is a great attraction for discovering the rich and fascinating history, culture and art of the Galician people
- Parque da Alameda is the main green space in the city, and hosts multiple events throughout the year – so check the calendar!
- Restaurante San Jaime is a great spot for sampling local Galician cuisine – as well as some of the best dishes from Spain and Portugal
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Santiago de Compostela.
Best Hostel in Santiago de Compostela: Roots and Boots Hostel
Though one of the more basic hostel options in the city, Roots and Boots comes with fantastic ratings and the best room prices in the city! Housed within a restored mansion, it is also an attraction in its own right – allowing you to stay in a little piece of Santiago de Compostela history.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Santiago de Compostela: Modern Duplex
This huge apartment is the ideal choice for larger groups and families visiting Santiago de Compostela! Bright and spacious, it has an ultra-modern feel – and is located only a short walk away from the train station. The host has superhost status – which means you will receive the highest level of service.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Santiago de Compostela: San Francisco Hotel Monumento
This four-star hotel is one of the priciest in the city – but with world-class facilities and an unbeatable location in the heart of the Old Town it is absolutely worth it for those that want to splurge! What’s more, it comes with excellent reviews from previous guests, ensuring high quality.View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Santiago de Compostela
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As the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela is an important hub for the autonomous region! Packed with a vibrant culture distinct from what you might find elsewhere in Spain, Santiago de Compostela has a lot more to offer outside of the usual pilgrimage related attractions. The unique cuisine and culture, both of which are influenced by neighboring Portugal, are well worth taking the time to explore – making Santiago de Compostela a viable destination in its own right.
The Old Town is by far the most popular neighborhood in the city! This is where you will find most of the historic and religious attractions – and is the main destination for those opting to visit the city as part of the Way of St James pilgrimage. It is also home to an eclectic array of restaurants, as well as museums and art galleries for those interested in learning more about Galician culture.
Just west of the Old Town is the University of Santiago de Compostela south campus! The areas surrounding this campus are popular with local students, and are now becoming excellent options for budget travellers. Though only a short walk away from the City Centre, restaurants and shops here are considerably cheaper – perfect if you want to keep your spending in check.
Angrois, on the other hand, is just south of the City Centre and offers a more peaceful alternative to both neighborhoods! For families, this is a great way to stay centrally without having to worry about the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. It is also where you will find the train station, keeping you well connected with other destinations in Northern Spain and Portugal.
Still need some help deciding? Check out our extended guides to each of these neighborhoods below!
Santiago de Compostela 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the three best neighbourhoods in Santiago de Compostela. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
For most visitors to Santiago de Compostela, the Old Town is the only part of the city worth visiting! Though we definitely recommend exploring further, the Old Town is still where you will find most of the best-known attractions in the city. For first time visitors, the Old Town provides a good overview of Santiago de Compostela’s historical and cultural highlights.
What’s more – it is also well connected not just with the rest of the city, but with Galicia as a whole! This makes it the perfect base for exploring the autonomous region – as well as a great option if you are travelling onwards to Portugal. Though Santiago de Compostela isn’t a nightlife city, there are also plenty of bars and restaurants in the area.
Things to See and Do in Old Town
– Museo do Pobo Galego is a great attraction for discovering the rich and fascinating history, culture and art of the Galician people
– Parque da Alameda is the main green space in the city, and hosts multiple events throughout the year – so check the calendar!
– Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela is the beating heart of the city – this is where most of the pilgrims end up, and there is a great viewpoint at the top
– Plaza de la Quintana is the main square in the city – head here during the day for interesting architecture, and in the evenings to explore nearby bars and restaurants
– Restaurante San Jaime is a great spot for sampling local Galician cuisine – as well as some of the best dishes from Spain and Portugal
Best Hostel Old Town: Azabache Hostel
Located right in the heart of the Old Town, the Azabache Hostel has long been a favourite for pilgrims looking to save some cash whilst in the city! These days it caters more to the backpacker market, with fantastic facilities such as high-speed WiFi, a laundry room and spacious common areas.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Old Town: Charming Flat
This small yet stylish apartment is perfect for couples and solo travellers wanting to stay right in the heart of the action! It comes with high-speed WiFi, and the host has superhost status meaning you can be certain of high-quality service. It also comes with a power shower, Netflix and a modern kitchen.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Old Town: San Francisco Hotel Monumento
Only a stone’s throw away from the cathedral, the San Francisco Hotel Monumento is perfectly located for getting around all of the main attractions in Santiago de Compostela! They have a well-rated restaurant on-site that provides a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. Guest parking is also available.View on Booking.com
Just southeast of the city centre, the area surrounding the USC South Campus is perfect for those visiting the city on the budget! Whilst Galicia is already cheap by European standards, this student hub offers some excellent budget-friendly bars, galleries and restaurants to keep you from breaking the bank.
It is only a short walk away from both the city centre and Angrois, giving you the opportunity to explore the other two neighborhoods in this guide with ease! The nightlife in this area tends to be a bit grittier than the limited options available in the city centre – perfect if you are more interested in alternative culture.
Things to See and Do in USC
– Bar Marlo is renowned among the student crowd – head inside for cheap beers, wines and cocktails throughout the week
– If you want to stay out late, Metropolis offer typical cheap and cheerful fare – it can be a little grubby, but nevertheless popular with the local youth
– Salud, Belleza y Agua is a great spa spot where you can unwind after a long day of exploring and enjoy their wide range of holistic therapies
– If you’re interested in some of the smaller religious attractions, Paroquia de Santa Marta is a local chapel with regular events throughout the year
– Grab a bite to eat at Carpanta – similar to Portuguese tascas, they specialise in cuisines from both sides of the border at unbeatable prices
Best Hostel USC: Roots and Boots Hostel
For backpackers wanting to save as much money as possible, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Roots and Boots Hostel! Despite the incredibly low prices, it has great facilities and large common areas where you can mingle with other guests. There are barbecue facilities on-site, as well as a great café.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in USC: Comfortable Flat
This spacious apartment, on the boundary between Old Town and the USC South Campus area, gives you easy access to most of the main attractions in the city! It also comes with parking facilities – perfect if you are taking a road trip around the Iberian Peninsula. Rooms are bright and modern.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in USC: Hotel Herradura
This rustic three-star hotel has a more local ambience – though still provides great service at favourable prices! Rooms are well designed with wood and stone furniture created by local artisans. There is a small snack bar on-site where you can pick up essentials, as well as free WiFi throughout.View on Booking.com
Angrois is located just south of the Old Town, and hosts the city’s train station! This makes it a fantastic option for those looking to travel further afield within Galicia, as well as those only visiting for a short time. For families, Angrois is also a little calmer than the Old Town – though remains a short walk away from the main historic attractions.
There are two distinct parts of Angrois depending on what side of the train station you are. North of the train station, the cobbled streets are similar to the old town – and house plenty of small local restaurants and boutiques! South of the train station you will find a large green space with multiple walkways and facilities.
Things to See and Do in Angrois
– Parque Brañas do Sar is one of three public parks south of the train station – there is an excellent riverwalk in the area
– Pavillón Pontepedriña is just north of the parks, and hosts a variety of live music and cultural events throughout the year as well as craft markets
– Parlamento de Galicia is the political heart of the autonomous region – they have regular tours for those interested in learning more about the region’s politics
– Camino Travel Centre offer a variety of tours across Galicia, as well as Northern Spain and Portugal – we recommend their Minho excursion!
– Rua de San Pedro de Mezonzo is home to many multicultural restaurants – we recommend La Cavita for Galician-Asian fusion cuisine
Best Hostel Angrois: Hostal R. Mexico
This hostel is a little further out – located on the other side of the three parks – though it is well priced and is only a short public transport journey away from the Old Town! It is recently renovated, with rooms featuring sturdy and comfortable furniture. They also have bicycle storage facilities.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Angrois: Modern Duplex
This gorgeous two-bedroom duplex sleeps up to seven guests – perfect for families looking for well-priced accommodation close to the City Centre! High-speed WiFi is available, and there is a large, American style, kitchen with all the equipment you could possibly need to self-cater during your stay.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Angrois: Tryp Santiago
This gorgeous four-star hotel is perfect for families looking for a calm and easy-going break in the city! Family rooms are available, and are decorated with modern furnishings and technology to ensure you have a comfortable stay. They provide a complimentary breakfast buffet, and have two restaurants throughout the day.View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is a destination full of surprises! Often left of itineraries in the Iberian Peninsula, the Galician capital has some unique cultural, historic and culinary attractions that shouldn’t be missed. If you are still undecided on where to visit in Spain, we absolutely recommend taking some time to visit this beautiful northern city.
In terms of best neighborhood – we have to go with the Old Town! It can be quite touristy, but not without good reason. This is the heart of Galicia, and the ending point for the Way of St James pilgrimage.
That being said, each area mentioned in this guide has its own charms. The USC South Campus area is perfect for budget travellers, and Angrois is up and coming as a major tourist neighborhood in its own right.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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