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Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: Our most recommended tours and activities

Santiago de Compostela: Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour

1. Santiago de Compostela: Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour

Skip the line and discover the Romanesque architecture of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela with an expert guide. Explore the Cathedral and its museum and get a better perspective of the last stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Choose between the two options: 1) Guided tour of the cathedral and its museum: Admire the beautiful interiors of the Cathedral on four floors. See notable features of the Cathedral, such as the Chapel of Relics, the Royal Pantheon, the Treasury, the Chapter Library, the Botafumeiro, and the Obradoiro balcony. Learn more about the construction and destruction of the Cathedral throughout the centuries. 2) A guided visit to the roofs of the cathedral, the carraca tower, the interior of the cathedral and its museum, which is available only in Spanish. On this tour, you will get to know the Cathedral of Santiago in its entirety, touring its museum and enjoying the best views of the city from the roofs of the cathedral and the viewpoint of the Torre de la Carraca, more than 50 meters high.

Santiago de Compostela Full-Day Tour From Porto

2. Santiago de Compostela Full-Day Tour From Porto

Discover 2 charming southern Europe on a full-day sightseeing tour from Porto. Cross the border into Spain to explore the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia and stop to see Valença do Minho on the way back to Porto.  Board a comfortable van or bus and embark on a journey to one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the world, Santiago. See the Caminhos de Santiago (St. James Way) pilgrim trail and visit a magnificent 11th-centuty cathedral. Admire the architecture that was originally built in a Romanesque style, today the cathedral is an amalgam of harmonious influences. Have the opportunity to attend mass and enjoy free time to go for a stroll in the UNESCO World Heritage city center. Begin the drive back to Porto, stopping at Valença do Minho, a historical village in the north of Portugal, located right on the border between Portugal and Spain. Valença was important during the middle ages and it was part of "Caminhos de Santiago".  See how the city is dominated by a fortress of two towers and a double wall before returning to your meeting point in Porto. 

Santiago de Compostela: Cathedral & Museum Private Tour

3. Santiago de Compostela: Cathedral & Museum Private Tour

Uncover the art inside the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on this guided tour. See religious iconography and the reputed burial place of the apostle Saint James. Visit the library where the Codex Calixtinus (the main witness for the Book of Saint James) is held.  Meet your guide and begin at the ground floor of the Cathedral's Museum which has four rooms where you can see the remains that were found in different archaeological excavations. View a map to determine what was standing on this site before the Cathedral.  Admire the spectacular stone choir of Master Mateo and various examples of religious iconography such as busts, statues or wooden carvings. See depictions of both of the Apostle Santiago in his three versions (pilgrim, soldier, and saint). Listen as your guide tells you about each version and hear about different biblical characters. Upon reaching the second floor, will leave the cloister to focus on the library where the famous Codex Calixtinus is kept.  Arrive at the third a floors which is dedicated to different tapestries from both the Flanders school, as well as the so-called Goya Tapestries made in the Royal Tapestry Factory of Madrid. Head to the the balcony for views from above the Plaza do Obradoiro. Afterwards go back to the second floor to visit the cloister and access the Cathedral without having to wait in line.  Enter the temple to enjoy its different chapels. Follow your guide to the main altar, the holy door, and see what is said to be the tomb of the apostle Saint James. 

Santiago de Compostela Private Guided Tour

4. Santiago de Compostela Private Guided Tour

Take in the major sights of Santiago de Compostela on a 2-hour guided walk. Visit the city’s best-known squares, the Cathedral, the City Hall and the Hostel of the Catholic Monarchs. Learn about the history of the Camino de Santiago and the legend of St. James. See the many symbols of the city, including the shell, the arrow and the azabache, all of which are important elements to understanding the secrets of Santiago. In addition, you’ll see the market, the university and Cervantes Square. The tour ends at the operator’s office, where you’ll be introduced to typical products from Galicia. Receive free maps, souvenirs and information about other activities.

Santiago: Cathedral, Museum and City Walking Tour

5. Santiago: Cathedral, Museum and City Walking Tour

Experience everything Santiago has to offer on this combination guided walking tour. Explore the historic center, learn about the city's fascinating history, and visit the iconic Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Begin your tour of Santiago with a guided tour of the city center. From Praza do Obradoiro, follow your guide throughout the city, seeing the top sights and learning about the area's fascinating history. Enjoy a short break and the second part of the tour will begin, visiting the Cathedral Museum and the interior of the Santiago Cathedral. Learn about its Romanesque past and see works of art dating from the 13th century. Underneath the cathedral, see archeological excavations of an ancient Roman city.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour

6. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour

Explore the history and art of Santiago de Compostela on a guided tour of the cathedral and its museum. One of the 3 most important centers for Catholic pilgrims in the Christian world, Santiago de Compostela Cathedral has historically been a place of pilgrimage on the "Way of St. James" (Camino de Santiago) since the early Middle Ages. Enter the magnificent monument to discover why, as your guide takes you to see the tomb of Saint James and much more. Look at the resplendent main altar and the intricate chapels surrounding it, and learn about the rituals and traditions. Hear about the historical and architectural importance of the cathedral, and further your knowledge in the museum where permanent collections are complemented by temporary exhibitions.

Santiago de Compostela: Old Town Private Tour

7. Santiago de Compostela: Old Town Private Tour

On this walking tour of the city of Santiago, discover the most important monuments and places in the city. This tour is free-form, so your tour guide will adapt each individual tour to the participants' moods and desires. The first part of the tour is focused in the main squares surrounding the Santiago Cathedral, your guide will fill you in on their histories and tell you fascinating stories that will help you to understand the significance of what you're seeing. Understand the meaning of the shells, the origin of the Botafumeiro, why the city is called Compostela, and more. The second part of the tour escapes the most touristic parts of the city to enter into the downtown area from the eyes of a local. Discover the local market, hidden squares and narrow streets while your guide gives you the best recommendations for some tapas, lunch, dinner and nightlife. Finish off the tour where it started, and let your guide help you figure out what else you'd like to do in Santiago or any other part of Galicia.

From Porto: Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Private Tour

8. From Porto: Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Private Tour

After a pick-up from your hotel in Porto, meet your private guide and sit aboard a comfortable vehicle. With exclusivity and complete privacy, go to the north of Portugal through the north of Portugal to Galicia. Enjoy the impressive views of the Minho region with a break mid-way in historic Valença do Minho. Arriving in Santiago de Compostela, let yourself be enveloped by a unique atmosphere as you tour the historic center and visit the Cathedral.

From Porto: Santiago de Compostela Full Day Tour

9. From Porto: Santiago de Compostela Full Day Tour

Relax as you are personally collected from your hotel in Porto at 7:30 AM and depart immediately for Santiago de Compostela. At 11:00 AM you will experience the famous Pilgrim Mass. This special mass is held each day to recognize the pilgrims who have travelled along the Way of St. James to arrive at Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. You will have the chance to be a part of a historical ceremony that has been taking place since the 9th Century. At the beginning of the mass it is traditional for the home country and starting point of all the pilgrims to be announced. Following the mass you will get a chance to learn more about the historic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela which is dedicated to St James, one of Jesus’ apostles, and is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site.

Santiago de Compostela: Custom Private Walking Tour

10. Santiago de Compostela: Custom Private Walking Tour

Explore historic Santiago de Compostela at your own pace on a 2-hour guided tour. Whether you're into art, culture, or local legends, this Galician city has something to offer everyone. Start in Platerías Square, where you’ll hear legends about the evolution of the city and the Cathedral of Santiago through the centuries. Next, take in the facade of the Cathedral, which mixes Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. Later, take a stroll through the city market, meet a mysterious cruiser, and discover the Figa and jet and what they are used for while listening to entertaining stories from your guide. Walk down the city's most emblematic streets or explore the lesser known ones, depending on the side of Santiago you wish to discover. The tour ends in Quintana Square where you'll visit the Holy Door, the place where pilgrims enter the Cathedral after their long journeys. Those who wish to enter the Cathedral can do so by purchasing a museum ticket.

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What people are saying about Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 741 reviews

Historic sites and museums on this scale can be very overwhelming and thus become boring. Our guide really did a great job of focusing on the important and most interesting aspects and constructing an intriguing and memorable narrative. I don't think we would have gotten as much out of it on our own. It was worth every penny.

Diego was so knowledgeable as well as fun! Also he informed us that the famous giant thurible ‘Botafumeiro’ might be swinging next today & YES It DID! Wish I could personally thank him today. Gracias! xxx

Absolutely perfect and very interesting tour of the history of Santiago de Compostela. We were even lucky enough to see the botofumerio swinging at the end of 1930 mass.

Diego the guide has made the visit to Santiago De Compostela a little more special, with lots of context and vivid descriptions of the architecture, relics and events.

Very informative. Our guide Maria made it very interesting