Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of the autonomous community of Galicia. The old town center is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is mainly known as a destination of pilgrims, the remains of the apostle St. James was discovered there. The impressive cathedral and the city of Santiago were built around the grave of St. James.
The city has almost 100,000 inhabitants.
Santiago de Compostela lies to the northwest of Spain, and is centrally located in the autonomous community of Galicia, about 30 kilometers from the Atlantic coast. The city is situated on an altitude of 260 meters and has quite a humid ocean climate, most of the rain falls in winter.
Tourism is of great importance for the local economy, additionally agriculture and the textile industry play an important part. Furthermore, Santiago is a center for higher education. The infrastructure in Galicia has been strongly improved in recent years, this led to a revival of its economy, Galicia is economically one of the fastest growing regions of Spain.
The airport of Santiago is situated to the east of the city, along the N-634, in the town of Lavacolla. The meaning of Lavacolla is ‘washing clothes’ and stands for the place where pilgrims changed their clothes before entering the holy city.
The old town is exclusively accessible by pedestrians, anyway, the best way to explore the old town of Santiago is on foot. You can take one of the city buses to reach more distant destinations such as the university or the suburbs. There are 16 bus lines, of which 4 are circle lines.
Outside the morning and evening rush hours you can easily drive around in Santiago de Compostela (particularly in the new part of town because the old town is mainly a pedestrian area). The city is prepared to handle a high number of tourists and therefore, also has enough parking facilities.
There are excellent road connections with the rest of Galicia and Spain, in the last few years the highways in Galicia have been strongly improved.
Santiago has a large variety of accommodation to offer. For the most attractive and luxurious stay you can go to "Hotel Dos Reis Católicos", a medieval pilgrimage shelter near the cathedral. You will find cheaper hotels and guesthouses near the railroad station.
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