From the airport of Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) to the city center, the options are a bus or taxi. One bus ride lasts around 40 minutes and costs 3 EUR (get off at "Plaza de Galicia"). For information on bus from/to the airport (including ticket purchase) visit www.empresafreire.com. One taxi ride from/to the airport lasts around 15 minutes and costs 21 EUR. Other nearby airports are in A Coruña and Vigo.
A train trip from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela lasts approximately five hours. See www.renfe.com
Santiago de Compostela is the final point of the famous pilgrimage walk, walking is also an option.
Local information and tips
(Courtesy of Javier Mas)
In the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela played an important rôle as the final stage of the Camino de Santiago (St. Jacob's Way). Walking to Santiago became a pilgrimage fever in the 12th century that moved crowds across Europe from North to South and from East to West. Several routes starting from different capitals and crossing almost all important cities in Europe, merged in Santiago after passing the Pyrenees. They built the backbone of the European culture, where art and science were carried along and spread by the pilgrims. They arrived in Santiago moved by their faith, as well as a means of reducing prison penalties in their home countries. Many continued their way down to Finisterre, where they thought the End of the World was to be seen. Worth a visit is the new Museo de las Peregrinaciones, facing the cathedral.
The Cathedral, the Codex Calixtinus, the Pórtico de la Gloria, the Botafumeiro (amidst art and physics), and many more things are relics of those ancient times that still now, attract thousands of pilgrims every year. In fact, the Camino is nowadays experiencing a very strong revival, although the motivations are largely different. Learning about them will surely build a nice cultural complement to your scientific endeavour during the conference.
A much searched target for tourists is to watch the Botafumeiro in action. This huge censer swings until almost reaching the roof and it's operation is recorded even in the Codex Calixtinus. It's an interesting example of Parametric Pumping in the Middle Ages.
In the last decade, an outstanding architectural project, the Ciudade da Cultura, started being built. Unfortunately, the crisis has delayed indefinitely its final construction and nowadays only 3/5 of the project is finished.
Web sites of interest
There are two main streets concerning restaurants and taverns: Rua da Raiña and Rua do Franco. There you will find all the options and prices. They will typically be very crowded. Other option is Rua San Pedro. This street is the main entrance of the French Camino de Santiago towards the Cathedral. You will find many nice restaurants along this street.
("Tapas" are small individual portions, and "raciones" are larger portions.)
- Abrigadoiro. Typical tavern, cutre, they serve on sheets of paper. Galician wines.
- O'42. A standard of the street Rua do Franco. Mid price.
- María Castaña. In the Rua da Raiña, more imaginative than average.
- A Moa. "Raciones" in the garden, courses inside.
- A Maceta. Very nice, garden. Imaginative cuisine.
(Traditional Galician food)
- Mesón do Pulpo. If you want to taste the real "polvo a feira" (octopus the fair style) you have to go to a pulpería. Try also the "flan de queso".
- Os Concheiros.
- At the venue hotel, dinners with daily menu for 11 euros.
- Casa Manolo. A standard for pilgrims. 9.50 euros for a full dinner.
- O Dezaseis. Very nice tavern, mid price. The speciality: "polvo a grella" (grilled octopus).
- A Curtiduría. Specialised in rices and "paellas".
- A Tafona Casa de Xantar. High cuisine with food from the market.
- Abastos2. Located at the traditional market. Degustation. Need to reserve.
- A Horta do Obradoiro. Nice food and quiet garden. Very nice at night also to have a drink.
- Casa Marcelo. Degustation. Need to reserve.
Snacks and toasts
- Sala Riquela. Great pub, nice atmosphere, live music, sometimes in the square in front (Plaza Feijoo).
- Pub Momo. Excellent pub, beautiful garden with views. Very lively. The place to have a drink on a hot night.
- Pub Atlantico. Good cocktails and drinks as well as music selection.
- Casa das Crechas. Folk music pub, also live. Wide selection of beers.
- Pub Século IX. Latin music and dance.