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Published: January 7th 2017
I’ve lived in La Coruña about 4 months now, and I thought I’d summarize its highlights/shortfalls for potential travelers. The short story: it’s not too interesting/beautiful of a city to make a main part of your trip, but if you’re in Galicia, a half day would be good. There are lots of scenic sights nearby, but they’re much easier to access with a car.
Top landmarks here include the world’s oldest still-functioning lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules; beaches right in the city as well as a long coastal pathway (Paseo Marítimo); the coastal lookout of Monte San Pedro; and the scenic harbor area on the eastern side of the peninsula. The more rural area of Oleiros nearby is also reachable by bus, and I would recommend a walk around the Santa Cruz port and castle area. The old city is not nearly as charming as some others in Galicia like Santiago de Compostela or Lugo. La Coruña is known for being really rainy, and if that’s the case, Spain’s largest mall (Marineda City) is also nearby and reachable by bus.
As far as nightlife, there are a few main areas spread around the city center.
The most mainstream restaurant area is between Rúas Real and Orzán. There are also more independent/rock-style bars along Rúa Orillamar. Sunday afternoons, the streets near Rúas San Xoan and San Jose are always busy. For clubs, I’ve heard the area near the harbor is popular.
With a car, I would recommend going to Fragas do Eume natural park and also checking out the town Pontedeume to the east of the city. On the way there, Ferrol is worth a few hours walking around (upcoming blog about Ferrol). To the west of the city, the Costa de Muerte is wildly beautiful, especially between Cape Vilan and Arou (and Cemiterio dos Ingleses). I wrote a blog about the Coast of Death last year.
With or without a car in Galicia near La Coruña, I would recommend Santiago de Compostela (2 days) and the termas in Ourense (half a day) with a possible stop in the medieval villages of Ribadavia or Allariz. Further, but in the general vicinity, the northeast coast of Galicia including the famous Cathedral Beach is accessible by FEVE train. There’s also the Xures Natural Park along the border with Portugal, and the cities
of Braga and Porto are also both worth seeing.
See this previous blog
about my parents' visit to the area.
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