Arriving In Santiago
The day you arrive at the Plaza Obradoiro to stand in front of the Cathedral of Santiago will be an emotional event. Here, you will find yourself in the company of fellow travellers from many countries arriving from all the Camino routes. The atmosphere here can be quite exhilarating.
Most pilgrims will want to attend the daily Pilgrim Mass at noon, the main liturgical event of the day. There is a chance that you may witness the flying of the giant censer - the Botafumeiro.
Depending on your walking itinerary - it might be too far to get here by 11 am, in good time for the noon Mass. We recommend 2 nights in Santiago de Compostela so that you arrive at a comfortable pace and instead opt to attend the Pilgrim Mass on your second day in the city.
One of the first things you will want to do is visit the magnificent Cathedral, it's museum and rooftops for superlative views. The Pilgrim Office is another must do - here you receive your Compostela certificate, with your validated and stamped credencial or pilgrim passport.
Over the last couple of years there has been scaffolding on the twin towers - however, this is now being removed as remedial work is finished and the facade restored in all its glory.
The Unesco World Heritage centre of Santiago is compact and full of cultural interest. Narrow granite pedestrian streets and alleys wind their way through arches into small plazas with monumental architecture. There is a surprise around every corner - and of course plenty of shops, cafes, bars and eateries.
For one of the most photographed views of the Cathedral, make your way down Rua do Franco to the Alameda Park. A wonderful green space with tranquil walkways, lined with ancient trees and dotted with sculptures.