Are you planning to visit Spain anytime soon but would still like to discover other areas that would capture your interest? Maybe you haven’t heard of Vigo yet. This is not actually the usual destination of first-time visitors to Spain most particularly because they often go first to Madrid and other popular cities. Below we’ll explain some of the best things to do in Vigo.
Vigo is basically a port city. It is where the major fishing port of the country is located. If you are fond of eating lobsters, shrimps, squids, crabs, and sea fish, among others, then you will certainly find your gastronomical haven in this place as it has lots of great places to eat in Vigo. Most of the foodies consider Vigo as the main contributor of great quality seafood in Galicia. What even makes this place truly an adventure for anyone who loves the water is the abundance of other aquatic activities that could be performed in the area. Because it is considered as the gateway to the Atlantic, there are aquatic sports and cruise activities for those who want an ultimate vacation when going to Vigo for the first time.
Do not worry about the transportation when going around the city because Vigo has reliable modes of transportation. You may opt to try their efficient bus system when going somewhere far. You may also just get on a walking spree because the place is known to be friendly for walkers. Below we’ll give you some Vigo travel tips and some of the top things to do in Vigo.
10 Best Things To Do In Vigo
Walk Through Vigo’s Past In Casco Vello
You have to know that Vigo is basically a commercial and industrial center. The presence of the port in the area makes it a very busy place for trade and commerce. Despite the activities of entrepreneurs and merchants in the city, you will still surely find some historical significance in the place. We suggest that you visit Plaza de Pedra, Plaza Almeida, Plaza Constitucion, and Plaza Princesa to get an intense feeling of Vigo’s past. You won’t only feel being united with century-old memories, but you will also appreciate these plazas for the antique architecture of their buildings and the dynamic modern living of the neighborhood.
Visit An Ancient Church
If you are curious about the religious past of Vigo, then you have to visit Santa Maria Collegiate Church which was established a couple of centuries ago. You will find the church in Plaza de Pedra, and can possibly be visited daily from as early as 9:30 in the morning to as late as 8:30 in the evening. You will surely love how the building was influenced by the design thoughts of the Middle Ages.
Be Amazed By Classical Architecture
An important element of Vigo’s historical past is the Castro Fortress. This structure symbolizes the military victory of Vigo in the past. It served as the city’s primary defense mechanism against conquerors and enemies. The fortress was built more than four centuries ago. In spite of the strategists’ vision to protect the city using this structure, the fortress still failed to accomplish its major task. It got a taste of violent misfortune when the French-Spanish vessel fell to the Anglo-Dutch vessel during the Battle of Vigo Bay in the early 18th Century. Visiting this fortress is like being witness to how the Anglo-Dutch ship got to discover the treasures lying at the bottom of the waters of Vigo Bay. If you are interested in military affairs and defense infrastructure, it would be mentally and experientially beneficial to personally see the San Sebastian Fortress or the Castro Fortress.
Get On A Shopping Spree And Architecture Hunt
Apart from learning more about Spanish history and getting a taste of Spanish cuisine, you could also get into a shopping spree and architectural hunt at the streets of Rua do Principe and Rua de Policarpo Sanz. You will love how stalls, kiosks, and restaurants abound in this particular part of the city. Make sure that your photography gadgets are always ready to capture stunning architectural creations from the 1800s to the 1900s. One of the best buildings in terms of beauty, elegance, and historical significance is El Moderno. This fabulous building is now home to Banco de Galicia but once served as a residence of Count Manuel de Barcena Franco in the early 1900s.
You should also not miss passing by Porta do Sol and Casco Vello. From these places, you shall then go to Plaza Princesa where you will find El Sireno. You will surely love to capture a beautiful remembrance of your visit by taking an image with El Sireno and the Atlantic Ocean on your background.
Delight Yourself With Seafood
Have you ever wished to be in a place where quality seafood and delicious meals abound? Then your wish could be granted once you decide to visit Rua de Pescaderia in Vigo. Fish Street is very famous among locals and tourists for being the best destination for seafood lovers. Do not ever miss the opportunity of interacting with the women merchants along La Piedra because it is from them where you can buy the loveliest oysters ever! As a matter of fact, these women are called ostreiras by the locals because of the nature of their work.
These oyster merchants have significant experience in selling seafood, and they would surely know if you are a tourist or not. Always remember to be wise when purchasing from these women. You may be offered some oysters for a couple of Euros, but just make sure that you get the better deal from them. Oysters can be eaten raw while you are roaming the streets or you may also choose to bring the oysters to nearby restaurants for cooking. Who knows, oysters may really have aphrodisiacal greatness!
Dive Into The Fun Of Seafood Eating
What would you do when you are brought to a place that opens up real heaven for seafood lovers? Wouldn’t you dive into the fun and taste every seafood that is presented to you? O Berbes is among the most popular Galician places for seafood lovers. Its history for being the main drop-off center of fisher folks stems from two centuries ago. It is where you could buy the freshest seafood ever. You could find oysters, mussels, and merluzas, among others in the market of O Berbes.
You will definitely love going to Rúa Ribeira do Berbés because it will give you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy seafood while dining in one of the reputable restaurants that are located along the shores of Vigo Bay. Furthermore, if you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, you could also ask the local people for a chance to go into a fishing activity. By so doing, you could get a fresher catch for the night’s feast.
Swim At The Galician Beaches
Vigo is surrounded by waters; thus, it is a perfect venue for beach lovers. A visit to one of the cities in Galicia will never be complete without trying a swim in the cool waters of the Galician coast. We recommend that you visit one of the most famous beaches in the area which is Playa de Samíl. Although the place presents a relaxing atmosphere and a peaceful respite from the busy industrial environment of Vigo, it still provides luxurious comfort to its visitors. You will find modern pools in the resorts, cool picnic areas for family bonding, and even coffee shops for small conversations. Walking through the long stretch of fine sand along the coast will definitely transform negative thoughts into beautiful emotions. You could reach Playa de Samil boardwalk by traveling 8 kilometers from the western part of Gran Via.
Tour The Different Islands Of Vigo
What a meaningful way to discover more about the city of Vigo than by visiting the town of A Guardia. This place is located in the southwestern part of the city. It is where you will find charming beaches and beautiful neighborhoods. A Guardia is actually also known as the Lobster Capital of the region. If you have an addiction with lobsters, then don’t ever miss visiting this coastal area. The Miño River that is connected to the Atlantic ocean is also among the widely photographed sites in the town. We also personally find the neighborhood of Castro de Santa Tecla as overwhelmingly pleasant. The area is filled with ancient symbolism, and it will surely give you an idea of how the ancient community of Vigo conducted their everyday life even before the influence of the Roman culture.
In order to make the most of your tour in A Guardia, we suggest that you get a map from the local tourism office that is situated in Praza do Reloxo. By having a map of the place, you will be able to get a better perspective on the wide range of things that you can do and the abundance of attractions that you could visit.
You could make a religious tour of a local church that was constructed in the 1100s. You may also see the Fishermen’s Monument and appreciate the great love of the city for their fisher folks. You could also completely immerse yourself in local living by visiting some houses of local fishermen that were established a couple of decades ago.
If ever you get hungry while touring A Guarda, then we suggest that you visit Casa Valladeiros. This restaurant is known all over Vigo for offering some of the freshest seafood and delicious meals with lobsters as the main ingredient.
Another place to tour in Galicia is Valença. This city is highly notable for its physical characteristics and historical accounts. The most famous aspect of this tourist destination is the Valença castle and fortress. It was built in the 1200s through the order of King Sancho I of Portugal. Valença served as an important stronghold of the Portuguese that’s why it was heavily fortified and protected from the reach of Spanish military. Visiting this place will give awareness of the chaotic relationship between Spain and Portugal in the past. But today, what you will surely love about the place is its altitude. Being on a hillside, it will give you a chance to get a wonderful view of the surrounding areas and landscapes.
More Things To Know About Vigo
- The timezone in Vigo follows GMT +1.
- If you want to get souvenir items or simply shop for local goods, then you have to go to the ACECA Area or the Calvario. You may also visit Príncipe Street and Vigovello for more stores. Most of the shops in the country are open from 9 in the morning until 8:30 in the evening. Most stores close from 2 until 4 in the afternoon for siesta. Sundays are also not a good idea to shop because of closure.
- If you love to get some drinks or hang out with friends at night, there are numerous bars to visit in the city. You could try going to the Samil Beach for a perfect beach getaway that is intensified by a cool nightlife. You could also check out the pubs that are located at either Monte Ríos or Rosalía de Castro. But if you are after great music, then head on to Calle Arenal.
- The main airport in Vigo is VGO or Vigo-Peinador Airport.
- You could get into Vigo through various means. You may choose to ride an airplane from Barcelona to the city. Personally, we often fly with Vueling to get more savings. We also usually check out FlightHub to browse for promotions and cheaper airfares. Air Europa and Iberia offer constant flights from Madrid Barajas to the Vigo Airport.
- It would be most pleasant to visit Vigo from the months of May to October. Make sure that you are always ready for the rain.
- The currency used in Vigo as part of Spain, is the Euro.