Either during the day or at night, there is always life here. This is a city for strolling and enjoying oneself, with beaches beaches in the city centre and, with the Tower of Hércules overlooking it, a long promenade which goes almost all the way around.

The inhabitants of A Coruña are famous for living well, so follow their example. Sit at a café on the main square known as Plaza de María Pita and discover its fascinating history. Or stroll along the area of the Cantones and admire the famous glass windows, from the Modernist period. And if you would like to go shopping this is the perfect place, especially if you want to dress in style. 

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Also, A Coruña has excellent museums, such as the Fine Arts museum, the Science Museum, the Domus or the Archaeological museum, located in the San Antón castle. And towards sunset, there is nothing like the cosy and romantic San Carlos gardens or if you prefer entertainment, the Méndez Núñez garden, right in the centre of the city. This is where the Kiosko Alfonso is located, which today is an exhibit centre and was formerly a cinema with two rooms separated by the screen, so you paid a lower fee if you watched the movie from behind the screen..

Essential

One of the most unforgettable experiences for visitors to A Coruña and Galicia is the sunset from the Tower of Hercules lighthouse.

The sun gradually sinks into the Atlantic in a dreamlike landscape, in front of the world's only Roman lighthouse still in operation, set in a park with sculptures representing the legendary origins of the tower and the city: Átrabros by Arturo Andrade; Breogán by Xosé Cid; Caronte by Ramón Conde; Hercules and Geryon by Tim Behrens and José Espora; and the 'Menhir Forest' by Manolo Paz.

The Tower itself was built in the early second century AD by the architect from Coimbra, Caius Sevius Lupus. It now shows the façade that was added in 1791 during the reform carried out by the engineers E. Giannini (author of the plans) and J. Elejalde.

 

Recommended route

To the Old City...

We start in the square known as the Praza do Obelisco, in the centre of the city, where we may enjoy the hustle and bustle of Real and Rego de Auga streets, the oldest commercial streets and which lead into the majestic María Pita Square, where we find the beautiful Town Hall, built in Modernist style. From this square we continue on to the old city, full of all the unique features of A Coruña's history: here we may visit the Church of Santiago, a Romanesque structure from the twelfth century with later 'Ogival' Gothic additions from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; the evocative Azcárraga Square; the Collegiate Church of Santa María, built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, close to the Museum of Religious Art; or the square and convent of Santa Bárbara, which combine to form an element of singular beauty.

Before leaving the old town we reach the Gardens of San Carlos, close to the Military Museum and Luís Seoane Foundation, a romantic park set in one of the old defensive bastions of the city (1843), which contains the tomb of General Sir John Moore, who died at the Battle of Elviña in 1809. It offers fine views over the city.

To the Seafront Promenade...

Leaving the old town of A Coruña we continue on to the Gardens of A Real Maestranza, which contain the old cannons that once protected the city, offering fine views over the quay of Barrié de la Maza, the exceptional contemporary architecture of the Sea Traffic Control Tower and the Castle of San Antón. From there we continue under the seafront promenade  towards the Tower of Hercules. This is a particularly beautiful route, as it offers us a panoramic view over the rugged coastline that opens out into the Atlantic.

After stopping at the Roman lighthouse and visiting it and the surrounding area, which includes the old city jail, we then continue on the promenade to the Finisterrae Aquarium, well worth a visit for the species it contains and the views it offers over the sea. We will continue until reaching the start of Orzán beach, from where we can continue on foot until reaching the Riazor football stadium, a true temple of sport for local inhabitants, with a  team that has gone from strength to strength in recent years. From here we have splendid views over to the Tower or the Millennium Obelisk.

Center...

We may then return to our starting point via Rubine avenue, Pontevedra Square and Juan Flórez Street, which contains a number of Modernist buildings and a wide range of shops suitable for buying a souvenir of our visit.

From here we continue on to Ourense Square past the recently restored market in Lugo Square. From here we enter the Cantóns de Méndez Núñez, one of the most classic and well-loved parts of the city, where we may relax in the park gardens having finished our tour. If we wish to continue walking, we may visit the exhibitions in the buildings of the Barrié de la Maza Foundation and the Centro Sociocultural A Banca A Coruña Foundation, where the building itself is a singular work of contemporary art, or the modernist Kiosco Alfonso, or even the Casino Atlántico for those who enjoy games of chance.

 

Where to eat

A Coruña is renowned for its wide range of restaurants and eateries, and visitors should not miss the opportunity to enjoy the fish and shellfish delivered to its port, although it also offers the finest quality meats. Pies known as empanadas, cheese and locally produced wine are other excellent products on offer, at prices within everyone’s reach.

The highest concentration of restaurants is found in the area of the Pescaderia Vella in the streets adjacent to the María Pita Square and Real Streets, such as Florida, A Franxa, San Nicolás, Galera and Barrera streets. Around the España Square and the park of Campo de Marte, in the Atocha neighbourhood, there are fine restaurants in San Juan or Ángel Rebollo streets. In the district of Catro Camiños, A Gaiteira and Os Castros there are typical taverns and restaurants in all the streets, particularly in Ramón y Cajal, Xeneral Sanjurjo, Caídos Avenue or Posse streets.

Don't miss

  • MÚSICA CON RAÍCES FESTIVAL
    A series of concerts are held during the month of April as part of this festival, with a wide range of groups performing the most traditional and genuine types of music from different European and worldwide cultures.
  • MOZART FESTIVAL
    Held during the months of May and June. Although at first only works by Mozart were performed, today the festival is open to vocal pieces by other great composers from the Baroque period and the Italian Rossini. The magnificent Galician Symphony Orchestra, based in A Coruña, performs many of the pieces, with the participation of other soloists and orchestras.
  • BONFIRES OF SAN XOÁN
    Held on the night from 23-24 June, with bonfires on Riazor beach and in all of the city's neighbourhoods, with groups of friends, neighbours and families enjoying grilled sardines accompanied by cachelos (potatoes boiled in their skins), jumping over the bonfires to frighten away evil spirits.
  • FESTIVALS OF MARÍA PITA
    During the month of August the city's main festival is held, with events such as the Book Fair, Crafts Fair, Naval and Floral Battles, the Teresa Herrera Football Trophy, the Bullfighting Fair, the Romeria or procession of Santa Margarita and the Comic Festival. Pop music concerts and plays in the city's theatres round off the festival period.
  • OPERA FESTIVAL
    During the months of September and October the Palace of Opera holds a series of concerts with the greatest lyrical works of all times, with top ranking vocalists and orchestras performing operas at accessible prices.
  • FESTIVAL OF THE VIRXE DO ROSARIO
    A festival in honour of the city's patron saint is held on 7 October. Most of the events take place in the Old Town.
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