Julio Verne said that Captain Nemo's best kept secret is in Vigo. Did you know that this is where the Nautilus submarine came to stock up on gold? In Vigo's estuary there are dozens of sunken ships loaded with the gold from the Americas. Treasures that have not yet come to light.


But there are also treasures at everyone's reach. Such as strolling through the Old Quarter and having oysters in A Pedra. Or spending a day at the beach in Samil. Or visiting the Castrelos park,with its manor house and its gardens. Or going on a boat tour to the halcyon Cíes islands. Or strolling along streets full of elegant camellias.

Or climbing up to the Castro (ancient fortification) to see an amazing sunset. And for those who feel young, Vigo's legendary night life… open till dawn. This is Vigo, Galicia's largest city. A modern and venturous city, open to the world.


Visitors to Vigo  have the unique opportunity to come into contact with nature in its purest state: the Cíes Islands. These three islands are situated at the mouth of the estuary of Vigo, and form part of the Parque Nacional Marítimo Terrestre das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia. They have a campsite and regular transportation during the peak season for tourists, with various trips throughout the day, although the number of visitors is limited per day and the voyage must be reserved in advance. It is the ideal location to enjoy a natural landscape with glorious unspoilt beaches. It also has a wealth of flora and fauna, particularly sea birds.


Recommended route

Our route takes us on a tour of the different historical periods of Vigo, starting with the most ancient remains and continuing progressively on through to the most modern constructions in the city, with a special focus on the Vigo of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period in which the influential industrial and commercial middle class built the Ensanche district, with highly representative buildings.

Leaving the Monte Castro...

And so we start in the Mount of O Castro where we discover the roots of Vigo, with remnants and homages to important personalities or events that helped forge the soul of the city. From this point we see the remains of settlement from the Castreño or hillfort culture (third century BC to second century AD), the remnants of a seventeenth-century fortress, and monuments to the renowned mediaeval troubadour Martín Códax as well as anchors in memory of the Battle of Rande. This hill offers spectacular views over the city, the ría or estuary and the Cíes Islands, the best spot to take photographs of our visit, particularly at sunset, when the estuary glitters with a golden glow of the sun’s last rays.

In the neighborhood of O Berbes...

From Mount O Castro we then head towards Rei Square, which contains the Town Hall, and then on the boulevard of the Paseo de Alfonso XII, a fine lookout point over the estuary and the port, which contains numerous examples of the city’s symbol, the olive tree. The street contains a large number of these trees, the reason why the city is also known as the “City of Olive Trees”. We continue along Poboadores and Anguía streets towards O Berbés, the old fishermen’s quarter which still preserves some of their typical houses, with arcades and archways. Nearby is the fish market. Watching the fish being auctioned off after a large catch arrives in the port is a spectacular affair, although those wishing to witness the event will have to make a major effort, as it takes place between four and five o’clock in the morning. Visitors should not miss the opportunity to stroll through this district, which offers a perfect vision of daily life in the city and one of the activities that best defines it, its links with fishing.

Until A Pedra Square...

From here we continue along Teófilo Llorente Street, which leads us into A Pedra Square, with its singular market and typical oystersellers offering these delicious morsels to passers-by. We then take Oliva Street until reaching the Collegiate Church of Santa María, the pro-Cathedral of Vigo, a neoclassic building containing the image of the Cristo da Victoria, greatly venerated in the city. We then continue on to Almeida Square, which contains the fifteenth-century Casa Ceta and the Casa Pazos Figueroa, a Renaissance building from the sixteenth century, occupied by the Camões Institute, and a very welcoming part of the city where we find its most unique buildings, offering us a perfect vision of mediaeval Vigo.

Through the center...

The next stop along our route is the Porta do Sol, where we find an important landmark of modern-day Vigo, the sculpture of “O Sireno” by Francisco Leiro, and fine examples of modernist architecture, such as the Simeón Building, from 1911. From here we enter the Ensanche or new quarter of the city, dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, along Policarpo Sanz Street, with fine examples of period architecture, such as the old Hotel Moderno (1897) or the García Barbón Theatre, built in 1913 by Antonio Palacios, a fine reflection of the economic power of the industrial and merchant middle class that built them. We are in the most bustling part of the city, with numerous restaurants and outdoor bars and cafés, particularly if we take the turning into Colón Street and then walk towards the Alameda park, a perfect spot to relax and enjoy its well-proportioned trees, fountains, sculptures and gardens. Nearby is the boulevard of Paseo das Avenidas, which leads us on to another of the most characteristic points of Vigo, the Marina and Yacht Club, a rationalist building erected in 1944.

From rúa Areal to the Gran Vía...

We then continue along Areal Street, with a lively nightlife, where we find the singular Bonín Building, dating from 1910. Where it connects with Serafín Avendaño Street, we return along García Barbón Street and from there reach the central railway station, which connects us with one of the city’s main avenues, the Gran Vía, lively, full of shops and businesses, and with all the essence of city life. It includes three series of sculptures that are of great artistic value and also considered as icons of the city: the Monumento ao Traballo by Ramón Conde; the Fonte dos Cabalos (España Square) by Juan Oliveira, and the Porta do Atlántico (in América Square), by Silveiro Rivas. Bu

In the Castrelos Park...

Once in América Square, the point where a large number of the modern city’s main roads meet, we then walk up Castrelos Street to the park of the same name, occupying some 24 hectares. It includes a large open-air auditorium, and the mansion known as the Pazo de Lavandeira, dating from the seventeenth century (also known as the Pazo de Quiñones de León), which contains the Municipal Museum, and the Romanesque gem of the Church of Santa María de Castrelos , built in the thirteenth century. A visit is highly recommended, as it is the city’s main green area and an exceptional spot for a stroll and to relax. After the visit we take the road back to the start of our route, returning to América Square and then continuing along A Coruña and Beiramar streets, until we reach the district of O Berbés once again, where our route comes to an end.

Where to eat

The sea also plays an important role in the cuisine of Vigo. Its gastronomy is essentially based on seafood, with its main dishes featuring all types of delicious fish and shellfish. Visitors will not find any complicated sauces or elaborate concoctions: they are cooked simply, with few condiments, allowing all of their flavour and quality to be appreciated. The best wines from the area include Albariño, especially those from the O Condado region.

The best parts of the city to enjoy a meal or just a snack are first in the Old Town, between the Constitución Square and the Port. One of the most unique experiences in this area is Pescadería Street (also known as A Pedra), where oyster-sellers offer their wares together with other shellfish, which may all be enjoyed on the spot. In As Travesas there is a good concentration of bars and restaurants around Independencia Square. In Bouzas the best spot is around the market or Praza de Abastos. In the Calvario district there are also fine eateries in the adjacent streets to Urzáiz. In Teis, the best zone is around Sanjurjo Badía Street, particularly in the area after the O Toural market.

Don´t miss

    Held in Constitución Square in the old town on 28 March to celebrate the city’s fight against French troops in 1809.
    Held on the second Sunday in May, with a theatrical representation of the arrival of Spring, in Constitución Square.
    Declared an event of tourist interest, held in the neighbourhood of Bouzas in Vigo on the third Sunday in July. Dates back to the year 1605, and includes the Procession of Christ, the Regata de Faluchos with traditional boats, and a fireworks festival.
    Very popular procession in which the statue of the city’s patron saint is carried around the city on the first Sunday in August to celebrate the victory of French troops in the early nineteenth century, marking the start of Vigo’s “Semana Grande” or Festival Week.