What to see in A Coruña in a day
Visiting La Coruña in a day
La Coruña (A Coruña in the Galician language), a city located in the north-west of Galicia, is considered the capital of the Rías Altas. Its magnificent natural setting of rugged green landscapes bathed by the Atlantic, together with a rich architectural heritage, make this one of the province’s most popular tourist destinations.
This history of this port city goes back more than two thousand years and is reflected in its customs and traditions, but also in its gastronomy, which is closely linked to the sea.
What to see in Coruña in a day
The city of A Coruña is not too large, which makes it ideal for exploring in a day, strolling around its medieval streets and discovering other sites of tourist interest.
1. La Marina Avenue
This pedestrian street, which runs parallel to the port and is lined with restaurants and coffee shops, is popular with visitors due to the magnificent glass balconies of the buildings that overlook the sea, earning the city its nickname of the “City of Glass”. However, in actual fact, these façades are really the rear of the houses, the front of which look onto María Pita Square.
The avenue takes us to the Parrote Viewpoint, which boasts magnificent views of the entire bay and San Antón Castle.
2. María Pita Square
This is La Coruña’s best-known square and the heart of its historic quarter. In the middle of the square stands a statue of the local heroine, María Pita, and facing it is the City Hall, where the council meets. On the façade we can see four figures representing each of the Galician provinces. This is one of the most recommendable places to visit during your day in A Coruña!
3. Marqués de San Martín Square
Just a few steps away from this square is another smaller one with a particular charm: Marqués de San Martín Square. It is the site of the Church of San Jorge, with a façade that clearly reflects the influence of the Baroque style of Santiago de Compostela.
4. Historic quarter
La Coruña’s historic quarter is characterised by its low-rise houses, cobbled streets and many delightful corners that are well worth a visit. It is home to several sites of interest that can easily be visited in a day
- The Church of Santiago, a 12th century temple that is visited by many of the pilgrims travelling the Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago).
- Emilia Pardo Bazán House Museum.
- San Carlos Garden and its viewpoint.
5. Sea Promenade
La Coruña boasts Europe’s longest sea promenade, which extends for 13 kilometres around the bay. Sites of interest include the Finisterrae Aquarium and the Domus, or Museum of Humankind. Visitors should also look out for the eye-catching red modernist-style lampposts.
Other sites not to be missed when spending a day in A Coruña
6. San Antón Castle
The building, a former defence fortress dating back to the 16th century, stands on a small island connected to the Sea Promenade. It houses A Coruña’s Archaeology and History Museum.
7. The Tower of Hercules
Continuing along the Sea Promenade, we come to the jewel of La Coruña, listed as a World Heritage Site. Rising up 55 metres and built in the 1st century CE by the Romans, it is the world’s oldest working lighthouse. The top of the tower affords breathtaking views of the ocean. To see the tower in operation, it must be visited before sunrise, which is why we recommend you make this landmark the first stop on your one-day tour of A Coruña.
Just a short distance away we can admire the twelve Menhirs for Peace, which are part of the Tower of Hercules Sculpture Park.
8. Orzán and Riazor Beaches
After leaving the Tower, the Sea Promenade brings us to A Coruña’s two most popular city beaches. The Millennium Obelisk stands nearby, erected to commemorate the start of the 21st century.
9. San Pedro Hill
Next to the obelisk is an escalator that takes us to the top of San Pedro Hill, which boasts the most spectacular views of the city and the coastline.
10. Estrella Galicia Museum (MEGA)
This is a space created to teach visitors about the history of Estrella Galicia beer and its production process. The activities also include tasting sessions and a virtual music festival.
What to see in the surroundings of La Coruña in a day
After discovering what to see in La Coruña in a day in the central areas, it’s time to plan a very special excursion, as there are many fascinating places to visit outside the city. It is therefore advisable to stay at a hotel close to the main roads leading in and out of La Coruña, which connect with the city centre and numerous places of interest, making them easy to visit. Here are a few examples:
- Santa Cristina Beach, situated ten minutes outside the city centre, offering all the services you could need away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- The town of Santa Cruz and its picturesque castle standing on an island.
- The seaside towns of Sada, Mera.
- Finisterre Lighthouse. An absolute must for anyone spending a day in La Coruña!