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Santiago de Compostela

Private (22, 13€) Albergue El Viejo Quijote, on Rúa dos Concheiros on the Camino on the left about 2km before the cathedral. Laundry facilities, microwaves. Tel 631 649 910 

Private (24, 17€) Albergue Porta Real, also on Rúa dos Concheiros. Laundry facilities. Website albergueportareal.es Tel 633 610 114

Private (24, 16€) Albergue La Estrella de Santiago, on Rúa dos Concheiros, on the left. Kitchen with microwaves. Website www.laestrelladesantiago.es Tel 617 882 529 Open 09:00

Religious (173, 14€, Easter to October) Albergue Seminario Menor, off the Camino to the left. From Praza de San Pedro turn left on to Rúa de Blevís and follow the signs. Kitchen, laundry facilities, shop. You can stay as long as you like but you must vacate the albergue between 09:30 and 13:30 and return before midnight. Also private rooms. Website www.alberguesdelcamino.com Tel 881 031 768 Open 13:30

Private (20, 15€) O Fogar de Teodomiro, on Praza de la Algalia, a few minutes north of the cathedral. From the Camino turn right on to Rúa de Algalia de Arriba and walk about 200m. Kitchen, laundry facilities. No curfew. Price includes towels and sheets. Noisy and other negative reports. Tel 981 582 920

Private (62, 18€, February to November) The Last Stamp / El Último Sello, just to the left of the Camino at Praza de Cervantes. Kitchen. Good reports. Website www.thelaststamp.es Tel 981 563 525

Private (20, 18€) Albergue Azabache, on the left just before the cathedral. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Tel 981 071 254

Religious (35, donativo, July and August) Los Franciscanos, on Rúa dos Castiñeros which is north of Praza do Obradoiro along Rúa de San Francisco and then veering right and then left. This albergue intends to provide a space of tranquillity and reflection for genuine pilgrims. Opens 16:00. Fills up quickly. One night only. If you walk to Finisterre you can stay another night on your return. Doors locked between 22:00 and 08:00. Evening prayer service. Outside of the summer months this building is used as a albergue for homeless people.

Private (40, €18, March to December) Albergue km 0, on Rúa Carretas, the same street as the Pilgrims Office, from Praza Obradoiro go left in front of the Parador and turn right. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Website santiagokm0.es Tel 881 974 992

Private (34, 18€) Albergue Mundoalbergue. On Rúa San Clemente, which is two minutes walk west from Praza do Obradoiro, down the steps to the left of the townhall and continue straight. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Common room with fireplace. Website www.mundoalbergue.es Tel 981 588 625

Private (48, 18€) Roots & Boots, on Rúa do Campo do Cruceiro do Gaio, no 7, from Praza do Obradoiro walk west, down the incline in front of the hotel to Rúa das Hortas which you follow to the end then turn left. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Reported friendly. Website (hilarious) rootsandboots.es Tel 699 631 594

Private (20, 15€) Albergue Blanco, also down Rúa das Hortas to the end, then right. Laundry facilities, microwaves. Tel 881 976 850

Private (84, 17€, February to November) Albergue Turístico La Salle, on Rúa de Tras Santa Clara. When you reach the end of Rúa San Pedro turn right on to Rúa das Rodas and then again right on to Rúa de San Roque. It's the second street on the right. Laundry facilities, microwaves. Individual rooms, doubles from 30€. Tel 981 585 667

Private (26, 15€) Albergue Meiga Backpackers on Rúa dos Basquiños, same direction as Albergue La Salle, just a little further. Kitchen. Some negative reports. Website www.meiga-backpackers.es Tel 981 570 846 Open 10:00

Private (6, 16€) Albergue Basquiños 45, further along Rúa dos Basquiños on the left. Laundry facilities. Website www.albergueb45.com Tel 661 894 536 Open 10:00

Private (24, 15€, May to September) La Estación, on Rúa Xoana Nogueira, near the railway station. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Website www.alberguelaestacion.com Tel 981 594 624

Private (66, €18) Albergue Compostela on Rúa San Pedro de Mezonzo, near the railway station. Laundry facilities. Website www.alberguecompostela.es Tel 628 306 556

Pilgrims mostly stay around the historic old city, rarely venturing to the new part of town, which in any case is rarely necessary because the old city has all the facilities you're likely to need. Santiago offers a wide variety of accommodation ranging from five star hotels to rooms in private apartments. The quality varies greatly and there have been reports of bedbugs in some of the cheaper options (not those mentioned here). Also, you're not imagining things, in some of the small hotels you'll get a room for the same price as a bed in private pilgrim albergue.

The following have been recommended for private rooms: Hospedaje Mera on Portal da Pena, from about 25€ for singles. Tel 981 583 867 Bar Tita on Rúa Nova has rooms from about 30€. Tel 981 583 867. Seminario Mayor, in the old monastery opposite the cathedral on Praza da Inmaculada, has 'flexible' pricing starting at about 25€ for single rooms, and a good buffet breakfast. You can reserve from their website: www.sanmartinpinario.eu Tel 981 583 009 Café A Campana, on Rúa da Moeda Vella, just off Praza da Inmaculada has rooms from 25€ for singles. Its location is excellent although not everybody will appreciate its 'Fawlty Towers' style of management. A 'Camino Fossil aka veteran pilgrim' welcomes pilgrims in her home, details from her website www.egeria.house.

--- General Information

The Pilgrims Office / Oficina de Peregrinos (or to call it by its correct name Centro Internacional de Acollida ao Peregrino) is where you go if you want a Compostela certificate. It is on Rúa das Carretas, from Praza do Obradoiro facing the Parador walk left down the ramp and turn right, it's down the end on the left. It is open Easter to October 08:00 to 20:00, otherwise 10:00 to 19:00. In summer 2019 they introduced a high tech queuing system, but during busy times the best advice is be there early. Other times, late afternoons is usually good. Their website is www.oficinadelperegrino.com Also in the same location is a Left Luggage Office for pilgrims, where you can leave your backpack while you're visiting the cathedral, 2€, open until 20:30, and an office to buy bus tickets and a post office. There's a helpful City Tourist Office on Rúa do Vilar for good maps of the city, and various other leaflets about sights and events. They also organise guided tours with different themes, have MP3 audio guides and information about the Camino to Fisterra / Finisterre. If you want Camino souvenirs / gifts which are a little bit classier than what most shops around the centre sell pay a visit to Rosario Rey Praza do San Miguel dos Agros. On Rúa Nova is Pilgrim House, a US run meeting space for pilgrims which provides services such as printing boarding cards and laundry. Post Office on Rúa do Franco. Supermarket on Praza do Toural, at the other end of Rúa do Vilar from the cathedral. If you used Ivar's luggage storage service then you can pick your things up from Casa Ivar, see www.casaivar.com for details. There's a taxi rank on Rúa de San Francisco, just off the Praza do Obradoiro, from where taxis will take up to four people to Finisterre for about 80€ (the exact price is down to your negotiating skills).

The cathedral is open from 07:00 until 20:30, entrance is through the door on Praza de Platerias. To avoid the crowds you may want to plan to visit at an off-peak time, early in the morning or in the evening. Embracing the statue of St James and visiting the crypt is from 09:30 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 19:30. A Choir Mass is held daily at 09:30 and a Mass for Pilgrims is at 12:00 (at peak times be sure to arrive early) and 19:30. The botafumeiro is swung on holy days and 'according to a calendar of liturgical services'. Although it can be swung on request, in exchange for a donation. You are no longer allowed to bring your backpack into the cathedral, see luggage store above next to Pilgrims Office.

Accommodation on Booking.com

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The Camino de Santiago Guide is also available as an app. It contains all the great information as this online guide plus:

- offline, zoomable maps which show you your exact location

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Tap HERE to see the app in your phone's app store.

The guide in printed format

In addition to what you see here the full guide also contains:

  • Interactive, zoomable, offline maps of the whole Camino with your precise location shown
  • Lots of information about historic sites along the Camino's route
  • Camino legends and a description of the fascinating history of the Camino and the places it passes through
  • Recommendations of great places to eat and unmissable local specialities
  • Translations of place names of villages and towns
  • The dates of local festivals, the famous Spanish fiestas

You can get the full guide as a PDF document to download by making a donation to this website (see the bottom of this page).

If you'd like to see what it looks like you can download a samples from here the first 20 pages of the Walking Guide to the Camino de Santiago

For your donation you'll also get a PDF copy of Camino de Santiago Practical Preparation and Background, the definitive guide to preparing for the Camino. It's got loads of information about:

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  • What to expect on “the Way”: What's a typical Camino day?
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To download a sample of the first 20 pages of Camino de Santiago Practical Preparation and Background, just click here!

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Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2021. All text and photos.