A Coruña is charming and lively port city and beach hotspot in Spain’s northwest region of Galicia. Too often overlooked by travellers who’d rather go to Barcelona, Madrid, and other well-known Spanish cities, La Coruña is still a cultural hub, a busy commercial centre, a modern metropolis with a fine food scene, and has a buzzing nightlife. It features a vast range of activities where you’ll enjoy spending time such as the famous World Heritage listed Roman lighthouse, Tower of Hercules, its medieval old town, and the Paseo Marítimo. Easily reachable by air with the International A Coruña Airport (Alvedro) located 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the city and by train or buses through its several stations, the city is definitely a top place to go if you’re looking for a mesmerizing experience far from the “common holiday trip” in Spain. In this article, we’ll focus on 8 great things to do in A Coruña to get the most out of your stay in this lovely part of Galicia.
1. Torre de Hércules
Built on a high rocky hillock known as Punta Eiras, the Tower of Hercules is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is a Roman lighthouse. This must-visit spot while in A Coruña is said to be the oldest lighthouse in the world that is still in use. “Farum Brigantium”, the beautiful lighthouse, is the only lighthouse still performing its original function. Most likely built in the 2nd century AD, the Tower of Hercules continues to guide seafarers who come face to face with the immensity of the ocean. The 55 metre (180 feet) tall lighthouse, finis terrae (Latin for ‘end of the world’) is consequently an outstanding location where you’ll also find stunning views of the Atlantic coast. In short, if you can only visit one place while in A Coruña, this is it!
Tower of Hercules
Address: Av. Navarra, s/n, 15002 A Coruña, La Coruña, Spain
Website: Tower of Hercules
2. Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
The National Science and Technology Museum is a fun and interesting place that speaks to techies and more, and will engage everybody with its jumbo-jet cabin and many rotating exhibits. If you’re looking for family-fun activities to entertain everybody, here you’ll see, for example, the first computer used in Spain (a monstrous IBM 650 bought back in 1959), the entire front section of a Boeing 747 and the famous room displaying innovations from every year of the 20th century. From the 1965 SEAT 600 to the Sony PlayStation (1994), this surprising and uncommon museum will surely have something to teach you.
MUNCYT - Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia
Address: Plaza del Museo Nacional, 1, 15011 La Coruña, Spain
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3. Aquarium Finisterrae
Located in the city, the Aquarium Finisterrae is an interactive center focused on the sciences of marine biology and oceanography, where you’ll learn a lot about the nature and ecosystem of the region (featuring seals, sharks, and octopi). In short, the natural history of the Galician coast is in the museum in addition to displays on tradition such as fishermen, markets, and coastal songs. On the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll also appreciate the spectacular natural surroundings coming as an extension of the museum. For both a leisure and discovery walk, this is the place to go!
Address: Paseo Marítimo Alcalde Francisco Vázquez, 34, 15002 A Coruña, La Coruña, Spain
Website: Aquarium Finisterrae
4. Museo Arqueológico e Histórico
Set in a 16th-century fortress, the Archaeological and Historical Museum of La Coruña preserves and exhibits prehistoric and historical pieces (from the late Middle Ages) related to the castle, the city and the whole Galician region. Specifically, in the archeology section on the ground floor, you’ll see from remains of protohistoric goldwork to Roman artifacts. It is another place of interest to find out more about the region’s rich history.
Museo Arqueológico e Histórico
Address: Paseo Marítimo Alcalde Francisco Vázquez, 2, 15001 A Coruña, La Coruña, Spain
5. Xardín de San Carlos
Originally a defensive castle back in the 14th century, the Garden of San Carlos is a historic-artistic complex along A Coruña’s walls. Its privileged location makes it an outstanding viewpoint from where you can gaze at the whole port of A Coruña, but the garden also features numerous native and exotic tree species, adding to the peaceful atmosphere. Notice that the building attached to the gardens is also the headquarters of the Archive of the Kingdom of Galicia, the most important historical archive of the community of Galicia nowadays.
Jardín De San Carlos
Address: Paseo Parrote, 3, 15001 A Coruña, Spain
6. Monte de San Pedro, the Ascensor Panorámico, and the Cúpula Atlántica
This hilltop park is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) northwest of the city center and might be one of the best viewpoints of A Coruña. You’ll also enjoy going up the Monte de San Pedro in the Ascensor Panorámico, a large glass ball that slowly ascends the steep hillside, and provides the only 360º viewpoint in Spain. The Atlantic Dome (Cúpula Atlántica) features information and activities related to Galicia and A Coruña City from which, you’ll also be able to take amazing pictures of the area skyline.
Monte de San Pedro Park
Address: Mirador del Monte San Pedro, s/n, 15011 A Coruña, La Coruña, Spain
Website: Monte de San Pedro
7. Casa Museo María Pita
This space is focused on the heroine coruñesa and the historical archives from the 16th and 17th centuries. The different levels of the museum feature a vast range of historical reconstructions and archives dating from the 16th century, and focusing on the daily lives of the citizens at the time. This small but detailed museum provides a lot of specific information on the city’s history.
Casa Museo de María Pita
Address: Rúa de Herrerías, 28, 15001 A Coruña, Spain
Website: Casa Museo de María Pita
8. A Coruña's Beaches
One of the top things to enjoy around A Coruña may surely be the strong and powerful Atlantic Ocean. Going wild wandering the shores, you’ll find many great beaches, such as Valdoviño, Pantin Beach, or Campelo Beach, where you’ll enjoy surfing, climbing, and wandering through the mighty Galician nature. This is a must for outdoor lovers!
Address: Valdoviñ, Galicia, Spain
Enjoy the Galician coast!
With these 8 things to do around A Coruña in Spain, you’ll experience the strong culture, history, and traditions of the Galician region, which has been shaped by nature and the vast Atlantic Ocean. Breathe a deep breath of fresh air!
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