Open The Gates: 8 Best Things To Do In Vigo, Spain

things to do in vigo spain
| 3 min read

On mainland Spain’s westernmost tip, lies Vigo, a city cradled by the mountains and sea - the country’s gateway to the Atlantic. The city flourished from a humble fishing village into Galicia’s most populated city, with its sheer size intimidating any who choose to explore it. For a city so modernized and industrial as Vigo, it’s easy to assume that the city doesn’t have a rich history behind it. Well, get ready to be surprised, as the city and its inhabitants have lots for you to see.

Don’t let the size daunt you because we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of things to do in Vigo that will make your stay worthwhile:

1. Hike up the Castro Fortress

Old Vigo has had its share of attacks, due to its location. From pirates to the French, the people sought the protection of Castro Fortress countless times. Although much of the fortress has now been lost to time and nothing but its mere skeleton has been left behind, the fortress still remains one of the most favored attractions in all of Vigo, by both locals and tourists.

The fortress sits on top of a steep hill, so it’s only for those who are good on their feet. A hike, however, is the perfect way to start the morning to get your blood pumping. Plus, the view of the city and port, that can be seen from the top of the fortress is a reward in itself.

2. Take a stroll around Parque Monte del Castro

Mountain in the middle - the park is a high climb in the middle of the city, which rewards visitors with a bird’s eye view of the city, down below. In contrast to the Castro Fortress, the park offers a friendlier option to people who have weaker knees. The flat area is the perfect spot for family picnics, strolling, and just enjoying the scenery.

3. Explore Islas Cies

At the top of the island III
Source: Photo by user Pedro used under CC BY 2.0

Dubbed the “islands of the gods”, the archipelago is Vigo’s national marine-terrestrial park. The archipelago is made up of three islands namely, Monteagudo, Do Faro and San Martiño. Flora and fauna are abundant on all three islands, as well as hidden coves, steep cliffs, and caves. There are a lot of activities to be found in the islands, like hiking, bird watching, camping, and diving. Regular boat trips from Vigo to the islands start during the summer season.

As the islands have been declared a nature reserve, efforts have been made to impose tighter surveillance over tourists, in order to preserve its natural value. Activities like camping, require special permission from the port of Vigo or through their website.

Islas Cies

Website: Islas Cies

Camping on Islas Cies

Address: Islas Atlanticas de Galicia National Park, España

Website: Reservation Center

4. Take a dip at Rodas Beach

Playa de Rodas
Source: Photo by user Ignorant Walking used under CC BY 2.0

More than half a mile long, Rodas Beach has been named by British newspaper, the Guardian, as the best beach in the world and its hard not to see why. Rodas Beach is a long strip of sand which connects Monteagudo Island and Montefaro Island. With fine white sand and clear water, this beach is the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy a sunny day out in unspoiled waters.

Rodas Beach

Website: Rodas Beach

5. Have some of Vigo's seafood

We're the seafood mods - viva vigo!

Posted by Rafael Kamp on Monday, 25 August 2014

Seafood in Vigo

Posted by Ashley Cornelius on Friday, 13 May 2016

As a major fishing port, it comes as no surprise that Vigo has some high quality and prized seafood. Oysters, gambas, lubinas, and more, Vigo’s seafood is a must try for everyone. If you’re looking for some traditional dishes, there are plenty to be found in the city. A good place is Taberna A Pedra - a low cost restaurant, which specializes in traditional Spanish seafood.

Taberna A Pedra, Vigo

Address: Rua Cesteiros 2, 36202 Vigo, Spain

Contact Number: +34 986 43 86 92

Operating Hours: 12:00 PM - 11:30 PM everyday except Mondays

Facebook: Taberna A Pedra, Vigo

6. Visit Pazo Quinones de Leon

An old mansion/castle converted into a museum, the Pazo is the place to go for a glimpse of the city’s history and art. The castle also boasts a beautiful garden, which almost resembles the Rothschild gardens, up north, in France. Many come to the gardens for a romantic walk and it is even open for weddings.

Pazo Quinones de Leon

Address: Avenida Castrelos s/n, 36213 Vigo, Spain

Operating Hours: The museum is closed every Monday; Tuesday until Friday-10:00 AM to 2:00 PM; Saturday-5:00 PM to 8:00 PM; Sunday-11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free of charge

Website: Pazo Quinones de Leon (in Spanish)

7. Travel back in time in Casco Vello

Deep amongst Vigo’s modernity lies Old Town, which seems to have stayed untouched after all these years. Relatively smaller than its counterparts in neighboring cities, the area is composed of narrow streets, four original plazas, littered sculptures, and of course the highlight - the old buildings. The architecture of the buildings and atmosphere sends tourists on a trip, back in time.

With all the shops, restaurants, and other establishments, Casco Vello is the perfect place for some shopping and food.

8. Stop by Iglesia Colegiata de Santa Maria

Iglesia Colegiata de Santa María, Vigo. Interior
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luis Filpo C... used under CC BY 3.0

If you’re stopping by Casco Vello, it is highly recommended that you visit the church. As toned down as its facade may be, don’t be fooled, because its interior design will blow you away. Once you step inside the church, you will be immediately greeted by its neoclassical interior, with Doric columns and frescoes.

The Church of Santa Maria

Address: Plaza de la Iglesia, 6, 36202 Vigo, Spain

Operating Hours: Open everyday from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Entrance Fee: Free of charge

Website: The Church of Santa Maria

Changing with the tides

In the region of Galicia, Vigo is rarely compared to neighboring cities like Santiago, which has a stronger feeling of history than the port city. However, there is no debate that one of the charming aspects of Vigo is, unlike its neighbors who depend strongly on the past, the city is capable of carrying its history while moving forward with the tides.

Ready to discover something new in Galicia? Well, come on over to Vigo to be hit with the wonderful harmony of old and new.

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Also a cartoonist/writer at her college's official newspaper, multi-lingual, and is finishing her bachelor's in legal management. Loves studying various cultures, languages, and travelling.

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