A Coruña (Spanish: La Coruña) is the second most populous city in Galicia, and capital of its own province. It is home to a very busy port as well as the main industrial and administrative centre of the area.
A Coruña is located on a peninsula on the northwestern corner of Spain. Originally, it was just a tiny strip of land, but over time, sand and rock built up to form the area we see today. In A Coruña, autumn and winter are usually unpredictable, with everything from overcast to snow. Summers are mostly sunny, and rain is rare. Spring is the most stable season in the city, with cool temperatures and calm weather.
A Coruña has a ring road that runs around the edge of the coast. The city is divided up into five parishes.
A Coruña is also known for its characteristic glazed window balconies, called galerías. These balconies were first designed as a naval solution for bad weather and rainy days. However, in the 18th century, workers at the Royal Dockyards had the idea of putting these balconies on modern buildings: and the fashion was born.
Most of A Coruña's historic sights can be found in its Old Town, or Cidade Vella. Notable buildings in the Old Town are the Royal Galician Academy, the churches of Santiago and Saint Mary, As Bárbaras Monastery, and the headquarters of the Operational Logistics Force of the Spanish Army. Each year in July, a Medieval Fair also takes place in the Old Town.
Being exposed to Atlantic winds and low-pressure systems bringing plenty of rainfall for most of the year, it has the coolest summers of Spain's major urban areas, but likewise has very mild winters for its latitude.
- 1 A Coruña Airport (Alvedro airport LCG IATA) (located in the Culleredo municipal limits, 8 km (5 mi) from A Coruña). It has national and international connections and is used by Iberia, Vueling, Air Europa and TAP Air Portugal. There are some international connections (from London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Lisbon) and frequent national connections (mainly from Madrid and Barcelona, several flights a day, but also from Seville, Bilbao and the Canary Islands). You can get from the airport into town by local bus (departing every 30 min) or taxi.
- 1 Santiago de Compostela Airport (Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport, SCQ), Aeropuerto Avenue, 15820, Santiago de Compostela, ☏ . The 2nd busiest airport in northern Spain after Bilbao Airport
San Cristóbal is the city's main railway station. It receives long distance RENFE trains from destinations within Spain. Two railway lines terminate at this station. They begin in León and Zamora and connect A Coruña with central Spain. High-speed trains connect the city with Santiago de Compostela, Ourense-Empalme, Pontevedra and Vigo-Guixar. Regional lines also connect the city with Lugo, Monforte de Lemos and Ferrol. Intercity trains arrive from Madrid, Barcelona, and the Basque Country, passing through many other important northern Spanish cities.
The bus station has numerous connections both international (operated mainly by ALSA) and local, operated by (among others) Arriva Noroeste, Autos Cal Pita or Monbus. Some local connections include the immediate metropolitan area (municipalities of Oleiros, Culleredo, Sada, Betanzos...), as well as most of the Costa da Morte area, Ferrol/Rías Altas. There are relatively frequent connections with the Lugo coast (Ribadeo, Viveiro, Foz).
If you want to go along the seafront promenade (paseo marítimo), you can use the tram for €2, which will carry you from the football stadium (Riazor) to the other side of the city, near the town hall.
Taxis are white, with a green light on the top showing they are free. A ride from the centre within the city might cost you around €5-7, depending on the traffic.
In the Cidade Vella, you can find (among others):
- 1 Castelo de San Antón. This castle holds an interesting archaeological museum. It used to be located on an island.
- Church of Santiago in the Old Town. A medieval church that has seen major changes.
- Colexiata de Santa María. Now hosting the Museum of Sacred Art
- Museo Militar. The Military Museum holds collections of weapons, uniforms, maps and so on.
- Museo Emilia Pardo Bazán. A museum dedicated to a great Spanish writer of the 19th century. The building also houses the Galician Language Academy.
- Xardín de San Carlos. A beautiful and romantic garden. Often used for wedding photoshoots, and where lie the remains of Sir John Moore, a British general who fought in the Elviña battle during the Napoleonic wars.
Some other sights:
- Torre de Hércules—Roman lighthouse. Apparently, this is the oldest lighthouse in the world that is still in use. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Castro de Elviña—Castros are Roman or pre-Roman settlements. This particular castro has been neglected for a long time, and is undergoing major archaeological work. Many findings are on display on the Castelo de San Antón.
- The port
- Casa de las Ciencias—Science Museum
- Domus—Another science museum, dealing with the human body.
- Aquarium Finisterrae—An aquarium, very close to the Domus.
- Picasso's home which you cannot visit; there is simply a small plaque to identify it.
- María Pita´s square, with the Council Building
- Fine Arts Museum
- Beaches. The beaches of Orzán and Riazor (situated on the Western side of the peninsula) provide a nice sandy beach within the city itself. However, if you are used to swimming in the Mediterranean, you might find the water slightly cold.
- Paseo Marítimo. The seafront promenade that surrounds the peninsula provides an opportunity for nice strolls. Starting by the La Marina, you can proceed on to the Castelo de San Antón, the Dique de Abrigo, towards the Torre de Hércules, Casa de los Peces, Casa del Hombre, Orzán and Riazor beaches, Millennium monument, and proceed towards the area known as O Portiño, on the flanks of Monte de San Pedro. This last bit of the promenade is outside the main city.
A Coruña has many interesting and huge shopping malls to choose from. Here are a few:
You will find a huge selection of typical Spanish cafés. Most restaurants offer sea food dishes of good quality.
You will also find a good number of hamburgueserias, a few Italian restaurants/pizzerias and at least one authentic Mexican restaurant.
Prices are similar to the rest of Spain.
The local beer is called Estrella Galicia.
- La Gloira (Tea Bar la Gloira), calle San-Francisco. In the old city. A lovely tea bar with a miscellaneous accumulation of objects as an unlikely decoration. Drinking a mint tea in this place sat on sofas or cushions is a real pleasure.
- A Repichoca, Orillamar, 13. One of the best places in town to have a truly Galician night. Drink licor café, buy handmade crafts or just enjoy one of the spontaneous parties that happen every now and then with people bringing their own instruments to play and dance to traditional Galician music.
- Momos, Santo Domingo 16. A great little restaurant with a witches’ theme. A good place to drop in for a drink and complementary tapas. The Menu del Dia (€8) offers several choices, quality food and unbeatable value. You may have to queue or reserve a table but it’s well worth it.
- NH Atlántico, Jardines Méndez Núñez, 15006, ☏ . This is the best option when visiting La Coruña thanks to its perfect location, 5 minutes away from the Orzán Beach and just in front of the brand new conference palace of La Coruña.
- Hostal Nogallas, C/ Julio Rodriguez Yordi, 11 15011, ☏ . Budget accommodation located next to Estadio Riazor.
- Santiago de Compostela, an ancient place of pilgrimage for its magnificent cathedral, is an easy day trip by bus or train and well worth it.
|Routes through A Coruña|
|Ferrol ←||NE S||→ Santiago de Compostela|