municipality in Galicia, northwestern Spain

Ourense (Spanish: Orense) is the capital of the province of Ourense in Galicia. One of the main tourist attractions are the hot springs, as Ourense holds one of the greatest amount of geothermal water in Europe.


Roman Bridge

On the banks of the Miño River there are some thermal springs that have been appreciated since ancient times. In Roman times, a city was founded that was called Auriense. During the migration of peoples, the Suevi made it the capital of their empire. Under Moorish rule, the city was almost meaningless. Only in the 19th and 20th centuries did the city regain some of its importance. The connection to the rail and road network made a particular contribution to this.

Its population of 105,000 (2019) accounts for one third of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia. One third of the population always speak in Galician, one sixth always speak in Spanish, and the rest use both interchangeably (2018).



Summers have hot daytime temperatures around 30 °C (86 °F), whilst winters are wet with daytime highs at 12 °C (54 °F) and lows a few degrees above freezing.

Get in


By plane


The nearest international commercial airport is Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ), 115 km away. The transfer by bus and train takes a good 1½ hours. Alternatively, A Coruña Airport (LCG) can be considered, which is 170 km from Ourense (2 hours by bus and train).

By train

  • 1 Ourense train station (Orense-Empalme). Orense-Empalme is an important junction on the railway line between central Spain and Santiago de Compostela. High-speed trains (Alvia) stop here six times a day from Madrid - Chamartín (journey time 4 hr 20 min-4 hr 35 min); once a day from Barcelona (11½ hr) via Pamplona (7 hr 50 min) and León (3 hr 40 min); daily Intercity from Irun/Hendaye on the Spanish-French border (almost 10 hours) and Bilbao (9 hr 20 min) via León (4 hr 20 min).    

Within Galicia there are connections approximately every hour with Santiago (journey time around 40 minutes) and A Coruña (1 hr 10 min), eight times a day with Vigo (1½-2 hr), three times a day with Lugo (1 hr 35 min), once a day with Ferrol (2½ hours)

Night trains (Trenhotel) from Madrid and Barcelona also stop here.

By bus


Monbus offers seven bus connections per day from Vigo to Ourense. The journey takes between 1 hr 5 min and 1½ hours and costs €3.30 to €6.55, depending on the booking date and conditions.

Long-distance buses operated by AvanzaBus run six times a day from Madrid to Ourense. The journey takes a good 6 hours (express) or 6½ hours (normal) and costs €37 or €42.

From Asturias there is a bus from Gijón (journey time 5½ hours; price approx. €39) once a day from Gijón via Oviedo (5 hours, €37) to Ourense.

From the Basque Country there is a long-distance bus connection from Irun (11 hours, €15-42) via Donostia/San Sebastián (10½ hours) and Vitoria/Gasteiz (8 hours, €11-32) or from Bilbao (9 hours, €12-35).

By car


Ourense is on the toll-free Autovía A-52 (Madrid-Vigo). From Santiago de Compostela the toll road AP-53 leads to Ourense. If you want to save on the toll, you can use the parallel national road N-525 (to Lalín - from there the motorway is toll-free), the journey then takes around 20 minutes longer. Coming from Ponferrada, the N-120 leads to Ourense.

On foot


The Way of St. James from Madrid to Santiago passes through Ourense. La Ruta de la Plata (the silver route) and the Portuguese Way, different routes on the Camino de Santiago, both pass directly through Ourense. La Ruta de la Plata, the longest of all the Camino's routes, begins in Sevilla and moves north through the west of the country. The pilgrims on both routes are important to Ourense's tourism industry, especially in holy years of St. James when traffic on the Camino is especially high.

Get around

Map of Ourense

Although mainly a town of services, Ourense is not without its tourist sites. The town has three parts: the medieval, the area of 19th-century expansion, and the modern perimeter. The medieval quarter, with its narrow streets and tiny plazas is full of typical restaurants and bars patronized by the university students of the town. The Plaza Mayor is the centre of city life with its arcaded shops and the Town Hall.

  • 1 Ponte Romanaor Ponte Vella (Old Bridge). The Miño is crossed at Ourense by the Ponte Vella. With Roman foundations, it was reconstructed in 1230 but frequently repaired since then; it has seven arches and a central span of 43 m.
Ourense Cathedral
  • 2 Cathedral of San Martin. M-Sa 11:30-19:30, Su 13:00-19:30. The Cathedral is a national cultural monument in Spain and a mixture of different architectural and artistic styles, the oldest parts date from the transition 12th/13th century. The tour is accompanied by an audio guide, which is available in Spanish or English. Romanesque in structure, but with a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles, it is rather hidden away but, contains a façade with the Door of Paradise in imitation of the Door of Glory of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. You must visit the impressive Capilla del Cristo, or Christ's Chapel (16th century), which contains a crucifix venerated throughout Galicia. €5.    
  • 3 Santa Eufemia. Built in the 17th century as the monastery church of a Jesuit monastery.  
  • 4 As Burgas. Thermal fountain, the water comes out of the fountain at 67°C.    

Thermal baths:

  • 1 Termas A Chavasqueira. They are near the fire station and the main entrance to the city, surrounded by green areas and the Miño river. Its waters flow at 63 °C and are bicarbonated, fluorinated, and sulfurized with medium mineralization.  
  • 2 Termas de Outariz (near the Pozas do Muíño da Veiga, 4 km from the city). They have two different parts separated by a pedestrian bridge that connects the OU-402 road with the enclosure: at the top are the Pozas de Outariz hot springs and at the bottom the Burgas de Canedo ones. The waters of this enclosure are low-mineralized, fluorinated, silicated and bicarbonated. The temperature at which these waters flow is 60 °C.
  • 3 Termas do Muino da Veiga (3 km from the city, next to an old renovated mill). The space has a large main hot spring of 200 m², a second of 130 m² and two others of 55 and 45 m² respectively. Its waters flow at a temperature between 65 °C and 72 °C. They are low-mineralized, fluorinated, silicated and alkaline waters.
  • Fonte do Tinteiro. It's a manual traction fountain that expels low-mineralized, alkaline, sulphurous, fluorinated and mesothermal waters, located just 500 m from the A Chavasqueira thermal area, at a 43 °C temperature.

Ourense is a well known producer of European chestnuts.






  • Nova, Valle Inclan, 5, +34 988 217 933. Daily 13:30-15:30, W-Sa 21:00-22:30. One Michelin star. Offers three tasting menus of seasonal local products.







Go next

This city travel guide to Ourense is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.