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A Coruña is a personality-packed city in the heart of Galicia. The second-largest city in the region, it’s brimming with historic sights, lively restaurants and brilliant beaches. The city has a vibrant cultural scene too, with museums, festivals and cultural events throughout the year. It makes an excellent base for visiting the region’s showstopping cities, towns and sights too, from Santiago de Compostela to sprawling national parks.
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Guide of A Coruña
A Coruña is a port city located in northwest Spain, in the autonomous region of Galicia. It sits on a peninsula, squeezed between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Ria de A Coruña coastal islet to the east. It is the second-largest city in Galicia, after Vigo.
Climate in A Coruña
A Coruña enjoys a warm-temperate oceanic climate, with mostly mild and humid weather. Summers are relatively cool when compared with the rest of Spain, with average high temperatures of 23°C. The coldest month in A Coruña is January, with average lows of 6°C. The city is well-known for its rainy weather, with the wettest months being November, December and January. As a result, the city and surroundings boast lush green gardens and verdant parks.
Culture in A Coruña has been strongly influenced by the wider autonomous region of Galicia, which has its own distinctive culture and language separate from much of Spain. Galician is widely spoken throughout the city, as well as Spanish. The city is renowned for its strong Celtic roots and traditions, which have left their mark on A Coruña’s music, dance, culinary traditions and festivals.
Like much of the country, residents in A Coruña are partial to a good festival. Noite de Queima – the Feast of St. John – is the crowning jewel in A Coruña’s cultural calendar. The festival, which takes place on June 23rd, involves spectacular fireworks, bonfires, music and dancing to mark the summer solstice.
Things To Do in A Coruña
Visit the Tower of Hercules
This UNESCO-listed landmark is the city’s most iconic monument. Built in the late 1st century A.D. on a 57-metre-high rock, the ancient landmark is the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. A pretty sculpture garden featuring works by Pablo Serrano and Francisco Leiro surrounds the lighthouse today.
A Coruña and the surrounding areas are blessed with half a dozen brilliant beaches. Playa de Riazor and Playa del Orzan are easily accessible from the city centre and are particularly popular with surfers. San Amaro, a little further away, is a tiny cove protected by the headland and much better suited to less confident swimmers.
Walk along the ancient wall
The Old Town is encircled by a 1.25-mile (2 km) long Roman wall, which visitors can stroll along today. The wall was constructed in the 3rd century AD to protect the city from invaders and is considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of Roman fortifications in Spain.
People-watch in the Maria Pita Square
Maria Pita Square is the social heart of the city. Named after a local heroine who defended the city from English invasion, the picturesque square is lined with elegant buildings and bustling cafes. It’s the perfect place to soak up the local atmosphere.
Eating Out in A Coruña
A Coruña has a proud gastronomic heritage with several local delicacies. Pulpo a Gallega, boiled octopus seasoned with olive oil and paprika, is one of the region’s most popular dishes and you’ll find it on the menus of most bars and restaurants. Empanadas (savoury filled pies), Mariscada (seafood platters made with clams, mussels and shrimp) and Caldo Gallego (traditional bean, potato and vegetable soup) are popular too. For dessert, try Tarta de Santiago, a delicious traditional almond cake.
The city is well known for its local wines too. Albariño, a white wine produced in the Rias Baixs region, makes the perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes. Or, for something a little different, try Queimada. This traditional alcoholic drink is made with aguardiente liquor, sugar, coffee beans and citrus peel. You can find it at most bars and cafes.
When it comes to eating out in A Coruña, it’s easy to eat well and affordably. For sparkling seaside views, try La Bombilla, which is set right on the beach with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Casa Puga, located in the historic heart of the city, has been serving up delicious tapas and local dishes for over a century.
The nearest airport to A Coruña is A Coruña Airport (LCG), which is also known as Alvedro Airport. It’s within spitting distance of the city centre, located just 5 miles (8 km away). It’s a relatively small airport, though it is served by several domestic and international airlines like Iberia, Vueling and Ryanair. The second closest airport is Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), 47 miles (75 km) south of the city, which offers a much wider range of flight options.
The easiest way to reach the city centre from the airport is by hiring a car or hopping in a taxi. The drive takes 15-20 minutes and will set you back 15-20 euros in a cab. Several bus lines operate services between the airport and the city centre, though journey times are slightly longer at 30 minutes.
Getting around A Coruña
A Coruña is a relatively large but pedestrian-friendly city. Most of the city’s blockbuster attractions are within walking distance of each other. The city also operates an extensive public transportation system that encompasses buses, trams and trains. A Coruña Transporte Urbano bus company covers most areas of the city cheaply and reliably. The train station offers regional and long-distance train services to other destinations throughout Galicia and across Spain.
However, if you’re hoping to explore some of the smaller surrounding towns and regional locations, you might prefer to rent a car. Many smaller towns and off-beat attractions require several changes on the bus and private transfers and excursions are notoriously expensive. Driving will give you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace. Most hotels offer complimentary parking and there is some free street parking on the outskirts of the city too.