Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain)

There are two main reasons compelling adventurers from across the world to visit the capital of Galicia in the north-west of Spain: the declaration of its beautiful Old Town as UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1985, and the wish to fulfil what is considered by many a life goal, that is, the completion of the Way of St. James (El Camino).

That being said, arriving to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela or obtaining your pilgrim certificate comes with additional perks. If you have some time to spare in the city and can even stay for a few days in a guest house or hostel for pilgrims in Galicia, we not only advise you to enjoy the fine Galician gastronomy but also to take the time to get around and admire its baroque architecture, its parks, and the convents and churches built centuries ago that still stand, bearing silent testimony to innumerable stories.

How to get to Santiago de Compostela

Perhaps the most usual way to get to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia for hiking lovers and backpackers is by completing the last or all stages of El Camino (St. James Way), but many other travellers choose to travel by train or airplane from Spanish or European cities. AVE trains connect Madrid and Santiago in only five hours, while domestic air routes as well as international ones are handled to and from its airport, located twelve kilometres from the old town.

Whether you will be taking a city break after your pilgrimage to Santiago in Spain or you are travelling there for the sole purpose of exploring and discovering new places, know that there is a wide array of budget-friendly lodging options for solo travellers and backpackers in Galicia. Below, you will find some of the best valued cheap accommodation in Santiago de Compostela.

Rua Nova hostel in Santiago de Compostela

This budget accommodation in Galicia is strategically situated in the heart of Santiago just metres away from the Cathedral, the University and the popular Obradoiro Square. Pilgrims, hikers, backpackers and tourists appreciate the chance to sleep in a historical building that has been remodelled to accommodate guest rooms featuring complimentary WiFi, flat-screen TV, private bathroom and amenities. The front desk of the Rua Nova hostel in Santiago de Compostela is available around the clock, and there is a tourist information point within short walking distance of the establishment.

 As Margaritas hostel near Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

The As Margaritas hostel is often chosen by travellers who want to stay close to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in a central location of the old town, while also enjoying access to amenities like a communal terrace where they can relax and have a drink at the bar. Guest rooms include free WiFi internet and TV, and are fitted to accommodate groups, families, couples or solo travellers, with the option of having a bathroom inside or sharing one outside. The different room categories in this hostel in Santiago de Compostela –Spain– are individual, twin, double, triple and quadruple. Also, the reception staff can assist you with extras like parking spaces (for a fee), left luggage, local tours, book and DVD for loan and airport transfers.

Sleeping in an old monastery in Galicia, Spain

The known as Hospedería San Martín Pinario is a unique sort of accommodation in Santiago, Galicia, as it has been built inside what used to be a monastery, today turned into one of the most popular places to stay among pilgrims of the Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago). Even better, it is located right across the street from the Cathedral and within a short stroll of some of the most beautiful sights and landmarks in this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain. Former guests highlighted the excellent customer service provided by the reception staff, available 24 hours a day, as well as the basic yet comfortable rooms with private bathroom, featuring occupancy for one, two or three guests in the same unit. To top it all off, this cheap accommodation in Santiago de Compostela serves a hearty buffet breakfast every morning and Galician delicacies in the preserved dining hall of the former monastery, which makes for quite an unforgettable gastronomic and architectural experience.

Will you be visiting other cities in Spain? If you travel on a low budget or simply would like to find the best nightly rates for your stay, have a look at hour recommended hostels and hotels in Seville, Andalusia.

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Santiago de Compostela airport in Galicia, Spain

Santiago de Compostela is known worldwide as pilgrimage destination and end point of the Way of St. James or Camino de Santiago, but the capital of Galicia in Spain is certainly worth a visit just to explore its Old Town, soak in its beautiful sights and indulge in its tasty local food. Both the pilgrim city and the entire Galician region have their main gateway for travellers arriving by air in Santiago – Rosalía de Castro airport (SCQ / formerly referred to as Lavacolla).

The air terminal lies about 12 kilometres away from the end of El Camino and handles a wide range of routes to and from destinations across Europe, in such a way that you can fly direct from London to Santiago de Compostela (with Ryanair from Stansted airport), from Frankfurt with Lufthansa, from Lisbon with Tap Air Portugal and from Gran Canaria with Air Europa. More airlines selling flights to Santiago de Compostela in Spain are listed later in this article.

Travelling from the airport to Santiago de Compostela

Renting a car, commuting by bus and walking are the most common ways to go from Santiago de Compostela airport to the Cathedral in the Old Town. A rental car will allow for a quick commute to the centre and additional independent to explore Galicia and neighbouring areas of Spain; you can head over to the offices run by Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar or Sixt upon landing in SCQ. Alternatively, Freire buses run services connecting the terminal to the city centre every 30 minutes or, if you would like to experience what it is like to be a pilgrim at least during the last stretch of El Camino de Santiago, join the walkers covering it from the airport; this way is totally safe as there are pathways enabled for pedestrians to use.

Passenger terminal of Santiago de Compostela airport

The current airport terminal of Santiago de Compostela was opened in 2011 right beside the old terminal facilities, and further improvements are expected. It is divided into two areas, dedicated to Schengen and non-Schengen operations respectively, and features a Duty Free store, some shops and restaurants and free WiFi courtesy of Aena. The large numbers of pilgrims in transit who might even need to spend the night in Compostela airport will find its facilities open 24 hours a day, and many choose to wait for their early morning flight out of SCQ. Since the restaurants at the airport close around midnight, and the VIP lounge is operational only until 10pm, if you decide to stay overnight we advise you to stay busy online (with the complimentary WiFi and power outlets), get some snacks from the vending machines or take a nap, as long as you take turns with your travel companions to avoid missing your flight. For greater comfort, you may also book a room in a hotel or hostel close to Santiago de Compostela airport in Galicia.

Airlines flying to Santiago de Compostela airport

The following are the carriers that currently operate flights to and from Santiago de Compostela in Spain:

Scheduled flights (all year round)

Ryanair (Barcelona, Alicante, Gran Canaria,Bergamo, Lanzarote, London STN, Malta, Málaga, Madrid, Seville, Mallorca, Valencia and Tenerife South); Vueling (Amsterdam, Fuerteventura, Paris CDG, Tenerife North and some of the Spanish airports also covered by Ryanair); Aer LIngus (Dublin); Air Europa (Gran Canaria); Easyjet (Geneva and Basel); Iberia Express – Regional (Madrid, Bilbao); Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and Tap Air Portugal (Lisbon).

Seasonal flights to Santiago de Compostela

Air Europa (Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and all airports in Tenerife); Easyjet (London LGW); Edelweiss (Zurich); Iberia (Funchal); Ryanair (Hahn, Rome and Zaragoza) and Vueling (Brussels and Zurich).