Vigo, a Place That Tastes Like Sea

It is the most cosmopolitan city and the biggest urban center of Galicia. Its modernity, the antique aspects that are maintained and the strength of its customs and traditions are mixed with elegance. Vigo invests in innovation and in the future, but keeps and respects the history and culture that defines it. It lives of the hustle and bustle of the city. It has flavour, happiness and people who welcome you with a genuine smile in a spirit of sharing.

The Atlantic door is always open

 The slight sea breeze is smelt in every corner of Vigo. The Atlantic is very close and wrap your senses up. Like in any seaside city, it has a harbour that serves the arrivals and departures and also promotes the consequent sharing of different cultures. Since roman times, many people arrived to this Galician diamond and Vigo insists on preserving much of all these heritages.

The Puerta del Atlántico, that you can find in Plaza de América, is the monument that symbolises this relationship with the world and reminds all the people, who draft away to other continents, for other adventures.

The truth is that Vigo’s harbour is not just another harbour. It is one of the most important in Spain and one of the main receiving fresh fish and seafood from Europe. Fishing is such an important activity in this Galician city that it is included in touristic routes. If you are interested in knowing more about fishers daily routines during your visit, you can follow the different steps of the fishing activity, from the shipyards, where vessels are built, until the bustle of Vigo Fish Market. If you prefer to assist only the last phase of the process, with the fish or seafood suberbly placed on the plate, know that you are also in the right place! We will tell you all about it below!

Vigo, an open-air museum

There are sculptures all over the city that enrich artistically the most important gardens, streets and squares. All the pieces have the signature of well known sculptors, such as Agustín Querol, Francisco Asorey, Mariano Benlliure, Francisco Leiro, Juan Oliveira, Manuel Buciños or Xoán Piñeiro, and each of them represents a period, an artistical finding or a historic moment. It’s interesting to discover them while strolling around the city, but we suggest you the following: El Sireno by Francisco Leiro, in Puerta del Sol, El Nadador, by the same sculptor, alongside the Ría de Vigo and Los Caballos, by Juan Oliveira, in Plaza de España.

But art and its most varied expressions mushroom all over the place. To get to know in greater depth the essence of Galician art, you should visit Vigo’s Pinacotheca, in Calle del Príncipe. Also take the opportunity to visit the Municipal Museum Quiñoces de León and, by the way, the Museum of Contemporary Art — all situated very close to each other.

In Vigo, there is also room for calm and contemplative moments. A tour through Monte do Castro is a good option. Besides admiring the different city fringes and the romantic and poetic bay, you can also enjoy the charming garden right at the top.

Vigo and their love islands

They were baptized by the Romans as islands of the gods and even today we can figure out why! There are three islands that form the Ciés archipelago: Monte Agudo, Faro and San Martiño, the last one is difficult to access. All of them host the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, a land and sea park with over 8 thousand hectares. This sort of sky offers the best of nature in its pure state: cliffs gracefully sketched on the landscape, beaches, crystal clear waters and a rich ecological variety.

Here is the best beach of the world

Or Playa de Rodas that connects Monte Agudo and Faro islands. A sublime fine white sand flowing gracefully to the deep blue Atlantic, granted the title of best beach of the world in 2007. These was courtesy of the british newspaper The Guardian and the Galician like to remind this prize with pride. To reach this authentic paradise, you have to take a boat in Vigo harbour, in a journey of 40 minutes. Once you’re there, take the opportunity to discover the surrounding beaches. If you like camping, you can stay at Ciés Campsite and live an almost wild experience.

Vigo, the place to taste flavours

Vigo flavours not only taste like sea. They taste like epic delicious experiences, from typical spanish tapas and the distinctive oysters from Ría, to the misteries of Galician octopus or the simplicity of a fabulous barbecue. We are in Galicia, good food is part of its soul and even the most demanding taste feels thankful.

You can taste one of these experiences in Calle de las Ostras (or Rúa de la Pescadería). The oysters from Ría de Vigo are one of the most famous stars in the plate of this Galician corner and in this street, nearby the Stone Market, you can watch the preparation of this tasty shellfish in the different places that serve it, as tradition dictates. 

As a city of fishermen, the seafood dishes or the famous octopus à feira take part of any gastronomic route, but you also must try the empanadas de Zamburiña, xoubas (sardines) and the Padrón peppers. To accompany? A charming glass of the best Galician white wine, known as Albariño.

Movida of happiness!
Vigo is also known as the capital of leisure in Galicia and there are plenty of reasons to go out, both cultural or just for fun. The evening goes on with the typical spanish happiness, among delicious tapas, music, dance and toasts with the best wines. Casco Vello, an old district in the historical part of the city, gathers some of the perfect spots for a night with everything you deserve, always with a light andrelaxed spirit. There is happy people everywhere. In the restaurants, pubs, terraces or even in the streets, the party is everywhere. Plaza da Constitución, Calle Real, Plaza de la Colegiata or Calle Oliva are just a few examples.

If you’d rather enjoy a more refined environment, we suggest you to discover the Ensanche de Vigo area (from a Promenade to Montero Ríos). You can go earlier, as there are some parks, gardens and a pedestrian area where you can enjoy a drink at one of the terraces.

If you prefer a different evening, know that you are still in the right city. Go to Churruca and meet the less obvious side of the city. It is as interesting and full of life as the others, it’s a place of indie, funk, electronic, rock, live music lovers and less conventional art. 

After all, we are at the capital of underground and, in what concerns the spanish underground urban culture, Vigo is a reference. Along with Madrid, this was the city of the movida, a movement guided by the concept of counterculture, that reached its peak in the 80’s. The independent culture heritage is still felt in its cultural offer. The artistic vibration is kept and it is not hard to find a programme that meets the most demanding requirements, both in music or in the various manifestations of contemporary art. 

Every day there is music in Vigo. And for all ears and tastes. From folk to experimental, followed by rock or the more classical/traditional sounds, it is a city that moves to the rhythm of several songs. Altogether, it has 7 venus (for concerts and shows) and an infinite number of bars and rooms for these type of events.
Besides being music, Vigo is also poetry, particularly when the sun is setting. There are lots of places to enjoy this experience at nightfall: at Miradouro do Monte do Castro, Playa de Samil and of course at Ría, one of the most beautiful places in Galicia.