Vigo is an industrial city of almost 295,000 people (2018) in Galicia, Spain. It has some Roman ruins and Romanesque churches.
Vigo is not only one of the major industrial cities in Galicia, but it is also one of the more important Roman centres of Pontevedra. Although within the city you will not find much Romanesque architecture, it can be seen a few kilometers away from the city centre. A large number of Roman ruins remain in many of the municipality's neighbourhoods and parishes. Such is the importance of the Roman remains in Vigo that many Spanish authors have come to coin the term románico vigués (Vigo-style Romanesque). Vigo retains some interesting examples of Romanesque churches in southern Galicia: Santa María de Castrelos, Santiago de Bembrive, and San Salvador de Coruxo.
Vigo was a 1960s boom town after Franco's government gave this city a free-trade zone in 1947 and a Development Pole in 1964. Vigo is one of the region's primary economic agents, owing in part to the French Citroën automotive factory and to the Port of Vigo.
The Galician language (Gallego), Portuguese, and Castilian (Spanish) are all spoken in Vigo.
Vigo is the rainiest city in Galicia. Compared to many other Galician towns, Vigo and Pontevedra experience warmer summer temperatures than A Coruña or Santiago de Compostela and milder winters than inland areas.
- 1 Vigo-Peinador International Airport (VGO IATA) (15 km from the centre of Vigo, in the municipalities of Redondela, Vigo and Mos). It serves mainly national routes such as Air Europa (Madrid), Orbest (Lanzarote and Tenerife-South), Spanair Vueling (Barcelona), Iberia Airlines (Madrid), Volotea (Ibiza, Sevilla). Their regional affiliate Air Nostrum flies also from some other destinations such as Bilbao, Seville or Valencia. Air France flies from Paris and there might be other international destinations such as London (Vueling) or Brussels (Air Nostrum), depending on the season.
You could also fly into Santiago, or to Porto which has a shuttle bus to Vigo.
There is direct train from Porto (Portugal) twice a day (€14, 3 hr) and to several other Spanish cities - Santiago de Compostela (hourly, 1½ hr, €9), Madrid (twice a day, €50), Bilbao (one per day, €48), Pontevedra (several times a day, €3, 30 min)
Distances to Vigo: Madrid 590 km, A Coruna 156 km, Ourense 100 km, Pontevedra 27 km
Local ferries sail from Cangas and Moaña across the gulf.
An industrial and recent city, Vigo has few remarkable old buildings but is home to a collegiate church and a few museums, most of which were inaugurated between the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- 1 Monument to Jules Verne, Avenida da Beiramar (on the waterfront). Picturesque bronze statue of the writer sitting atop giant squid tentacles, unveiled on the centenary of his death (2005). The book 20,000 Leagues under the Sea has a chapter devoted to "The Bay of Vigo", and Verne even came to visit the city some time after writing it. Free.
- Museo Do Mar De Galicia (Sea Museum of Galicia). June-September: Tu-Th 10:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00; F Sa 10:00-14:00, 16:00-22:30; Su 10:00-22:00. Oct-May: Winter: Tu-Th 10:00-14:00, 16:00-20:00; F Sa 10:00-22:30; Su 10:00-21:00. €3 adults, €1.5 reduced, €5 families.
- 2 Museo Municipal de Vigo. M-Sa 10:00-20:00 (with siesta break), Su 10:00-13:30. Vigo's local museum has more than 1500 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and applied arts, from which just a small part is exhibited. The best known artists of the collection are Carracci, Pourbus, Goya, Teniers, Fragonard and Prud'hon. There is archeological hall and the least developed museum department - history of the city. Free entry.
- 3 Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO), Príncipe 54, ☏ +34 986 113 900. Tu-Sa 11:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00; Su Sa 11:00-14:30. One of the most important museums of Contemporary Art in Spain. It displays changing exhibitions of contemporary art, but has no permanent collection. Free.
- 4 Fortaleza de San Sebastian.
- 5 Santa María Church (Igrexa de Santa María de Castrelos) (in city centre).
- Porta do Sol. Vigo's kilometre zero, from where all distances are traditionally measured. It is very popular meeting point. Sculpture is made by Francisco Leiro, El Sireno (The Merman). El Sireno looks to the north, to the sea.
- 6 Castro de Vigo. Park and panoramic viewpoint.
- Oyster sellers (in city centre).
- 7 A Guía. A hill known as A Guía is the most important landmark. It has served sailors for centuries as a point of reference when entering port, has become one of Vigo's most popular parks, thanks to the fine views it affords over the city.
- 8 Islas Cíes (Cies Islands). national park. Boats to Cíes islands (30-45 min) run several times a day in summer: June-September, in the week of easter holiday, on weekends in May and October. There are two companies Nabia Naviera and Mar de Ons [dead link] that takes you there for the same price (just different timetable). Round trip costs €16 for adults (2012). Both companies have office just behind the tourist information point near the boat terminal. Cíes Islands are famous of nice beaches, nature, bird watching and diving/snorkelling. There is camp (€8 adult, €5 child per night), although is possible to stay over night in apartments. There is a restaurant and a bar or two.
- Stroll down the main port and savour the impressive variety of local seafood.
- Football: Celta Vigo play soccer in La Liga, Spain's top tier. Their Balaídos stadium (capacity 29,000) is 2 km southwest of the old centre.
- 1 [dead link] Marengo Style, c/Progreso, 40, ☏ +34 986 222 292, email@example.com. 10:00-14:00 & 17:30-20:30. Fashion store in Vigo's Commercial Zone (Zona Centro) where you can find Spanish fashion brands for women, such as Rosalita McGee, PepaLoves, TitisClocthing, Compañía Fantástica or Tiralahilacha. Marengo also has an e-commerce site, where you can order your clothes from any place in Europe.
In multiple locations
- Bar Carballo. Try the amazing Tortilla and empanadillas
In the city centre
There are a lot of budget-friendly restaurants in the city center.
- 1 Picadillo, Fermin Penzol 10, Vigo (100 m up from the tourist port, just below the Porta de Sol), ☏ +34 986 223 729. 12:30-16:00, 20:00-23:30. Sittin on the edge of Vigo's old town, this restaurant offers classic and innovative meals, tapas and wines in a warm, friendly atmosphere. US$15-30pp.
- 2 La Malinche, Rúa do Marqués de Valladares, 6. Mexican
- 3 Trepia Gastronomia, Rúa Carral, 9.
- 4 Taberna A Pedra, Rúa Cesteiros, 2. Buzzling Galizian bistro.
- 5 Bocatería L´squina, Rúa Carral, 4. Sandwiches
- 6 Burguer Chip, Rúa Teófilo Llorente, 37.
- 7 Taberna A Mina, Rúa San Vicente, 8. Seafood grill
Around the Praza de Independencia
- 8 A tapa do barril, Rúa López Mora, 63.
- 9 Mesón Os Pepes, Rúa Zamora, 96.
- 10 6 Porciones, Rúa López Mora, 63.
- 11 Pintan Tapas, Rúa de Barcelona, 82.
- 12 Novo King Kong, Rúa de Álvaro Cunqueiro, 27.
- 13 Tahona Colmeiro, Rúa do Pintor Colmeiro, 6.
- 14 Restaurante pontedeva, Rúa do Pintor Colmeiro, 10.
Around the Praza Maruja Mallo
- 15 La Góndola food, Rúa de Urzaiz, 135. Italian cuisine
- 16 Cafeteria restaurante Al jaima, Monfonte de lemos, Calle Cataluña, 4.
- 17 Más Arepas, Rúa de Extremadura, 11.
- 18 El Asador De Amadeo, Rúa de Pizarro, 32.
- 19 Imperial, Rúa Colombia, 24. Tapas bar
- 20 Taberna Eligio, Tr.ª da Aurora, n°4.
- 21 Paparrúa, Rúa da Laxe, 11.
- 22 Restaurant O Porton, Rúa Pescadería, 1.
- 23 Restaurante Casa Vella, Rúa Pescadería, 1.
- 24 Living Cocina Viva, Rúa Zamora, 81.
- 25 As Cangas, Rúa Talude, 3.
- 26 Maruja Limón, Rúa Montero Ríos, 4, ☏ +34 986 473406. closed mid to end Sept, Su, M. Menu €44 to 64 (2013).
Queimada is an alcoholic beverage of Galician tradition.
Queimada's characteristic blue fire. Queimada has origins in the Pagan festivals of Galicia. It is a punch made from Galician aguardiente (Orujo Gallego) - a spirit distilled from wine and flavoured with herbs or coffee, plus sugar, lemon peel, coffee beans and cinnamon.
Traditionally while preparing the punch a spell or incantation is recited, so that special powers are conferred to the queimada and those drinking it. Then the queimada is set alight, and slowly burns as more brandy is added.
Accommodation is very easy to find, there are a lot of hotels, pensiones and hostales (B&B) all around the city, mostly in the city centre or near (the previous) train station.
- [dead link] La Estrella, Martín Códax 5, ☏ +34 886 905 810. Bed & Breakfast near old train station. Even for single travellers they may charge for just a bed, not for a room. €15-30.
- [dead link] Hostal Lalin, ☏ +34 986 232 699. Av. Florida nº 14. A bit far from the city centre, but price worthy. €15-35.
- Ancla Dorada, Irmandiños nº 2, ☏ +34 986 43 66 07. Nice hostal close to the city centre. €25-60.
- Hostal Gran Via, Calle de Urzáiz, ☏ +34 986 41 54 44. €35-55.
- NH Palacio de Vigo, Avenida García Barbón, 17-19, ☏ +34 98 6433643. In the heart of Vigo, close to the Club Nautico and the Do Castro Park, this hotel occupies a residential building dating from the beginning of this century (Casas de Oya, 1904). Its magnificent granite façade decorated in the typical style of that period is crowned with three large architectural roses and has been restored to its original splendour. €60-80.
- Hotel Puerta Gamboa, Calle de Gamboa 12, ☏ +34 986 22 8674. Puerta Gamboa is a charming hotel, in the heart of the old town centre. €60-80.
Vigo has 5G from all Spanish carriers.
- Pontevedra has a well-preserved old city.
- Cangas do Morrazo is its beach resort, on the peninsula north of Vigo.
- Santiago de Compostela is a must-see cathedral city. You don't have to hike there wearing a scallop.
- Tui is a pleasant hilltop town overlooking the border.
- Minho is the first province you reach south of the border in Portugal - remember to adjust your watch.
|Routes through Vigo|
|Santiago de Compostela ← Pontevedra ←||N S||→ Tui → Porto|