La Coruña, also known in the municipality of Galicia as A Coruña, has been the regional capital from 1833 to 1982 before Santiago de Compostela took its place. Its name is also the same as the province’s name, and is a provincial capital. It is part of Galicia which is an autonomous community in Spain.
Galicia is a region where one will marvel at its lush greenery and spectacular landscapes. On the east of La Coruña is Lugo, Pontevedra on the south, and the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean on the west and north.
The Nature Park islands of the Atlantic islands are also part of the province. It is a hectic port which serves as the point for distribution of agricultural goods coming from the region. “A Coruña”, the Galician name, is currently the official name of the city.
“La Coruña”, the Spanish name, is still known across Spain and is the traditional name approved by the Real Academia Española for texts published in Spanish. It is also the name used by speakers of Spanish in their conversations and in legal or official documents. La Coruña has a moderate temperature with occasional rainfall.
The climate can be compared to an Oceanic climate since it is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. Autumn and winter, that go with strong winds and heavy rainfall, are erratic. Since the ocean allows the temperatures to remain mild, snow is hardly experienced.
It is sunny and dry during the summer, although it rains occasionally. Spring is calm and cool. With this climate, beach lovers would surely enjoy the province. It is also a perfect place for water sports such as diving, fishing, sailing, surfing and a lot more.
Nowadays, La Coruña is considered a modern city where fishing and agricultural industries coincide with renowned and successful industries in fashion. Shops from the city of La Coruña have been known across the globe. It also has an international airport that offers flights to neighboring Spanish and European cities.
Portugalia, Iberia and Spanair are some of the famous airlines in the city. Deportivo de la Coruña is the city’s football club included in the country’s top division.
Another city in La Coruña that will capture the hearts of many visitors is Santiago de Compostela. It is a town that warmly welcomes a multitude of pilgrims annually. “Camino de Santiago” or The Way of St. James served as a pilgrimage route during the medieval times and is famous for its cathedral.
Explore La Coruña City in Spain
The city of La Coruña being the provincial Capital of Galicia has a number of interesting things to offer a tourist. One of these would be a district of old churches and buildings which highlights different architectural designs. Another would be the alluring new promenade which actually runs the city’s seaside perimeter.
You can walk along the promenade and enjoy the view of the city at a different perspective or the view of the ocean while enjoying the cool sea breeze. The promenade also has allows you to walk through the different tourist spots of the city as the roads that lead to these tourist attractions are connected to the promenade.
If you’re not fond of walking it will not be a problem because you can take advantage of the tram system that runs along the sea front as well. It moves along the sea front center of the “Puerto de A Coruna” and to the middle of the “Ensenada del Orzan” and it passes several stops some of them are the city’s different attractions as well such as the Tower of Hercules, Domus and Castle de San Anton, the ride would cost one euro one way.
Coruna’s large harbor is also a marvelous sight if you pass by Marina Avenue you would be able to witness one of the highlights of Coruna architecture the galleria; a term for used for a balcony that is enclosed in a glass frame.
The best time to visit this side of the city would be during a clear day or on a clear evening because it is when you would be able to enjoy the beautiful reflection of light brought about by this architectural design. This is actually the reason why the city is also called “glass city” or “crystal city”.
The city also has its own medieval district just like other cities of Galicia. It is usually referred to as “the city”. The first noticeable thing would be the remnant of the Roman walls that used to protect and enclose the ancient Roman city in this place. It has old structures and buildings that you could also view as you walk along the area.
Aside from all those mentioned you could also visit the city’s main plaza The Maria Pita Square derives its name from the local town heroine. The main entrance of the square is located at the harbor’s side.
The plaza displays an attractive façade in all of its sides and you can also visit the Town Hall and Council building known as Palacio Municipal which in the area as well including some bars and restaurants.
History of La Coruna
La Coruna is believed to have been the dwelling of the Celtic tribe Artrabians prior to the Roman occupation o 2nd n century BC. It encompasses the Tower of Hercules and onto the mainland. The oldest part of which is the High City or the Cidade Alta which is built on an ancient Celtic castro.
As mentioned the Romans had this place as part of the great Roman Empire in 2nd century BC. The colonizers used this as a strategic position to control the maritime trade within the area during that period. Julius Caesar also visited this historic place in pursuit of metal trades of the region. Due to the increase in commercial activity the town began to grow. The Norman incursion caused the decline of population and commerce.
The subsequent demise of the Roman Empire did not abandon the trade routes which became the continuous source of commerce for people who took advantage of the strategic trade position of the country during that time.
After the rush and different attacks by the Norman raiders the local tribes which was what characterized the middle ages for this region. It was not clear if the whole region was also included in the short Muslim rule that occurred in the Iberian Peninsula in the latter part of the middle ages. This is of course notwithstanding the constant threats and raids by the Normans and the AL-Andalus to the south.
In the 9th century Vikings also began to attack the city. This led to the construction of several defense structures such as the fortress made in Faro.
In the 15th century the city became popular for its manufacture of textiles no other than Charles I of Spain visited La Coruna and due to this important commercial fact a port in the area was made and was also protected with the creation of the castle of San Anton.
A La Coruna was also the site of important battles during the Peninsula war the Battle of La Coruna on January 1809 was a war between the French and British troops to cover the embarkation of the Brtish troops after their retreat. This is the battle that killed Sir John Moore and in that particular war La Coruna was the only Galician city that achieved success against the French troops.
At the start of the 20th century La Coruna was greatly affected by several major events namely: The Great Depression , the Spanish Civil War and it shattered the economy of Coruna. Luckily during the 1960’s and 1970’s La Coruna became recipient of what they now call the Spanish miracle but the steady increase in the economy was disturbed by the international oil shocks.
Coruna Things To Do
La Coruna presents numerous destinations to see, adventures to experience and activities to do. The city is blessed with rich environment. Plus, the locals are friendly people who are always glad to welcome tourists and friends.
When you come for a visit, make sure to stay longer so you will experience more fascinating things the city has in store for you. If you are finished strolling around some of the best tourist destinations, here are more things to do to maximize your stay.
There are a lot of ways to learn about the culture of La Coruna but the best way if you’re travelling is to visit the nearest museums. Museums in the city contain a variety of information. It gives you the history of La Coruna as well as it narrates how its practices evolved from one period of time to another.
In La Coruña there are several museums that you could go to some of these are the Archaeological museum, Domus, House Museum Picasso, The Fine Arts Museum, Emilia Pardo Bazán Museum, Eugenio Granell Foundation and Contemporary Art Museum.
La Coruña is complete with fascinating architecture recognized throughout Spain. La Coruña architecture is marked by the excellence of their structural design, facade and functionality. Some of the known architecture in the city includes Tower of Hercules, Castillo de San Anton, galerias, Obelisk, Castro de Elviña, and The Dome of Coal. Visit Architecture in La Coruña .
Generally June to August is the occasions of the rich and colorful celebration and festival for the whole Galacian region. The fascinating La Coruña festivals include Hogueras de San Juan, Fuego del Apóstol, and Maria Pita. Visit La Coruña Festivals for more information.
Other than eating and dining, the city also offers wide range of night activities that you surely don’t want to miss. This La Coruña Night Life, La Coruña Bars and La Coruña Clubs sections are committed in providing you the things you want to know about the A Coruna’s very active night life. Visit La Coruña Night Life for more information.
La Coruña will not be left behind with the latest technology, fashion and other commercial products found in the market today. You will be amazed with the wide selection of products found only in La Coruna. It will truly be a different shopping experience for you. Some of the shopping destinations in the city includes Marineda City Leisure, Shopping & Business Centre, Los Rosales Shopping Centre and Cuatro Caminos. Visit Shopping in La Coruña .
Top Attractions in A Coruna
La Coruña is a city that enables every visitor to reminisce the past, and enjoy the fabulous sceneries and festivities. The Battle of Coruña occurred in the city during the Peninsular War. In the 19th century, Coruña was the seat of anti-monarchist conviction.
The city also played a significant part in the “Rexurdimento”, where the Galician Royal Academy was founded in 1906 and the Brotherhoods of the Galician Language in 1916. In 1804, a workers’ movement was formed after the establishment of the National Cigarette Factory.
Tourists cannot miss the promenade which is one of the main attractions in the city. It measures 10 kilometers and considered as the longest in Europe.
The city is also the site of a lighthouse, the Roman Tower of Hercules, which has been declared a Human Heritage by the UNESCO. It has gallerias or balconies with glazed windows. During the summer, Orzan and Riazor beaches are famous destinations and are located opposite the city’s port.
After the daytime walk, visitors still have a lot to look forward to during the night. Nightlife in Coruña has been booming with bars and clubs located at Calle Orzan that is parallel to Paseo Maritimo. Most of the clubs at Orzan open at 11 pm and close at 3 or 4 am. Another famous destination is Los Jardines or The Gardens which is a park near El Puerto mall and Calle Real.
Tourists dare not miss the city of Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage City and Galicia’s capital. It is also widely known for it is the last stage of St. James’ pilgrimage route or “El Camino de Santiago”. Pilgrims head straight to the cathedral then to the city center. The cathedral is a place for rites and traditions that visitors may love to witness.
Visitors will also notice how pilgrims manifest their faith by embracing the image of St. James the Apostle. There is also Botafumeiro, a big incense holder that is raised high enough in the ceilings of the cathedral while a mass is being held.
After visiting the marvelous St. James Cathedral, tourists can head towards the fascinating 12th century streets such as Rua Nova, Rua do Vilar, Rua Franco and the square Obradoiro. Extend one’s sightseeing activity and visit the region of Costa da Morte or the Coast of Death. It is the area of cliffs hanging over the Atlantic and lighthouses. This zone was once believed as “the end of the known world”. There is Cape Finisterre, a peninsula that is 5 km long.
The lighthouse was built on the cape’s end in 1853, and is now referred to as the “cow of Fisterra” since it is a siren warning the nearby ships. The peninsula ends at Mount Facho which is the best place to witness the sunset. If one wishes to go to fishing villages, head south to Rias Baixas where villages like Muros and Noia can be found.
Other destinations worth visiting are Rias Altas where you can visit Ferrol, Viveiro, Betanzos, Ribadeo and Pontedeume. Os Bergantiños and As Mariñas are also ideal destinations.
La Coruna Museums
There are a lot of ways to learn about foreign culture but the best way if you’re travelling is to visit the nearest museums. Museums contain a variety of information. It gives you the history of the place as well as it narrates how the practices of one place evolved from one period of time to another. In La Coruña there are several museums that you could go to.
Archaeological museum. The first is the archaeological museum which is located on what used to be an old fort The Castle of St. Anton. This is where you will find and learn about La Coruna’s history and prehistory. They have artifacts that would show you records of settlements by the early Celtics tribes.
Domus. The House of Mankind or Domus as it is popularly named is a museum fully dedicated to the study of man, his nature and his activities. It’s an interactive museum meaning you can participate in the different modules to help you learn and reflect on the different characteristics of men as a species.
For the art lovers, La Coruña would be the refuge you have longed for, because the place has five great art museums. They are dedicated to commemorate and display the works of famed and prestigious artists these are: House Museum Picasso, The Fine Arts Museum, Emilia Pardo Bazán Museum, Eugenio Granell Foundation and last but not the least The famous Contemporary Art Museum.
For the pure seekers of wisdom and knowledge La Coruna also offers the perfect spots for you the House of Sciences which is the first public owned interactive museum in Spain. It has a small planetarium and different exhibition halls devoted to Physics and of course the Aquarium Finisterrae which is a center for the Marine Sciences.
La Coruña Architecture
La Coruña is complete with fascinating architecture recognized throughout Spain. La Coruña architecture is marked by the excellence of their structural design, façade and functionality. If you want to be amazed with the city’s architectural heritage, you may visit the following venues.
The Tower of Hercules is perhaps the real symbol of A Coruna. It is a magnificent piece of architecture (a lighthouse) that predates to the second century and is in itself a source of many wonderful legends. It was built during the reign of Emperor Trajan and rebuilt throughout the years to withstand the challenges of time. It is now declared as a National Monument.
Another very interesting historical architectural work is the Castillo de San Anton. It is a fort but not of the ordinary kind it is one of the famed star forts, an architectural innovation which became popular in the sixteenth centuries. It is situated on a small island and is artificially joined to the mainland.
Other than that the city also boasts of its gallerias which are glazed window balconies a form of architecture derived from the naval practice. This was originally designed for the back of a war ship. Other famous architectural sites are The Obelisk, Castro de Elviña, and The Dome of Coal.
After marveling at the wonderful architecture and their different historical background you might want to visit the Edge of the Earth or what used to be believed by the Celtics as such where the Aquarium Finisterrae is located. It is a marine research center which studies the sea in general. However, If you want to skip the learning part and just stick to a worry-free stress free vacation you can work on your tan, read a book, surf, or swim at these famous beaches Orzán and Riazor.
Theaters in La Coruna
La Coruña has a rich custom with different cultural and artistic expressions most predominantly music. The city is also the home of renowned contemporary artist of the region. Consequently, contemporary theaters have mushroomed all over the place, giving the people of La Coruna another wonderful source of entertainment. Here’s an overview of the city’s theater and some venues.
The local music scene is vibrant and most of the genres are well represented by local artists. The place celebrates classical music which is very understandable because it is considered a place rich in culture and heritage and music is an integral part of a place’s heritage. Several orchestras have played in the city’s theaters.
One of the famous events that celebrate this type of Music is the Mozart festival. The festival is usually held between the months of May and July and usually features the Baroque opera or music played in the pre-romantic period basically dominated by Mozart and Rossini however, the festival also plays other classical music and artists.
This classicist aesthetic theater is situated at Avenida de la Marina. According to its history, the man who founded the building is the popular show master, Emilio Rey Romero. His idea was to provide optimal seating comfort and host a variety of stage performances and films.
Consequently, by the year 1945, Jacobo Rodríguez-Losada Trulock began with the architectural design of the building, projecting the set accurately described classicist aesthetic safe bet for a building so unique in size and position. From then on the building has under gone remodeling over the years which made it the beautiful structure that it is today.
Teatro Rosalia de Castro
This magnificent theater is located at Irrigation Water, 37 under. The building is now considered as a cultural institution owned by the municipality and managed by Instituto Municipal Coruña Shows of the Council of A Coruña. It has now been remodeled and can now fit about approximately 700 seats. Not to mention, the theater is now equipped to accommodate different variety of performing arts.
Festivals in La Coruña
June, July and August are the busiest months in A Coruna. Not only that these three are summer months and the best time to visit the city’s astounding beaches, it’s also the occasions of the rich and colorful celebration and festival for the whole region. In this segment, you will be given an overview fascinating La Coruña festivals that you might find interesting and helpful for your visit.
Hogueras de San Juan
The San Juan Bonfires is celebrated on the 23rd day of June. This feast is commemorated in all European countries but only in La Coruña that is it celebrated in a more traditional manner. It coincides with the Sardine festival so as the locals performs a rite by lighting bonfires with what they call aguardiente or firewater before spending the night jumping over the fire and eating sardine. It is said to ensure fertility as well.
Fuego del Apóstol
Apostle’s Fireworks is the highlight in the celebration of the feast of the patron saint of Spain, Saint James. At exactly 12 noon of the 24th day of July, the cathedral bells rings as a mark of the launching of the feast and Plaza del Obradoiro gets crowded by locals and tourists to witness the colorful fireworks display.
The locales and devotees also give tribute to the saint through their prayer processions and presentation of different exhibitions, theatre performances, street theatre and concerts. Another fascinating event during this feast is called “Botafumeiro”, large ceremonial incense burner that is swung vigorously over the smaller crossing, filling the cathedral with the smell of incense.
It is believed that the discovery of the remains of the first martyr led to the announcement of Santiago de Compostela as the capital of the Galician region. It is to be considered as the holy land next to Jerusalem and Rome. The city is recognized up to this date as a pilgrimage site and now gained its World Heritage status.
La Coruña honors the greatest event in their history by commemorating the brave act of their heroine, Maria Pita and the people to save the port during the English attack led by Sir Francis Drake that took place in 1588.
The celebration includes the spectacular re-enactment of the English invasion, complete with parade of costumes throughout A Coruna. There’s also the re-creation of the medieval market place and the procession of the colorful floats at the sea.
La Coruña for Kids
La Coruña is not just a place for adults, the city offers your kid’s exciting adventures and experiences he surely doesn’t want to miss. Here are some activities your kid will surely enjoy during his stay in A Coruna.
Your kid may wish to spend his holiday surfing. You can visit the sandy beach of Razo where waves are fit for surfing.
Your kid can join the surf camp, situated only 20 meters from the Razo Beach. While at the camp site, the campers will enjoy the beautiful view to the sea. On top of that, the house that accommodates campers is complete with facilities and wonderful amenities to ensure their comfortable stay.
After the surf sessions, the campers can also enjoy bonding through some extra activities like playing racket, beach volleyball, football, ping pong, body tonic and yoga.
Moreover, your kid can enroll to surf courses also available in A Coruna. The surf school offers fundamental to advance surfing teaching and techniques which fits all ages and surf levels, with the aim to help participants learn or improve their surfing prowess. It takes pride in achieving official titles in Galician Surf Federation.
English/ Spanish Language School
If you want your child to learn to begin speaking English in an early age, the city has a lot of good English schools suitable for all ages. They offer you quality short-term or long term language courses. The Spanish schools in La Coruña on the other hand, are the some of the best in the country. They provide basic to intensive courses as well as other activities to make learning enjoyable for you and your kid.
The city takes pride in its leading football team, Real Club Deportivo. The team was founded in 1906 and now playing in La Liga. Consequently, La Coruña offers football camp for kids who enjoys or love to play the sport.
Make your vacation fun not just for you but most importantly, for your kid as well. Engage him into activities that he will not just enjoy but would also develop his talent and skills. La Coruña is truly a placed to be, for you and your family.
Restaurants Coruña Cuisine
Your trip in the city of La Coruña wouldn’t be complete without trying its delectable Spanish cuisine. The following are some restaurant suggestions you may want to pay a visit.
It’s a Spanish fast-food getting popularity for the quality of food that it offers the famous of which is the Tapas a variety of Spanish sandwiches. You can easily find this establishment in the newly opened mall El Puerto.
This restaurant is situated at Fernando Macías street and close to the Riazor beach. It is especially popular for its exceptional traditional and international à la carte. The place is decorated with many beautiful paintings of some Galician artists, making its ambiance very cozy for dining.
For a sample of the local and traditional cuisine, schedule your lunch while visiting this place. The Restaurante Domus offers a wide choice of local dishes which would entice your appetite. It’s a typical travelers choice greatly situated just in front of the House of Men museum and the cost for the good food they offer is very reasonable.
El Coral Restaurant
This venue is also a nice seafood place located just in the centre of the city their specialty includes seabass, turbot, hake, prawns, mussels and scallops and you can either have them cooked with thick, rich, creamy sauce or have them steamed or grilled.
Adega o Bebedeiro
This rustic restaurant is located at Ángel Rebollo street stands out because of its reasonably priced yet very delicious authentic Spanish Cuisine. The place resembles a local farm house. The interior is adorned with stones and attractive pine-made furniture, farming tools and antiques.
This place is the first in the city to be awarded with a star in Michelin Red Guide, a classic guide to oldest and best-known hotel and restaurants in Europe. It is a double-decker dining venues situated between the port and the commercial area of the city of A Coruna. This restaurant offers Galician cuisine with a twist. They serve variety of sea products mixed together in one delicious recipe. Their Rape a la Cazuela is also a must try food.
This place is the best venue to feast on fresh sea foods and wine. The restaurant occupies a contemporary building on a corner of the lively Plaza de María Pita. The dining area has some tables facing the harbor to get a nice view and some in a glasses-in terrace on the square.
If you’re not into the exotic and experimental food you can pay a visit to a popular restaurant in Palavea and savor the familiar taste of pizza cooked in a traditional oven.
This is another good pizza place in Plaza de Maria Pita where you can enjoy a great quality of service and munch on their superb pepperoni.
The Spanish cuisine is a product of a number of influences that has molded it through the years. The variety of dishes that form part of it has been affected by several factors such as geography, culture and climate not to mention the inputs brought about as a by-product of different conquests throughout history.
The composition of the Spanish cuisine is mainly composed of seafood which is primarily due to the abundance of the sea which actually surrounds the country. In addition to this since Spain was once part of the Roman Empire it has adapted a lot of food recipes from it. The prevalence of meat and bean products were said to be influences of the Empire to the contemporary popular recipes of the Spanish cuisine.
Here’s a list of recipes that are common in almost all the regions of Spain: Paella, Various stews, Potato omelet, migas , chorizos, embutidos, morcillas, jamon Serrano and cheeses. The geographical location of the different regions actually paved the way to different variations in the preparation. The variations are not so common among the well known Spanish desserts and cakes.
Other common recipes are: Arroz con leche, Calamares, Cocido, Chorizo, Chulletillas, Gazapacho, Salmorejo, Percebe, Merluza, Fabada Asturiana, Fideua, Butifarra, Lechazo , Shellfish, Marmita, Peladillas , Pescaito frito,Turron, Polvoron, Tortas de aceite, Olla podrida and Gofio
For the beverage the common Spanish beverage would be Sidra or cider which originates from its vast apple groves what makes the Spanish cider unique is that there is a larger proportion of acidic apples in it rather than the sweet ones as compared to the French’s manner of preparation.
Shopping in Coruna
La Coruña might be an old city but it will not be left behind with the latest technology, fashion and other commercial products found in the market today. Plus, you will be amazed with the wide selection of products found only in La Coruna. It will truly be a different shopping experience for you.
Marineda City Leisure, Shopping and Business Centre
This shopping centre is the largest complex in whole Spain and holds the title as 3rd largest in whole Europe. It is situated few minutes south from downtown the city. “The city” as it is usually called is the home of the most important financial, textile and distribution companies, which makes La Coruña one of the richest areas in Galicia.
It is also located in the most accessible part of the city where it is close to the international airport, bus terminals and one of the ports in Europe. Los Rosales Shopping Centre. This shopping mall is located only 5 minutes away from the heart of the city. It offers wide range of activities for all ages. Its main attractions include its contemporary movie theather, over 60 shops and restaurants.
Located near the bus station, this huge centre is one easily reached shopping destination. It accommodates around hundred boutiques and shops plus a lot of restaurants. There are more reason to shop in La Coruña because its region, Galacia is actually the home of World’s prominent clothing lines which includes Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear. You will never go wrong shopping here because you will surely be in style at great costs.
Moreover, if you want to have great finds that is truly only in La Coruna, Calle Real is the place to be. It offers the best luxury shops for antiques, fashion, jewelry and ceramics. This place is also the venue for some Galician artists to hold their exhibits for their paintings, handmade crafts and the like. Here you’ll surely find some souvenir surely worth keeping.
Weather in La Coruna
La Coruña is blessed with a mild climate that has relatively generous amount of rainfall. The city’s climate is not very diverse throughout the year. Basically, there are two noticeable weather condition namely the warmest average max/ high temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) in August and the coolest average min/ low temperature is 7 °C (45 °F) in January & February.
The best time to make a trip to La Coruña is during the summer months. The warm weather is a good opportunity to make a tour around the city and to enjoy its beautiful beaches. The average temperature during July and August is about 19º C however, the warmest average maximum or high temperatures ranges between 20º C and 25º C. Mornings are usually cloudy and misty, but afternoons normally have sunny and fair weather.
Meanwhile, there are months that travelers are advised to take caution. July and December are months that have the most unpredictable condition. The month with the driest weather is July when on balance 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 8 days. The month with the wettest weather, on the other hand, is December when on balance 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 19 days.
Moreover, it is important to learn that La Coruña is one of the European cities where the sun sets later. The city offers you long leisure time under the sun. Also, the hot month of August is the best time to visit the city if you want to experience colorful festivals, fiestas carnivals and processions.
During this month there is some sort of activity every day that you will surely enjoy. If you love to party under the summer heat, visiting La Coruña at this time of the year is the best way to spend your vacation.