For more than a thousand years, people have flocked to Santiago de Compostela. Every visitor has their own particular reason to come to this city – you will be visiting to attend the SIEF2019 Congress, but you might also want to share the experience of the pilgrims who have travelled the ‘Camino de Santiago’ since the 9th century to seek absolution in this holy city, or of those who simply wanted to walk and travel.
Santiago is a city for walking and for leaving the car at home. The best way to get here is either by plane or train… or to walk! Registration to the SIEF Congress entitles you to a 10% discount on Iberia Airlines, and a 30% discount with RENFE, which has train routes between all the main cities in Galicia (see below for details). So while you are here you could also visit Vigo – a modern port, Pontevedra – with its Mediaeval Historic Center, A Coruña - fashionable with great beaches, Ourense - a spa town - or Lugo with its Roman wall. The smaller towns are accessible by bus (Tussa), so you could pay a visit to the coast of Noia or spend an afternoon in Vilagarcía de Arousa.
Traveling via train: Spanish national traincompany RENFE offers regular and nighttrain connections to Santiago. Trainride from Madrid is about 7h and from Barcelona about 10h. Unfortunately AVE bullet-train network does not reach to Santiago. See RENFE special 30% discount offer for the SIEF Congress below. Trainstation is next to the city centre.
Traveling via bus: There are regular coach connections from major Spanish cities. Connection with Madrid is several times a day and lasts about 7h. Coachstation in Santiago is next to the city centre.
Traveling via plane: There are regular flights between Santiago de Compostela international Airport and major European cities such as London (Catwicj, Stansted), Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Frankfurt (Hahn)/Frankfurt, Milan (Bergamo), Geneva, Basel, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Bilbao. The airport is in Lavacolla, 10 kilometres from the city centre. You can reach the city by Empresa Freire bus (3€, every 30 min) or grab a taxi (about 21€).
Please start to check and book your travel to the Congress as soon as possible, as direct flight options are limited.
You can organize your stay in Santiago with ease as there are many accommodation options, ranging from the most economic hostels to the grand and luxurious Hotel de los Reyes Católicos. In Santiago you can find gift shops, fashion stores, jewellers, bookshops, delicatessens ... all with Galicia’s traditional brand of craftsmanship. VAT tax is included in most prices, which depending on the item, ranges from 10% to 21%. A reminder that people who belong to countries that are not members of the European Union are exempt from this tax in places with the 'Tax Free' badge. The only authorized currency is the euro.
More information on our Accommodation page here
Sightseeing Santiago de Compostela
The city, a World Heritage Site, exhibits a unique cultural legacy from the many historical periods that have made Galicia a very individual Spanish region with its own distinctive personality and language and with connections to both land and sea.
The ‘Camino de Santiago’ ends at the Cathedral, one of the World’s most outstanding examples of Romanesque architecture. The Cathedral is open to the public every day, and a visit can include a trip to the roof of the Cathedral, the museum, the Gelmírez Palace, the archaeological excavations and the Pórtico de la Gloria. There are also many other important churches and monasteries in the city, including San Paio de Antealtares, Santa María la Real de Sar, Santo Domingo de Bonaval, San Martín Pinario, San Agustín. The historic centre has well preserved mediaeval streets and bears traces in its architecture of many ages; a stand-out feature are the stone facades with arcades in the Rúa del Vilar or Rúa Nova (rúa means “street” in Galician).
Walking through these cobbled streets on a rainy day in April (don’t forget to bring suitable rainweare!) or sitting in one of the many squares is a feast for the senses, watching visitors from all over the world passing by, mingling with the locals, or in one of the many bars and restaurants that offer typical Galician food. A must-see is the City Market where farmers from the surrounding areas sell their local produce. The School of History and Art, whose building is a few metres away, has a beautiful library which is well worth a visit. The University of Santiago has its origins at the beginning of the 16th century, when the Fonseca School was built; today, this building is the central library and also an exhibition centre.
The city has other treasures, many of which are exhibited in the City’s 16 museums, amongst which is the Museo do Pobo Galego, dedicated to ethnography, and the Museum of Contemporary Art designed by Siza. There is an amazing wealth of contemporary buildings, designed by Eisenman, Hejduk and Siza. Santiago also has many parks and gardens, one of which (the Alameda) has a circular walk, with ancient trees and stunning views. There is also a great panoramic view from the Pedroso, a mountain that provided the stone for the construction of all the buildings that you can see in the city today.
Travelling during SIEF2019
Registration to the SIEF Congress entitles you to a 10% discount on Iberia Airlines, and a 30% discount with RENFE, which has train routes between all the main cities in Galicia (see below for details).
RENFE discount for SIEF2019 delegates
RENFE, the Spanish national railway, supports SIEF2019 congress by offering a 30% discount on train tickets to congress delegates travelling in Spain between 12-19 April. Instructions on how to use this promotion will be emailed to delegates when registration opens.
Iberia discount for SIEF2019 delegates
IBERIA L.A.E., the preferred airline of the 14th SIEF congress, supports the congress by granting a 10% discount to conference delegates who fly with Iberia.
To use the discount, go to their website, select your departure and return flights and proceed to the next page. There click on the tab “I have a promotional code” and enter the discount code XIVETNOLOGIA (capital letters).
The discount can be used when flying between the 9-22 of April, for five days before till five days after the congress, on the following flight operators: