Save yourself a ten hour trip to the Caribbean and opt for Vigo’s white sands instead. Dive in to the Galician city and discover all its glistening coastline has to offer. Boasting a wealth of attractions and natural beauties, hidden gems await you around every corner. Here’s our top picks of the best things to do in Vigo.
Stretching for half a mile, Vigo’s largest beach is a hive of activity all year round. With three saltwater pools, cafes, restaurants, skate parks, playgrounds and basketball courts, it’s the perfect escape for the whole family. Located very close to the city centre, the Praia de Samil is easily accessible and not to mention, a sight for sore eyes. Grab your buckets and spades and spend the afternoon basking in the heat on the sandy shores.
Set on a slope, Vigo’s Old Town is a network of winding cobblestones that lead to hidden squares, plush townhouses, ancient churches and quaint fishermen’s hideaways. Wander through alleyways and visit Praza da Constitucion as well as the 19th century church of Santa Maria. With almost all the buildings being made from Galician granite, this section of the city is a real testament to the country’s past and not to be missed.
Whether you’re into art or not, a few hours spent at the contemporary art museum is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Vigo. Founded in 2002, the museum is located inside the former 19th century city prison building and has no permanent collection. Acting as an exhibition and cultural space, the gallery regularly hosts events showcasing the avant-garde works of both amateur and seasoned local talent.
Surrounding the El Castro fortress, the Parque del Monte Castro is a series of gardens, terraces and shaded paths that’ll take your breath away. Make your way up the mountain to reach the park that sits on its top and take in the panoramic views that make the effort oh so worthwhile. Step back in time and walk around the Iberian settlement found on the lower slope with its three Bronze Age dwellings. If you’re looking for something to fill your time when you visit Vigo, look no further than one of the prettiest parks in the city.
Located in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, the municipal museum showcases an impressive collection of Galician artwork. Housed in a 17th century manor house, the exhibition space is surrounded by sculpted gardens, fountains and ponds perfect for an afternoon picnic in the sun. Including artefacts found in the city, the museum displays the era of Vigo aristocracy over the centuries and is a great way to learn about the area’s past.
Leave a day or two free, hop on a ferry and spend the next 24 hours soaking up the sun on some of the best beaches in Europe. The uninhabited archipelago sits at the entrance to the Vigo Estuary and is a natural beauty unlike any other. During summer, ferries run back and forth every half hour making them easily accessible in a matter or minutes. Stay overnight at the campsite, go hiking along the granite clifftops, and sun-bathe on the white sand. Declared a nature reserve in 1980, the islands are included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park which was created in 2002.
Sitting in one of the largest parks in the city, the shrine of Nosa Senora da Guia with its central tower, won’t fail to catch your eye. On the northeast side of Vigo, the chapel was built in 1952 and resembles something from the Baroque era. Escape the bustling streets and find some peace and quiet in the woodland with its vistas, surrounding the famous monument.
Close to the ocean, the quaint town of Baiona is full of character and most definitely should be added to the list of what to do in Vigo. Full of character, the little village is centred around an old harbour backed by the green hills of the north and the walls of the 16th century Castillo de Monterreal. With its medieval historic centre and spellbinding sea views, Baiona is the ultimate day trip when visiting Vigo.
Heading to Vigo soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of the top things to see and do in Vigo, using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Vigo
- Lucy Norris