Museo da Catedral
Stretching across four floors, this museum has everything you need to learn about the city’s most impressive landmark – its cathedral. The museum features a large area of the architect Mateo’s original carved stone choir, which was sadly destroyed in 1604 but was later rebuilt. There’s also a great collection of religious art and even some medieval tombs.
Opening hours: 7:00am – 8:30pm Mon-Sun
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia
While some locals felt that this huge cultural center was a wasted investment, its impressive architecture and contemporary design are certainly impressive. You’re best off stopping by when there’s an event on, otherwise you may be somewhat disappointed. However, this center of Galician culture and heritage does have some interesting exhibitions and worthwhile artworks to admire.
Opening hours: 11am-8pm Mon-Sun
Museo do Pobo Galego
Once a series of convent houses, the Museo do Pobo Gallego (Museum of Galicial People)is located to the northeast of the Old Town. Now a popular museum, these little convent houses are the homes of fascinating exhibits about daily Galician life, art and culture. With a whole range of items on show, from fishing boats to bagpipes, this museum provides a brilliant insight into the complex history and roots of Gallica.
Opening hours: 10.30am-2pm & 4-7.30pm Tue-Sat, 11am-2pm Sun
Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago
Located in a converted building in the Praza das Praterías, the Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago (Museum of Pilgrimage and of Santiago) is based on the epic pilgrimage towards Santiago that every year thousands of people embark on. The museum hosts changing exhibitions as well as a fascinating permanent collection, which features art, artifacts, models and memorabilia.
Opening hours: 10am-2pm & 5pm-8pm Tue-Sat, 11am-2pm Sun
Museo de Arte Sacra
This museum displaying original Santiago relics is also a church. While it is a relatively simplistic church, the altar stands out with an explosion of baroque design and color. Come by in the late afternoon to peep into the museum and stick around until the evening to hear the nuns singing.
Opening hours: 10.30am-1.30pm & 4-7pm Mon-Sat, 4-7pm Sun
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea
The Galician Contemporary Art Centre, or Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, is the city’s best gallery for modern and contemporary art. The museum features excellent exhibitions of art from around the world as well as showing much local talent. The modern building of the museum is home to a whole host of shows and exhibits which include film and video.
Opening hours: 11am-8pm Tue-Sun
The Fundacion Granell started as a project of the famous surrealist painter Eugenio Granell and has now grown into a varied collection of surrealist and ethnic art. Featuring work from a whole array of artists, not just Granell himself, this gallery is a must-see for anyone interested in surrealism, or just those who are looking to learn more about Galician artistic movements.
Opening hours:11am-2pm & 4pm-9pm Tue-Sat, 11am-2pm Sun
Pazo de Xelmírez
Although not a musuem proper, this palace is a beautiful old building and a remarkable example of the city’s heritage which you can come and admire while soaking up the city’s culture and history. Located to the north of the cathedral, the Pazo de Xelmírez was built sometime between 1120-1236, although the exact year is unknown. The palace has been impressively well-kept and gives visitors an idea about how the city looked almost a thousand years ago.
Casa de Troya Museum
Santiago de Compostela is a university city and during term time the number of residents more than doubles due to the vast student population. The Casa da Troya museum recreates buzzing student atmosphere from past generations, resembling the famous boarding house run by ‘Doña Generosa’ at the end of the 19th century. This boarding house was made ever famous by the writer Alejandro Pérez Lugín in his novel La Casa de la Troya.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 11am – 2pm & 4pm – 8pm 12am – 10pm Fri, 12am – 2pm Sun
Museo de Terra Santa
Just minutes away from the hugely impressive Cathedral lies yet another beautiful building – the Convent of San Francisco. Once the home of Franciscan friars, this building which dates back to the 13th Century hosts in one of its cloisters the permanent exhibition of the Museo de Terra Santa (Holy Land Museum). The museum provides information about the Near East’s culture and history, linking Santiago and Jerusalem. It’s most stand-out feature is the impressive model of the Holy Sepulchre, crafted in Jerusalem over 60 years ago by Franciscan Fray Bartolome de las Heras-Burgos.