Last Updated on January 1, 2024

La Coruna port

La Coruna is one of those ports that is a nice little stop-off on a cruise, particularly when cruising to or from the UK and down around Spain, towards the Mediterranean.

It’s only a small city but this makes it fairly easy to walk around to some of the main attractions or to easily jump in a cab between the key places.

This is a city that is easy to navigate as a cruise visitor and 4 or 5 hours should be plenty enough time to see what you want to see in La Coruna, as you can do so without booking any shore excursion.

Getting Around

La Coruña is generally an easy city to explore on foot, especially from the cruise port.

The city is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, and many of the main attractions are within walking distance from the port. Here are some points to consider:

Cruise Port Location: The cruise port in La Coruña is located near the city center, making it convenient for you as a cruise visitor to access many of the key attractions on foot.

Promenade: A scenic promenade, known as the Paseo Marítimo, lines the waterfront, offering a pleasant walk with views of the sea and the city.

Walking on La Coruna promenade
Here I am walking on La Coruna promenade

Old Town: The historic Old Town (Cidade Vella) is a pleasant location lined with narrow streets and historic architecture. This is another area that you can walk to easily from the cruise port, hence there is no need to book an excursion to see the Old Town.

La Coruña beach
Here I am in La Coruña on the beach, which is close to the port. Unfortunately, it was cloudy on the day we visited.

Best Things to See and Do in La Coruna

Once you’ve made your way from the port to the vibrant heart of La Coruña, it’s time to immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture and history.

1. Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hércules)

Estimated Duration – 1.5 to 2 hours

  • If you are interested in monuments and UNESCO attractions, you can start your journey with a visit to the Tower of Hercules. One of the oldest lighthouses in the world, you can also benefit from a great panoramic view of the city and the coastline from its summit.
  • It is a bit of a longer walk (you can walk there and then walk back) but it’s certainly doable if you enjoy walking (just over 2 km each way).

2. Orzán and Riazor Beaches

Estimated Duration – Flexible

  • Stroll along the city’s beautiful sandy beaches, Orzán and Riazor, and let the soothing sound of the waves and the sea breeze relax your senses.

3. Old Town (Cidade Vella)

Estimated Duration – 2 to 3 hours

  • Lose yourself in the enchanting streets of La Coruña’s Old Town, where centuries of history are etched into the cobblestones. Discover charming plazas, historic churches, and quaint shops. Be sure to visit the Plaza de María Pita, a central square named after a local heroine.

4. San Carlos Garden (Parque de San Carlos)

Estimated Duration – 1 hour

  • Take a peaceful interlude in the San Carlos Garden, a lush oasis of greenery in the heart of the city. The garden surrounds the Military Government building and offers a serene space for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

5. Domus Museum

Estimated Duration – 1 to 1.5 hours

  • For a unique cultural experience, explore the Domus Museum, a museum dedicated to the human body. Interactive exhibits and thought-provoking displays offer an engaging journey into the mysteries of human life.

6. Casa Museo Emilia Pardo Bazán

Estimated Duration – 1 to 1.5 hours

  • Delve into the world of literature and Galician history by visiting the Casa Museo Emilia Pardo Bazán, which is an exhibit about the Spanish writer and provides insights into her life and works.

7. Aquarium Finisterrae

Aquarium Finisterrae.
A photo we took in the Aquarium Finisterrae

Estimated Duration – 2 to 3 hours

  • Discover the marine wonders of the Galician coast at the Aquarium Finisterrae.
  • We walked from the cruise ship to the aquarium and it’s worth a visit. It was a nice walk and an inexpensive attraction that we enjoyed.
Valeria inside the quarium Finisterrae
Valeria inside the Aquarium Finisterrae

8. Local Markets

Estimated Duration – Varies

  • Depending on your interests and the day of your visit, explore the local markets like Mercado de San Agustín or Mercado de La Marina. These markets are a great place to try some local foods or to pick up a souvenir to take back on board.

La Coruña is known for its vibrant cultural celebrations, and your timing might just coincide with a lively fiesta or a traditional Galician event.

Food and Local Dishes

When visiting La Coruña, one of the highlights of your trip should be experiencing the authentic Galician cuisine.

Galicia is renowned for its fresh seafood, hearty stews, and distinctive culinary traditions. Here are some specific dishes and restaurants to consider for an authentic Galician dining experience:

Dishes to Try:

  1. Pulpo a la Gallega: Octopus is a Galician specialty. It’s typically boiled, sliced, and drizzled with olive oil, paprika, and coarse salt. Try it at any local seafood restaurant.
  2. Empanadas Gallegas: These are savory turnovers filled with ingredients like tuna, cod, or pork. You can find them at bakeries and local eateries.
  3. Lacón con Grelos: A hearty dish featuring ham with turnip greens. It’s a traditional winter dish that you can find in Galician restaurants.
  4. Percebes: Known as “gooseneck barnacles,” these unique and expensive seafood delicacies are a must-try for adventurous eaters. They have a distinct flavor and are often served steamed or boiled.
  5. Caldo Gallego: This is a Galician soup made with greens, potatoes, and often chorizo. It’s a comforting and flavorful option, especially during the colder months.
  6. Arroz con Bogavante: A delicious rice dish with lobster. It’s a popular choice in coastal restaurants.

Recommended Restaurants for Authentic Galician Cuisine

  1. Restaurante Ciro: Located in the heart of the Old Town, Restaurante Ciro is a family-run restaurant known for its fresh seafood dishes and traditional Galician fare. Try the octopus and the Galician-style fish.
  2. Restaurante Agarimo: This cozy restaurant offers a variety of Galician dishes, including seafood and regional specialties like Lacón con Grelos. It’s located near the Tower of Hercules.
  3. O Perlado: Situated near the harbor, O Perlado is a seafood-focused restaurant where you can savor the catch of the day prepared with Galician flavors.
  4. Taberna O Curro da Parra: For a more casual experience, visit this cozy taberna. You can enjoy a wide range of tapas, and the pulpo a la gallega here is highly recommended.
  5. Restaurante El Faro: With beautiful views of the sea, this restaurant serves fresh seafood and Galician dishes.
  6. Restaurante A Marola: Located on Riazor Beach, A Marola offers stunning views of the sea and serves a variety of seafood dishes, including fresh fish and shellfish.
  7. Casa Sargo: Known for its traditional Galician cuisine, Casa Sargo is a fantastic place to savor regional specialties in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

When dining in La Coruña, consider pairing your meal with a glass of local Albariño white wine or one of the many excellent wines from the Galician region.

Paul Symonds