A Coruña travel guide

Cities and towns

About A Coruña

A Coruña in Galicia is a busy port town and historical city, famous for the Battle of Corunna during the Peninsular Wars, which juts out on a pretty peninsula into the Atlantic.

Built on an ancient Celtic hill fort, A Coruña has seen some important events in the history of Europe including the death of Sir John Moore at the Battle of Corruna in 1809. It was also where Phillip II left Spain to marry Mary Tudor and the Spanish Armada set sail for England from nearby Ferrol. As recompense for the city's aid to the Spanish Armada, Sir Francis Drake laid seige to A Coruña and was winning until history says that Maria Pita, a, local woman, knocked down and killed a lieutenant, rallying the locals with a new sense of battle that caused the English to flee. Maria Pita is is recognised as the city's heroine and a monument to her stands in the square in front of the city hall. A Coruña is also one of the few antipodal cities in the world and is paired with Christchurch in New Zealand. The city's Celtic roots are visible at the ancient hill fort of Castro de Elvina on the outskirts of town, one of the largest in Galicia, which has been excavated by archaeologists. The finds are on display at the Castillo San Anton Archaeology Museum, housed inside a 16th and 17th century castle that has great views over the city and the bay. Located on a peninsula, A Coruña has over 2km of beaches in the city and there are many more closeby. At the very tip, you'll find the Tower of Hercules, the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world, and the only one still in service. You can visit the tower and the intriguing and magical sculpture park, the perfect place to enjoy a sunset as it casts shadows on the unusual sculptures.

Explore the wonderful seafront of A Coruña by walking its 10km long promenade - the longest in Europe. Walk, cycle, run or take the tram along this vast stretch, which is lit at night by hundreds of bright red modernist lamposts with 1,200 enamel works decorating them. From here you can find your way down to the beaches of Riazor and Orzan that are popular and easily accessible. The beaches are great for watersports such as surfing, sailing, fishing and yachting as well as family fun and sunbathing. For those looking for some culture, why not visit the As Barbaras monastery and the churches of Santiago and Ste Mary? A Coruña also has some brilliant science museums in the Aquarium filled with seals, sharks, and octopus with a section about the local fishermen, Domus, the world's first interactive museum about human beings as a species that is located on the Orzan cove and the Casa das Gencias, a planetarium with 3 floors of exhibition space that was the first public museum opened in Spain. At the archaeological museum of castle San Anton, you'll find artefacts from the Bronze Age and Celtic and Roman times, including some wonderful Celtic jewellery, and other exhibits relating to the history of the city from medieval times and the Modern Age about the Armada, Maria Pita and more. Relax in the lush greenery of the Jardin de San Carlos, where Sir John Mills tomb lies, or gain a better view of the city and bay by going up the panoramic elevator, the Monte de San Pedro and visiting the Cupula Atlantica, a dome with a 360 degree view from its surprisingly sheltered position. If you're visiting in June, the night of San Juan takes place on the 23rd, welcoming summer with bonfires and fireworks, music and dancing and roast sardines cooked in the streets by sardiñadas.

There is much for shoppers to explore in A Coruña with antiques shops, fashion stores and jewellers as well as shopping malls and several markets. Why not buy some traditional local products made from jet or lace? There are many tapas bars with a selection of tasty snacks to try whilst seafood, especially octopus, is a local speciaility. Tetilla cheese is traditionally produced in this area so don't forget to try some of this mild and creamy cheese with some quince jelly. A glass or two of a Ribeiro or Albarino wine will make a fantastic accompaniment to your meal.

Why visit A Coruña?

  • Tower of Hercules
  • The Museums
  • Castro de Elvina
  • The Promenade

Overview

  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Galicia
  • Province: A Coruña
  • Population: 246,000
  • Coordinates: 43.375608,-8.394293

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

Find a holiday

Brittany Ferries holidays include return ferry travel with your car so you can explore at your own pace. What's more, you can pack everything you need to make the most of your time away - from bikes to surfboards and even the family pet.