A Coruña (previously known as Corunna in English) is a historic city on Spain’s northwestern coast. It is the second-largest city in Galicia, only surpassed by Vigo, and it is home to several great attractions.
You are probably looking for the best things to do in A Coruña if you are planning a visit. This article will show you the top 10 sights and attractions in A Coruña!
Tower of Hercules
There is no doubt that the most famous attraction in A Coruña is the Tower of Hercules – known as Torre de Hércules in Spanish.
It is the oldest lighthouse still in existence in the entire world. It was built by Roman settlers in the first century. For most of its history, the tower was called Farum Brigantium, but that changed about a hundred years ago where people started referring to it as the Tower of Hercules.
The lighthouse is found on the northern tip of A Coruña, a small journey away from the center of the city. It’s a magnificent sight when you are near, and naturally it is also a good idea to go inside. Entry price is just three euros, making it a very affordable thing to do in A Coruña.
Enjoy the dramatic coast around the tower. Nature is really beautiful in this area. It can actually get quite windy at times.
Near the Tower of Hercules, you can also see the statue of Breogán, the Irish legend.
A Coruña is a coastal city, and the sea has always had huge impact on the city’s culture.
This aquarium was built in the 90’s, paying homage to the sea as an interactive centre of oceanography. When you visit it, you can see over 600 different species. The aquarium is heavily centered around species from the Atlantic Ocean. The highlight must be Sala Maremágnum, the room in the aquarium that has the most species, but don’t forget to see the Octopus’ Garden or the Botanical Garden which focuses specifically on the Galician coast.
You can visit Aquarium Finasterrae the same day as you see the Tower of Hercules. They are located right next to each other. Along with the Domus museum, described below, they form the Maritime Pass of A Coruña’s 3 main attractions. If you plan to visit the aquarium, you have to pay an entry fee of 10 euros, which is slightly more expensive than the other activities in the city.
The Domus Museum is also located on the peninsula, just south of the aquarium we just described.
It is a museum that focuses on science – the science of humans, to be more specific.
The building of the museum is quite unique, it has a raw modern look and faces the coast. On the inside, you have a decently sized facility with more than 150 exhibitions. Most of them are interactive and gives you facts and knowledge about genetics and evolution.
Since you only have to pay 2 euros to get in, it is a very affordable attraction in A Coruña, and if you are into science, this place is definitely worth an hour or two of your time.
Riazor Beach/Orzán Beach
Want to go to the beach? You can do that right in the middle of A Coruña!
In the central part of the city, there are two beaches which is really just one beach with two names. The Riazor Beach is the southern part and the Orzan Beach is the northern part. This sandy coast faces the bay of A Coraza, with the traditional buildings of central A Coruña right in the background.
It’s a great place to go for a walk, and during the summer you can easily bathe in the water. The beach is quite large, but it can be very crowded during the summertime. However, it is a beautiful sight throughout the entire year, looking in either direction and seeing the beach and the city so close together.
Plaza de María Pita
This square is located right in the historical part of A Coruña.
It is an impressive place, especially because it is where the city hall (Casa do Concello) is located. This tremendous building is one of the most well-known pieces of architecture in Galicia.
There’s usually a lot of life around the plaza. It is a frequent meeting place for locals, and there are also restaurants and shops on the sides. Sometimes markets are placed on the Plaza.
You will notice Plaza de María Pita and Casa do Concello automatically when walking around the centre, but you should still put it on your list on things to see in A Coruña!
Castelo de San Antón
If you go to the port area and then continue east for a few minutes, you eventually get to the historical castle.
Castelo de San Antón is found at the southeastern point of the peninsula on which A Coruña’s historical centre is located. It was once used for practical purposes – now it is an archeological museum where you find several cool exhibitions.
It is very cheap to visit Castelo de San Anton. A ticket inside only costs 2 euros, and there are reduced rates for youngsters, students and retirees – if you identify as one of such, you only have to pay a single euro to get in!
Igrexa de Santiago
A Coruña is an old city – so naturally it has several churches.
It is hard for us to only recommend one, but if we absolutely have to, it would be Igrexa de Santiago. It’s located in the historic part of the city, not too far from the port. The church was built back in the 12th century, making it one of the oldest extant churches in the region.
Here are some other fascinating churches and places of interest to Christian travellers:
- Colexiata de Santa María
- Venerabale Orde Terceira de San Francisco
- Iglesia de Santo Domingo
- Igrexa de San Nicolás
- Parroquia de San Jorge
Fine Arts Museum
Are you into art? In that case, A Coruña has something to offer as well.
You should go to the Fine Arts Museum, right in the historical centre. In Spanish it is called Museo de Bellas Artes da Coruña, so it will likely be listed like that if you look it up on a map.
The museum is quite old – founded in 1922. It mostly has art pieces from Spanish and Galician artists.
It gets great reviews from visitors (4.5 out of 5 on average). Art lovers shouldn’t hesitate in visiting the Fine Arts Museum, seeing as it is one of the top attractions in the city.
Casa das Ciencias
In the newer part of A Coruña, nearer to the train station and modern shopping area, there is another museum.
It is called Casa das Ciencias. The location is unique – Casa das Ciencias, which means the house of science, is located in the middle of Parque de Santa Margarida, a mid-sized park.
The museum mostly focuses on science and space. There are interesting exhibitions all year around. It is one of the most popular venues in the city. You won’t believe how cheap it is – entry to the museum is only 2€!
Bonus tip: Very close to Casa das Ciencias, we also find Palacio da Ópera, the opera/concert house. Perfect to visit for an evening if you are looking for more things to do in A Coruña than just the normal attractions.
Mundo Estrella Galicia
We will round off with another interesting museum. This one might be a bit more unique than others, since it is focused on beer!
Estrella Galicia is one of the most popular beer brands in Spain. As the name suggests, this brewery is from Galicia, and this is a museum dedicated to it.
You can learn about the history of beer, with an emphasis on the famous Galician brand. But it is more than just a museum. You also get to do some beer tasting, so if you are a beer lover, there’s no way you should miss out on this attraction!
Mundo Estrella Galicia is near the train station, so it should be easy to find.
We would recommend you to book a guided tour at this place. The prices start at 25€, but the best package is the one for 35€ where you get into the workshop, you get to try 5 beers, pour your own draft beer, and you get some nice souvenirs.
That’s it for now – A Coruña has a lot of things to offer. If you like the kind of city that has a bit of everything, classic and modern attractions, along with beautiful nature all around it, you should definitely visit A Coruña.
Don’t forget the other popular destinations in Northern Spain either! We have previously visited and written guides to Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, Cudillero, Gijón and Oviedo. Feel free to check them out if you are looking for more destinations in this wonderful part of the world.