Vigo is the biggest city in Galicia and it is an excellent travel destination. It is one of our favorite cities in Spain, so let’s take a look at the best attractions in Vigo. You can do everything from classic sightseeing to adventurous activities.
If you’re looking for a city with a lot of character, Vigo is an obvious place to go. This port city is modern in many ways, yet it has a calm Galician vibe. The people are super friendly and there are plenty of things to do, day and night. Vigo is especially great to visit in the summer when the weather is hot – but it’s an amazing city at any time of the year.
Read below to find the 10 best sights and attractions in Vigo. Feel free to write them down so you won’t miss anything on your trip. Enjoy!
Casco Vello is Vigo’s old town. It’s arguably the most charming part of the city, although the newer parts are also great. If you are into culture, a walk around Casco Vello is obligatory – at least it’s a great experience! You will find interesting squares, such as Praza da Constitucíon, and several beautiful houses. Many of the houses in this area were built with Galician granite, giving them a very unique look.
The area stretches from inner streets where you’ll find interesting markets, and all the way down to parts of the port. It’s a really interesting area that we recommend checking for all visitors to Vigo. You can get a guided tour by foot, which is always fun.
Parque Monte de Castro
Vigo’s main park is called Parque Monte de Castro. But it is very different from normal park. It’s more like a mountain in the middle of the city, but it’s all very green and beautiful. If you have the energy for it, you can walk around the park by foot, but bring the right footwear. You can also just stay at the entry point of the park and do a quiet picnic.
After you get up to a certain height, you can get a great view out over the city and the port. The perfect place to take photos! There are also several nice monuments in the park, and you should stumble into many of them when you’re walking around Parque Monte de Castro!
Inside the park, you will find the Castro Fortress – considered to be Vigo’s best attraction among many visitors.
We mentioned that you have a great view of Vigo from several points in the park. But that is absolutely nothing compared to the view from the fortress. It’s absolutely great, and if you don’t mind a bit of walking, it’s a great idea to go up to the fortress. The walls are made of granite (not surprising – it is Galicia!) and it was built in the 17th century. It was made to be a place for artillery, defending from the British navy at a time when Vigo was a very important strategical point.
Not an attraction in Vigo itself, but Vigo is the entry point, so we will include it here.
Islas Cíes – simply the Cíes Islands in English – are an archipelago right off the coast of the city. Since 2002, the area has been a national park. Islas Cíes are famous for their beautiful natural views and their great beaches. You can easily spend a day here, or at least a couple of hours. It is actually possible to stay overnight, as there are facilities for that, along with a restaurant and a supermarket. However, there are no trash cans, so do not litter and throw things around. Keep everything with you and let the island keep it’s natural beauty – you will likely get told the same things when you book your trip there.
The way to get to the islands? You take a ferry or a boat from Vigo’s harbour. It’s easy to get there during the summer, a little harder during the rest of the year.
Quiñones de León
Probably the best museum in Vigo. Quiñones de León is an art museum located inside a famous 17th century house. It’s a very unique place, and there are many nice things to see once you get inside.
Parts of the Prado collection (from Museo del Prado in Madrid) are stored here. Aside from that, you will find important works by the best Galician artists. Particularly from the 19th century, but also with plenty of art from the 20th century.
The port has always been Vigo’s most precious part. If you go to the modern area of the port, you will see beautiful boats, and it’s a very nice place to be. There is a beautiful view out over the oceans, and several benches where you can sit and relax.
Some of the city’s best hotels are located right by the port, and you will also find great bars in this area. Overall, it’s a great place to go, because you will certainly be close to many nice sights.
Rúa Pescadería & Calle de las Ostras
Do you like eating fish and seafood? For that alone, Vigo is the perfect destination. Many fishermen are based in Vigo and bring home new supplies almost daily. Fish are sold on Rúa Pescadería, and there are several good restaurants bordering that same street. It is very close to the harbour, and part of Casco Vello, by the way!
If you specifically want to eat oysters, Vigo is also the ideal place. Just west of Rúa Pescadería, basically on the same street, you will find Calle de las Ostras, literally meaning street of the oysters! You can probably guess what the main focus is here – not much explanation needed. Vigo is a famous city among oyster lovers from all over the world, and they go here specifically. Highly recommended.
Museo do Mar de Galicia
Vigo (and Galicia) is almost synonymous with the sea. The Atlantic Ocean has been a big influence on the city’s culture. This museum shows everything regarding this relationship, as it is the museum of the sea.
They have interactive screens where you can learn about Galicia’s history. They also show all kinds of ships and fishing equipment that has been used through the ages. You will learn about the food – seafood has always been a stable of the diet in Galicia, which it still is to this day!
Climate supporters will also love it, as the museum informs you a lot about the ecosystem and how to secure a healthy ocean. The museum was opened in 2002 – a year where the city of Vigo made a lot of initiatives to promote the Galician culture in art and exhibitions.
Playa del Vao
A highly rated beach, just a few kilometers southwest of Vigo. You can reach it by car, bus, taxi, even by foot if you don’t mind a little trek. It’s a beautiful beach with very clean surroundings. There are also several restaurants in the area, making it easy to get a nice meal.
Playa del Vao is considered by many to be one of the best beaches in Spain. Enjoying a summer day here is amazing, but you can also stop by any other time of the year to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Very beautiful, and not as crowded as you would think. The sand is incredibly white and it is very soft.
MARCO – Museum of Contemporary Art
We mentioned an art museum earlier – Quiñones de León – but that’s not the only one. MARCO, Vigo’s museum of contemporary art, is also a great place to visit.
In here, you will find a lot of modern art. The museum opened in 2002, in a building that was previously abandoned. Now it’s standing in great shape, right in the middle of the city, it used to be a courthouse and a jail. Now it is simply a museum, and a very good one at that. Aside from going in to see the art, they also offer workshops and special events at times. The museum even hosts the occasional show.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to sightseeing and attractions in Vigo! It’s a great city to visit, and there are more things to do than people expect. Aside from visiting the many attractions, we also recommend you to stroll around the modern part of the city, to go shopping, and to visit some of the bars. Because it is also a city with a great social life and where there are plenty of modern activities. Let us know in the comments if you have further questions about what to do in Vigo!