Vigo is the name of the most populous city in Galicia. It is often overlooked, but by far one of the most wonderful cities in Spain – and in Europe as a whole. There’s a lot to see and do, so if you want to visit a bit of a different city, this is it!
From our perspective, it is a must-visit city, and here we are sharing 10 reasons why you should visit Vigo on your vacation in Spain.
1. A beautiful and important city
Vigo is a beautiful city. It has the well known port with plenty of boats, where you can enjoy the view across the water, or just sit in the sun and relax.
It also has its typical Galician architecture, which is very spectacular – especially in the very central part of the city.
But the main thing that makes Vigo beautiful is the nature that surrounds the city. Not far away, you will notice green forests and mountains. The city itself has more than one wonderful part, so it is not even necessary to leave the city to get a great, green taste of nature.
Aside from what makes Vigo attractive: It’s also a very important city. The largest in Galicia, and basically away to acces Spain by sea from the west.
2. Wonderful and delicious food
Vigo has great food. Just like the rest of Galicia. And that is our second major reason to visit it.
Galicians are particularly good with fish, and this is quite clear in Vigo as well. The city is right by the coast, and every day, there are ships bringing in great tasting fish to the city.
The food in Vigo is quite affordable. They make many great dishes, and the local restaurants are amazing. The locals in Vigo are particularly good with octopus, but they have many other unique dishes as well. Try it out when you get there!
3. One-day distance from other great cities
Galicia is not hugely populated. Therefore it might come as a surprise that Vigo is quite close to so many other great destinations.
The main one is Santiago de Compostela, which is only a short ride away. You can take a high speed train to get there, or you can go by your own car. It’s quite easy, and not far away. Public transport tickets are cheap.
If you want to consider further up north, you can pass Santiago and move up to A Coruña. Another famous port city that is equally beautiful as Vigo, although with a slightly different vibe.
You can also go south and visit northern Portugal. Porto is a magical city, always worth a visit. Great alternative options are Braga and Guimarães. They are even a bit closer than Porto, and you can go there by bus for less than 12 euros.
4. A unique look into Galician culture
Vigo is typically Galician. After all, it’s the largest city in the province. So it should give you a very nice view of Galician culture, which is definitely worth experiencing.
From the architecture to the food, from the people to the events – there are plenty of ways to experience it. We suggest you to go there and soak it all in on your own.
5. Very friendly people
Galicians are known as being very friendly. Just like the Portuguese and the other northern Spaniards. You will be treated with respect and with interest. People are happy to strike up conversations, and if you need help with anything, you never need to hesitate to ask.
6. Distinctly unique nature surrounds the city
We talked about this in the first point, but it’s worth it to elaborate just a little bit.
From Vigo, you can do a boat trip and sail a bit in the Atlantic Ocean. This is very special. You can also go south or east and not after long, you will be right at the mountains.
The area that surrounds Vigo is very green. Galicia is like that as a whole. Compared to the rest of Spain, it’s a distinctly unique nature, and it’s amazing to be near. It’s also great for a hike if you are into that – we highly recommend it.
7. Fresh air and nice environment
Vigo is not a very poluted city – the air is cleaner than in the capital Madrid, and it will feel very refreshing if you are just arriving from a larger city.
Vigo is right by the ocean, and the air always feels fresh. It’s a huge plus, because most popular travel destinations can be poluted, and that is obviously not the case here. Something like this will never be the main reason to visit anywhere – but it will always be a very nice addition, hence why we are placing it as the 7th reason to stop by Vigo during your Spanish holidays.
8. Interesting architecture
Another great thing about Vigo is the architecture. Discovering it is something that most travelers are enjoying when they arrive.
The majority of the buildings in central Vigo are from the 19th century. And these are quite beautiful, a bit reminiscent of other Spanish cities, but with a few slight tweaks.
Vigo also has newer architecture which is more avant-garde. These constructions are unique, although sometimes they can be a bit like the ones you see in the Basque Country.
All in all, Vigo has great architecture, and it’s a joy to discover.
9. Not full of tourists
Vigo has travelers coming in, but not any huge amount. It is largely unvisited by western tourists, who instead prefer cities along the eastern and southern coasts of Spain.
That can be good and bad. On the negative sides, it means Vigo has fewer hotels and hostels than a lot of other Spanish cities. But there are way more positives. For example, it means fewer annoyances. Being a visitor there is more special, you get better treatment compared to cities that are used to millions of visitors every year. It has influence on the prices, they don’t get inflated as much. And on the streets, you mostly see local people.
The majority of visitors in Vigo are from Portugal or from other Spanish regions. A lot of pilgrims who finish the Camino in Santiago, will often head to Vigo for a day or two to check it out.
10. Vigo is a very affordable city
Galicia is not poor in any way. In fact, they are doing quite well economically compared to many other Spanish regions, and compared to Portugal.
Therefore, it can be a surprise that a trip to Vigo can be so affordable. Hotels and apartments usually have great prices. The food is amazing, but is often cheap – especially fish, which is cheaper than a lot of other areas in Europe, while also tasting better.
Vigo is more expensive than the Portuguese cities, but it’s much cheaper than Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and so on. And that can be a great advantage when you visit it.
Conclusion on Vigo
Vigo is an awesome city – we highly recommend you to visit it if you get the chance. Planning it into your trip is a great idea if you’re traveling to northwestern Spain or northern Portugal. It’s a great city to stop by, even if it’s just for one day. But at the same time, it is interesting enough to spend more days in Vigo as well.
Let us know in the comments if you have any thoughts about Vigo!