Vigo, Spain, is not a city that most people would have heard about, even if they’ve been to Spain. However, it’s definitely a city worth knowing! Vigo is the biggest city in the region of Galicia, though it’s actually not the capital of the region. It’s a massive fishing port, the second largest in the world, and there are actually a ton of cultural celebrations that everyone is welcome to join in on throughout the year. So if you’re looking to have a different kind of experience in Spain, Vigo is the place to go.
What to Do
One of the most famous festivities that Vigo celebrates every year is called La Reconquista, or the Reconquest of Vigo. This happened in the early 19th century when Vigo’s army fought against Napolean’s and was ultimately victorious. This celebration only happens in Vigo because no other cities were involved, and it usually takes place in March. There are historical reenactments, tons of food and drinking, Galician music, and more!
San Blas is another festival that you should definitely participate in if you’re around! It happens in the winter, usually late January or early February, and it celebrates the local winemakers around Vigo. During this time, they usually have a lot of wine and local cider that they can’t sell, so they give it to you for a very cheap price. What’s most fun is that the drinks are drunk out of a traditional bowl!
Another really fun and unique festival that happens in Vigo is called San Juan. The night of San Juan celebrates the summer solstice, and in order to do so, people cleanse themselves of their sins by writing down bad things that have happened and throwing them into huge bonfires that the city creates in the center. The other famous thing that happens during this celebration is the eating of sardines, so if you’re there, you definitely have to get a grilled one!
If you’re in Vigo in the summer, you’re in for a real treat since there are so many beaches in and surrounding the city! If you want to keep it local go to either Praia Samil or Praia do Vao. Both of these beaches are super easily accessed through public transportation and are very beautiful!
If you want to take your beach experience to the next level, take a ferry across the bay and go to the small town of Cangas and experience a totally serene, stunning, beach. There is a pathway that you walk alongside the sea from the ferry to the gorgeous beach, and it’s just such a great environment to truly relax.
What to Eat
There are so many bakeries to eat at in Vigo, but one of the absolute best is called El Atelier de Diego Caride. This authentic French bakery has so many incredible Galician twists that give you a real feel for the patisserie history of Vigo.
Something that you should definitely try to eat wherever you go to in Vigo is octopus. Spanish octopus originated in Vigo, and because it’s caught fresh, the flavor is amazing! Whether you see it on the street, on a menu, or in an empanada, get it!