"Vigo" Top 5 Page for this destination Vigo by maykal

Vigo Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 212 photos

Vigo was the first port of call on the cruise from hell. It was not a holiday I wanted to be on, Vigo was not a place I was particularly interested in beforehand, and the weather on arrival was dismal...black clouds everywhere, cold, wet, quite windy. Not your typical August day in Spain.

First impressions...well, they were a mixed bag. Opening the cabin curtains, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise, golden light streaming through the black clouds and falling on cranes in the port, a church on a hilltop behind. The bay of Vigo (fjord? inlet?) stretched into the distance, fishing boats returning to port from oyster nets. Looking out over the city, however, was less spectacular. An enormous shopping mall overwhelmed the quayside, and the buildings behind seemed mostly modern and grey.

Buses waited on the quayside to whisk passengers off on tours to Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra and Valenca...so not many passengers intended to spend their day in Vigo itself. I'm not a fan of tours, especially coach tours, so my plan was to spend the day discovering the delights of Vigo. Looking at the city from the ship, I was not sure it was the best decision. (Residents of Vigo, keep reading! It gets better...)

The rain reduced to a mere drizzle, so off I tramped, an unimpressed older brother in tow. We crossed a busy road, climbed some stairs and found ourselves in the Casco Vella, Vigo's historic quarter. The streets were quiet, cafes and shops still waking up. Within minutes, we emerged on the other side of the Casco Vella, and began to climb up towards the castle. The streets became narrower, more rundown, and overrun with cats. Halfway up, what seemed like a castle turned out to be a walled garden belonging to the Ayuntamiento (town hall?), an ugly tower block seemingly very out of place and the most prominent building in the area. Higher up, a proper castle stands in manicured gardens offering great views over the city, the bay, and to the Cies Islands beyond.

As the rain began to thicken, we descended to the newer part of the city to look for a cafe, passing several squares, each with unusual and eye-catching sculptures. Vigo is a city of sculptures...they pop up everywhere, swimming figures half submerged in the pavement, wild horses racing into the sky, fishermen hauling their catch from a traffic roundabout. After a walk along the seafront and the marina, and a beer back in the Casco Vella, my brother decided he'd seen enough of Vigo and went back to the ship. I, however, jumped at the chance to spend a few more hours on shore, and set off to explore a bit more of the old quarters. Vigo grew on me...and one thing I really liked was the fact that it doesn't go out of its way to attract tourists. The more I walked, the more I liked the city. One day, I might find myself going back, not just for Vigo but to see more of Galicia, this intriguing corner of Spain.

  • Last visit to Vigo: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (2)

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2009 at 7:15 AM

    i am amazed the street of basketmakers still sells baskets - in genoa the street of barbers didn't have a barber to be seen (I see you found the street of whores)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Hello, Michael! Thanx for your tips!



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