Lugo is a small town in our present days but it used to be the largest City in Galicia two thousand years ago. The Romans called it “Lucus Augusti” and up until today they preserved the Roman walls pretty well around the old town, which made Lugo famous.
Sadly, it’s not easy to enjoy the Roman walls from a distance due to the buildings and a road around it but you can climb up to the top of the wall which has seen many battles and take a 30 minute walk and enjoy the views of the city. The best is to start at the gate called Porta de Santiago, just right in front of the cathedral.
If you get tired after walking on top of the wall, choose any of the stairs that lead you back to the old town and enjoy a lovely coffee on the “prazo Maior,” the main square just right next to the town hall, an impressive baroque structure from the 18th century. The Old clock tower from the 16th century is connected to the building.
The streets are relatively quiet during siesta (from lunch time to early afternoon) so if you’d like to do some sightseeing when there’s less tourists this is the perfect time to enjoy the streets of Lugo. However, if you’d like to enter the museums you’ll have to wait until the end of the ritual siesta, as they are also closed, along with most of the shops. As Lugo is exactly 100 km from Santiago de Compostela, and it serves as a starting point of many pilgrims (as you need to walk at least 100km to receive your credential that proves you walked the camino) therefore the city can be quite packed.
The early Roman settlers made good use of the natural springs in the area, from which we can still benefit from. You can enjoy the pre-heated water in the cities spa complex called Barrio del Puente. Parts of the spa still remains as in the old ages and it has newly built additions as well.
Of course, we are in Spain after all, so you can expect amazing food but Lugo has its own saying “Y para comer, Lugo,” which translates to “and to eat, Lugo.” So you can be sure that the regional cuisine will not disappoint you.
Lugo has a great variety of vegan food and many restaurants offer vegan alternatives, which I found amazing as during my travels in Spain I struggled quite a bit to find such places.
Cafeteria Reina is one of the best places. A vegetarian cafe offering vegan options and inexpensive (pilgrim’s) menu. Menus in Spain are a dream! Usually costs about 12–15 euros and contains two dishes, a dessert and a drink. Not to mention the place is located in the city centre with an outdoor terrace.
Vexetarian is another wonderful place. An actual vegetarian gourmet restaurant offering 3 course menus made with Galicia products and hosts live music events.
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Photo: Imola Toth