La Coruña, Spain cruises
La Coruna port guide.
Nestled along the northwest coast of Spain, La Coruna is a relatively hidden gem compared to cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, yet it offers an unmistakably traditional and understated Spanish charm.
Renowned for its artistic history and glass balconies, a port call here offers the chance to follow in the footsteps of Picasso, drink in the dramatically beautiful coastline, and stroll through historic streets peppered with awe-inspiring architectural wonders.
Top landmarks and sights in La Coruna.
Tower of Hercules.
In the midst of Spain, one thing you may not expect to stumble upon is a beacon named after one of the most iconic heroes in Greek mythology.
The Tower of Hercules is perched atop the wave-beaten cliffs at the edge of La Coruna City. A UNESCO World Heritage-listed building, the tower is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world, dating back to the days of the ancient Romans in the late 1st century A.D.
La Coruna is also home to a staggering number of churches and other religious points of interest, including the 17th-century Baroque-style Santo Domingo Church. Another highlight to look out for is the Gothic As Barbara’s Monastery. Built in the 15th century and beautifully preserved, the monastery remains a sanctuary for monks.
Picasso House Museum.
If you’re familiar with the unique works of the world-renowned artist Picasso, you may also wish to seek out La Coruna’s Picasso House Museum. Housed in the same building where Picasso spent his formative years, the museum is a perfectly maintained tribute to Picasso’s youth where you’ll be able to see 33 of the artist’s original paintings.
Things to do in La Coruna.
While in La Coruna, it can be nice to pass your time just as the city’s natives do, wandering the historic streets of the Old Town. This medley of intricate alleyways is a treasure trove of architectural wonders with new discoveries to behold around every corner. No doubt, you’ll be pausing to snap a photo or two along the way.
To make the experience even more authentic, call in at a local tapas bar. You’ll find a variety of local delicacies from around the region and wider Spain, available to order by the ración (a larger sharing portion) or as a tapas (a small sampling dish). Once finished, order a cortado (a typical Spanish coffee consisting of espresso with a small amount of hot milk) and enjoy a spot of people-watching as the locals go to and from in the warm glow of the Mediterranean sun.
Museo de Bellas Artes.
Another worthwhile way to spend your time in La Coruna is by paying a visit to the many museums dotted around the city. If art is a favorite pastime, the Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) is certain to hold some appeal. Among its extensive collections, the gallery houses a number of European and Spanish masterpieces dating back to the 16th century.
Playa de Riazor.
La Coruna is also home to some incredible white sandy beaches within easy reach of the city center. You’ll find the most popular, Playa de Riazor, tucked away against the Paseo Maritimo promenade, just a pleasant 1 mile walk from the port.
Eating and drinking near La Coruna.
La Coruna offers an incredible array of eateries if you’re keen to sample a traditional Spanish dish on your cruise. In fact, as the second largest city in Galicia, La Coruna is renowned for its excellent cuisine and features highly on many travelers' wish lists.
As with most coastal cities in Spain, seafood in La Coruna is fresh and plentiful, with local fishermen supplying fresh catch to the city’s restaurants each morning. One of the most popular dishes you’ll find in port is polbo á feira, an octopus dish, cooked in olive oil and spices and usually served with fresh local bread. On warm Spanish days, it’s particularly refreshing when accompanied by an ice-cold Cerveza (beer in Spanish).
Another of La Coruna's seafood specialties is zamburiñas, small scallops sourced from the bay. You'll find these prepared and served in all manner of ways throughout the city, from a staple ingredient in Galician seafood Paellas, to simply grilled in olive oil and served with a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
If you’re looking for a more informal way to dine or just a light snack with a glass of Spanish wine, you may wish to try one of the city’s ambient tapas bars. A regular haunt of locals, these bustling bars come alive at lunchtimes, when tiny plates of hot and cold delicacies make their way between crowds either perched at tables or propping up the bar.
Shopping in La Coruna.
You’ll find a mixture of traditional and contemporary shopping experiences to indulge in across La Coruna, with neighborhoods such as La Pescadería and Ensanche playing host to everything from clothing and shoe shops to accessories and bookstores.
Highly recommended on a port call to La Coruna is the main shopping street of Rúa Real. Popular with locals, this ever-bustling street is home to a variety of independent and family-owned businesses, offering everything from jewelry and perfume to artisan chocolates.
Getting around, La Coruna transport.
La Coruna cruise terminal is located just a short walk from the center of the city, and most of the popular sightseeing destinations in the port can be easily reached on foot. If you plan on traveling further afield, taxis are available to hail from the cruise port and around the city. There is also a public bus system that operates citywide.
La Coruna port facilities.
La Coruna port is home to a beautifully designed new terminal that includes a tourist information center as well as a shopping center with restaurants and even a movie theater. Free WIFI is available throughout the terminal building.
La Coruna Quick Tips.
The official currency of Spain is the Euro. You’ll find that many shops, restaurants, and bars in La Coruna will accept credit or debit cards, however, it is always advisable to carry some cash with you for smaller stores, cafes, or tipping.
Tipping in Spain is optional, although it’s common to round up your bill up to the nearest euro when paying by card in restaurants, or to leave a couple of coins on the table if you pay by cash and receive change. The same applies when using local taxis.