Vigo Spain is the main port city for the Galicia region located in northwest Spain. Despite its commercial status, it is a tourist friendly city that is easily navigated with foot power. Cruise ship passengers who do not mind a hilly terrain can easily explore the cobblestone streets of the old city.
The old city is near the marina and includes some original fishermen houses. Berbés Quarter has narrow houses and places to taste fresh seafood. As you walk along the quaint narrow and winding streets, keep an eye out for sculptures and a variety of architectural styles.
There’s no need to be corralled into large sightseeing buses unless walking up steep hills is not your style. Strolling through the port’s streets provides a taste of Spanish life without resorting to the bells and whistles associated with commercialized tourist attractions. Sometimes a half-day leisure stroll in a city can be a more revealing way to explore culture and history.
Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, Vigo’s history was filled with invaders. The Celts, the Romans, the Vikings, the British, and the French were just some of the enemies who attacked this port. As a result, the city’s growth was minimal until the 19th century.
In the 17th century, the residents of Vigo constructed a fortress on top of a steep hill that overlooks the port. Despite this effort, future attackers were able to penetrate the structure and the city’s protective walls.
Today, one can visit Parque del Castro to capture a bit of history. This green space houses the remains of the fortress and O Castro Castle. While strolling through the park one can also enjoy the gardens and the spectacular views of Vigo and its estuary. There is no admission charge.
As you descend from the hilltop, look for a small archeological site that traverses the side pathway down. In the cordoned off area, one can visit ruins that date from the 2nd century BCE to the 3 century CE. This archeological site provides clues about the history and culture of Vigo’s first inhabitants. These people built villages with stone structures. Check the archeological website for the tour times.
Noteworthy Vigo Museums
Museo do Mar de Galicia (Galicia Maritime Museum)
Paso Museo Quinones de Leon (Castrelos Collection of Galician Art)
Marco Vigo Museum of Contemporary Art
While many Vigo tourists choose to travel outside of Vigo to Samil Beach, Baiona- The Fortress of Montreal, or Santiago de Compostela, a simple stroll through the streets of Vigo can be a refreshing way to experience Spanish culture and history.