5 Incredible Historical Bars in Santiago de Compostela

5 Incredible Historical Bars in Santiago de Compostela

Spain is known for having more bars per person than any other country in the world, so it’s no surprise that the local watering hole is a popular meeting point among friends, family, and neighbors. But some bars have a bit more history and tradition behind them than most. While these tapas bars may differ in décor and clientele, they are certainly some of the best historical bars in Santiago de Compostela.

Don't forget to build in time for relaxation during your hen party in Malaga!
Sometimes you just need an ice-cold beer with good friends at a no-frills bar!

Top Historical Bars in Santiago de Compostela

1. Cafetería Candilejas

If you’re looking for a typical, local Spanish tapas bar, this is the place for you. As one of the oldest bars in the city, you’ll find Cafetería Candilejas in a small, charming square surrounded by beautiful university buildings and the last remaining medieval doorway to Santiago.

Don’t expect frills or fancy food—this is a place to sit (outside on the terrace, if the weather allows), order a drink and watch the world go by while snacking on the free tapas you receive with your drink. You’ll get anything from olives, potato chips, tortilla (Spanish omelette) or even tiny fried squid! This place is a true bar de toda la vida, or a typical neighborhood bar, and easily one of the best historical bars in Santiago de Compostela.

Address: Praza de Mazarelos, 11

2. Bar Orense

Next up on the countdown of the best historical bars in Santiago de Compostela: Bar Orense. When you enter this simple, traditional tapas bar, you may well think you’ve gone back in time—the décor hasn’t changed since 1964! This is the perfect bar to try the local Ribeiro white wine in the traditional ceramic wine bowls called cuncas. Just don’t forget to order a plate of local cheese and cured meats to get the true Galician experience!

Address: Rúa da Raíña, 25

Dig into a plate of delicious Spanish ham at one our favorite historical bars in Santiago!
Dig into a tasty plate of Spanish ham at your local neighborhood bar.

3. Bar O Gato Negro

Not far from Bar Orense, Bar O Gato Negro is another old-fashioned, no-frills Galician tapas bar. Founded in 1920, it’s one of the oldest in the city and therefore definitely deserves a place on any list of the best historical bars in Santiago de Compostela. Get there early if you’d like to actually get a spot inside. The narrow entrance and bar area is always packed with locals having their lunchtime or evening wines. Try the pulpo a feira (market-style octopus) or the caldo gallego (Galician soup) if you manage to bag a table!

Address: Rúa da Raíña

Pulpo a feira, or market-style octopus, is a very typical food in Galicia. Try this melt-in-your-mouth classic in one of the best historical bars in Santiago!
A plate of delicious Galician octopus.

4. Modus Vivendi

This cool bar in the former stables of an 18th century house is possibly the oldest pub in Galicia! You can enjoy a great selection of cocktails, liqueurs, spirits and local beers to the tune of some great live jams—they’ve been hosting live music here since 1971. It’s even rumored that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones played here once!

Address: Praza de Feixóo, 1

Galician liqueurs are best enjoyed in one of these historical bars in Santiago while listening to some cool live music!
Creamy, sweet traditional Galician liqueur.

5. Café Casino

If you want to have a drink where Santiago de Compostela’s aristocrats and socialites once did, head to Café Casino. Dating back to 1873, it’s easily one of the best historical bars in Santiago de Compostela, as well as one of the most visually stunning. With a perfect location one of the main streets in the Old Town, you won’t miss its opulent interior and huge windows looking out onto the street. It’s always nice to sit outside, but in this case, take a look inside at the traditional posh décor and soak up the atmosphere. After all, you’re in the place where one of Galicia’s most famous writers—Valle-Inclán—wrote some of his well-known works!

Address: Rúa do Vilar, 35

Soak up the atmosphere at one of the most popular historical bars in Santiago!
Café Casino—a bar with centuries of history behind it! Photo Credit:  juantiagues

See Also: Don’t miss the complete guide to where to eat in Santiago de Compostela!

Pin me!

Bars are a great place to visit in Galicia, but these historical bars in Santiago are even more special! Get a drink in one of our favorites in the city and soak up the amazing atmosphere.


Sign up with your email address to receive free weekly recipes. You'll get a copy of my Spanish Cooking Essentials checklist when you do!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for free Spanish recipes weekly!

Subscribe for free weekly recipes and you'll get a copy of Spanish Cooking Essentials checklist!

Fried Eggplants with Honey Spanish Sangria Tinto de Verano Spanish Paella Spanish Pork Skewers