For most people, Spain evokes thoughts of vibrant colors, flamenco and warm weather. So when I found out that I was moving to Galicia I was, admittedly, not so thrilled. But after a brief moment of doubt and panic, I realized that an adventure in a part of Spain that I’d never been to was exactly what I needed.
If you have the privilege of traveling through Galicia, Ourense should be on your list of places to see. The city is charming, full of things to experience and great for budget travelers. Here are few things you can’t miss…
Let's talk about arguably the best part of traveling — food. Galicia is known to have one of the most distinct gastronomies of Spain. Rich in seafood and cured meats, the delicious cuisine alone here is worth the trip. Experiencing the exciting energy of Vinos, an area lined with bars and restaurants, is one of the best parts of Ourense on the weekends. If you do it right you can split a few plates of different pinchos plus wine for under 10 euros. Tip: Come hungry. Some can’t miss restaurants are Arco da Vella and Casita do Pulpo.
If you’re a lover of seafood then you’ll be in paradise in the Northwestern of Spain. Pulpo a Feira is arguably the most talked about dish in this region and is a must try when traveling through Galicia. They prepare it by boiling pieces of the octopus and drizzling olive oil and paprika over it, then serving it over a bed of potatoes.
Casco Histórica/La Zona Vieja
Although it's the third largest city in Galicia, Ourense definitely has small town vibes. You can take a walk through the Casco Viejo or the Old Town and see a wonderful mix of history and modernity come to life. The old town also includes the Zona de Vinos, the Cathedral, and is filled with many local boutiques where you can get your shopping fix.
Experience the nature of Galicia
You can’t leave Ourense without visiting one of the many natural hot springs throughout the city. There are both public (free) and private ones that are equally amazing.
Local tip: Go to the thermals in the rain for a truly Galician experience.
Hike up to the Botanical Gardens to see a view of the entire city that will make the 30 minute trek worth it. The nice photo that you post on the gram will make it worth it too.
If dancing is your thing then you’re in for a treat. Although, you’ll definitely need stamina to survive a proper night out in the city. Most discos don’t get good until around 3:00 or later on a Friday night. But don’t fret, licor cafe, Galicia’s claim to fame is here to help you make it through the night. If you have more than two you may find yourself walking home from a disco at 8 in the morning. #Galiciacalidade
Nikki Ndukwe is a twenty-something part time writer + foodie and full time travel enthusiast. Most of her time is spent plotting new adventures and day dreaming about life in Spain. Lover of photography, style, food, culture, languages, and all things Spain, Nikki is currently adventuring in the north of the country.