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Shopping in Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela has two particular local crafts - jet ware and silverware. The black jet stones are used for jewellery and amulets, while all kinds of silver goods are available to buy.

Key areas

You can find ceramic tiles, lace, clogs and other artisans' goods in the craft shops of the Old Quarter, while the shops around the cathedral stock a good selection of jet ware and silverware - many have some association with St James or local traditions.

Markets

The markets on the Virxe da Cerca are excellent venues for exploring the delights of traditional Galician produce and crafts. Pulpeiras (octopus sellers) are a common sight on market days, as are wine and liqueur sellers.

Shopping centres

If the traditional markets of Santiago de Compostela cannot satisfy shopping urges, head to the more modern facilities available in the shopping centres near the station, the Polígono de Fontiñas and around Castiñeiriño. The department store El Corte Inglés is located at Rúa do Restallal 50, in the Zona Paxonal. In the arcades of Tras de Pilar, there are shops selling the work of the rising generation of young Galician fashion designers.

Opening hours

General shopping hours in Santiago de Compostela are 1000-1400 and 1630-2000 - the extended lunch break is standard.

Tax information

IVA (value added tax) of 21% is charged on most goods and services in Spain. Non-EU visitors who are in the country for less than 180 days may claim back the tax at the airport, provided that each individual purchase is over €90 and a tax return slip was obtained from the retailer at the time of purchase.

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Hostal Alfonso

Close to Santiago de Compostela's city centre, this small hostal makes a big impression. Run by a husband and wife team, Alfonso has a quaint family atmosphere, with cosy rooms and friendly service. The proprietors have even written their own fantastic guide to sights and anecdotes of the Old Town that the guidebooks have missed (sadly in Spanish only). There are only six rooms here (all en suite and with TV) so book well in advance. Ask for the top floor room with the cathedral view, it's remarkable, especially at night. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Virxe da Cerca

Set in two buildings next to Plaza de Abastos Market and close to the Cathedral, this characterful hotel has an intimate, classy feel. Rooms in the modern building overlook a private courtyard garden, and upgraded rooms set in an 18th century building feature exposed stone walls and traditional furnishings. The restaurant serves traditional Galician cuisine.

Hotel Costa Vella

Located in a quiet street above the Convento de San Francisco, close to one of the seven doors leading into the old medieval city, this small, charming hotel in Santiago boasts comfy, cosy bedrooms and a peaceful garden. A real Galician home from home, you will feel warmly welcomed here. Costa Vella represents excellent value for money and is thoroughly recommended.

Hotel Parador dos Reis Católicos

This magnificent Santiago hotel, one of the best in the country, is located in the heart of the city, right on the Praza do Obradoiro, between Santiago's splendid cathedral and the Galician president's headquarters. Beautiful rooms (each individually decorated with period furniture and fine fabrics), great facilities and exquisite service will make you feel you're being treated like royalty.

Carris Casa da Troya

Although it's set in a beautifully restored historic building in the old town, the rooms at this hotel have a modern simplicity, and the high ceilings and thick walls provide a spacious and private feel. Superior rooms overlook the Cathedral. The staff is excellent and on hand to offer local advice and guidance on where to eat and visit. The hotel also has its own café attached.

Hostal Suso

This popular old-town spot sees budget travellers delighted with its hospitable management and cheap, great-value en-suite rooms with plenty of space. Downstairs is a lively café where pilgrims rest their Camino-weary legs.