Car Rental in Santiago de Compostela
Why rent a car in Santiago de Compostela?
Santiago is a great place to explore. World-famous as the destination of the Way of St. James, it is also a picturesque and historic city known for its monasteries, churches, and squares. It is the capital of Galicia, and from here you can easily reach the region’s beautiful and rugged beaches, large cities such as Coruna and Vigo, or even travel to neighboring Portugal.
One-Way Car Rentals in Santiago de Compostela
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Santiago de Compostela and drop off in another city include:
- From Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña - 140 offers from € 21.83 per day
- From Santiago de Compostela to Bilbao - 88 offers from € 24.45 per day
- From Santiago de Compostela to Seville - 88 offers from € 24.45 per day
- From Santiago de Compostela to Alicante - 42 offers from € 24.45 per day
- From Santiago de Compostela to Vigo - 63 offers from € 21.83 per day
Top ways to enter Santiago de Compostela
- Santiago de Compostela Airport: The largest in Galicia and constantly growing, Santiago de Compostela Airport served about 2.7 million travelers in 2018. The airport is served by 13 airlines, including some low-cost carriers like easyJet and Vueling. Located 14km (9 miles) northeast of the city, the airport can be reached in about 20 minutes.
- A Coruña Airport: Formerly known as Alvedro Airport, it serves one of the largest cities in Galicia. As of 2019, the airport is a large domestic hub for Vueling and hosts flights to and from other Spanish destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia as well as London in the United Kingdom. Located 60km (37 miles) north of Santiago, the airport can be reached in about one hour.
- Vigo Airport: Another small, but international, Galician airport, Vigo–Peinador served about 1.1 million travelers in 2018. In addition to many connections to other cities in Spain, the airport also hosts flights to and from the Canary Islands and Paris. Located 97km (60 miles) south of Santiago, the airport can be reached in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Asturias Airport: Located roughly halfway between Gijon and Oviedo, the two large and famous cities of the Asturias region, the airport is especially active during the summer months. It hosts a number of flights to and from the Spanish mainland, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Located 260km (161 miles) northeast of Santiago, the airport can be reached in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Porto Airport: Also known as Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal’s second largest airport served more than 12 million travelers in 2018. It hosts flights to and from Madeira and the Azores Islands (the two Portuguese archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean) as well as many destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. The airport is 230km (143 miles) south of Santiago and can be reached in about two and a half hours. Since you’d have to cross the international border between Portugal and Spain, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it. Another option is to travel from Porto to Galicia by public transportation and to pick up a rental car upon arriving in Santiago.
- By railway: If arriving in Santiago by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Santiago de Compostela railway station.
Useful city facts
- Although not located on the coast, Santiago de Compostela has an oceanic climate. Travelers should not expect Mediterranean weather like in Barcelona or the Costa del Sol - Galicia is a much more temperate and rainy place (this also means that the vegetation is a lot more green and lush). Some travelers have called the region ‘a slightly warmer Scotland’. The average high temperature is 25°C (77°F) in August, the warmest month, and 8°C (46°F) in January. Precipitation is the highest from October to January, and the city sees a few snowy days every other year. July and August are the driest months.
- Santiago de Compostela is famous around the world as the destination of the Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James. The city is the alleged resting place of Saint James the Greater, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. A Catholic pilgrimage route in use since at least the 9th century, Camino de Santiago is now made up of multiple different routes and traverses many European countries, although most paths still end in Santiago. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Growing in popularity for the last few years, the path attracted more than 300,000 pilgrims in 2018.
- Galicia is a bilingual region, with both Spanish and Galician being official languages. Galician, although closely related to Spanish, is a separate language and has a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility with Portuguese. Galician is a mother tongue and the first language of choice for around 30% of Santiago’s inhabitants. However, if you’re a Spanish speaker, don’t worry - virtually everyone in the region speaks it, too. Knowledge of English in the region varies - it is quite high in cities like Santiago, especially among people working in the service and travel industries, but can be very low in small towns and villages.
Top destinations and activities
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Whether or not the apostle St. James is really buried here, the Cathedral is nonetheless one of the most important and impressive symbols of the city. A mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles, its first stone was laid back in the 11th century, but the cathedral has experienced significant renovation a number of times. The tomb of Saint James (or Santiago) is right under the Cathedral and tourists are allowed to visit it.
Praza do Obradoiro. Formerly a location of stonemasons’ workshops, Santiago’s central square is a place where the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago finish their route. The square is located next to the city’s Cathedral, but there are many other famous landmarks nearby from Gelmírez Palace and Rajoy Palace to the San Jerónimo College and Catholic Kings Hostal that hosts the arriving pilgrims.
Museum of the Galician People. Located inside an old convent, Museo do Pobo Galego is the best place to learn about the unique Galician people. The museum has many exhibitions on Galicia’s seafaring and fishing history, traditional costumes, and regional art as well as archaeological artifacts dating back to ancient history.
Traffic and parking tips
- Speed limits - 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (56mph) on most standard roads, 100km/h (62mph) on standard roads that are either one-way roads, roads with more than two lanes for at least one direction of traffic and roads with shoulders more than 1.5m wide, and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways (called autovías in Spain).
- The car’s documentation and proof of insurance must be inside the vehicle at all times.
- The driver and all passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
- Children up to the age of 12 and measuring less than 135cm travelling in the front seat of a car must be seated in a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight.
- Unnecessary use of audible warning devices (horns) is prohibited.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers.
- The emergency number is 112.
Most of the roads inside the country are toll-free. Toll roads are called ‘carretera de peaje’. On maps and road signs, all toll roads have to include a letter P after the road type. The payment method may vary depending on the road, but most will accept cash. Regardless of the region, the average estimated price is €9.5 ($11.25) per 100km for cars. See the official Spanish toll road website for prices and more information.
Ideas for a day-trip
- A Coruña. A large and historic city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, A Coruña tempts visitors with a wealth of attractions. Its picturesque Cidade Vella, or Old Town, has landmarks like San Antón Castle which is home to the Archaeological Museum and Santa María Church which houses the Museum of Sacred Art. On the coast, the Tower of Hercules is a 2nd century, Roman-built lighthouse often claimed to be the oldest lighthouse in the world, while A Coruña’s Paseo Maritimo is one of the nicest seaside promenades in Europe. With a rental car, you can also access nearby Castro de Elviña, a site of a Roman (and even pre-Roman) settlement where a lot of famous archaeological relics have been found. Just an hour’s drive north of Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña is very much worth a visit if you’re in Galicia.
- Pontevedra. A coastal city near the border with Portugal, Pontevedra has been inhabited since prehistory; Ancient Greek maritime traders visited the city, and later, so did the Romans. Nowadays, Pontevedra is famous for its beautiful gothic and baroque churches, many medieval squares, vast gardens, and Placeres and Pontesampaio, two of the nicest beaches on the Spanish Atlantic Coast. About 60km (37 miles) south of Santiago, Pontevedra can be reached in less than one hour.
- Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park. Made up of the small archipelagos of Cíes, Ons, and Cortegada, this is one of the most interesting national parks of Spain. Home to unique flora and different species of birds, it is also known as a place where you can watch sea creatures like whales, orcas, dolphins, and basking sharks. You cannot go there by car, but it’s possible to drive to the mainland harbours in Vigo, Bueu, or Sanxenxo and take a ferry from there.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Santiago is the Nissan Micra, followed by the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 208. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and standard.
- Portugal. Related to Galicia in terms of language, traditions, and way of life, Portugal is one of Europe’s prime travel destinations. Old cities, delicious cuisine heavily based on seafood, and generous locals are some of the reasons why thousands return there every year. Start in Porto, one of the most picturesque (and most photographed) cities in Europe which is just 230km (143 miles) south of Santiago. Travel further down the coast to Nazaré where some of the world’s surfing records have been set. You’ll have to cross the international border between Spain and Portugal, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
- Asturias. The neighbor of Galicia remains something of a hidden gem among the Spanish provinces. But don’t overlook it because from its largest cities Oviedo and Gijon to the stunning Pico de Europa National Park, prehistoric carvings on the walls of Tito Bustillo Cave and countless remote, stunning beaches, there’s plenty to explore. Gijon, 300km (196 miles) northeast of Santiago de Compostela, can be reached in about 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- Salamanca. It might be one of the smallest regional capitals in Spain, but cities don’t get much larger in terms of architectural heritage than Salamanca. A history lover’s dream, its streets are lined with fine examples of Moorish, Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. Some of the most famous ones include the House of Shells (or Casa de la Conchas), the New and the Old Cathedrals, and the buildings in Mayor square. Unsurprisingly, the city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Salamanca is 425km (264 miles) southeast of Santiago and can be reached in four to five hours by car; it makes both a great travel destination in its own right or an interesting stop on the way to Spain’s capital, Madrid.
Car Rental Prices in Santiago de Compostela
How can I save money on my rental car?
You’ll increase your chances of landing a great rental car in Santiago if you follow these simple tips:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Santiago is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 62% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 74% cheaper than visiting Santiago in June. Start your year by coming to Galicia!
Map of Car Rental Locations
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Ok Rent A Car||Nissan Juke||5||2||Small cars|
|Ok Rent A Car||Renault Clio||4||2||Small cars|
|Ok Rent A Car||VW Golf||5||2||Medium cars|
|Enterprise||Toyota Aygo||3||1||Small cars|
|Enterprise||Seat Ibiza||4||1||Small cars|
|Interrent||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Interrent||VW Polo||5||1||Small cars|
|Amigo Autos||Nissan Micra||5||1||Small cars|
|Ok Rent A Car||Nissan Qashqai||5||2||SUVs|