Santo Domingo de la Calzada is a key point in the Camino de Santiago. We receive thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, coming from all around the globe, to discover all our treasures, enjoy the nature in the surroundings, the local gastronomy or just to rest for the next stage in their route.
Assuming you will visit the Tourist office in Santo Domingo https://www.santodomingoturismo.es/ (Calle Mayor, 33) to get some useful information and to understand the basic history of the city, I am listing the main places you must visit in Santo Domingo:
- San Salvador Cathedral, the Tower and Santo’s Square: In the heart of the city, all surrounded by medieval streets, you can see in the Santo’s Square the Cathedral, the exempt Tower and one of our Paradores (remember there are two different Parador hotels in Santo Domingo). Walking to the top of the Tower is a good possibility for having 360º views in the city. Of course, it is a must visiting the Cathedral, to see the living roster and hen inside.
- España’s Square (Plaza de España): A magnificent square surrounded by the town hall, the local school, and some other historic buildings as the court and jail (this last can be visited).
- Walls: From the España’s Square, exiting through the north gate under the town hall, walk to the west in order to surround the city visiting the existing medieval Walls. There are still some defensive towers, but it’s true that some investment is required in order to restore them urgently.
- Convento de San Francisco: Built by the Archbishop of Zaragoza, Fray Bernardo de Fresneda, confessor of Carlos V and Felipe II in 1535. At the moment part is destined to a diocesan workshop of restoration, another part to Parador de Turismo and the last one to hospital.
- Paseo del Espolón: Main street in Santo Domingo to enjoy the terraces, drinks, and some foods.
Where to eat is always a key question. For sure you can have good experiences in any place in Santo Domingo, but here is the list of my main local preferences:
Los Caballeros is the best restaurant in Santo Domingo, recommended by Michelin’s guide. It is the best place to enjoy both local products and other Spanish alternatives, always within a traditional food style. I would highlight above all the blood sausage (morcilla) with compote, the pochas (beans) with squid, the cod in its different presentations and the sirloin and steak.
As cheaper options, I would recommend Arcaya or Hidalgo Restaurant. At Arcaya, the menu usually offers grilled meat, apart from other alternatives that are very interesting. It can also be a good option for tapas or dinner à la carte. About the second El Hidalgo, homemade food with interesting alternatives to try Riojan products. The place is not the prettiest but focused on eating, I hope it does not disappoint you.
In any establishment in La Rioja (or in most), we can find tapas and portions that are great, but I will list my favorite places in the town: Cafetería Miguel, high quality vs price relationship place. Honestly, its tapas and portions (raciones) are unbeatable for their price. In addition, their fried egg pans, and their burgers are quite good. At the Capota, I really like their burgers and sandwiches.
Hotels and Accommodations
To take advantage of the visit to my city, get lost in the streets within the enclosure of the wall, visit the Cathedral and see the rooster and the hen, admire the exempt tower, and sit for a while in the Town Hall square after filling the gut in any of the suggested sites; I would recommend the following hotels / hostels:
Parador of Santo Domingo de la Calzada: 4 **** hostel that occupies an old hospital of the 12th century. The hotel occupies an impressive building, which is worth visiting, even if you are not staying in. It is situated in the Cathedral square, which forms a monumental complex worth admiring. Click on the image to find the best offer.
Parador de Santo Domingo – Bernardo de Fresneda: Yes, in Santo Domingo we have two Paradores, although beware, this one is not open all year. The hotel occupies the restored historic building of the former Convent of San Francisco, and although it has one star less (3 ***) than the first, I prefer it, as it is somewhat more modern. Click on the image to find the best offer.
Hostal El Molino de Floren: As a cheaper option I would stay at El Molino de Floren. Nicely decorated, its situation is good (although in Santo Domingo everything is close), for a calm rest and easy parking. It responds to the typical BBB site (Good, Nice, Cheap). Click on the image to find the best offer.
Any questions or comments, let me know. Apart from all this information (and all the details available in https://lariojaturismo.com/), there are many things you can do around the region: visiting Ezcaray (and El Echaurren restaurant), going to ski to Valdezcaray (of course in the Winter), there are numerous bike and foot routes, Haro is 10 kilometers away with all their Wine cellars…
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