The city of Pontevedra and capital of the province of the same name, also known as a cidade do Lérez (the city of the river Lérez), is a small city in the south of Galicia. It is located in the Rías Baixas ("lower rias") and has around 83,000 inhabitants. There are good connections from this city to the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, as it can be reached in less than an hour. In addition, the city of Vigo is 30 minutes away.
Despite the possible lack of information about this small city, Pontevedra is a very welcoming and charming place that always fascinates its visitors. From Illa das Esculturas ("island of the Sculptures") to the chapel of Virxe Peregrina and the Alameda, going all over the old town, there are many spots where you can enjoy a nice evening or a relaxing promenade.
The historical centre is an official Spanish heritage site, and one of the best preserved in Galicia. Here you can find different squares and churches with a great historical and touristic value. Among them, you can visit Praza da Ferraría, a place highly frequented by the locals. This square, surrounded by gardens, is at the front of the convent of San Francisco. On the other hand, Praza da Peregrinalies at the heart of the city. This is the main meeting point for the people from Pontevedra, ever since we are children. Then, as we grow old, we spend our time at Praza da Verdura more often. This is another traditional square of Pontevedra, always crowded with people of every age and culture when the Galician weather spares us a sunny afternoon.
In addition, it is necessary to emphasise the good nightlife this small town has to offer, located mainly around the historical centre. When the night falls, the terraces are cleared away to give way to many bars in the area, where you can dance and have a nice evening enjoying different music styles and atmospheres.
The city also has a wide cultural offer. Some old buildings have been restored, such as the Mugartegui's Manor or the museum of Pontevedra, which has been recently expanded and plays an increasingly important role among the cultural institutions in the province. Furthermore, the Teatro Principal is the main venue where theatre plays, concerts, and other cultural programmes are held.
When it comes to festive and cultural events, we must not forget the Feira Franca. Every year, this medieval celebration is welcomed with growing enthusiasm by citizens of Pontevedra and visitors alike. During the first weekend of September, the whole city goes back to the Middle Ages and some of the activities practised during that time are brought back to the squares. In addition, there is a knight tournament performance at the bullring and, in the streets, people eat and drink sitting around long wooden tables, surrounded by stands where typical food or handicrafts are sold.
Finally, we should highlight the value of the local retail, which is an important driver of the city’s economy. From the corner shop to the rúa Benito Corbal (the commercial street), there is a wide offer for everybody. Pontevedra is a relatively small city, so you can comfortably get around on foot or by bicycle.