La Coruna Cruise Port Guide (Spain), Things to Do, Shore Excursions

La Coruna cruise port, Espana

Welcome to La Coruna cruise port, Spain!

La Coruna (A Coruña, in Galician; La Coruña, in Spanish) is a port city in the Galicia region of northwest Spain and one of the frequent stops in the Mediterranean cruise itineraries. Known for its Roman historic heritage, sweeping coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean, beaches, bustling city center and a medieval old town, La Coruna has a lot to offer to everyone!

In this article, read about:

  • La Coruna cruise port (La Coruna cruise terminal, getting around)
  • 11 best things to do in La Coruna & top La Coruna shore excursions

Visit our cruise port guides for Alicante, Bilbao, Vigo, Barcelona, ValenciaCartagena, Malaga, Cadiz, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar, Lisbon

La Coruna Cruise Port

La Coruna cruise terminal is located on Muelle de Trasatlánticos quay, only a 5-minute walking distance from the city center. The cruise terminal features a small building with facilities such as a tourist office desk (make sure you pick up maps), souvenir shops, security screening. Upon exiting the terminal, on your left side you’ll see large parking for tour buses.

See La Coruna cruise port on Google maps

To get to the city center, you need to exit the terminal, walk straight past the glass building of Los Cantones Village shopping center, cross Avenida da Mariña street and you’ll reach Rúa Real, a pedestrian shopping street.

The port of La Coruna is also a major cargo port that serves the distribution of agricultural goods from Galicia, which makes the city the region’s industrial and financial center.

La Coruna cruise terminal, Spain
La Coruna cruise terminal.

Useful info:

  • The currency in Spain is EURO (€). Local currency or credit cards are accepted everywhere. ATMs are available in the city. Some cruise lines provide ATMs onboard, however, you may find the better exchange rate in the city. See the currency converter.
  • Los Cantones Village shopping mall is located right in front of the terminal and offers numerous shops, cafes and bars.
  • The city center is walkable and the best part of it sits on a peninsula. La Coruna is perfect for biking as it’s flat, and the beach is located a few blocks away from the main street Rúa Real (a 15-minute walk from the terminal).
  • You will find public transport (buses and taxis) on Avenida Marina, located only a few minutes away from the terminal building. This notable street is famous for its charming Marina filled with recreation boats and beautiful glazed balconies that you’ll spot from the ship’s outer decks. You can reach the majority of city attractions on foot, so you may not need public transportation. However, if you want to explore the city by bus, bus 3 goes to the major attractions including the Tower of Hercules. Taxis also offer tours and transfers to the nearby cities including Santiago de Compostela, Galicia’s capital.
  • Free wi-fi is available in the Los Cantones shopping mall as well as cafes and restaurants in the city center.
  • A large number of shops are closed during the Spanish siesta time (from 13:30 to 16:00), except for the big department stores, supermarkets. Museums are normally closed on Monday.
  • La Coruna train station (Estación de La Coruña) is located 2.5 km/1.5 miles or a 10-minute drive from La Coruna port.
  • The nearest airport is Santiago Airport (Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport), located 66 km/41 miles, a 45-minute drive from the port La Coruna.
  • Check out the best hotels in La Coruna, Spain

Suggested articles:

Top 25 Shore Excursion Packing List Items

What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 50 Cruise Essentials

Top 11 Things to Do in La Coruna Cruise Port

La Coruna city center is located within a short walking distance from the port and you can visit the majority of the city’s landmarks on foot. Before I share with you the best things to do in La Coruna, I invite you to sign up below and get my insider, exclusive SHORE EXCURSION GUIDE FOR FREE!

1. Tower of Hercules

The Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hércules) is the UNESCO-listed ancient Roman lighthouse dating from the late 1st century A.D. Built on a 57-meter high rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the lighthouse has been in continuous operation ever since and is the oldest lighthouse in the world still in use. It is 55 meters (180 ft) tall, which makes it Spain’s second tallest lighthouse.

The whole site also features a sculpture garden, the massive statue of Breogán, the rock carvings from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery.

Tower of Hercules in La Coruna
Tower of Hercules, La Coruna.
Statue of Breogán, Tower of Hercules, La Coruna
The Statue of Breogán.
Tower of Hercules sculpture park, La Coruna, Spain
The Tower of Hercules is set in a beautiful sculpture park with breathtaking ocean views.

Useful info:

  • The Tower of Hercules is located approximately 2.6 km/1.6 miles from La Coruna port (a 40-minute walk or a 15-minute drive).
  • Due to the location of the tower facing the Atlantic Ocean, it can be very windy so make sure to wear appropriate clothes (a light jacket and comfortable shoes are recommended).
  • The Tower of Hercules is located on a promontory and the vehicles cannot park in front of the entrance. There are a parking lot and public toilets available at the foot of the promontory, and there is a portion of the slightly uphill road that needs to be handled on foot.
  • The Tower of Hercules is partially wheelchair-accessible.
  • There is a Visitor Center in the parking lot and here you can purchase the tickets to climb the tower (the general admission fee is 3€). For more information, check the http://www.torredeherculesacoruna.com/

Check out Tower of Hercules tours and activities

2. Saint Anton Castle

The Castle of San Antón is the 16th-century fortress located at the strategic location protecting the Bay of Coruna and the entrance to the harbour, built as part of a strategic network of castles and towers to defend the city back in history. Nowadays, it houses an archeological museum where you can see prehistoric and ancient artifacts, weaponry, medieval sculptures, and learn about the history of the fort and the city.

From the castle’s ramparts, you can enjoy magnificent views of the coast and the entrance is only 2€ per person (free on Saturday). The disadvantage is that all information in the museum is available only in Spanish and Galician.

Saint Anton Castle is located only 1.3 km/0.80 miles or a 15-minute easy walk from the cruise dock.

Explore Saint Anton Castle tours and activities

3. Maria Pita Square

Situated only 600 m from the La Coruna dock (a 5-minute walk), Praza de Maria Pita is the central square of the city dominated by the imposing building of the Town Hall (Concello da Coruña) and surrounded by a great number of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Maria Pita Square, La Coruna, Spain
Maria Pita Square and Town Hall building.

In the center of the square, you’ll find the statue of Maria Pita, the city’s heroine who played a significant role in reducing the losses of the Corunans during Sir Francis Drake’s attack on A Coruña in 1589.

While there, you can admire the beautiful historic buildings with galerias, balconies enclosed in a glass frame built to protect from the cold Galician winds in the wintertime. Because of the galerias, La Coruna is often referred to as “the glass city” and “the crystal city”.

Adjacent to Maria Pita Square, you’ll find a little Marqués de San Martín square dominated by the beautiful Baroque Church of Saint George (Iglesia de San Jorge).

Iglesia de San Jorge (Church of Saint George), La Coruna, Galicia
Iglesia de San Jorge (Church of Saint George) with its beautiful Baroque facade.

4. Ciudad Vieja (Old Town)

While in La Coruna, don’t miss the chance to explore the medieval cobblestone streets of Ciudad Vieja (Old Town), situated only 1 km/0.60 miles or a 15-minute walk from the dock, near Saint Anton Castle.

Besides quaint tapas bars and restaurants, in the Old Town you’ll find charming historic buildings, monuments and landmarks, including the churches Santa Maria do Campo, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Convento de Santa Bárbara and the 12th century Iglesia de Santiago. The best views of the harbour are from the historic San Carlos Garden (Jardín de San Carlos), a verdant, quiet garden dating from the 14th century.

5. Shopping, Wine and Food Tasting

I’ve been to La Coruna many times and this is one of my favorite ports of call for shopping (besides Cartagena, my number 1) and eating out.

Only a 5-10 minutes walking distance from the port of La Coruna, you’ll find Rúa Real with its beautiful galerias, offering a variety of gift shops, clothing and shoe stores, and a few blocks away, Rúa Orzán that has the best bars and restaurants. The famous beach, Playa del Orzán, is located only a few minutes’ walk from the street.

Rúa Real (La Coruna)
Rúa Real with its gorgeous galerias.

Galicia is known for its award-winning wineries, vineyards and wine cellars spread across the region. If you want to try the region’s premium wines, you should book one of the wine tours offered by local tour agencies or your cruise line. I joined a wine and food pairing led by a sommelier at Hotel NH Collection A Coruña Finisterre as part of a cruise ship shore excursion, and the overall experience was amazing. This hotel is located next to the Marina, only a 5-minute walking distance from the dock.

La Coruna wine tasting
Wine tasting at Hotel NH Collection A Coruña Finisterre.

6. La Coruna Beaches

La Coruna boasts a beautiful, long coast ideal for activities such as biking, segway or rollerblading. If you come in the summertime, you can surf, play volleyball or sunbathe on the wide, urban Playa del Orzán, backed by a waterfront promenade offering fantastic views of the bay. Another popular beach is Playa de Riazor, situated next to it, perfect for walking or running.

Octopus sculpture in La Coruna
Octopus sculpture is a scenic spot on La Coruna’s coast. In the distance, you can spot The Tower of Hercules.

7. Gardens of Méndez Núñez

Only 750 meters from the cruise terminal (upon exiting, turn left), this lovely landscaped park dating from 1868 features old trees, colorful flower beds, fountains and sculptures, as well as areas for kids and walking. It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Public toilets and a coffee shop are available for visitors.

8. Aquarium Finisterrae

Aquarium Finisterrae is a public interactive science center that opened in 1999 and is dedicated to wildlife preservation, particularly the sea ecosystem and sea life. Here you can encounter and interact with the marine underwater life of Galicia’s coast and the Atlantic Ocean, including seals, sharks, rays and other types of fish.

The Aquarium features various interactive exhibits and fascinating exhibition rooms including Sala Nautilus, the most spectacular one, designed to offer an authentic emotional experience. The whole place is very scenic, offering unique views of the coast and marine life. The general admission fee is 10€/adults, 4€/children.

9. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the Galicia region, located 76 km/47 miles (a 50-minute drive) from La Coruna cruise port. The fascinating medieval city is known as the final destination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and the 11th-century Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela which is the reputed burial place of the Biblical apostle St. James.

The Cathedral boasts an impressive Western facade that overlooks Praza do Obradoiro (“Square of the Workshop”), the main square of Santiago de Compostela old town that is also surrounded by the university and a few more important buildings.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

The medieval Old Town is filled with restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and landmarks such as the Museum of Pilgrimage, Mosteiro de San Paio de Antealtares (medieval church and monastery & a museum of historic art), Praza da Quintana de Vivos (a square behind the Cathedral), Mercado de Abastos (traditional market), and other medieval churches and monuments.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The view of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral from Praza da Quintana de Vivos.

Useful info:

  • The medieval Old Town is a pedestrian-only zone. The parking lot where the tour buses drop passengers off is located a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral and main landmarks. Taxis and private vehicles can get closer to the downtown.
  • The medieval Old Town is cobblestone, the streets are narrow and wheelchair users may find it difficult to handle.
  • Find out more about the opening hours and the prices on https://catedraldesantiago.es/

Check out Santiago de Compostela tours from La Coruna

10. Betanzos

Nestled in a fertile valley 27 km/16.7 miles (a 25-minute drive) southeast of La Coruna, Betanzos is one of the best-preserved old towns in Galicia and one of the stops on the English Way path of the Camino de Santiago.

Named “Brigantium” by the Romans, Betanzos sits on a hill on the mouth of the Betanzos estuary, where the sea mixes with the freshwaters of the Mandeo and Mendo rivers. Due to its architecture and historic heritage, the town was declared a Historic-Artistic Site.

Betanzos boasts three beautiful Gothic churches: Igrexa de San Francisco (St Francis Church) dating from the 14th century; Igrexa de Santiago (St James Church) built in the 15th century, famous for its main portal decorated with a horseback statue of Saint James; and Igrexa de Santa María do Azogue (Church of Santa María do Azogue) built between the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

Betanzos, St Francis Church
St Francis Church, Betanzos. Source: Wikimedia Commons

11. Lugo

Located on a hill on the banks of the river Miño, 103 km/64 miles (a 1-hour 10 minutes drive) southeast of La Coruna, the historic city of Lugo is the capital of the province of Lugo and the fourth most populous city in Galicia.

Lugo is surrounded by completely intact Roman walls (Muralla Romana de Lugo) built between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD to defend the city against local tribesmen and Germanic invaders. The walls are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and they reach the height of 15 meters (49 ft), spreading along a 2.117-meter (6.946 ft) circuit ringed with remaining 46 towers.

Lugo, Galicia, Spain
Lugo. Source: Pixabay.com

Nowadays, visitors can stroll along the whole length of the wall and admire beautiful views of the historic quarter inside the walls. The Old Town is filled with medieval buildings, squares, churches, among which the 12th century Lugo Cathedral, the Episcopal Palace and the City Hall of Lugo with its magnificent 18th century baroque façade stand out.

Visit Lugo from La Coruna

Wrapping Up

To get the most of La Coruna port of call, I suggest you plan your day ahead! The city is beautiful and accessible to explore, but if you decide to join a shore excursion to Santiago de Compostela, Betanzos or Lugo, a memorable day is guaranteed!

Read more about the ports of Spain in my article Ports of Spain: 20 Best Cities to Visit on a Cruise to Spain

Visit our cruise port guides for Alicante, Bilbao, Vigo, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga, Cadiz, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar, Lisbon


11 Best Things to Do in La Coruna Cruise Port
  1. Tower of Hercules
  2. Saint Anton Castle
  3. Maria Pita Square
  4. Ciudad Vieja
  5. Shopping, Wine and Food Tasting
  6. La Coruna Beaches
  7. Méndez Núñez Gardens
  8. Aquarium Finisterrae
  9. Santiago de Compostela
  10. Betanzos
  11. Lugo

You May Also Like:

What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 50 Cruise Essentials 

Top 25 Shore Excursion Packing List Items

Women’s Cruise Wear – Top Cruise Essentials for Ladies

20 Gift Ideas for Cruisers

Best of the Canary Islands Cruise 

Lanzarote Cruise Port Guide

Cruise Guides for Mediterranean Ports of Call

Don’t forget to subscribe below and get my exclusive, insider SHORE EXCURSION GUIDE FOR FREE!

Adventour Begins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you click on and/or make a purchase through a link to an Amazon affiliate link placed on our website, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

2 thoughts on “La Coruna Cruise Port Guide (Spain), Things to Do, Shore Excursions”

  1. Allison Hilburn

    I was just in La Coruna this past week. We did the wine tasting at the NH Collection hotel. Do you remember what brands the wines were that you did at your tasting?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top

We use cookies to improve your experience. By clicking “I Agree”, you accept our privacy policy. You can read more in our cookie notice more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close