Holiday Memories: Typical Souvenirs From Santiago

We all like to take home something special to remind us of that amazing holiday! What should you take home from the Galician capital? We think these typical souvenirs from Santiago fit the bill!

1. Pilgrim Protection!

Everywhere you go in the historic quarter of the city, you will undoubtedly find beautiful black stones winking at you from the shop windows. These are very typical souvenirs from Santiago because they are associated with the famous pilgrimage. Azabache or jet stone comes from the region. For centuries pilgrims have used this stone to protect them from any harm that could come to them during their pilgrimage. Santiago is very well-known for its skilled artisans who make stunning jewelry from this semi-precious stone. So take a piece of this gemstone back home with you to remind you of your days under the Galician sun!

Azabache or Jet stone was traditionally mined around the north of Spain. It's a great typical souvenir from Santiago.
A gorgeous piece of jet stone jewellery! Photo Credit: Detlef Thomas

2. All That Glitters Is Not Gold!

Santiago was famous for its silversmiths who created fantastic ornaments and jewellery near the cathedral. There is even a square on one side of the cathedral that is called the Praza das Praterías or Square of the Silversmiths! There were many artisans working in that area during the Middle Ages, creating beautiful items for passing noblemen! All these centuries later, there are still many shops around the cathedral that sell silver. It’s a great typical souvenir to take away from Santiago.

3. Something Sweet

You can’t visit Santiago and not try the city’s most famous dessert! A treat for almond-lovers; the tarta de Santiago is made from ground almonds, eggs, sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and lemon zest. A simple but delicious cake that you can take home beautifully packaged for friends and family to have a taste of your Galician holiday! We love the gift boxes of individually-sized tarta de Santiago cakes from Pasteleria Mercedes Mora.

Address: Rua Vilar, 50

Why not try some Tarta de Santiago on your trip to the region; it's one of the most typical desserts from Galicia!
Delicious tarta de Santiago!

4. Leather, Leather, Leather

Santiago’s skilled leather craftspeople produce beautiful bags, purses, bracelets, belts and much more! There’s always a lovely display of leather goods at the local craft market on Rua Nova. You can choose something very special and one-of-a-kind to remember your trip by, and of course, pick up a typical souvenir from Santiago for your friends too!

5. Scallops: The True Symbol of Santiago

From the restaurant menus to the shops, scallops are plentiful in Galicia! They’re especially important because of their meaning for pilgrims coming to Santiago. The scallop shell is the symbol of Santiago’s camino or pilgrimage. When Saint James’s body came ashore on the Galician coast, the beach was littered with scallop shells. The grooves on the shell also represent the different routes to get to Santiago as a pilgrim. So, don’t be left out, and take home one of the many scallop shells available in the shops for a souvenir with centuries of history behind it!

Scallops were used by pilgrims throughout the centuries as a symbol of the Camino de Santiago or Way of Saint James. But you don't have to be a pilgrim to take one home with you! It's a fantastic typical souvenir from Santiago!
A traditional souvenir from Santiago!

You’ll probably be hungry after all that shopping! Join us on an Insider’s Tapas & Wine Tour where we’ll taste the best local specialities in family-run, historic places. We’ll also learn about Galician wine from an expert and taste a few of them as well! With tours available Monday to Saturday, there’s lots of opportunities to join in the fun!

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