Our opinion of A Coruna City
The first thing that hits you about the of A Coruna is its scale, at least compared to most of Galicia's other large conurbations – it is big. Our first port of call was the "Tower of Hercules", the famous lighthouse that sits on an elevated position and offers panoramic views of the city. These views and its location give you a first sense of A Corunna's overall size. Left, a view looking along the winding bay side area with its 9 km long promenade and marina.
The second impression is that this is a far more modern city than Santiago de Compostela or Lugo, but that is not to say that it does not have history, it is simply that many of the and areas extend historically up to the 19th and early 20th centuries, rather than being held in a medieval time warp.
In terms of sight seeing attractions, A Coruna definitely has them and again they run from a 2000 year old , which is genuinely awe inspiring, to the relatively recent "glass fronted" harbour – or so it appears when the sun hits it!
The harbour, and harbour front area, with its long and impressive promenade are high points of Coruna city and a ride on one of the trams was a personal highlight for me. We suffered from time, or a lack of it, and would ideally have liked to spend a further day in A Coruna in order to do it justice. As a result we never got round to seeing everything we would have liked to visit. To the right is a photo of the port side "castillo de San Anton" taken at dusk.
The city's was, if not a disappointment, one that had few monumental icons to promote it. That however is not to say that it is not worth a visit, or that it has little to offer, but A Coruna is no Santiago de Compostela in the medieval stakes. Getting around also requires a fair bit of walking, or the use of some transport. This is not a city with all its interesting places crammed together in one tight location.
When you are new to a city getting information quickly and conveniently starts the day off well and finding Tourist offices was easy – there are plenty of them and the staff we met spoke good English and were helpful.
Else where we did, for the first time in Galicia, encounter an if not hostile, very anti British (possibly foreigner) attitude. Ordinarily I would put this down to someone having a bad day, but it was made quite clear to us that it was our nationality that was the problem and an email experience with another native of Coruna makes me conclude that the English (and possibly Americans too) are not universally liked in this city. Generally however, we found the people of A Coruna just like those in the rest of Galicia.
Should you visit A Coruna?
The answer depends on a variety of factors. We liked this city, but we certainly felt that it did not represent the stereotype most foreigners have of Galicia. It does not impact you as an ancient city, or one steeped in history, although in real terms it probably has more than most. It also has a modern feel that some "culture" tourists may not warm to and the many cruise ships that port there use it purely as an embarkation point from which to make day trips to Santiago de Compostela. That said, the best way we can sum A Coruna up is to say that we are looking forward to visiting it again, preferably for a longer period of time.