Visite Santiago de Compostela, Spain: What to See and Sketch

The City of Santiago de Compostela is a perfect destination to draw to. Know the sketches and map with the top 10 places.

When I arrived to draw Santiago de Compostela, I barely knew how to work with watercolours. I used to experiment to understand which path I should follow.

Visite Santiago de Compostela, Spain: What to See and Sketch

The City of Santiago de Compostela is a perfect destination to draw to. There are so many interesting spots, full of history and shapes. The life that the city has, will not leave you indifferent. Whether it’s the pilgrims who emotionally arrive and invade the streets, or the nightlife that the students give.

The times I stayed overnight in the city centre, I had the advantage of being “two steps” away from everything. But I didn’t like it because of the noise of the nightlife. Look for accommodation a few kilometres from the centre to have a night away from the hustle and bustle.

San Martin Pinario Monastery

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Major Seminary and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

One of the drawings I most enjoyed doing in Santiago de Compostela was the Seminario Mayor or also known as the Monastery of San Martin Pinario. The drawing was first done in pencil to get the main shapes. Then I used a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen 0.5 to draw the line. As I had no experience with watercolours yet, I decided to place a wide yellowish tone stain and then, with a violet tone (red + blue), I placed the shadows.

The sketch ended up looking unfinished, fresh and expressive. It was a victory to reach this result and to be able to look back at the drawing satisfied. In this drawing I learnt how to combine colours and how simplified lines can bring more clarity to the eye.


The Cathedral of Santiago

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is one of the city’s icons and an incredible relojeiro job. As I was very intimidated by the semblance, I just made a shape cut out by the blue of the sky.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

As you can see, comparing the drawing with the photo I took, there was a lot more to draw if it wasn’t for the fact that, at this stage, I was at a loss as to what to put on the paper. I was joined in this drawing by a Spanish Urban Sketcher. Sitting on the walls and excited by the wonderful sunny day, we drew the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Curiously we did both drawings vertically, perhaps because we were afraid that not everything would fit on the sheet. Later, of course, we went to taste the beautiful tapas accompanied with a clara (beer with soda).

Park of San Domingos de Bonaval

Sketch Park of San Domingos de Bonaval, Santiago de Compostela
Sketch Park of San Domingos de Bonaval, Santiago de Compostela

After designing the centre, we went to a quieter area with a panoramic view of the city. The Parque de San Domingos de Bonaval is a good place to draw and delight in the sunset lighting up the rooftops of the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Other Places

Walking through the historic centre and finding narrow streets with arches and fountains was my favourite thing to do. But there are several points of interest that effectively make Santiago de Compostela more than the end of the “Camino de Santiago”.

Map with top 10 places

Click on the tab at the top left of the map to see the points of interest. You can click on the selection folders to hide or show the folders. If you click on the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.

If you click the star next to the map title, the map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click on the menu button, go to “My Places”, click on Maps, and you will see this map in your list.



Luís Simões
Luís Simões

In 2012 I started a World Sketching Tour and since then, this has been my lifestyle. More intense, more for others, more open on how to look and judge. The tour made me get out of routines and safe places, which often leave me numb just seeing life go by slowly. Sketching has aroused my curiosity for “what will it be like on the other side of the mountain?”.

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