Welcome to Ourense, a beautiful city located in the northwestern part of Spain. With this itinerary, we’ll show you the best places to visit, where to eat and sleep, and how to make the most of your three days here. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Ourense has something for everyone. Let’s get started!
Day 1: Exploring the City Center
On your first day in Ourense, we recommend starting with a walk through the city center. Take in the beautiful architecture, explore the shops and cafes, and get a feel for the local atmosphere. Here are some of the most important places you shouldn’t miss:
- Ourense Cathedral – This stunning cathedral is one of the main attractions in the city. Built in the 12th century, it features a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles.
- Plaza Mayor – Located in the heart of the city, this lively square is surrounded by restaurants and bars, making it the perfect spot for a coffee or a drink.
- San Francisco Monastery – This beautiful monastery is a must-visit for history buffs. It dates back to the 13th century and features a mix of Gothic and Baroque styles.
- Ponte Vella – This ancient bridge over the Miño River dates back to Roman times and is a great spot for photos.
After a morning of sightseeing, it’s time for some lunch. For an authentic Ourense experience, head to a traditional gallega restaurant, where you can try local specialties like octopus, pork, and empanadas. We recommend Restaurante Galileo, located in the city center.
In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Cidade Vella, or Old Town. This historic neighborhood is filled with narrow streets, quaint shops, and charming cafes. Some of the highlights include:
- Plaza de la Trinidad – This picturesque square is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. It’s surrounded by historic buildings and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
- Church of Santa Eufemia – This lovely church dates back to the 13th century and features a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles.
- Alameda Park – This lovely park is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It features beautiful gardens, a small lake, and plenty of benches to relax on.
For dinner, head back to the city center and try A Taberna do Trasno, a cozy restaurant that specializes in traditional Galician cuisine.
Day 2: Exploring the Surrounding Area
On your second day in Ourense, it’s time to venture outside the city and explore the beautiful countryside. There are several routes you can take, depending on your interests. Here are some options:
- Ribeira Sacra – This stunning region is known for its steep river canyons, vineyards, and historic monasteries. Take a boat ride on the Sil River, visit the Monastery of Santo Estevo de Rivas de Sil, and sample some local wines.
- Termas de Outariz – These natural hot springs are located just a few kilometers from the city center and are a great place to relax and unwind. There are several outdoor pools with different temperatures, as well as a spa and restaurant.
- Celanova Monastery – This beautiful monastery dates back to the 10th century and features a mix of Romanesque and Baroque styles. It’s located about 30 kilometers from Ourense and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.
For lunch, stop at one of the many mesones (traditional restaurants) along the way and try some local dishes like cocido (a hearty stew) or lacón con grelos (pork with turnip greens).
In the afternoon, head back to Ourense and visit the Pazo de Oca-Valladares, a beautiful country estate located just outside the city. The estate features a stunning garden with fountains, statues, and exotic plants. It’s a great place to relax and take in the scenery.
For dinner, try Casa Solla, a Michelin-starred restaurant located in the nearby town of Poio. The restaurant is known for its innovative Galician cuisine and beautiful setting.
Day 3: Free Tours and Hidden Gems
On your final day in Ourense, we recommend taking a free tour to discover some of the city’s hidden gems. These tours are led by local volunteers and are a great way to learn more about the history and culture of the city. Here are some options:
- Free Walking Tour – This tour takes you through the city center and covers the main landmarks and monuments.
- Food Tour – This tour takes you to some of the best local markets and shops, where you can sample traditional Galician delicacies.
- Street Art Tour – This tour takes you off the beaten path and shows you some of the most impressive street art in the city.
After the tour, head to the As Burgas hot springs, located in the heart of the city. These natural hot springs have been used for centuries for their healing properties and are a must-visit for anyone visiting Ourense.
For lunch, try A Taberna de Cañizo, a cozy restaurant that serves delicious tapas and Galician dishes.
In the afternoon, take a stroll along the Miño River, which runs through the city. You’ll find several parks and gardens along the way, as well as great views of the city.
For your final dinner in Ourense, head to Casa Juanito, a family-owned restaurant that serves delicious grilled meats and seafood.
Where to Sleep in Ourense
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Ourense, there are several options to choose from. Here are some of our top picks:
Parador de Santo Estevo
This stunning hotel is located in a historic monastery and features beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Hotel Carrís Cardenal Quevedo
This modern hotel is located in the city center and features comfortable rooms and great amenities.
Hotel NH Ourense
This contemporary hotel is located near the train station and features stylish rooms and a great restaurant.
Where to Eat in Ourense
Ourense is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:
- A Taberna do Trasno – This cozy restaurant in the city center serves traditional Galician dishes with a modern twist.
- Casa Solla – This Michelin-starred restaurant in nearby Poio is known for its innovative Galician cuisine and beautiful setting.
- A Taberna de Cañizo – This popular tapas bar is a great place to try some of the best local delicacies.
- Casa Juanito – This family-owned restaurant serves delicious grilled meats and seafood in a cozy setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time to visit Ourense? – The best time to visit Ourense is from May to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
- How do I get to Ourense? – You can fly into Santiago de Compostela or Vigo and then take a train or bus to Ourense.
- What are the main attractions in Ourense? – Some of the main attractions in Ourense include the cathedral, the old town, and the hot springs.
- Is Ourense a safe city? – Yes, Ourense is a safe city with low crime rates.
Ourense is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just want to relax, Ourense has something for everyone. We hope this itinerary has helped you plan your trip and make the most of your three days here. For more information, visit the official tourism website of the city of Ourense at http://www.turismourense.com.