Vigo is the largest city of Galicia. Yet it’s not the capital of Galicia, Vigo is not even the capital of it’s own province in Galicia. Vigo is located in the province of Pontevedra, which has the city of Pontevedra as province capital.
Largest fishing port of Europa
Vigo is a typical city of working people. Traditionally the work was done in the port, later also in the car industry. Fishing has always been important to the city, but when the technique of deep-freezing was developed, fishing in Vigo increased enormously. Thanks to deep freezing the fish could be frozen immediately after catching it and therefore stayed fresh for a longer period.
Fun fact: Vigo is the largest fishing port of Europa. It’s the biggest port for unloading of the massive freezer vessels that have been on the ocean for a long time catching fish. It’s definitely not only local Galician fish that enters the port of Vigo. Every day shiploads of fresh fish is coming in from over the whole world; swordfish from Chile, hake from Mauritania, calamari from the Falkland Islands and so on. In Vigo the deep frozen fish got transhipped into containers and then spread again over the whole world.
Did you know, in Vigo is located the largest fish producer of Spain, and even of Europa? It’s called Pescanova.
Fishing is not the only big industry in Vigo. There is also the car industry. From the 1970’s the car industry led to a substancial growth of the labour and thus the city. The French brand Citroen located a fabric in Vigo. Originally to save cost due to the low wages in the poor Galicia of that days. With the car industry the population in Vigo grew rapidly from the 1970’s till the end of the 20th century.
What to do in Vigo?
To be honest, Vigo is not the city you’ll plan your citytrip with the idea of staying in the city for a whole week. If you plan to visit the city one day will do. Do you have more time then just one day? In that case I recommend you to have a look outside the city. The nature around Vigo is beautiful. You don’t have to drive for hours to see beautiful nature, both on the coast as the mountains and forests inland. From Vigo you are also close to Portugal. Vigo is the southernmost major city of Galicia.
In the city you can go for a walk. Be prepared for some climbing and descending. I recommmend you to have a walk besides the coast and the port, you don’t have to leave the city center to see the port. You will hear and feel that you’re at the see and in a fishing city. Whistling gulls can be heard everywhere in the city.
Off course you can find some fresh fish in Vigo. Fish market O Berbés is worth a visit. High quality fish that is traded on auction by the locals. Nice to watch!
Shopping is also a nice activity in Vigo. For local handcrafts go to Cesteiros, one of the cities most popular shopping streets. Located in the old centre.
Do you like soccer? In that case you can visit the local soccer stadium Balaídos, the stadion Celta de Vigo. In Galicia there are two major clubs: Celta de Vigo en Deportiva from the city of A Coruña. Both have an intense rivalry.
Travelling to Vigo
Vigo does have an airport with daily flights to and from Barcelona and Madrid and other major Spanish cities.
You can also look for a direct flight to Santiago de Compostela or Oporto and take a transfer from one of those cities, in two hours you’ll be in Vigo.
Are you already in Galicia? Vigo is easily accessible by car, train or coach.