Ciudad Vieja

Shady plazas, charming old churches, hilly cobbled lanes and a scattering of cafes and bars fill A Coruña's compact original nucleus, at the southern tip of the northern promontory. Start from stately Plaza de María Pita and make your way through the labyrinth to the 16th-century Castillo de San Antón, the fort guarding the entrance to the port, which now houses the Museo Arqueológico e Histórico.

Interesting stops en route include the Iglesia de Santiago; the Casa Museo María Pita, home of a local heroine who inspired the defeat of an English invasion force in 1589; and the Xardín de San Carlos, where English general Sir John Moore, who died fighting in alliance with the Spanish in 1809, lies buried.