You don't have to be a pilgrim to enjoy the wonderful city of Santiago. Its historic centre is widely accepted as one of the most beautiful old towns in Spain, if not the world, and it is where visitors wish to spend most of their time. Wander through narrow streets among ancient stone buildings and be greeted by history at every turn. Santiago is considered to be one of the spiritual capitals of Christendom, on par almost with Jerusalem and the Vatican. The city has been shaped around the spot where the relics of the disciple James – Santiago – are said to be found in a field almost 1,000 years ago, sparking the religious pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. But Santiago has a modern side to it as well. It is home to over 40,000 students that breathe fresh life into the city, giving it lively nightlife and strong cultural and artistic tones. Add to that hip shopping and an innovative culinary scene, and you have one of northern Spain's most interesting and beautiful destinations.