Spain/Galicia: Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela rivals Jerusalem and Rome when it comes to religious significance and Christian pilgrimage – supposedly the remains of one of the 12 apostles somehow made it here (James is lovingly called Santiago in Spanish). Devout Christians from all over Europe make a land journey across the entire Iberian peninsula – hiking, biking, walking, and sometimes even crawling – to make it to the Catedral de Santiago aka Cathedral of St James. The massive two-towers cathedral dominates the city soaring above the broad squares (even on a rainy day). Inside, there are massive vaults and lavish decorations, a lot of gilded stuff, and the relics of St James that you have to stand in a long line to get to glance at. And anywhere you go in town – you are bound to run into hike-hardened, backpack-laden, heavy-boots-wearing, hostel-seeking pilgrims.