During 2019 a total of 347.511 Compostela certificates were sealed at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago de Compostela. This caused huge queues and many pilgrims had to wait more than 2 hours to get the official certificate of their pilgrimage. In anticipation of the celebration of the Xaccobeo year in 2021 and the subsequent increase of visitors the Pilgrim Office installed a new online system to receive the Compostela certificate. This way they intend to minimise the waiting time and improve queue management.
With the new system, you first have to take a turn to apply for the Compostela Certificate at the Pilgrim Office. The number of turns is limited so we highly recommend you to arrive early in the morning so you make sure you get a number for the same day. If the numbers run out you will have to wait until the next day and if you already have your return flight booked, as it is usually the case, you may not be able to get your certificate. Keep in mind that it is not possible to apply for the Compostela certificate online or by phone thus it is essential to know how the new system works.
And detailed below is how works the new system to get your Compostela certificate.
Only a few meters away from the Cathedral at Rúa das Carretas nº 33 is located the Pilgrim Office open from 10.30 am until 6.30 pm. You must enter the waiting room and take a number at the ticket machine. The ticket machine is located in the waiting room that can be found downstairs after you pass a courtyard. Once you get the ticket you can see it has a QR code printed on it, it can be scanned with the camera of your mobile phone. Once scanned it will show you in real-time the number that is being attended, this will allow you to know the status of the queue and anticipate at what time you must arrive at the office, thus crowds will be avoided and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the city in the meantime.
Even though if you wish to you can wait in the waiting room, they have screens where they show the current turn number and the desk number where you will be attended.
*As we mentioned previously it is important that you keep in mind that during the high influx of pilgrims you may not be able to collect your Compostela certificate on the same day.
The Pilgrim Office will remain closed on 25 December, Christmas Day, and the 1st of January, New Year’s Day. If you arrive at Santiago on those days after completing your Camino de Santiago you can get the Compostela certificate at the Sacristy of the Cathedral
If you have any doubts or questions you can reach our team at Galician Roots and we will be happy to assist you.
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