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A Coruña (in Spanish: La Coruña) is the economic heart of Galicia, and the second largest city of this region. It also used to be the capital of the region, but in 1982 that shifted to Santiago de Compostela. A Coruña is located on the Atlantic Ocean and the local tourist board came up with the slogan Balcony of the Atlantic to promote this. The old city lies on a peninsula and the more modern parts of the city spread out onto the mainland.
A Coruña is divided in 5 parishes, and into several smaller suburbs. Cidade Vella (the Old Town) and A Mariña (the Marine) are the most visited and popular with tourists.
The Tower of Hercules is a Roman lighthouse that stands 2.4 kilometres outside of A Coruña for already more than 1900 years. It is the oldest, still functioning lighthouse in the world. In 1791 the original lighthouse that was 34 metres high, was renovated, and another 21 metres were added. In 2009 the Hercules tower was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower can also be seen in the coat of arms of the city.
On the eastside of the stretch of land that leads to the old city, lie the beaches of Playa de Riazor, Playa del Orzan and Playa del Matadero. Many of the bars, restaurants and nightclubs can be found in the area of the Playa del Orzan. There are also a couple of smaller beaches, including one near to the Hercules tower, called Playa de la Lagoa.
Weather in this part of Spain is cooler and wetter compared to places to the south, east and central parts of the country. In general the summers are somewhat cooler and the winters milder, but have more rain throughout the year. Summers last from late May to September when temperatures are around 22 °C to 26 °C on average during the day while nights average around 12 °C to 15 °C. Winters are from late November to early March when it's about 10 °C to 15 °C during the day and nights are quite cold with 4 °C to 6 °C.
A Coruña Airport (LCG) which is also known as Alvedro Airport is located to the south east of the city. Iberia has flights from Madrid, Zaragoza and Bilbao, Vueling flies from Seville, Barcelona and London, and Air Europa from Madrid, while TAP Portugal flies from Lisbon to A Coruña.
A Coruña is connected by rail, check the website of Renfe, for timetables.
A Coruña lies at the end of the A-6 motorway that comes from Madrid, and the AP-9 which comes from Santiago de Compostela. When coming from France, passing the border at Irun, it's the fastest to use the A-8 passing San Sebastian, change to the AP-1 (or A-1) until Burgos where you switch to the A-231. At Leon you need to take the N-120, to finally connect to the A-6, which leads to A Coruña. If time is not a problem, you can also take the coastal route (following the A-8) which passes cities like San Sebastian, Bilboa, Santander and Gijon.
Although A Coruña is a port there are no ferry connections to the city. It is however visited by a number of cruiseships.
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There is a tramline starting at the Playa de Riazor, which goes around the city following the costline, ending at the harbour.
|Husa Center||Gambrinus 14||Hotel||-|
|La Alianza Hostel||Riego de Agua 8 1º||Guesthouse||-|
|La Poetisa||Traversia Teirno Galvan, no:24. Acea da Ma Acea da Ma,||Guesthouse||89|
|Pension las Rias||San Andres 141, 2A IZ||Guesthouse||87|
Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.
In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.
The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.
If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.
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