Where to buy the Credencial for the Camino de Santiago

Tips to do the Camino

Where to buy the Credencial for the Camino de Santiago


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The Credencial or Pilgrim's Passport is one of the most important features of the Camino de Santiago. No walker or cyclist should start the Camino without it, since it is the document that accredits us as pilgrims (also known as the Credential).

Both personal and non-transferable, the Credencial grants us access to hostels and allows us to complete the Compostela, serving as irrefutable proof of our pilgrimage to Santiago. Today we shall clarify some of the issues regarding its origin, function and use, as well as where the Camino de Santiago Passport can be obtained.

What is the Credencial or Pilgrim's Passport?
The origin of the Credencial goes back to the Middle Ages, when every pilgrim was given a letter of safe passage that allowed them to travel freely and without risk along the Camino de Santiago. Since then this document has developed into a type of guide in which the pilgrim can record their journey.  

Where can I get the Credencial?
Many pilgrims ask where or how they can buy the Credencial. There are a number of options available: the Passport can be obtained via the different Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de España (in Spanish), via associations abroad, in hostels and parish churches, and in the Brotherhoods of the Santiago Apostle.  You can view the list here. Don't worry if you have still not obtained your Credencial when starting the Camino de Santiago. It can usually be provided at the first hostel or at tourist offices located at key points on the Jacobean Route. The price of the Camino de Santiago Passport ranges between 50¢ and €2. It can be obtained free of charge in hostels managed by the Friends of the Way Associations and in their local offices, in exchange for a donation for their efforts to maintain and improve the Camino. 

In addition, pilgrims can apply for the Passport at the Oficina del Peregrino, located just a few metres from Santiago Cathedral at 33 Rúa Carretas. If you have any questions, you can contact us by email at or

How do you use the Camino de Santiago Credencial?
The first page of the Credencial is used to fill out the pilgrim's details as well as displaying the stamp of the issuing body.  The remainder of the document is filled with blank boxes which the pilgrim must use to collect the stamps that serve as proof of passage through the different stages of the Camino.

These stamps can be obtained in hostels, Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino, parish churches... and also at Correos. At certain branches you can even get special postmarks displaying images of iconic places from the area alongside the date of passage.

You can collect as many stamps as you want, although in order to present the Compostela upon arrival at Santiago Cathedral, there is a minimum requirement of having had your Credencial stamped twice daily throughout the last 100 kilometres for pilgrims travelling on foot or on horseback, and throughout the last 200 kilometres for those who travel the Camino by bicycle. 

What is the Credencial for?
The Credencial for the Camino de Santiago serves a double function. On the one hand, it is the document that accredits us as pilgrims and grants us access to hostels. On the other hand, we can use it to complete the Compostela (which some also call Compostelana), the document that proves that you have completed the Christian pilgrimage by visiting the tomb of the Santiago Apostle. 

Digital Credential

One of the novelties of the next Holy Year will be the launch of the Digital Credential. As of January 1, 2021, coinciding with the start of Xacobeo 2021, the Santiago Cathedral will launch this digital certificate that can be managed through a mobile app. Like the traditional Credential, the pilgrim must obtain two daily stamps that certify their Camino a Santiago, but, in this case, through QR code captures. You can read more about this system in this article.

How do you get the Compostela?
To receive the Compostela your Credencial must show that you have completed at least the last 100 kilometres to Santiago on foot or horseback, or at least the last 200 kilometres by bicycle. However, it isn't necessary to have completed the Camino in one go, but all locations must be accounted for. As such, we can undertake the Route in sections as long as it is taken up again from the place we left off.  Skipping any stages between distances of 100km (200 km by bike) would not be considered a completion of the Compostela.

Other certifications for the Camino de Santiago

The Compostela is the only document that certifies the pilgrimage to Santiago. However, there are other certifications that may also be of interest to the pilgrim:

  • Credential stamp booklet . If you love stamp collecting or if you simply want a unique keepsake from the Camino, at Correos we have the Credential Stamp Booklet (Credencial filatélica) which includes 15 iconic stamps from the Camino de Santiago Francés. This credential can be stamped in much the same way as the official Credencial in hostels, parish churches, Friends of the Way Associations ... and at the Post Office, where we have special postmarks for tourists. 
  • Fisterrana and Muxiana. Pilgrims who decide to extend their Camino to Fisterra or Muxia, or who simply opt for this Camino, may also obtain a pilgrimage certificate. To do this they must continue to have their Credencial stamped up until their destination, or to obtain a new one if they need more space to do so. The process is the same as with the Compostela: two daily stamps will be required as proof of passage through each stage. Certificates will be issued at the hostel in Fisterra and at the Muxia tourist office itself.
  • Distance certificate. Since March 2014, the Pilgrim's Office has issued a Distance Certificate, a document which certifies the number of kilometres covered, regardless of where the pilgrimage began. This details the starting point and time, the number of kilometres covered, as well as the day on which you arrived and on which route you have completed your pilgrimage. It is somewhat larger than the Compostela, is printed on parchment paper and is decorated with a Latin phrase and a miniature from the Calixtino Codex. Pilgrims who have already completed their pilgrimage at an earlier date can also request a backdated copy at

Margo Treacy
Hi we are arriving at Saint Jean de port tomorrow to start our 1st part of Camino. We got our passorts from Camino office in our own country. Do we get it stamped in Saint Jean de port as we start and where do we get it stamped please. We are really looking forward to our trip. Thank you for your advice

El camino con correos
Hi Margo! Yes, you have to stamp them to know from where you have started the Camino. You can get it stamped at the office of the Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de los Pirineos Atlánticos and in some bars or restaurants you can also get it stamped. Regards and Buen Camino!

Hi, can one have both the paper version and the digital version of the credential?

El camino con correos
Hello, Rose. Yes, both versions are compatible. Buen Camino!

Clint Chircop
2015 i lost my certificate for the camino ive done... can i have a copy from santigo?

El camino con correos
Hi Clint! The best option is to ask the pilgrim's office: +34 981 568 846 or Buen Camino!

Hagop Araklian
Dear Sir, since the current situation is a bit complicated and what I see each community makes its own rules. So I wonder if it is a good idea to make the Camino passing the Basque Country? Are they going to allow us to walk the Camino? And to generalize the question, from which Spanish Comunidad can we make the Camino without restrictions? Thanks in advance :)

El camino con correos
Hi! Right now it is possible to do any route of the Camino de Santiago without restrictions. Unless the situation due to Covid-19 gets much worse, you can do the Camino del Norte without problem. Buen Camino!

Hi, I am considering walking the Camino starting in the Netherlands, this summer. I'd like to obtain my credentials, though I am wondering if there is any option to receive stamps along the way in NL, BE and FR. What do you recommend? Thanks in advance, Marnix

El camino con correos
Hi Marnix! The best thing is that you contact an Association of Friends of the Camino. They can help you. Buen Camino!

dekkers willy
goedendag ik zou in ergens in oktober willen vertrekken vanuit Ribadeo , de camino do mar volgen in 12 etapes tot FERROL , en vanaf FERROL dan de camino inglish volgen tot compostela !heb inlichtingen gekregen van toerisme Ribadeo met beschrijving route en medegedeeld gekregen ook onderdak op die camino ! in 2013 reeds de volledige norte gedaan vanuit Bayonne (fr) wacht zolang mogelijk af, om credencial aan te vragen want moet rekening houden met wanneer ik vlucht heb ! naar bilbao of santiago ! zou mijn 7de droom worden !!maar nu nog revalideren voor mijn nieuwe knie ! vriendelijke groetjes uit diest

El camino con correos
Buen Camino!

Good day, I'm looking at sending my father in June or July, we are from South Africa. And hold EU Portuguese passports, is it possible to him to obtain the credecial in South Africa or that side ather

El camino con correos
When you arrive in Portugal you can get the Credential at any pilgrim hostel or church on the Camino. In South Africa you can try the Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa. This is the web:

Dylan Kelly
Hi guys how do I get a credential in Dublin , Ireland?

El camino con correos
Hi Dylan. In Dublin you can take your Credential in the The Irish Society of Friends of St. James Address: c/o 13, Ardoyne House, Pembroke Park Dublin – 4. Email: Web:

Can I get a Credencial in the United States before flying to Spain? Thanks!

El camino con correos
Hi, Kim. Yes, you can get a Credencial in USA. The best option is contact to American Pilgrims. I am sure you have to a local chapter in your region. This is the contact: ¡Buen Camino!

Dale Picot-de Kretser
I want to start from Ferrol(flying from London to Ferrol) so how can I get my credential in advance, please?

El camino con correos
Hi! If you want to get the Credential in London, the best option is to contact the Confraternity of Saint James. This is your contact: +44 (0) 20 7928 9988 or mail: Buen Camino!

Gust Cambré
I want to start my Camino in Belgium. Where do I get a Credencial outside of Spain, and will it be possibel to have it stamped all the way through southern Belgium and all of France in order to prove the distance travelled?

El camino con correos
Hi Gust! In Belgium you can contact with an Association of Pilgrims to get the Credencial. These are the main: As. des Amis de St. Jacques Chemin des Ajoncs 2. 5100 – Wépion. Asociation des Amis de St. Jacques 121 Bd. Auguste Reyers. 1040 – Bruxelles. Vlaams Genootschap van Santiago de Compostela Varkensstraat 6 B 2800 – Mechelen mail: Web: You can stamp your Credencial in Belgium and France. Any stamp is valid. Buen Camino!

Michael McCaul
Can I get a Credencial from anywhere in Reina Unido ?

El camino con correos
Hi Michael. The best option is to contact the Confraternity of Saint James. This is your contact: +44 (0) 20 7928 9988 or mail: Buen Camino!

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