Bagpipes, cider, great kings, and tasty stews- can you guess the place with these references? One might think of a city in Wales or Ireland, but I am actually referring to Oviedo in Asturias, Spain.
If you’re planning a trip to Northern Spain, Oviedo is the perfect cozy destination located between Galicia and Cantabria.
In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to plan your itinerary and make the most of your trip to this charming city.
Let’s get to it!
What is Oviedo in Spain?
Oviedo is an ancient city that has been around since the 8th century and is located in the beautiful autonomous region of Asturias. According to historians, the Asturian region was inhabited by Celtic tribes before Oviedo was founded. The city’s origin can be traced back to 761 AD when two priests established it.
Just like in the past, today oviedo still is the capital of Asturias and it home to a population of approximately 225,000 residents as of 2022. This city strikes the perfcet balance between a busy city life and a quite village.
For instance, the city’s Cathedral of San Salvador, which dates back to the 9th century, is a remarkable example of pre-Romanesque architecture. In addition, the city’s historic center, which has plenty UNESCO World Heritage Site, Oviedo is nice destination for a good city detox.
Best Things to Do in Oviedo
1. Explore the Historic Old Town (Casco Antiguo) of Oviedo
One of the best things to do in Oviedo is explore the Old Town. Since the city center is primarily pedestrian, visitors can easily walk everywhere while enjoying fresh air.
In the Old Town of the city, you will find many landmarks such as the Plaza de la Constitución, the Cathedral of San Salvador, the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias, and more than a hundred sculptures of famous people such as Woody Allen, or just silhouettes of daily life actions such as “La Torera.”
2. Visit the Campoamor Theater (Teatro Campoamor)
This is a neoclassical building constructed in 1900 to host opera shows, representing the growth of the bourgeoisie in Oviedo.
3. Discover the San Francisco Park (Parque San Francisco)
San Francisco Park is a cool spot to take a walk and chill under the trees. It’s located right in the heart of the city, and you can find the Mafalda culture there. You know, that famous Argentinian comic character created by Quino, who won the Asturian Prize back in 2014.
4. Visit the Mercado de El Fontán and try culinary delights!
The El Fontán Market is located on the site of a former dry lagoon that existed before the 13th century. After the devastating fire of 1521, the municipality of Oviedo decided to establish a weekly market to boost the economy.
In the 19th century, the current building was designed and constructed to accommodate numerous merchants. Today, visitors can explore the market and taste some of Oviedo’s delicacies, such as cider, fabada, or the famous cachopo!
5. Visit the Pre-Romanesque Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias
As mentioned, Oviedo was founded alongside the Kingdom of Asturias when King Pelayo freed the territory from the Muslims. This means that Asturias has existed since the 8th century, and plenty of well-conserved landmarks allow people to get a glimpse of life at the beginning of the autonomous region.
Some of the landmarks you must visit are:
- Santa Maria del Naranco (building)
- San Miguel de Lillo (church)
- Santa Cristina de Lena (church)
- San Julián de los Pradoos (basilica)
- Camara Santa Chapel
- La Foncalada (fountain)
All of the previous Pre-Romanesque structures are UNESCO World Heritage Sites worth visiting during your trip.
6. Day Trip to Gijón
Gijón is a cool coastal city located along the Bay of Biscay. It has a long history dating back to Roman times, but now it’s a modern hub of cultural events, amazing food, and stunning beaches.
Going from Oviedo to Gijón takes 20 minutes by bus, and the tickets are as good as 6 euros round trip!!!
If you want to include this in your trip, check out the following activities:
- Morning Stroll at Playa de San Lorenzo
- Explore the Old Town (Cimavilla)
- Visit Museo Evaristo Valle
- Lunch at Cervigón Market
- Explore Jardín Botánico Atlántico
- Discover Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura
- Evening at Plaza Mayor
- Visit Gijón Marina and Seaside Promenade
7. Day Trip in Cudillero
Cudillero is a quiet fishing village in the coast of Asturias; traveling from Oviedo this village takes 1h30, and the ticket price varies from 9 to 15 euros round trip.
Cudillero is known for its unique architecture - brightly colored houses built on steep hillsides overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It’s so cool that it’s also called “The Amphitheater of the Sea.”
Fishing has been the main activity in Cudillero for centuries, and you can easily see it in the bustling harbor, where colorful fishing boats float in the water. Knowing this, you must eat seafood in Cudillero!
There is not much to do in Cudillero, mainly strolling through the coast, enjoying the views, and regaining some inner peace.
To read more about cute towns in Spain, check the following featured article:
How to Get to Oviedo
The Airport of Asturias is the one that corresponds to the city of Oviedo, and it is located closer to the coast, 40 minutes away by bus and car from our main city.
So, a flight Madrid-Oviedo round trip costs approximately 71 euros for 1h15 minutes traveling, while the direct bus costs around 74 euros for 5h15 minutes on the road.
If you decide to rent a car and drive from Madrid, the time would be 4h28, and the rental price will depend on the type of car.
Mechanic cars are usually cheaper than automatic ones.
If you are traveling from Barcelona, the best decision you make is just to take an airplane, and if you are traveling the North and find yourself in places like Pamplona or Bilbao, it is best to rent a car or go by bus.
Best Time to Visit Oviedo
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To enjoy the city at its best, you must travel during Spring and Fall. In those months the weather is mild, you will get some sunny days with lots of fresh air. In the fall, it might get too rainy, though!
Summer is also a great time to visit Oviedo as the city doesn’t get horrendously warm. Still, I would advise changing Oviedo for Gijón, Cudillero, or Ribadesella, which are cute coastal cities and towns with great beaches.
Where to Eat in Oviedo
Brunch & Coffee
Pioneros Coffee Roasters is a specialty cafe located in the C. Marqués de Pidal, 21, seven minutes away by foot from the San Francisco Park. There, you will find a crazy good coffee menu and some delicious food, such as avo toast, Spanish tomato toast, and sandwiches.
If you’re looking to taste traditional Asturian dishes, don’t miss out on the Fabada (bean stew) or the Cachopo (beef steak with ham and cheese), and of course, the sidra! And you can find all of this dishes in the restaurant El Fartuquín.
If we take as a reference the San Francisco Park, this restaurant is 10 minutes away by foot in the street Carpio, 19.
If you want to try a different dinner, go to the restaurant “El Loco del Pelo Rojo” and try a fushion cuisine from different parts of the world.
The restaurant is located a bit further away from the center, but perfect to reach by foot, yuo can find it in Fruela street, 3.
Where to Stay in Oviedo
If you are looking for a luxurious stay in Oviedo, you can opt for the Eurostar Palacio de Cristal hotel, which is situated just a 10-minute walk away from the historic center. For an average of €160 per night, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, a spacious and impeccably clean room, and a trendy lounge area.
Hotel Clarin is a 3-star hotel located in the center of Oviedo. For €90 per night, you can enjoy a comfortable and cozy room in an excellent location. According to Booking.com, this hotel is highly recommended for couples. Additionally, if you prefer not to have breakfast at the hotel, you could visit Pioneros Coffee Roasters, which is just a 7-minute walk away.
If you’re searching for a small and comfortable hostel situated in the heart of Oviedo, La Hospedería de Oviedo is an excellent option. For just €50 per night, you can enjoy a lovely room with magnificent views of the city center. This hostel has received outstanding reviews for its amiable staff, cleanliness, and facilities. Additionally, it is conveniently located adjacent to Gascona Street.
If you want to try some authentic Asturian cider, take a stroll down Gascona Street - you’ll find the best bars for sidra there!
Map of Oviedo
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Oviedo?
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How much money you need for your trip to Oviedo depends on many things, such as how many people are traveling, the type of activities you want to do, accommodation, the duration of your stay, restaurants, and most importantly, the time of year.
To help you more accurately, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email! Share the details of your desired trip to Spain, and we will provide you with a price estimate and offer local advice for all your travel needs.
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That’s it for Oviedo! However, Asturias has so much more to offer, and you can keep discovering activities through our blog.