Best Things to Do in Oviedo – Your Ultimate Guide

Best Things to Do in Oviedo - Your Ultimate Guide

Welcome to our ultimate guide to discovering the best things to do in Oviedo! Located in the heart of Asturias, Oviedo is a charming city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through Oviedo‘s top attractions, cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, outdoor adventures, and hidden gems, as well as nearby day trips that are not to be missed. Whether you’re planning a short weekend getaway or a longer vacation, we’ve got you covered with practical tips and useful information to help you make the most of your trip. Let’s dive in!

Exploring Oviedo’s Historic Sites

Oviedo is a city with a rich history and fascinating architecture. There are many landmarks and historic sites to explore, each offering a glimpse of the past and insight into the city’s culture.

Exploring Oviedo's Historic Sites

The Cathedral of Oviedo

The Cathedral of Oviedo is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. This striking Gothic structure was built in the 14th century and features intricate detailing and stunning stained glass windows. Inside, visitors can marvel at the impressive altar and take in the peaceful atmosphere of this holy site.

The Campo de San Francisco Park

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some greenery in the heart of the city, the Campo de San Francisco Park is the perfect spot. This beautiful park has a long history and features fountains, sculptures, and plenty of benches to sit and soak up the atmosphere.

The Historic Old Town

The historic old town of Oviedo is a picturesque area with cobbled streets, charming buildings, and quaint squares. Take a stroll through the winding alleys and explore the many shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Plaza del Fontan, a bustling square that hosts a daily food market.

“The Cathedral of Oviedo is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.”

Other notable historic sites include the University of Oviedo, founded in 1608, and the Velarde Palace, a beautiful 17th-century building that now houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias.

No matter what your interests are, Oviedo’s rich history and architecture are sure to captivate and inspire you. Don’t miss the chance to explore these iconic landmarks during your visit to the city.

Immerse Yourself in Oviedo’s Culture

Oviedo is a city rich in cultural experiences that will leave you immersed in its charm. From its lively festivals to its museums, Oviedo has something for everyone.

Immerse Yourself in Oviedo's Culture

La Balesquida Procession

One of the most beloved and traditional events in Oviedo is the La Balesquida procession. Held on the Saturday following Ascension Day, this event features a parade where the statue of the Virgin Mary is carried through the streets of Oviedo in a beautiful procession. Locals dress up in traditional costumes and pay homage to the patron saint of Oviedo.

International Bagpipe Festival

If you’re interested in music, don’t miss the International Bagpipe Festival held in Oviedo every year. This festival features bagpipe players from all over the world who come to Oviedo to showcase their skills and compete in the annual contest. The festival also includes traditional music and dance performances, making it a must-see for culture enthusiasts.

Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias

If you prefer museums, the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias is a must-visit attraction in Oviedo. This museum has an impressive collection of Spanish art from the Middle Ages to modern times, as well as a selection of international works. You can also find local pieces from the Asturian region, giving you a flavor of the area’s artistic heritage.

Discover Oviedo’s Traditions

Oviedo has a rich history and many unique traditions that are still practiced today. For example, the city boasts a cider culture that is centuries old. Cider houses, or “sidrerías,” are characteristic establishments where visitors can taste the famous Asturian cider, poured in a very specific way, from high glasses in order to oxygenate it and bring out its full flavor.

Overall, Oviedo is a city that celebrates and cherishes its culture. Whether you’re interested in music, art, or local traditions, you’re sure to find something that captures your attention and enriches your experience in the city.

Indulge in Delicious Local Cuisine

When it comes to gastronomy, Oviedo has a lot to offer. The city is known for its traditional Asturian dishes, which are hearty and delicious. Visitors should not miss the opportunity to taste these local specialties during their trip to Oviedo.

Indulge in Delicious Local Cuisine
FoodDescriptionBest Places to Try
FabadaA bean stew made with Asturian white beans, spicy chorizo, and black pudding.Casa Chema, Tierra Astur, La Taberna del Zurdo
CachopoA breaded veal fillet stuffed with ham and cheese.El Raitán, La Botella, La Corte de Pelayo
SidraAsturian cider, traditionally poured from a height to aerate it.El Raitán, La Taberna del Zurdo, La Montera Picona

For those with a sweet tooth, Oviedo also offers a range of traditional desserts, including arroz con leche (rice pudding) and frixuelos (Asturian crepes).

Some of the best places to try these local specialties are Casa Chema, Tierra Astur, and El Raitán. Visitors who want to experience a local food market can head to Mercado del Fontán, where they can find a variety of fresh, local products.

Overall, Oviedo’s cuisine is sure to delight visitors with its rich and hearty flavors.

Outdoor Adventures in Oviedo

While Oviedo is a bustling city, nature lovers will find plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. From hiking to the beach, there’s something for everyone.

Outdoor Adventures in Oviedo

Hiking and Cycling in Monte Naranco

Monte Naranco is a mountain located just outside the city, offering stunning views and a variety of hiking and cycling trails. The most popular route is the climb to the top of Mount Naranco, where visitors can see the famous pre-Romanesque churches of Santa María del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Relaxing at San Lorenzo Beach

San Lorenzo Beach is located just a short distance from the city center, offering a relaxing escape from the urban bustle. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or taking a stroll along the 1.5-mile-long stretch of white sand.

Exploring Local Parks

Oviedo has several lovely parks to explore, including the Campo de San Francisco, which features a lake, fountains, and plenty of green space. Another popular option is the Parque de Invierno, which is perfect for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.

Visiting Picos de Europa National Park

The Picos de Europa National Park is located about an hour’s drive from Oviedo and features stunning mountain scenery and hiking trails for all levels of difficulty. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including wolves, bears, and eagles.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Oviedo has plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy.

Shopping and Entertainment in Oviedo

Aside from its historical and cultural attractions, Oviedo also offers plenty of options for shopping and entertainment. Whether you’re looking to pick up some souvenirs or have a fun night out, this charming city has something for everyone.

Shopping and Entertainment in Oviedo

Oviedo Shopping

One of the best areas to shop in Oviedo is Calle Uria, a bustling street with high-end stores and luxury brands. Here, you’ll find everything from chic clothing boutiques to gourmet food shops. For a more traditional shopping experience, head to the El Fontan Market, where you can browse local produce, meats, and cheeses.

Oviedo Entertainment

If you’re looking for entertainment options in Oviedo, there are plenty of theaters, cinemas, and nightlife spots to choose from. Teatro Campoamor is one of the city’s most renowned theaters, offering a packed calendar of concerts, operas, and ballets throughout the year. For a night out, check out the area around Calle Mon, which is filled with lively bars and clubs that stay open late into the night.

If you’re in the mood for something more relaxed, consider visiting Teatro Filarmónica, a historic music hall that hosts concerts and recitals from classical to contemporary music. Moreover, Oviedo is home to several cinemas which showcase a mix of Spanish and international films. Cinema Cinesa Intu Asturias is a popular choice, equipped with state-of-the-art screens and sound.

Day Trips from Oviedo

If you’ve already seen all the top attractions in Oviedo and are looking for more to explore, consider taking a day trip to one of the nearby destinations. Here are some suggestions:

1. Gijón

Located just 30 minutes away from Oviedo by car, Gijón is a bustling coastal city with beautiful beaches, seafood restaurants, and a lively cultural scene. Check out the Laboral Theatre, one of the largest cultural centers in Spain, or visit the Cerro de Santa Catalina for stunning views of the city and sea. Don’t miss the Elogio del Horizonte sculpture by Eduardo Chillida, which sits atop the hill.

2. Picos de Europa National Park

If you’re a nature lover, the Picos de Europa National Park is a must-visit destination. Just two hours away from Oviedo by car, the park is home to rugged mountain landscapes, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, horseback riding, or even skiing in the winter. Don’t forget your camera, as the views are breathtaking!

3. Avilés

Less than 30 minutes away from Oviedo by car, Avilés is a charming medieval town with a rich history and plenty of character. Check out the Centro Niemeyer, a modern cultural center designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, or visit the historic old town to admire the well-preserved Romanesque architecture. Make sure to try the local specialty, avilesino bean stew, while you’re there!

4. Cudillero

A picturesque fishing village located 45 minutes away from Oviedo by car, Cudillero is known for its colorful houses that climb up the hillside overlooking the sea. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants in the town or take a walk along the harbor to watch the fishing boats come in. Don’t miss the panoramic view of the village from the Mirador del Fito lookout!

5. Asturias Jurassic Museum

Located just outside of the town of Colunga, the Asturias Jurassic Museum is a fascinating destination for dinosaur enthusiasts. The museum showcases the rich paleontological history of the region, including a collection of dinosaur fossils and interactive exhibits that bring the prehistoric world to life. It’s just a 40-minute drive from Oviedo, making it a great option for a day trip.

Read More : Explore Oviedo, Spain: A Charming City with Rich History

Practical Tips for Organizing Your Trip to Oviedo

Are you planning a trip to Oviedo? Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Transportation

Oviedo has a well-connected bus and train network, making it easy to get around the city and nearby areas. The Asturias airport is just a short drive away from Oviedo, and there are regular bus services available.

If you prefer to explore the city on foot, keep in mind that Oviedo’s historic center is pedestrianized. Walking is a great way to discover the city’s many hidden gems and charming narrow streets.

Accommodations

It’s recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Oviedo offers a variety of options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Look for accommodations located in the city center, if you want to be close to the main attractions.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Oviedo is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. If you’re planning to visit during the summer months, be prepared for higher temperatures and crowds.

Money Matters

The official currency in Spain is the Euro. There are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices available throughout the city. Credit cards are accepted in most establishments, but it’s recommended to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases.

Language and Customs

The official language in Oviedo is Spanish. However, many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas. It’s always polite to learn a few basic phrases in Spanish, such as “hola” (hello) and “gracias” (thank you).

When dining out, it’s customary to leave a small tip (around 5-10% of the total bill). In Spain, lunch is usually served around 2 pm, and dinner is served late (between 9 pm and midnight).

Other Tips

  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, especially if you’re planning to spend time outdoors.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as there are many hills and stairs in Oviedo.
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions. Oviedo has a rich cultural heritage that is celebrated throughout the year.

By following these practical tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth and memorable trip to Oviedo.

Discover Oviedo’s Hidden Gems

While there are plenty of popular attractions in Oviedo, there are also some hidden gems that are worth discovering. These off-the-beaten-path spots offer a unique perspective of the city and provide a glimpse into the local culture. Here are a few places to consider adding to your Oviedo itinerary:

Azabache

If you’re interested in traditional Spanish jewelry, head to Azabache. This small shop specializes in jet jewelry and accessories, a material that has been used in Spain since the Roman times. You’ll find handmade pieces that are unique and high quality, perfect for a special souvenir or gift.

Cafe Paraiso

If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, check out Cafe Paraiso. Tucked away in a corner of the Plaza de Trascorrales, this cafe has a laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff. It’s a great place to relax and people-watch after a busy day of sightseeing.

La Vida en Verde

For a healthy and delicious meal, head to La Vida en Verde. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant offers a variety of fresh and flavorful dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and smoothie bowls. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, and the staff is happy to make recommendations if you’re not sure what to order.

Mirador del Naranco

For a panoramic view of Oviedo and the surrounding mountains, visit the Mirador del Naranco. This viewpoint is located on the top of Monte Naranco, where you can see the Monumental Ensemble of Naranco, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hike up to the viewpoint is steep, but the view is definitely worth it.

These are just a few examples of the hidden gems that Oviedo has to offer. Keep an eye out for interesting shops, cafes, and viewpoints as you explore the city – you never know what you might discover!

Frequently Asked Questions about Oviedo

Planning a trip to Oviedo? Here are some common questions that you might have before your visit:

What is the best time to visit Oviedo?

The best time to visit Oviedo is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) or fall (September to November).

What are some local customs or etiquette that I should be aware of?

In Oviedo, it is customary to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on each cheek. When dining out, it is considered polite to wait for everyone to be served before starting to eat. Also, keep in mind that smoking is banned in all public spaces, including restaurants and bars.

Is Oviedo a safe city for tourists?

Oviedo is generally a safe city for tourists, but it’s always important to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of petty crime. Keep your valuables secure, especially in crowded areas, and be wary of pickpockets. Also, avoid walking alone at night in deserted areas.

What is the currency in Oviedo?

The currency in Oviedo, and throughout Spain, is the euro (EUR). Most shops, restaurants, and hotels will accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand.

What is the best way to get around Oviedo?

Oviedo is a relatively small city, and most of the main sights and attractions are within walking distance of each other. However, if you need to travel further afield, there are plenty of options including taxis, buses, and rental cars. The local bus system is efficient and affordable, and there are also several taxi companies operating in the city.

Are there any festivals or events in Oviedo that I should plan my trip around?

Oviedo is known for its vibrant cultural scene, and there are several festivals and events throughout the year that are worth checking out. Some of the most popular include the International Bagpipe Festival in May, the La Balesquida procession in June, and the San Mateo celebrations in September.

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