14 Fun things to do in Oviedo

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Oviedo is the capital of the province of Asturias and is one of the most important cities to visit for pilgrims who walk the northern Camino de Santiago. Oviedo is loved by many travelers for its history and culture that you can discover in this city.

In this article, you can read the best travel tips for Oviedo, Spain. Oviedo is unfortunately not as well known as other popular cities in Spain, but you will be amazed that it has a lot to offer! Curious about what are the fun things to do in Oviedo? Continue reading because we explain everything you need to know.

Things to do in Oviedo

Fun things to do in Oviedo?

There are many fun things to do in Oviedo and its surroundings. Use the below map to see where all the best things in Oviedo are located. Click on the right top corner to view the map bigger. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the map you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you reach your destination.

#1 Visit the Pilgrim Cathedral San Salvador

At Plaza de la Catedral is located the San Salvador Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral built in 751. This is one of the most important places pilgrims pass when walking Camino de Santiago. At cathedral San Salvador is the road to Santiago de Compostela started. During the reign of the Pius king Alfonso II the Strong, the road of St. James acquired an expression: ‘Who goes to Santiago but not to Salvador, visits the servant but not the Lord’. This indicates that visiting the San Salvador Cathedral is more important than Santiago de Compostela.

The cathedral is worth a visit because when standing on the square you will be amazed by this impressive building. Inside you can follow an audio tour. It is an instructive and fun way to learn about ​​the history of the cathedral. In addition, during the tour, you will visit several rooms with magnificent relics. Even if you are not a culture lover, it is still interesting to look inside because the building, the columns, the interior, and all the details will amaze you.

San Salvador

#2 Plaza del Fontan

Plaza del Fontan is an awesome square to discover right in the center of the historic center. The square is very old, it resembles an old Roman courtyard. Around the square, you can see typical Roman arches, nice restaurants, and several cider houses. Casa Ramón is the only building in its original state, the other buildings have all been rebuilt.

Take a seat at one of the restaurants and enjoy a drink. All dining options are more than fine. We stayed at Casa Ramón because we wanted to have a drink in the oldest building.

Plaza del Fontan

#3 Mercado El Fontán

One of the things you must do when you are in Spain is to visit a covered market. In Oviedo, you can visit a typical Spanish market called El Fontán. The El Fontán market is located in an old building where they sell fruit, vegetables, and meat since the 13th century.

The best thing to do is walk through the market and enjoy what you see. It is a great place to see how locals do their shopping here. Of course, you can also buy some vegetables or snacks at one of the stalls.

Mercado El Fontán

Where to stay in Oviedo

Close to Oviedo Cathedral, you find Gran Hotel España which is highly recommended to stay! The location is perfect because you are right in the center. The rooms are big and you can enjoy a typical Spanish breakfast in the morning. The hotel is highly appreciated by other travelers. Check current prices and availability here.

If you want to stay in the center and Gran Hotel España is fully booked, Soho Boutique Oviedo is recommended. This hotel is located in an authentic building that is very popular for its luxurious rooms. Check here for availability and prices.

If you travel by car, it is recommended to stay at Hotel Palacio de Asturias. This hotel has a free parking lot. It is located on the edge of the city center. This hotel is less luxurious than the above two, but it is still a great place to stay. An additional advantage when you travel by car is that you quickly pay €25 per day in the center to park the car, you save these costs by staying here. Check here the prices when you travel by car.

#4 Plaza de la Constitución

Plaza de la Constitución is located next to Plaza de Catedral and is for sure one the most beautiful squares in Oviedo. For the locals, these squares are very important because the history of Oviedo has started here. When you are on the square, two buildings get your attention, namely the imposing town hall and the church.

Because this square has been a transit point on the Camino de Santiago for centuries, much trade has taken place here. In the past, to gain access to the city, it was necessary to use Puerta de Cimadevilla, which is now integrated into the city hall. Outside of the town hall used to be the stalls located. With this piece of history in mind, it is wonderful to see the town hall, the gate, and the streets with your own eyes.

In addition, the church of San Isidoro el Real is an important building for Oviedo, as this church was demolished to build the Fontán market. Due to a fire in 1521, there was not a lot of food in Oviedo. The emperor then decided to use parts of the church to build the market to provide people with food and drink. Since that time, the Church of San Isidoro has been very important to the people of Oviedo. Unfortunately, it is not possible to visit the church. Nevertheless, you can enjoy the building with an impressive tower from the outside.

Tip: tourist office is located at Plaza de la Constitución, useful if you want to receive detailed information about a particular sightseen in Oviedo.

Plaza de la Constitución

#5 Plaza de la Escandelara

Between the historic center and the commercial center, you will find Plaza de la Escandelara. A nice square that you will discover when you are in Oviedo. In this square, you can see some beautiful sights. For example, you can see a statue of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Fernando Botero has a very unique style. He captures people out of proportion, which creates an amazing statue. The buildings around this square are beautiful with a fountain in the middle. Casa Conde is different in comparison to the other buildings because it is built in 1904 and inspired by the French architectural style.

From this square, you can visit the city park Compo de San Francisco which is close by.

Plaza de la Escandelara

#6 Iglesia Santa Maria del Naranco

One of the most important structures in Oviedo and perhaps all of Spain is Iglesia de Santa Maria del Naranco. This is a pre-Romanesque building on Mount Naranco just outside the center of Oviedo. Originally it is a palace with a religious function that was built in 848. This church is a precursor of the Roman architectural style. The building is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is worth a visit. It is recommended to walk from the center to this complex. You can also use the bus but both take +/- 30 minutes.

Tip: when you are at Iglesia Santa Maria del Naranco you can also visit San Miguel de Lillo. This is another old church which is 3 minutes walk from each other.

#7 Campo de San Francisco

In the historic center, you can find a park called Compo de San Francisco. It is a special park because there is still an old monastery and several authentic statues can be seen. You can also discover a botanical garden and beautiful fountains here. Great place to walk through and escape for a while from the city.

If you’re in Oviedo during local celebrations, this park is one of the best places to visit. You can read more about this at the next point #8.

#8 Enjoy the local celebrations of Oviedo

One of the best things to do in Oviedo is to enjoy the local celebrations with the people of Oviedo. Spain has many holidays, but the period between September 15 and September 21 is the best period for Oviedo because there are parties all over the city. In this week festivals are organized to celebrate the city Oviedo and region, Asturias. We were lucky enough to attend one of these local parties during this time, if you can be in Oviedo during this period you are lucky!

Oviedo local

#9 Museums

If you like to visit museums, the Museo Arqueológico de Asturias and Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias are recommended. Admission is free to both museums.

Museo Arqueológico de Asturias can be found in the former Benedictine monastery that dates back to the 16th century. This building alone has enough history to impress many visitors. In this archaeological museum, you can see treasures from prehistoric times to early modern times from the city and the region. Great museum to visit for people that are interested in archaeology.

Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias is one of the best museums in Spain that focuses on fine art with mainly paintings predominating. You can find more than 15,000 pieces here with works by well-known artists such as Goya, Picasso, and Dalí. Recommended for people that love paintings.

#10 Plaza Trascorrales

Another square in the center of Oviedo that is worth visiting is Plaza Trascorrales. In this square, you will find many old houses in different colors. This square clearly shows what the local architectural style was like at the time. Many parts of Oviedo were previously built in the same way.

Another thing that stands out is the statues La Lechera. The statue is a tribute to the women who worked as milkmaids until the 1970s. In the past, milk was sold in this way in the city together with a donkey.

#11 Walk part of Camino de Santiago

What could be more fun than being a pilgrim for a day. You can easily do this by walking a small part of the Camino de Santiago. It is advisable to do this through an organization because you do not have to arrange transport and an official pilgrim passport yourself. From the cathedral of Oviedo, follow the signs of the route and then arrive outside the city and get to know the countryside of northern Spain. In addition, the advantage of a tour is that the guide can give you a lot of information about the Camino de Santiago. Read more information here.

#12 Enjoy the local cuisine

In the historic center, you have many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the cuisine of Asturias. Our favorite eatery is Tierra Astur. This restaurant is one of the best cider houses in Oviedo. In addition to the traditional cider, you can enjoy the local cuisine here. There is a lot of choices so you may have to come a second time to try your favorite dishes. The portions are large so you don’t need an appetizer. We ordered fabada and ‘Cachopo de ternera asturiana IGP relleno de jamón especial de la casa y queso de los Oscos’. This is a kind of cordon bleu only it is strong in taste because of the meat and cheese.

When we were in Oviedo there we enjoyed some churros that we bought at Plaza de la Cathedral. If the stall is not there, you’ll probably come across one while walking through the city. During our walks, we saw a few of these stalls.

Churros

The four activities below are located outside Oviedo and are highly recommended to do when you are in Oviedo.

#13 Go hiking in Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa is one of the most beautiful natural parks in Spain and is worth a visit. If you are a nature lover this is the place to go. The best thing to do is to do a couple of hikes in Picos de Europa. Open our article about Picos de Europa to know more. We have written down our experience in detail and shared all our tips. In addition, we hope to inspire you with the photos of Picos de Europa to start hiking in Picos de Europa.

Picos de Europa hike aliva

#14 Mirador de Cueva

Do you love nature and do you want an amazing view over the sea? If so, a visit to Mirador de Cueva is highly recommended. Here you can see part of the beautiful northern coastline. It’s very easy, drive in 45 minutes from Oviedo to the village of Oviñana. At the parking lot Mirador de Cueva you can immediately enjoy the impressive view. You can also walk along the beach and visit the lighthouse Cabo Vidío. You can easily combine the mirador with a visit to Cudillero, which is 10 minutes apart.

Mirador de Cueva

#15 Visit Cudillero

Cudillero is a nice fishing village with many small streets with old buildings. Many restaurants are located in these streets where you can eat deliciously. When you visit Cudillero during lunchtime you can enjoy some fresh fish at one of the restaurants. We recommended Casa Mari – Sidrería.

Cudillero is best known for the beach where the sand seems to be silver. This beach lies between a rock formation that has the shape of an amphitheater. Cudillero is a must if you want to visit a local old fishing village and eat fresh fish in the afternoon.

#16 Day trip to Gijon

North of Oviedo on the coast is the port town of Gijon, a nice place to spend at least a morning. You can easily travel by car or bus from the center of Oviedo to Gijon. Gijon is known for the long sandy beaches that can be admired by walking along the promenade. You can also discover a peninsula and a historic center. In the historic center, the fishing district of Cimadevilla (historic buildings), Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura (university), and Plaza Jovellanos (picturesque square) are places you want to see. Our personal favorite is Iglesia de San Pedro, a Catholic temple built right along the coast. It is recommended to visit the temple because of the architectural style. When we were inside we got the feeling as if we were in a church of the Templars.

Gijon

How many days do you need for Oviedo?

Oviedo is a city where you can discover a lot of history and culture, in 1 day / 2 nights you have enough time to discover the main sights of Oviedo. We recommend that you stay 2 days / 3 nights in Oviedo so that you can also do the activities from this list that are outside the city. We stayed 2 days in Oviedo to discover the city and the surrounding area and recommended you to do the same.

Tip: during one of the two days it is recommended to visit Gijon in the morning and Cudillero and Mirador de Cueva in the afternoon.

Where to stay in Oviedo?

Oviedo is a popular city for many travelers, so there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. However, it is a challenge to find a place that you like and that is affordable. If you travel during the spring and summer periods, many accommodations are fully booked quickly. It is therefore highly recommended when you know when you are going to travel to Oviedo to immediately book the accommodation. If you use one of the links below you can change your reservation 24 hours in advance. This is very useful when your planning changes, so you retain your flexibility.

Close to Oviedo Cathedral, you find Gran Hotel España which is highly recommended to stay! The location is perfect because you are right in the center. The rooms are big and you can enjoy a typical Spanish breakfast in the morning. The hotel is highly appreciated by other travelers. Check current prices and availability here.

If you want to stay in the center and Gran Hotel España is fully booked, Soho Boutique Oviedo is recommended. This hotel is located in an authentic building that is very popular for its luxurious rooms. Check here for availability and prices.

If you travel by car, it is recommended to stay at Hotel Palacio de Asturias. This hotel has a free parking lot. It is located on the edge of the city center. This hotel is less luxurious than the above two, but it is still a great place to stay. An additional advantage when you travel by car is that you quickly pay €25 per day in the center to park the car, you save these costs by staying here. Check here the prices when you travel by car.

Where to eat in Oviedo?

In the historic center, you have many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the cuisine of Asturias. At activity #12 you have read that our favorite restaurant is Tierra Astur. This restaurant is one of the best cider houses in Oviedo. In addition to the traditional cider, you can eat enjoy delicious dishes. The portions they give are large so you don’t need an appetizer. We have here fabada and ‘Cachopo de ternera asturiana IGP relleno de jamón especial de la casa y queso de los Oscos. This is a kind of cordon bleu, only it is strong in taste because of the meat and cheese.

In addition to Tierra Astur, it is advisable to walk in the same street and look at the different menus because here you will find many restaurants close to each other. We recommend, for example, La Sombra del Manzano, here you can enjoy a menu del dia in the afternoon for €10 per person. The gazpacho with apple is delicious!

If you are traveling through Spain for some time, it is also nice to eat something different. Tasty Poke Bar Oviedo is highly recommended, as the name suggests, here you can order healthy and delicious poke bowls. In this bar, you can put together your own poke bowl which is great. We ordered spicy tuna and salmon fire (€12.50 per bowl), definitely worth trying!

Tasty Poke Bar Oviedo

How to get to Oviedo?

Oviedo can be reached by plane, car, or public transport. The nearest airport is Asturias Airport, only domestic flights are operated here. If you want to fly to Oviedo from outside Spain you need to fly to Santander or León. At both airports, you can take a bus to Oviedo.

It is also possible to drive from a different country in Europa to Oviedo by car, but the distance is large. In order not to make the travel distance too big, you can first visit San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, and Picos de Europa. San Sebastian is located on the French border, minimizing long travel distances.

If you are in a city in Spain you can easily travel by train to Oviedo. Look here for more current travel information (you can also buy other public transport tickets via the link). From outside Spain, it is not recommended to travel by train to Oviedo because of the long travel time.

If you travel to Spain by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

What is the best period to visit Oviedo?

Oviedo can be visited all year round. The best period, on the other hand, is during the spring and summer period from April to September. Although this is the high season, these months are the best because of the pleasant temperatures. Due to the maritime climate, the autumn and winter periods can be cooler.

If you have the opportunity, the period from 15 to 21 September is recommended to visit Oviedo because festivals of Asturias and Oviedo are celebrated throughout the entire city. We were lucky enough to be in Oviedo during this period and can recommend it to anyone.

Want to see more of Spain?

There are many options to travel from Oviedo to other places in Spain. Are you following our Northern Spain road trip? If you follow our itinerary, Santander is your next destination. Read everything about what you can do in Santander here.

If you’re not following our Northern Spain itinerary, you can travel from Oviedo to Picos de Europa, Bilbao, San Sebastian, or La Rioja wine region. Read our articles about the destination in question by clicking on the link!

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