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Oviedo (Asturias)

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Oviedo [1] (Úvieu in Asturian) is a cathedral city, capital of Principality of Asturias, in Northern Spain. It has an interesting old town with various monuments listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Contents

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Airport of Asturias (IATA: OVD) is approximately 40km away from Oviedo. The airport is located on the outskirts of the town of Avilés. Asturias airport has flights to and from London Stansted, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, Milan and Rome, Basel and Zurich, and various destinations in Germany. In Spain there are flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla and the Canary Islands.

The bus is by far the cheapest way to get to Oviedo from the airport (5,80 euros). An ALSA coach will leave you in the Bus station, very close to the centre, with connections to local buses, taxis and the train station next to it. Buses are on the right as you exit the terminal and leave every hour from 6.00am to midnight. The journey takes from 40 to 50 minutes.

A taxi will cost around € 46 and take 20 to 25 minutes

By Coach[edit]

The Oviedo Coach Station (calle Pepe Cosmén, tel. +34 902499949) is located in the centre of town, next to the Oviedo train station. There are coach routes to most towns in Asturias and the North of Spain, as well as Madrid and some other Spanish large cities, like Sevilla and Barcelona. International coach routes link Oviedo daily with Paris, Brussels and Genève There is a Tourist Information Office at the bus station (tel. + 34 985117050).

By train[edit]

Oviedo train station (calle Pepe Cosmén) is on the west side of la Calle Úria (the center of the city), where there are many connecting local bus routes. There is also a taxi stand just outside the station. It is next to the coach station.

By car[edit]

There is a convenient ring-road,with various exits into Oviedo. There a places to chance, but they are not near, check directions before getting into A6. Lugones will be your easy option to return. To Oviedo, freeway will take by car in less than 20min to Gijón or Avilés.

Get around[edit]

The best way to get around is by walking.

Most of the center of the city can only be visited that way, because little motor traffic is allowed. Where traffic is possible, be prepared for jams and narrow passes, as sometimes parking is permitted on both sides of the road.

The local Buses (Autobuses Urbanos de Oviedo, tel. +34 985222422) are fairly reliable, and on every bus stop there is a screen with the time for arrival of the next bus. Almost all local buses go down Calle Uria. The single fare is €1.20 (children under 4 free).

There are plenty of taxis, although they are not cheap. Minimum charge is € 3.30. Although they can be found on taxi ranks and on the streets, you can contact one of two companies directly: Radio Taxi Ciudad de Oviedo (tel. +34 985250000) or Radio Taxi Principado (tel. +34 985252500); if you need to go from Oviedo to the airport. and from the airport to Oviedo, and you prefer taxi drivers who speak english; you can reserve it by email: contacta@taxioviedo.com, or by phone (+34 615980000). Final prices, taxes included in 2009 are 50€. If you prefer other companies, prices are from 53€

See[edit][add listing]

  • The old part of Oviedo is called the "Casco Antiguo". Wander along cobbled streets admiring its beautifully restored buildings and squares. Some of the most outstanding are the Velarde Palace (which hosts part of the Art Museum), the Town Hall, the plaza del Fontan,the Palace of Torero and the Palace of Camposagrado.
  • The old town also hosts Oviedo's splendid Cathedral of San Salvador. Although predominantly Gothic, some IXth century pre-Romanesque sections can still be seen.
  • The churches of San Miguel de Lillo and Santa Maria del Naranco are two quaint little pre-Romanesque churches, both on a hill just outside Oviedo, a short distance one from another. A regular local bus line will take you to both of them.
  • Museum of Fine Arts. Santa Ana, 1 and Rúa, 8 (open Tue-Sun, only mornings on Sun and holidays, free entrance, tel. +34 9852130619).
  • Museum of the Church. Corrada del Obispo (open Mo-Sat, free on Thursday afternoons, tel. +34 985203117).

The Tourist Information office is just next to plaza de la Constitución, just the other side of the archway under the Town Hall on the right (calle Cimadevilla, 4, open Mo-Sat, 10am-7pm, tel. +985213385, e-mail ofiturio@princast.es).

Do[edit][add listing]

There are plenty of local festivities, in which local food, folk groups and local costumes are the main attraction:

  • Fair of La Ascensión (variable date in May). It is a fair devoted to the countryside with an arts and crafts market, local produce and folk groups playing in the streets.
  • La Balesquida or Counryside Tuesday (first Tuesday of Whitsun). The main event is a procession that takes place in the square in front of the Cathedral, followed by the handing-out of bollu preñau (pronounced boyoo preniau), or sausage-filled bread.
  • La Foguera de San Juan. The night of the 23rd of June (St. John), bonfires are lit all over the city and in the square of the Cathedral. There is also a fountain-decorating contest.
  • Fiestas de San Mateo are mostly a cultural affair with plays and concerts scheduled for the week leading up to St-Mathew's Day. America Day in Asturias takes place on the 19th of September in honour of the Asturian emigrants. A procession takes place through the main streets. On St. Mathew's day itself (21st of september) there is a hand-out of bollu preñau and wine.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The old-town is full of small traditional shops. There is an open-air market in the main square on most days, which is worth a look. The traditional covered maket is close to the Plaza de la Constitucion. Close to the covered market there are various shops that sell traditional foodstuff and cider. There are also various large shopping malls in Oviedo. The shopping malls offer uninterrupted shopping hours, from 10am to about 9PM. Other shops and businesses in Spain tend to close from 2pm-5pm:

  • Parque Principado, which is located just outside Oviedo. The L1 long "bendy" bus goes from Calle Uria in central Oviedo and takes about 20 minutes to get to El Parque Principado, with stops along the way. Once at El Parque Principado, you have about 110 shops, with the flagship hypermarket Eroski flanking one end, and an eclectic range of restaurants, 11-screen cinema, bowling alley, children's amusements on the other end. Parque Principado is situated in a sprawling industrial estate, which also boasts specialited stores such as MediaMarkt, PC World, AKI (a DIY superstore), Conforama for furniture and an IKEA.
  • There is another shopping mall called Los Prados which can be reached by bus no. 2,4,7 and 11. These buses can be caught from central Oviedo. This mall has Asturias' only IMAX theatre offering movies in 3D, as well as a traditional 14-screen cinema. The range of shops is not as impressive as that of Parque Principado, however.
  • The main shopping mall in central Oviedo is Salesas, which houses Spain's main department store El Corte Ingles, a huge supermarket Hipercor, as well as various fashion outlets.
  • There is a large shopping mall called Modoo which has a number of chain retail outlets such as Primark, H&M, C&A as well as other shops. It also has a number of restaurants, such as Wok serving Chinese and Japanese food buffet style, a German restaurant with a wide selection of beers available, an Italian restaurants and a number of fast food restaurant. The mall also houses a large supermarket.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are many places to eat in the old-town, both indoors and in small secluded squares such as El Fontán or Trascorrales, to name just two. Down calle Gascona you will be able to get a decent set menu for around €10. The set menu (menú del día) may not be on the menu you are given, so you may have to ask.

Typical dishes of Oviedo are those common to all of Asturias. The Fabada Asturiana is a bean stew with a reputation all over Spain that is worth trying (maybe not in the evening!). Fish and shellfish are of great quality. A local cheese, cabrales, also has an excellent reputation, especially if you like strong flavours. Less known are the gamoneu and casin cheeses. Asturias also has a tradition for rice pudding (arroz con leche).

Drink[edit][add listing]

Cider (sidra) is something that should not be missed. The cider you will find in Asturias is natural cider and has a reputation all over Spain. Drinking cider in Asturias is a ritual in itself: it is poured from on high in order to incorporate air into the cider as it falls from the bottle to the glass. When you get your glass of cider it will be naturally fizzy. You are meant to drink in one gulp what the waiter offers you, leaving a little in the base of the glass. You then pour what's left out of the glass and hand the glass back to the waiter, who will pour another glass for someone else. Don't worry, though, he only ever pours about 2 mouthfuls at a time! Be aware that cider pouring is a messy business and the floor will get very, very wet and sticky (which is why the floors of sidrerías are covered in sawdust).

In many other bars and restaurants there is cider available. Look out for signs saying "Sidrería" or "Chigre". The best place to find a number of Sidrerías bz far is La Calle Gascona {100 mts from the Cathedral}. There are also plenty of wine bars close to Gascona street, on Calle Jovellanos. Do not miss El Patio de la Naranjas with friendly staff, good wine and tapas.

Ca Beleño at Calle Martínez Vigil 4, is popular with people interested in Irish, Asturian and Celtic music. Unusually for Spain, it also has an in-house brewery.

Bar El Olivar (which does not display its name outside), at Calle Oscura 1, has good music, atmosphere and occasional art shows.

In the past bars used to close very late, but now there is a time schedule: Su-Th - bars close at 3:00am, discos close at 5:00am. Fri-Sat - bars close at 5:30am, discos close at 7:00am.

There are mainly 3 areas:

  • El Cristo. In this area you can find mostly bars and pubs, and some after hour. Mostly middle age people in their 30s and 40s.
  • El Rosal. It is where large numbers of youth go on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings (3pm to 10pm). Once the adolescents have left, youngsters in their early 20s will take their place.
  • La calle Mon. The vast majority of people end their night in this narrow and noisy street. People here are usually in their 20s and 30s. Erasmus students can be regularly found in "El Escondite" and on Tuesdays in the "Asturiano", for the Erasmusquiz.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are plenty of hotels of all categories in and near the old-town. If you are traveling by car, you might want to consider staying in a dwelling in a smaller village nearby (casas de aldea). There are two hostels in Oviedo:

  • Oviedo Youth Hostel “Ramón Menéndez Pidal”. Juan de Clavería, 14, tel. +34 986966570.
  • ”El Salvador” Pilgrims Hostel (for those doing the Camino de Santiago). San Fedro Mestallón, 1. tel. +34 985228525.

Oviedo Hotels (City Centre)[edit]

  • M hotel Oviedo (Hotel in Oviedo city centre with Spa and Sushi bar), C/Comandante Vallespin, +34 985 27 40 60 (, fax: +34 985 23 78 09), [2]. From 80 €.  edit
  • Libretto hotel Oviedo (City centre hotel in Oviedo with Spa and Sushi bar), C/Marques de Santa Cruz, 13, +34 985 20 20 04 (, fax: +34 985 22 15 54), [3]. From 80 €.  edit
  • NH Principado, San Francisco, 6, +34.98.5217792 [4]. Located in the historical and commercial centre of the city, a few meters from the Cathedral, of gothic style, the Campoamor Theatre, the entrance scene of for the prizes for Prince of Asturias and infront of the Historical Building of the University of Oviedo.

Get out[edit]

Asturias is full of coastal and mountain villages all worth visiting and spending some time in. The other major towns in the are are Gijón, a lively coastal town, with a beach worth visiting, and Avilés. The Picos de Europa National Park, on the other hand, is a great place for hiking and climbing.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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