Difference between revisions of "Oviedo (Asturias)"
Revision as of 18:54, 29 September 2007
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, Basil 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.
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. There is a Tourist Information Office at the bus station (tel. + 34 985117050).
Oviedo train station (calle Pepe Cosmén) is on the west side of la Calle Uria (the center of the city), where there are many connecting local bus routes. There is also a taxi rank just outside the station. It is next to the coach station.
There is a convenient ring-road,with various exits into Oviedo. Be careful not to go into the A6, because after Lugones there is no way to turn around before Gijon or Aviles.
The best way to get around is by walking.
Most of the centre 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 €0.85 (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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are plenty of local festivities, in which local food, folk groups and local costumes are the main attraction:
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 2am-5am:
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 me 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).
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.
In many other bars and restaurants there is cider available. Look out for signs saying "Sidreria" or "Chigre". The best place to find a number of Sidrerias is La Calle Gascona. There are also plenty of wine bars close to Gascona street, down Jovellanos.
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:
There are plenty of hotels of all categories in and near the old-town. If you are travelling 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:
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.