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Oviedo (Asturias)

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Revision as of 18:53, 29 September 2007 by DavidSaldanaSage (talk | contribs)
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Oviedo [1] 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.

Get in

By plane

Airport of Asturias (IATA: OVD) is approximately 40km away from Oviedo. The airport is located on the outskirts of the town of Aviles. 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.

By Coach

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).

By train

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.

By car

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.

Get around

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 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 Musem), the Town Hall, theplaza 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


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.


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:

  • "El 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. El 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 El 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 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:

  • El Cristo. It is most bars and pubs, and some after hour. Mostly middle age people. (30's, 40's...)
  • El Rosal. It is where large numbers of youths 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. It is here that most people end their night, after being on El Rosal. People here are usually in their 20s and 30s. Erasmus students can be regularly found in "El Escondite" and on Tuesdays in the "Asturiana", for the Erasmusquiz.


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:

  • 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.

Get out

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.

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