Things to do in Oviedo, Spain

It’s in between the Cantabrian Cordillera and the Biscay’s bay that Oviedo stands. This medieval city is the capital of Asturias, one of the most popular regions in the north of Spain. With a unique landscape, surrounded by Gothic monuments and some of the highest mountains, Oviedo is a must-visit.

King Alfonso II founded this city as the Asturias’ capital back in the 9th century. The narrow pedestrian streets remain to this day, creating a magical atmosphere and the architecture reflects Oviedo’s ancient heritage.

Beyond its cultural landmarks, the city is renowned for its refreshing cider. It’s worth exploring the old town and visiting Campo San Francisco, one of Oviedo’s largest green spaces. Stroll around this vibrant city and prepare for some delicious local delicacies and the famous tapas. Plan your visit in advance with our list of things to do in Oviedo.

One Day in Oviedo

Morning: Campo San Francisco

Campo San Francisco is a green oasis in Oviedo. The park, built on an old vegetable plot, belonged to the San Francisco Convent and was converted into a public space in the 1800s. Today, visitors are welcome to stroll around its romantic pathways.

There’s a large pond, as well as fountains and old ruins, including a 13th-century archway from the San Isidro Church, which survived a demolition in the 1920s.

It’s also here that you can meet many famous statues like the one of Mafalda, the star of the well-known Argentine Comic satire.

Mercado El Fontán

From the park, make your way to the Mercado El Fontán. The striking 19th-century façade stands out with its greenish iron structure and stunning glass windows. Once you step inside, it’s hard not to notice the colourful food stands. Don’t be surprised by the vendors' bellowing, it’s all part of the experience. The market is the best place to buy Asturian specialities, such as cider and cheese. But you can also find meat, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. There’s also a famous flea market every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Museum of Fine Arts

Our tour continues with a visit to Oviedo’s Museum of Fine Arts. It’s divided into two buildings which are among the city’s finest palaces. The museum was inaugurated in 1980 and houses one of the best art collections in Spain. You can find anything from Dalí, Ribera, Miró, Picasso, El Greco and Goya.

Oviedo Cathedral

The Oviedo Cathedral is the starting point of the Camino Primitivo, one of the oldest paths of the Camino de Santiago. It was built between the 14th and 16th century, which is when the central tower was added. The result is a mix of two very different architectural styles, the Gothic and Baroque. Make sure to visit the UNESCO-protected chapel, which houses a piece of cloth said to have been placed around Jesus’s head after his death. Other highlights include two jewel-encrusted crosses.

Afternoon: Archaeological Museum

You can learn more about the city’s history at the Archaeological Museum. Housed in a 16th-century monastery, the building stands out with its striking stone façade. The collection includes skeletons, prehistoric (Roman and Gothic) artefacts, and even rhinoceros teeth. Some of the artefacts on display come with informative videos—but bear in mind that most of the explanations are in Spanish only. You can ask for English booklets at the entrance.

Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados

Also known as Santullano, this pre-Romanesque church was built during Alfonso II’s reign (AD 7991-842). The interior is very spacious and has a minimal decor with geometric and floral frescos.

La Foncalada

After visiting the church, take a walk back to the city centre, passing through La Foncalada. This historic fountain was built by King Alfonso III in the 9th century. Located outside the city walls of Oviedo, the fountain is so important that it’s considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. Keep an eye out for the Victory cross sculpture at the front.

Calle Gascona

You can’t leave Oviedo without sampling its delicious cider (sidra). It’s at Calle Gascona, also known as “Cider Boulevard” that you’ll find more than ten sidrerías where you can try this local drink. Waiters will pour the cider on your glass from (very) high above. This method allows the drink to oxygenate, giving it a sweeter taste. If you want to pair your cider with delicious tapas, head down to Tierra Astur Gascona, where you can try local hams and cheeses.

Teatro Campoamor

End the day with a visit to the Teatro Campoamor. This beautiful 19th-century theatre hosts many of Asturias cultural events, including the awards ceremony of the Prince of Asturias. Located between the Cathedral and Campo San Francisco, it’s the perfect place to catch an opera or classic plays.

Ticket prices depend on the seat you choose, but usually vary between €16 and €25. Make sure to check the schedules before you go.

Day Trips From Oviedo

  • Stone Churches: At Monte Naranco, about 3.5km northwest of Oviedo, you’ll find hidden stone churches that deserve a visit. Iglesia de Santa María del Naranco, Iglesia San Miguel de Lillo and Iglesia de Santa María de Bendones are all fine examples of the Asturian pre-Romanesque architecture.

  • Gijón: Located by the coast, Gijón is the largest city in Asturias (32km away from Oviedo). It features modern seafront promenades, lively restaurants and cultural landmarks. Among the main attractions is the Cerro de Santa Catarina, a clifftop park with an ancient fort and a sculpture by Spanish Basque artist Eduardo Chilida.

  • Covadonga: Covadonga is about 80km away from Oviedo. From high mountains to broad lakes, the town is surrounded by immense nature. Its 19th-century basilica is a must-visit, and it’s hard not to notice it emerging amid the hills.

  • Costa Verde: This stunning coastal stretch faces the Cantabrian sea and covers Asturias and part of the Basque country. Its endless beaches hide a true paradise. Besides the green mountains surrounding the coast, you can also pass by some picturesque towns, like Llanes, Ribadesella, Cudillero and Llastres.

  • Villaviciosa: Located 27km east of Gijón, this tiny town is famous for its cider, rivalling for the status of Asturias’ cider capital. Here, you can visit the Iglesia de Santa María and wander around the town’s 18th-century streets.

Top Things to Do With Kids in Oviedo

There are many things to do as a family in Oviedo. Kids will love playing around the Campo de San Francisco and sit down next to the Mafalda statue. A bit further out there’s the Parque de Invierno which offers a playground. You can spend the day touring the old town and take them to the lively local market for a taste of the local cuisine.

On the outskirts of Oviedo, there are other fun attractions including the Zoo el Bosque or the Senda Verde, a cycling and hiking trail that begins at Parque de Invierno and continues along the river through wooded paths.

Where to Eat in Oviedo

Beyond tapas, Oviedo’s cuisine features delicious cheeses and grilled meats. Of course, you can’t leave the city without drinking a proper cider. At Calle Gascona, also known as “The Cider Boulevard”, you’ll find more than a dozen sidrerías (cider houses) to choose from. Some of the most popular Asturian dishes include fabada (bean stew), cachopo (fried beef with cheese and ham), bollos preñaos (small chorizo bread) and Cabrales cheese. For dessert, order the frixuelos (sweet crepes). Below are some of the best places to eat in Oviedo where you can sample some of these dishes and more:

  • La Finca Sidrería Agrobar: La Finca is so much more than a bar. Here you can try cider, tapas and classic Asturian cuisine all in one go. The products are 100% Asturian, and there are options for vegetarians, plus others without gluten or lactose. The aubergine with pesto and cheese and the Asturian sausage board are to die for.

  • Tierra Astur: Another sidrería where you can grab a bite to eat, Tierra Astur has many branches across Asturias. Sit on one of the wooden benches and admire the hanging glass bottles on the ceiling while you wait for the menu. When the waiter comes ask for the house specialities: fabada, tortillas and grilled meats.

  • El Fondín de Trascorrales: Located at Plaza Trascorrales, this restaurant prepares all its dishes with fresh seasonal products. The menu varies, but you can always count on meat and fish dishes, such as the sautéed rock octopus with clams and prawns. Other delicacies include grilled cheeses and also vegetarian options.

  • Casa Fermín: This is not your typical Spanish restaurant. If you’re looking for a whole new gastronomic experience, Casa Fermín is the place to go. Here you can expect molecular gastronomy and plates with artistic presentations. The most popular dishes include mussels with green garlic and apple foam, wild mushrooms with pumpkin and oysters with passion fruit.

Where to Stay In Oviedo

  • Eurostars Hotel de La Reconquista (5 stars): A historic building turned into a luxury hotel. Expect nothing but the most opulent decoration, big rooms and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Guests can work out at the hotel’s gym and enjoy the buffet breakfast. There is also a gourmet restaurant and a bar serving free sidra to customers.

  • Barceló Oviedo Cervantes (5 stars): Barceló is located in the heart of Oviedo near the Cathedral. It’s impossible not to notice this five-star hotel and its historic burgundy façade. Inside, the rooms are spacious with oversized beds and a modern decor. There’s also a restaurant and a bar on-site.

  • Hotel & Spa Princesa Munia (4 stars): If you’re looking for a hotel with a spa in the centre of Oviedo, this is your best bet. The rooms are very spacious and decorated in natural tones. Guests can enjoy a hydromassage pool and rain showers at the spa. There are also rooms for massages and other treatments.

Best Time to Visit Oviedo

The best time to visit Oviedo is when there’s little to no rainfall. The perfect time would be between May and September when the weather is warm enough to wander around the city. Oviedo is not as warm as other cities in Spain, and the highest average temperature in August is around 22ºC. If you visit during the Fiestas de San Mateo in September, you’ll be able to enjoy a lively atmosphere with concerts and theatre shows.

Oviedo Festivals

  • Feria de la Ascensión de Oviedo: This local festival celebrates the Ascensión, which happens 40 days after Easter Sunday, in May or June. It includes plenty of activities such as street markets, crafts, folklore, music and dance.

  • Fiestas de San Mateo: San Mateo is one of the most important festivals in Oviedo, marking the end of summer. It happens every September, and it’s been like that since the 15th century when Pope Eugene IV inaugurated the event. You can count on open-air bars, free concerts, barbecues and fireworks.

Oviedo Tour Map

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