It Rains In Spain

Guide to Oviedo

Oviedo      Gijon      Santander      The Picos de Europa

guide to oviedo spain

Introduction to Oviedo

Oviedo, as capital of the Principado de Asturias has always vied with Gijon for the title of top dog in the region. But that is where the similarities end. Oviedo is smart, snooty and very image conscious. With a population of not quite 250,000 Oviedo is a neat, compact city that can easily be navigated on foot, with all its main attractions within a easily reachable distance.

Oviedo has a majestically preserved centre, with notable examples of Northern Spanish architecture dominant in the alleys and picture-perfect squares of the casco antiguo (old town). If you happen to find yourself in Oviedo on a weeknight evening when all of the local shops have closed up for the day, one can imagine the medieval romance as you wander the streets alone, around tight corners and dimly light squares.

The famous Premios Principe de Asturias are held here annually, awards of recognition given to outstanding candidates in their field. The prizes have been given extra meaning for the city in recent years as Princess Letizia of Spain is a native of Oviedo. Also from this seemingly productive little city is Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso and Spanish International footballer Juan Mata.

Oviedo is famous for being a principal set in the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Woody Allen – Allen is a huge fan of the city and visits regularly. His allegiance to Oviedo is celebrated in a life-size statue prominent at the end of Calle Uria (Oviedo’s principal shopping street) yet he is rarely to be seen with his glasses – whenever the local government replaces them they are promptly pinched – an intriguing keepsake.

Oviedo City Guide….Don’t Miss

  1. Stroll around the beautifully preserved Casco Antiguo immersing yourself in the historical architecture.
  2. Head to Cider Boulevard (Bulevar de la Sidra) to sample the favoured local tipple, poured from a great height.
  3. Explore the chic streets around Calle Asturias and Plaza América and see why Oviedo is seen as snooty.
  4. Head 2km out of the city to see the pre-Romanesque churches of Palacio de Santamaria del Naranco and Iglesia de San Miguel de Lillo.
  5. Visit El Mercado de Fontan (Fontan Market) in the heart of the old town and meander around the stalls, seeing the array of fresh fish.
  6. Try and catch a game to support Real Oviedo, a struggling historical club needing all the help it can get.

What to eat and drink in Oviedo

We know how tough it can be in a bar or restaurant when you’re visiting a foreign country. Here’s our guide of what local specialities to look for on the menu in Oviedo.

  1. Sidra: Cider, cider and more cider
  2. Fabada Asturiana: (Meat and bean stew famous across Asturias)
  3. Cachopo: A meat lovers dream, two veal fillets fried, and served together with a filling (normally melted cheese)
  4. Queso Cabrales: Strong blue cheese found all across Asturias. Delicious with Cider.

 Where to Stay in Oviedo…It Rains In Spain Picks

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Reader’s Tips

This section is specifically designed for our readers to share their top tips with other would-be travellers. If you visited a particularly wonderful restaurant, or stayed in a fantastic hotel, or even ate a tremendous local dish, please let us know here! Any tip whatsoever will be greatly appreciated by our Spain loving community of travellers.

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You may also be interested in: Guide to Gijon, Guide to Santander, The Picos de Europa, Introducing Cantabria and Asturias