The city of Oviedo is the capital of Spain’s Asturias region, in the north of the country. It’s a relatively small city, yet both elegant and refined, with a charming historic quarter and plenty of shops and restaurants. Here are our top ten things to do in the city, from visiting fine arts museums to dining in Michelin-starred restaurants and marvelling at ancient palaces.
Marvel at the works at the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias
Asturias’ Museum of Fine Arts is located is housed in the city’s Palacio de Velarde, which is located close to the cathedral. It displays over 15,000 works dating from the 14th to the 21st century, and includes paintings by the likes of El Greco, Goya, Sorolla, Picasso, Dalí and Miró.
Calle Sta. Ana, 1-3, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 985 21 30 61
Discover the past at the Archaeological Museum of Asturias
Located in the former Benedictine Monastery of San Vicente, which was built in the 16th century, the Archaeological Museum of Asturias is a fascinating place. The collection displayed showcases artefacts from archaeological discoveries in the region, dating all the way from prehistory to the dawn of the modern age. As well as the artefacts there are also drawings, 3D models, maps and audiovisual projections.
Visit the beautiful Palacio de Santa María del Naranco
Situated just 3km outside of the city, Santa María del Naranco was originally a palace, built by King Ramiro I in 848. Later it was converted into a church, and today is a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage designated site.
Monte Naranco, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 638 26 01 63
Explore the Campo de San Francisco
The city’s main park is the Campo de San Francisco. Originally a garden and the orchard of the San Francisco Convent, it was created in the 19th century, before later being turned into a public park. Measuring 90,000 square metres, it is filled with wide paths, ponds, fountains, green meadows and wooded areas. As you walk around, look out for the ruins of many monuments located here.
Campo San Francisco, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 984 08 38 00
Look up at the Catedral de San Salvador
The Gothic Cathedral of San Salvador lies along the Camino del Norte and is a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Built in the late 13th century, it comprises a tower, cloisters and chapter house. Also located in the Cathedral complex is the Holy House, pre-Romanesque in style and built in the 9th century, it has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Plaza Alfonso II el Casto, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 985 21 96 42
Dine at Gloria
The two Michelin-starred restaurant, Gloria, is Oviedo’s best spot for fine dining, and is a definite must visit for foodies. Headed up by chef Nacho Manzano, it’s both elegant and romantic, and serves tapas dishes, larger raciones and mains. Some of the highlights include beautifully soft tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) and the tasty Asturian cheese platters.
Calle Cervantes, 24, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 984 83 42 43
Drink craft beer and listen to live music at Ca Beleño
A pub and craft beer bar, Ca Beleño is the place to go in Oviedo for live music. Specialising in Celtic music, they host Celtic bands from Asturias and Galicia, as well as from Ireland and Scotland. You can always guarantee a lively night here.
Calle Martínez Vigil, 4, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 985 22 95 34
Go back in time at the Centro de Interpretación del Prerrománico Asturiano
Located just north of the city, you’ll find the Pre-Romanic Interpretation Centre of Asturias. Here you can discover all about Pre-Romanic Asturias through displays and exhibits of maps, photos and audiovisual points. You will also learn about all the most important historical monuments in the area.
Shop at the Mercado El Fontán
The Fontán Market is the city’s main market and is located right in the centre of town. There has been some of sort market on this spot since the 13th century; however, the current structure was designed by Javier Aguirre and built from 1882 to 1885. Stop here to pick up some traditional Asturian products such as cheeses.
Plaza 19 de Octubre, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, +34 985 20 43 94
Visit in September for the Fiestas de San Mateo
The Fiestas de San Mateo are the city’s biggest festivals and mark the end of summer each September. They celebrate American Day in Asturias with grand parades, free concerts in the city squares, children’s entertainment and a big firework display.