2019 Spring Andrew Montoya Temple in Spain Temple Semester

What to do in Oviedo

Since starting my study abroad blog, I have written about everything from flying for cheap to living with a host family to language learning; however, I have still yet to talk about what to do in Oviedo. Within this past month, my dad, my mom and sister, and my girlfriend have all come to visit me on separate occasions. Since most study abroad students have visitors, it’s important to know how to best share a piece of the city and how to entertain guests. Nevertheless, even if no one comes to visit, the following can still be fun to do on your own or with friends. So without further ado, here is the top five things to do during your trip to Oviedo.

5. La Catedral de San Salvador

Standing in front of La Cathedral de San Salvador

For me, cathedrals are cathedrals, and even though there are millions throughout Europe that to me are all more or less the same, I would still say San Salvador is worth checking out as it’s the centerpiece of the city. Very accessible and easy to spot, the cathedral is magnificent in size and in its architecture. This cathedral, first constructed in the year 802 is one of the most important landmarks of the city representing its history and longevity. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a religious person, or necessarily fond of old buildings, it’s still easy to appreciate.

4. Parque de Invierno

Located on the southern most side of the city, Parque de Invierno is the largest park in Oviedo. This park has everything including a running track, a volleyball net, a rockwall, a skatepark, picnic areas, and a restaurant. It’s a great place to exercise or just hang out. If you choose the latter, I recommend you grab a blanket, prepare a picnic and people watch. If you want, you can even go up to the restaurant at the top of the hill and order a bottle of sidra to take with you in the park.

3. Calle Gascona

An escanciador pouring sidra.

Asturias, the region of which Oviedo is the capital, is famous for a specific type of drink called sidra. The best way I can describe it is like an apple champagne, but theres a whole process behind it. When you are served sidra, the waiter raises the bottle above his head and pours it into a cup that about waist height. When you go to drink it, you have to drink it all at once so that it doesn’t lose the aeration. Calle Gascona, located not far from the cathedral is known as the “boulevard of sidra” and has some of the best sidrerías in Oviedo. Unique to Asturias, no trip here would be complete without sharing a bottle of sidra.

2. Tapas

In Spain, the bars and cafés do something that I personally really enjoy. Tapas are small free dishes that the waiters come around with and offer to those who have bought a drink or two. And the longer you hang out, the more tapas you get. So if you sit at a bar and order two beers over the course of two hours, you could get served as many as 5 separate snacks for free. Not only are tapas great for anyone on a budget, but they’re also a great way to experience Spanish cuisine.

1. Mount Naranco

Lastly, out of all the things I have done in Oviedo, climbing Mount Naranco is one of my favorites. If hiking, the whole trip takes about three hours in total, as there are multiple buildings to see along the way, all of which look over the city. From the top, you can see all of Oviedo and on a clear day if you look out the other side of the mountain you can see Áviles and Gijón as well. If the day is especially clear, you can even look out all the way to the ocean. The ascent is steep, and the roads are windy, but the way down is significantly easier. There’s even a couple of restaurants on the mountain side that you can hit on your way down if you get hungry or thirsty. Whether you choose to hike or take a car, 10/10 I would recommend this experience to anyone.

My mother and I standing at the top of Mount Naranco.

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