Cities of Asturias: Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés. #AsturiasUrbana
Cities in Asturias Let your urban heart beat
Avilés, Gijón and Oviedo are the three cities of Asturias, with three different histories and characters. They are all well connected to each other and can be reached in just half an hour, so you can travel between them all by car, bus or train.
Pedestrianized street (Avilés).
On the map, they form an almost equilateral triangle. They are the cosmopolitan centres of a multifaceted region.
Avilés and its reinforced street: Calle Galiana.
Centro Niemeyer in Avilés.
The fishing neighbourhood of Gijón/Xixón: Cimavilla.
The Laboral City of Culture, in Gijón/Xixón.
The Holy Chamber and Cathedral in Oviedo/Uviéu.
Fontán Market in Oviedo/Uviéu.
Niemeyer Centre (Avilés).
Although there is even evidence of pre-historic settlements there, Avilés is a metropolis of medieval origin, evident in its picturesque and well-preserved old quarter. With an industrial past and present, seen in the majestic chimneys and port, the city tries to blend this legacy with its urban redevelopment and cultural aspects.
Rising out of the estuary is a white island, dotted with a set of five architectural pieces, the work of the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer.
The Avilés culture does not only rest on this fascinating cultural centre. Throughout the year it organises cutting-edge events, such as a varied programme of theatre shows. Step of the stone of Galiana, walk through Sabugo and take a rest in the Ferrera Park are some of the pleasures to be enjoyed by visitors.
Avilés: The lesser known jewel
The Centro Niemeyer is the perfect point of departure for an excursion around Avilés. Be surprised by the originality of its design and the uniqueness of its location, located between large industries and the port, connected to the city by a colourful bridge. From Plaza España take a walk-up Calle Galiana full of arcs, which still conserves the original stone street, differentiating this area where cattle and their owners used to walk. Smell the nature in the Ferrera Park, drink wine and eat sausage in the Carbayedo, veer off into the El Muelle Park and go inside the Sabugo, where you will find excellent cider bars and a selection of small local businesses.
Galiana street (Avilés)
The Laboral City of Culture (Gijón/Xixón).
Gijón/Xixón has become modern and lively city, largely due to its history as a city right on the edge of the sea, with a port with large amount of economic activity. If your trip to Gijón/Xixón coincides with the last two weeks of November, you will be able to enjoy the varied programme of events that the International Film Festival has to offer.
Its Roman remains are another feature of its past, as well as the proud contribution to the Enlightenment made by Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos.
The Black Week takes place in July, a crime novel contest that has been running for nearly three decades. Whatever the season, you must not miss losing yourself in the bohemian fishing neighbourhood of Cimavilla and in La Ruta, not forgetting the rural belt with its must-see cider presses.
Revillagigedo Palace (Gijón/Xixón)
Gijón/Xixón: Modern and cosmopolitan
Travel along the front of a city resting on the sea. From the Aquarium to the Marina, passing through the picturesque neighbourhood of Cimavilla, the busy beach of San Lorenzo with its wall, and the seafront promenade up to the El Rinconín beach, with the magnificent sculpture The Mother of the Emigrant standing tall above, which popular wit has renamed as "The Crazy Lady of Rinconín". Well connected by public transport are another three must visits, the Laboral City of Culture, Atlantic Botanic Gardens and the Thalasso, a seaside resort next to Poniente beach. Take a look in the small shops in the centre, surrounding the City Hall Square.
Uría street (Oviedo/Uviéu).
As soon as you arrive in Oviedo/Uviéu, you will get a feel of this classic and stately metropolis, the setting described by Leopoldo Alas Clarín in La Regenta, a model city perfect for walking around, which has been imitated by many others. Looking over the fairy tale like old quarter, is the Cathedral, with a Holy Chamber in which treasures from the period of Alfonso II El Casto, King of Asturias, are kept.
This kingdom is now home to the Princess of Asturias Awards, walking down the blue carpet many states people, scientists and artists from around the world.
The classics scholar Mary Beard published an article in The Times in which she compared her visit to Oviedo/Uviéu for the 2016 award ceremony with being "on cloud nine". The capital of the Principality is also its administrative centre and a bustling commercial hub, with extraordinary buildings of great architectural value.
Oviedo Palace of Exhibitions and Congresses
Oviedo/Uviéu: A stately walk
Travel through history in the old quarter of Oviedo/Uviéu, from the Cathedral and the Holy Chamber to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeological Museum of Asturias and the Fontán market, in an unforgettable walk through the pedestrian area of the city. Cross the commercial hub in the Calle Iría and let yourself be seduced by the city's green lung: the San Francisco Park. Not very far from the centre, on Naranco Hill, you will see two unique Pre-Romanesque Monuments in Santa María and san Miguel de Lillo. You can't leave the city without having tried its typical cakes, such as the delicious carbayones (almond pastries) and moscovita biscuits, and without having discovered the Wine Route and the bustling Cider Boulevard in Gascona.
Fontán Market (Oviedo/Uviéu)
The three cities are also regular hosts of congresses and business tourism, with three organisations that works towards attracting these events. In the horizon of Oviedo/Uviéu stands Santiago Calatrava's Congress Palace and the Prince Philip Auditorium.
Gijón has the biggest Convention Centre in the region, known as Luis Adaro and the impressive Laboral City of Culture, as well as other urban facilities. Avilés has the flagship Niemeyer building, as well as the La Magdalena Convention Centre and the House of Culture.