Photo of Oviedo

Visit Oviedo

Oviedo is in the capital of the province of Asturias in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain.

Oviedo is an attractive university city with a historic old quarter.

Explore Oviedo, Spain

Oviedo is one of the most attractive cities in the north of Spain. Its old quarter is pedestrianised making its exploration a real pleasure. Oviedo has had a wealthy history and has quite a number of monuments worth seeing as you explore.

OviedoMany of the buildings are made of a warm yellow stone and so its narrow streets and little squares are always welcoming and invite further exploration. There are plenty of bars and restaurants dotted around and also the traditional 'chigres' or cider bars.

As it is a university city Oviedo also has a lively night scene though it is quieter in summer when the students leave for the holidays.

Ovieda's Pre-Romanesque Churches

Oviedos's star historic attractions are its three small churches which are in a Pre-Romanesque style unique in Spain to this part of Asturias because it is one of the few areas that was not invaded by the Moors during this period (early 9th century). Non of these are in the centre of town but they are

The Santa Maria del Naranco is the best of the three. The Pre-Romanesque style is a very graceful style and the Santa Maria del Naranco has tall slender arches and columns decorated with rope-effects typical of the style. It is a 45 minute walk from the centre but worth the trouble. The Santa Maria was originally a hunting lodge and was later converted into a church.

Nearby is the chapel of King Ramiro's palace - the San Migueil de Lillo It is thought to be by the same architect as the Santa Maria. Look particularly at the window grilles carved from blocks of limestone, and the carved door frames.

The San Julian de los Prados is the largest of the three churches (and the closest - a 10 min walk) and still contains some of the frescoes that once covered the whole of the inside.

Ovieda Centre

Back in Oviedo centre the Plaza Alfonso II is the heart of the old town and around its edges are several palaces and Oviedo's Gothic cathedral. Part of the cathedral is the Camara Santa, also known as the Chapel of San Miguel, this dates back to the 9th century (though largely remodelled in the 12th) and houses the Holy Chest, the cross of los Angeles and the cross of La Vitoria. A visit to these is part of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The Camara Santa de Oviedo is a UNESCO World Heritage site along with its pre-Romanesque churches and the medieval fountain, la Foncalada.

La Foncalada is a 9th century fountain and is the only example of Pre-Romanesque civil architecture in Europe.

Near the cathedral are a number of palaces which are often now used as civic buildings.

Woody Allen fans may recognise Oviedo from the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This film was released to critical acclaim in 2008 and was filmed in Barcelona, Oviedo and Aviles. Oviedo is apparently considered by Woody Allen to be his second home.

Museums in Oviedo

The Museo Arquelogico is housed in an 8th century monastery behind the cathedral and contains local sculptures and treasures.

The Museo d Bellas Artes is in an 18th century palace and so is a good opportunity to see inside one of the palaces. It also houses a range of Asturian and Spanish paintings.

Places to Visit Nearby

Aviles with its medieval centre and fortified walls is only around 20km away.

The lovely Costa Verde coast with its picturesque coves and beaches is well worth exploring.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide.

See also: 

Map of Oviedo and places to visit


Oviedo places to visit



Aviles has an interesting medieval centre. Many of its buildings are painted in lovely pastel colours.

Aviles guide


Gijon is the largest city in the region and is surrounded by industry but once in the centre the city is pleasant and has good beaches and nightlife.

Gijon guide


Cudillero has lots of colourful houses surround its port. It is one of Spain's most beautiful villages.

Cudillero guide
Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis has a lovely Roman bridge and fantastic mountain scenery. It is close to Covadonga said to be the starting place for the Reconquest.

Cangas de Onis guide


Luarca is a very attractive town surrounded by cliffs and with a really excellent harbour.

Luarca guide


Covadonga village and sanctuary are set in beautiful mountain scenery. The Battle of Covadonga is considered to be the start of the Reconquest of Spain.

Covadonga guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Asturias and Cantabria