10 Must-See Attractions in Oviedo

Think you know all about Oviedo thanks to Javier Bardem’s character in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona? Think again.

Here are ten must-see attractions in the extraordinary capital of the Principality of Asturias, Spain.

10. Casas del Cuito

Oviedo has a phenomenal architectural legacy and diverse urban landscape that includes pristine landmarks from a number of eras. The Art Nouveau Casas del Cuito is one such prominent example. The masterpiece is very Victor Horta-esque.

9. Llanes

Though not technically in Oviedo, this spectacular little Asturias town is a total must. Llanes is postcard-worthy traditional port village, with colorful photo ops at almost every turn. Full of genuine charm, the town has a lovely collection of shops and restaurants. Cliffs and Atlantic coastline provide all the requisite scenic beauty and make the 100 km drive from Oviedo well worth it.

8. Picos de Europa National Park

Easily one of the best national parks on the continent, Picos de Europa is another fabulous and easy road trip away from Oviedo. Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León all share the magnificent 646.60 km2 reserve and mountain range. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere and haven for rare animals like the Iberian lynx, Spanish ibex and Cantabrian brown bear.

7. L’Antroxu

L’Antroxu is the traditional carnival held each year in Asturias. The post-Lent bash is a great time to visit Oviedo and indeed, the Principality as a whole. Gastronomy plays a huge part in the celebration, with delicious staples like pork stew and desserts like casadielles and frixuelos.

6. University of Oviedo

The eminent and historic University of Oviedo has a wonderful campus and superb architectural landmarks to discover. With roots in the 15th century, the school is as much a museum as a university. Notable alumni include many famous Spanish poets, novelists and politicians.

5. Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias

As the capital of Asturias, Oviedo has the honor to host cultural gems like the Museum of Fine Arts. The institution has a modest but nonetheless impressive collection that numbers over 10,000 objects. The focus is very much on Spain of course, but other regions of Europe receive occasional nods as well. Three grand landmarks house the museum: the Palacio de Velarde, the House of Oviedo-Portal, and the House of Solís-Carbajal.

4. Prince Felipe Auditorium

Prince Felipe is a popular figure in Asturias and Spain. A 6′ 4″ former Olympian (at the 1992 Barcelona Games no less), the heir apparent to the Spanish throne has several namesake landmarks in his honor. Perhaps the most notable is the exquisite Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo. The magnificent facility is ground zero for all sorts of first-class concerts and other performances.

3. El Fontán

A former market complex, El Fontán is a major Oviedo hub. The rectangular plaza unfurls a collection of superlative porticos and historic monuments that date back hundreds of years. Despite a semi-controversial restoration in the 1980s, El Fontán is a wonderful place to mingle, buy local produce and grab a bite.

2. Archaeological Museum of Asturias

The excellent Archaeological Museum of Asturias is one of the best in Spain. A 16th century Benedictine monastery plays host to a collection of regional objects from the Neolithic Age to the Medieval Age. Sections on weaponry, numismatics, armor, ethnography and medals round out a marvelous, must-see experience.

1. Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias

The “Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias” was one of Spain’s first official UNESCO World Heritage inscriptions. The site includes many 9th century Christian churches, such as Santa María del Naranco, San Miguel de Lillo, Santa Cristina de Lena, the Cámara Santa and San Julián de los Prados. La Foncalada fountain however, just outside the city walls of Oviedo, is perhaps the most notable UNESCO-worthy landmark on the list.

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