Poniente Beach and Aquarium
This is the second most popular beach in Gijon. Here, one can enjoy the waves and walk along beautiful sand.
After enjoying this beach, one has the option of visiting its interesting aquarium to see the seabed of the Cantabrian Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea and even the Arctic Ocean.
This aquarium is home to around 4,000 marine species and also contains a large pond with sharks and more than 60 large fresh and saltwater fish tanks.
Also in the vicinity of this beach is the Asturias Railway Museum, which is one of the most important museums of this type in Spain.
Poniente Beach, together with its aquarium, is the perfect place to enjoy with the family.
This is one of the busiest places in the city, as it is the junction of the oldest area and the city centre.
Here is the Palace of Revillagigedo, considered one of the jewels of Spanish Baroque architecture from the 18th century.
This beautiful palace and the small Collegiate Church of St. John Baptist (18th century) next to it are places that promote the cultural heritage of the city.
Also in this square is a statue in honour of Don Pelayo, the founder of the Kingdom of Asturias. This artistic work by the sculptor José Maria López is 2.80 meters high and weighs approximately four tons.
Praise of the Horizon
This is a work of art located in the heart of Gijon, on Santa Catalina Hill. It is a concrete sculpture created by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida and erected in 1990. It is considered one of the main symbols of the city.
The artistic work consists of two pillars approximately 10 meters high that support an open ellipse.
At the site of this spectacular structure, one can observe the majestic horizon of Gijon over the blue waters of the sea.
Providencia Park and Viewpoint
On the outskirts of the city, barely five kilometres from the centre of Gijon, is Providencia Park, a beautiful option for enjoying a day with the family.
Here, visitors can enjoy the most beautiful, unique and complete panoramic views of the bay of Gijon. It is a place that exudes charm and magic.
In addition to offering an impressive viewpoint, the park has a children's area, interesting sculptures and various routes for hiking.
The park is located on military land that was transformed into one of the main tourist attractions in Gijon.
During the Franco regime, between 1948 and 1957, the largest building in Spain was built on the outskirts of the city. It was called the Labor University of Gijon and today is known as the “Laboral”.
This impressive building has a gigantic tower of almost 130 meters that can be seen from any corner of the city. Inside are a church, a huge central courtyard, a workshop area, a crop field and a residence with a capacity of approximately 1,000 students.
Francisco Franco built this facility as a job training centre for young Spaniards, but, at the time, it was closed. However, in 2007, it was opened to the public for use as a cultural centre and university study house.
Atlantic Botanical Garden
This is the largest plant museum in Gijon and has approximately 25 hectares of land.
It was created for the study, conservation and dissemination of the flora and vegetation of this area of Spain.
The Atlantic Botanical Garden has four large thematic areas created with the intention of allowing visitors to learn about the plant diversity of their common environment and to have the opportunity to enjoy a totally natural space.
This park is located in front of the Labor University of Gijon, on the outskirts of the city.
How to get around in Gijon
Walking around the city to see its main tourist attractions is always the best option, especially because of how simple and compact Gijon is. The city has a practical technological application called “Minuto Xixón”, which presents personalized itineraries of the route one wants to take. It also provides timely information about the situation of the promenades, parks and beaches and their reference in terms of distance from one place to another.
In addition to this innovative program, Gijon has an efficient public transport network that facilitates movement around the city and its rural environment. This service has a fleet of buses with 25 lines of routes during the day and five at night. There are also special services for important events in the city, such as concerts, sporting events, fairs and holidays.
Another recommended means of travel in Gijon are bicycles, as the city has almost 30 kilometres of exclusive lanes for cyclists, with options for renting this service at low prices.
When it comes to entering and exiting the city, Gijon has a good connection to the national motorway network, which links it to other cities in Asturias and Spain.
Gijon’s main train station is located in the Laviada neighbourhood. This station connects the city to the main cities of the country. In addition, Gijon is home to Asturias Airport, located in the council of Castrillón, 38 kilometres from the city centre. The airport has a variety of national destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, along with daily connections and international destinations in eight European countries.
Accommodation in Gijon
The best places to stay in Gijon are in the city centre, which has three excellent options very close to each other: the Cimadevilla neighbourhood and the beaches of San Lorenzo and Poniente.
Cimadevilla is the old quarter of Gijon and has a beautiful seafaring essence. It is surrounded by the beaches of San Lorenzo and Poniente. In this area of Gijon, one will find the best of Asturian gastronomy, including numerous restaurants, bars and the so-called chigres, which are establishments that offer the best cider in the region. Cimadevilla has a very lively nightlife, and from this point one can easily move around the city.
While the beach of San Lorenzo is a very beautiful place to stay, Santa Catalina Hill offers one of the most impressive views of the city and the sea. In this area, one will have a true contact with nature, as well as access to walks by the sea to visit the Church of St. Peter.
Visitors should consider the season of the year when they will be visiting, as lodging prices can vary considerably. In the summer time, prices increase due to the wide demand for accommodation. However, in any season of the year, the place is unique and charming.
Another recommended place to stay is Poniente Beach, located in the west of Gijon and bordered by the Natahoyo neighbourhood and the marina. Here, one can enjoy the beach, get to know the heart of the city and be very close to the train station.
Remember that these three places are very close to each other.
Another alternative is the area towards the Labor University of Gijon, about five kilometres from the city centre. This area is characterized by being very quiet, and public transport can make it easier to travel to any point in the city.
In this area of Gijon is the Atlantic Botanical Garden of Gijon, among many other tourist attractions.
Gastronomy in Gijon
Gijon is a city with a delicious gastronomy, with fish and shellfish being the protagonists. However, this Spanish region is also a land of livestock, as reflected in the preparation of its dishes.
“Cachopo” is a good example of the gastronomy of this city – simple in appearance but with a truly spectacular flavour.
This dish is a meat empanada stuffed with serrano ham and melted cheese, served with chips and salad.
Cachopo must be very crunchy and its interior must be well-cooked.
This is a white bean stew with chorizo, black pudding, bacon and smoked pork.
Without a doubt, it is the most authentic dish in the region, as it is made with Asturian fabas, a bean grown in these lands.
It must be cooked over low heat, and other ingredients must be incorporated. This dish is divine and very succulent.
“Chopa” is a very popular fish in the region. The most delicious way to prepare it is stewed in cider.
For this recipe to be special, the cider must be of high quality.
It is served with baked potatoes, while in restaurants this typical Gijon dish is garnished with prawns or clams.
The Asturian coast is rich in seafood and fish, and Gijon is an excellent place to taste fresh shellfish such as crabs, barnacles, mussels and prawns.
This stew combines a wide variety of rock fish and shellfish, such as those mentioned, as well as langoustines and spider crabs.
Frixuelos or frisuelos are a traditional dessert from Gijon.
They are cakes, very similar to crepes, made from wheat flour, milk, egg, yeast and salt.
They can be filled or with sprinkled sugar or any sweet sauce like honey, as well as accompanied by apple compote.
Other interesting information
Gijon is a happy and lively city that, in summer, dresses up to celebrate various festivities full of fun and colour for residents and visitors.
The main festival in Gijon is "Semana Grande", also known as the "Semanona", which is celebrated in August. The main characteristic of this festivity is the markets and concerts that take place in the Main Square and on the shores of Poniente Beach.
This celebration is held in honour of the Virgin of Begoña, patroness saint of Gijon. That is why it has an emotional religious charge and includes activities that promote family unity. During the "Semanona", the Gijon Bullfighting Fair is celebrated – a very important date in the Spanish bullfighting calendar.
Later in August, the Natural Cider Festival is held to promote the most native drink of Gijon. This event is highly anticipated by residents and tourists, who come with a glass in hand to try the cider offered by regional producers.
Another very colourful celebration in this city is the “Antroxu”, which is known nationally as the Asturian carnival. This festivity begins with “Comadres” Thursday, an exclusive day for the women of Gijon to have fun in their own particular way, and ends on the last day of carnival.
A more sober festive activity is the Gijon International Film Festival, a world-renowned event presenting a wide selection of national and international films.
In addition, the Black Week Festival is a literary festival specializing in crime novels. It takes place in July.