Gijon is the largest city in Spain’s beautiful northern autonomous community of Asturias and was a key stop on our weeklong trip to region. The city is not exactly jam-packed with sights – I’d say there is more to do in Oviedo, but don’t tell that to someone from Gijon because the 2 cities have some beef 😜 – so I’d say a weekend in Gijon will do just fine! However, Gijon does have beaches – which you can’t say about Oviedo – so you may want to make time for that too, although we didn’t get to hit the beach when we visited.
What To Do On A Weekend in Gijon
#1. Hit up the harbor.
Around Gijon’s harbor are some of the city’s most interesting cultural sights, including El Árbol de la Sidra (a cider “tree” made up of characteristically green cider bottles!), the picturesque Palacio de Revillagigedo, and a statue of Rey Pelayo🤴, who is a source of Asturian pride for his role in beginning the Reconquista southward against the Moors, who had previously conquered the Iberian peninsula. PS – As you can see below, the statue of King Pelayo was masked during the pandemic when we visited in August 2020 🤣. Also – see the bottom of my post on Oviedo for a little note on Asturian pride 😝.
#2. Climb the Cliffs!
Gijon has an interesting shape, lol. Probably the most geographically interesting part of the city is a promontory with cliffs that juts out into the ocean. This promontory area is home to one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, known as Cimadevilla. I recommend roaming out toward the cliffs for nice sunset views, then head toward the park where the Elogio del Horizonte (translated to “Praise for the Horizon”) sculpture is located. Sorry – I have to say, even as an art lover, I don’t think this thing is particularly beautiful, lol. But the area does provide nice views of – you guessed it – the horizon! Haha. Especially around sunset.
#3. Sip some cider in Cimadevilla!
Roaming Cimadevilla is a great way to get a taste of local life as people spill out from bars and restaurants onto plazas to share bottles of cider and slam back a culín. See my post on Oviedo to see a professional properly escanciar – or pour – cider as well as the little cider machines that restaurants often offer for self-serving. However, here I am below trying to escanciar my own cider – sometimes you just gotta take matters into your own hands, lol. I mean, I am part asturiana – it’s in my blood! 😜🍎🍾
#4. Follow the facades through the city center!
On both sides of the promontory of Cimadevilla are beaches, and behind it is the city center, where you’ll find some of the city’s coolest architecture. I loved Gijon’s subway-tiled facades – they were actually common around all of Asturias! V cool 😍. I recommend staying in the city center close to Cimadevilla and the beaches – that way, you are in easy walking distance of everything!
#5. Eat Arroz con Bugre at El Restallu
El Restallu is a classic spot beloved by locals. We went with friends from Gijon to eat the restaurant’s best known dish, arroz con bugre, or rice with bugre, which is something I can best describe as a crustacean that is a lobster’s cousin, lol. 💯 recommend!
Have fun in your weekend in Gijon! 😊