Tourist’s guide to Gijon – Spain’s port city with a rich history

Gijon, Spain is a small port town in the northern part of the country, known as the capital of shipping and one of the centers of industry. The population is 280,000. The area of ​​the city is 181.7 km².

View of heho

Gijon is located in the center of the Asturian coast, and next to it are the cities of Carreño and Siero. It is interesting that the history of the city began back in the days of the Roman Empire, when one of the largest ports of the country was located here. In those days, the city was called “Hyhia.”

Gijon, like other cities in Spain, is developing rapidly, but there are still much more historical buildings here than glass skyscrapers and modern offices. There are not so many tourists here as in Barcelona or Madrid, so this city is ideal for lovers of peace and tranquility.

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sights

There are few attractions in Gijon, but some of them deserve no less attention than similar ones in Barcelona or Madrid.

Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura

Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura is the largest building in Spain (270,000 sq. M.) And the most important of those that were built in the 20th century (1945-1956).

Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura

The complex consists of the following parts:

  1. The main building. Designed by Louis Moya, who created it in the likeness of the Parthenon. The architect preferred the main gate facing away from the city, so visitors coming from Gijon would have to go around the university from all sides and admire its facade.
  2. The courtyard is surrounded on all sides by the walls of the university, and its area is not more than 150 square meters. m
  3. The church is the most important attraction of the complex. It is the largest temple in the world with an elliptical floor. At the top is a huge dome weighing 2,300 tons. The building is not used for its intended purpose, and exhibitions are regularly held here.
  4. The tower of the Laboratory University is the tallest building in Austria, and from here you can see incredible views of the surroundings. There is no need to climb the stairs – a high-speed elevator will deliver the tourists to the top.
  5. The theater is the main cultural attraction of Gijon in Spain. It is interesting that it was built in 1945, and it was the first theater in the world with an air conditioning system. The hall is designed for 1500 people.
Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura inside

Special attention should be paid to the observation deck, because most tourists come here precisely because of it. It is not located as high as you might think at first glance, but it offers a really beautiful view of the city of Gijon, the Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura complex and the surrounding mountains. The elevator rises up as it is full, and the amount of time at the top of the tower is unlimited.

  • Location: Calle Luis Moya Blanco, 261, 33203 Gijón, Asturias, Spain.
  • Opening hours: 10.00-18.00.
  • Cost: 2 euros.
  • Official website: http://www.laboralciudaddelacultura.com

Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanico Atlantico)

The Atlantic Botanical Garden is one of Gijon’s most unique attractions. Unlike other gardens and parks in Spain, there is also a museum component, so a visit to the botanical garden will be interesting for children.

Gijon Botanical Garden

For a better perception of exposure and plants, the garden is divided into 4 large parts:

  1. “Cantabrian environment.” In this area you can explore the flora and fauna of the Cantabrian Mountains, meet exotic birds and admire the beautiful views that open from several viewing platforms.
  2. “Plant Factory” is a full-fledged museum exposition where you can recognize and see those plants that were previously wild, but later became garden and indoor plants. Also on the stands you will see several recipes for healing infusions of herbs and learn interesting stories about how the exchange of plants between the Old and New Worlds took place.
  3. The Island Garden is the largest part of the botanical garden, where hundreds of species of plants and tree species grow. You can also see an artificial reservoir, several picturesque alleys and a pond.
  4. The Atlantic Route is the most visited and interesting part of the garden. Atlantic ecosystems are recreated here, and here you can get a lot of useful information. For example, in what part of the globe does this or that tree grow when different types of shrubs bloom, etc.

Also in the park are exhibitions “Animal Feed” and “How People Tamed Plants”. One of the most visited places is the pavilion dedicated to the Swedish biologist Linnaeus, who once visited Lapland to study the flora and fauna of this northern corner of the Earth.

There are interactive areas in the botanical garden. For example, on one of them you can learn all the secrets of photographing birds, on the other – get to know the local flora more closely. In addition, workshops, seminars and other events are regularly held on the territory of the Botanical Garden, which anyone can visit.

Entrance to the Gijon Botanical Garden

Useful tips for visitors:

  1. Together with buying a ticket, tourists are given a map of the botanical garden. Even if it is in Spanish, it is still easier to navigate the area with it.
  2. At the entrance to the botanical garden there is a small store with interesting books about local plants – tourists are advised to buy one of the copies.
  3. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes – the park covers an area of ​​16 hectares, and a long walk awaits visitors to the botanical garden.

Practical information:

  • Location: Av. del Jardín Botánico, 2230, 33203 Gijón, Asturias, Spain.
  • Opening hours: 10.00-19.00.
  • Cost: 3 euros for adults, 2 for children and senior citizens.

Cape Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina is a cape in the northern part of Gijón, famous for the hill (it offers beautiful views of the city) and the port. The central part of the peninsula is Cerro de Santa Catalina – a high stone wall that used to protect the ancient fortress from attacks by enemies.

Cape Santa Catalina

The main attractions also include the sailors’ guild chapel and ancient buildings on the ocean.

However, all of the above attractions are far from the most important. Most tourists go to this part of Gijon in order to visit the hill of the same name – from here you can enjoy incredible views of the ocean. Also on top is a sculpture with the symbolic name “Compliment to the horizon”.

District of Cimadevilla (Barrio de Cimadevilla)

Simadevilla is the main district of Gijon, located in the heart of the city. In fact, this is the Old City, where you can see the ruins of walls and therms built during the Roman Empire. Most of the surviving buildings date back to the 15-16th centuries.

District of Cimadeville

The area is located on the Santa Catalina Peninsula (the port is also located here), and almost all the locals are sailors. Tourists love this area for its unique atmosphere and beautiful views from the hill.

Oceanarium (Acuario de Gijon)

The Gijon Oceanarium is the only one in Spain where you can see all 5 groups of vertebrates. The attraction was opened in 2006, and the exposition is regularly updated.

Gijon Oceanarium

The oceanarium is divided into 12 zones, each of which corresponds to a specific river or sea. Thanks to this, perceiving information is very simple and interesting:

  1. Bay of Biscay.
  2. The rivers of Cantabria. Cantabria is a province in northern Spain, famous throughout the country for its picturesque streams and full-flowing rivers.
  3. The Atlantic Ocean is the habitat of dolphins, sperm whales and porpoises.
  4. North Sea. In this part of the exposition you will see shrimp, trout fish, salmon and shellfish.
  5. Coral reefs are the brightest and most beautiful part of the aquarium.
  6. Red sea. This part of the aquarium will introduce you to jellyfish, moray eels, stingrays and sharks.
  7. Indian Ocean. Here you can see giant turtles.
  8. The Pacific Ocean is home to penguins, octopuses, sea turtles and giant squids.
  9. The Arctic Ocean is the habitat of herring, cod, sea bass.

On weekends, seminars for children and workshops are usually held at the aquarium. Anyone who has purchased a ticket can visit them.

Oceanarium inside

Tourists respond to the sights very well – they note good service, lack of lines and incredible beauty of the underwater world. A significant advantage for visitors is the outdoor pools, which you can look at from above and actually touch the marine inhabitants.

  • Location: Playa De Poniente, S / N, 33212 Gijón, Spain.
  • Opening hours: 10.30-18.30.
  • Cost: 15 euros for adults, 12 for children and senior citizens.

Beach (Playa de San Lorenzo)

San Lorenzo is the only beach in Gijon that meets all security measures. Sand cover, no stones and shells. Since Gijon is a port city, garbage and foliage are often found in the water. The entrance to the water is gentle – the place is well suited for families with children.

The length is about 1.5 km, the width is at least 60-70 meters. There are always a lot of people on the beach, but there is enough space, and everyone can relax in comfort. On some days, the waves rise quite high, so surfers like the beach.

Playa de san lorenzo

Please note that the view of the beach of San Lorenzo varies greatly during the day. Due to the tides in the morning, the beach looks like a long and wide strip of golden sand, and completely disappears in the evening.

At about 16.00-17.00 those who swim in the sea, beach workers are asked to get out of the water, and watch the tide from the shore. Warning signs are installed on the beach, and many rescuers are vigilant to ensure that no one enters the water.

As for infrastructure, only toilets and showers are installed on the beach itself. There is one medical center and costs 4 rescue towers. There are no cafes, restaurants and bars, because the beach is urban, and all the necessary establishments are within walking distance.

Weather and climate

Weather in Gijon

The climate in Gijon Atlantic is one of the most stable and comfortable in Europe, because there are no sudden changes in weather and extremely low or high temperatures.

The hottest month is August, and the temperature during the day is + 22-23 ° C. In January (and this is the coldest month) the thermometer does not drop below + 12 ° C. In the summer months, the sea water temperature varies from +16 ° C in June to + 20 ° C in July and August.

Please note that the humidity in Gijon is always high, which is why + 22 ° C can feel like + 28 ° C.

Accommodation

About 80 hotels and hostels work in Gijon – the city is not a tourist, so there are not enough places where you can stay. Book a room 2-3 months prior to arrival.

The average cost of a room in a 3 * hotel in high season for two varies from 60 to 80 dollars. The price includes a delicious breakfast, a restaurant on the ground floor and free parking on site. The owners also promise that the room will have all the necessary equipment and a beautiful view of the city.

Hotel in Gijon

Choosing suitable apartments is easier than a hotel – about 150 apartments are for rent in the city. The average price per night for two in high season is from 40 to 60 dollars. The price includes all the necessary equipment in the room, daily necessities and round-the-clock support from the owner.

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How to get there

Gijon is located on the northern coast of Spain, 870 km from Barcelona and 470 km from Madrid. The nearest major cities are Oviedo (30 km), Aviles (26 km) and Villaviciosa (31 km).

Despite the relative remoteness of Gijon from other Spanish cities, it will not be difficult to get to it – buses and trains run regularly. In addition, there is an international airport 40 km from the city, which regularly receives flights from Geneva, Barcelona, ​​Prague, Paris, Malaga, London, Ibiza and Brussels.

Bus

Gijón is connected by bus with cities such as: Oviedo, Carreno, Aviles, Madrid, Siero, Villaviciosa, Llanes, Leon. The carrier usually is either ALSA (official website – www.alsa.com) or BILMAN BUS (official website – www.bilmanbus.es).

Alsa Bus
Train

Rail transport is well developed in Spain, so there will definitely not be any problems with how to get to Gijon. You can get to the city from almost any large settlement where there is a railway.

In fact, the only rail carrier in Spain is RENFE. On the official website (www.renfe.es) you can purchase tickets and find out the exact timetable.

Renfe Train

All prices on the page are for December 2019.

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Useful Tips

  1. Be prepared for the fact that all information in museums and the botanical garden is presented only in Spanish.
  2. The best souvenir shop of the city is located at the entrance to the botanical garden.
  3. It is better to book a hotel in Gijon 2-3 months before arrival – the best rooms are quickly taken apart.
  4. Two days is enough to explore all the attractions of the city of Gijon (Spain).

Attractions in the center of Gijon:



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