Exploring Gijón in 2 Days: Weekend Itinerary

Located on the northern coast of Spain in the Asturias region, Gijón is a city with a rich history, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene. If you’re planning a weekend getaway, there’s plenty to see and do in Gijón. From historical sites to stunning landscapes, let’s explore how you can make the most of 2 days in this charming city.

Day 1: Embrace the Coastal Vibes of Gijón

Morning: Take a Walk Along San Lorenzo Beach

Start your day with a stroll along San Lorenzo Beach, one of the most iconic spots in Gijón. This expansive urban beach is perfect for a morning walk or jog, with breathtaking views of the Cantabrian Sea and the city skyline. As you walk along the Paseo del Muro, keep an eye out for La Escalerona, the most famous staircase on the beach. This staircase features a thermometer and barometer, giving you a quick update on the local weather.

  • Insider Tip: If you’re an early riser, head to the beach for a sunrise walk. The golden hues of the morning light create a picturesque scene against the waves and sand.

Late Morning: Explore the Roman Baths of Campo Valdés

From San Lorenzo Beach, head to the Roman Baths of Campo Valdés, located near the Church of San Pedro. These baths date back to the 1st century AD and offer a fascinating glimpse into Gijón’s Roman history. Walk through the different rooms, including the caldarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and frigidarium (cold bath), and learn about Roman bathing rituals.

  • Visitor Information: Admission to the Roman Baths is free. They are open from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On weekends and holidays, they are open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

Lunch: Enjoy Traditional Asturian Dishes

For lunch, head to the Plaza Mayor and find a traditional restaurant serving classic Asturian dishes. The menu in Asturias is filled with hearty and flavorful options, from fabada asturiana (bean stew with chorizo and morcilla) to cachopo (breaded veal filled with ham and cheese).

  • Recommendation: Visit La Galana in the Plaza Mayor for a taste of traditional Asturian cuisine. This restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere and excellent food, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Afternoon: Discover Gijón’s Historic Sites and Art

After lunch, continue exploring the historic sites of Gijón. Head to the Church of San Pedro, located at one end of San Lorenzo Beach. This church has a unique design and offers stunning views of the coastline. From there, visit the Birthplace of Jovellanos, a museum dedicated to Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a prominent figure of the Spanish Enlightenment. The museum contains his personal belongings and a collection of Asturian art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Guided Tour: If you’d like to learn more about Gijón’s history, consider taking a guided tour. These tours offer insights into the city’s landmarks, from the Church of San Pedro to the Elogio del Horizonte sculpture on Santa Catalina Hill.

Late Afternoon: Enjoy a Cider at the Cuesta del Cholo

No trip to Gijón is complete without trying the region’s famous cider. The Cuesta del Cholo, located near the marina, is a popular spot for locals to gather and enjoy cider while taking in the views. Find a spot on the steps, order a cider, and relax as the sun sets over the harbor.

  • Cider Culture: In Asturias, cider is poured from a height to aerate it, creating a frothy head. This traditional pouring technique is a unique aspect of Asturian culture, and you’ll see it in action at the Cuesta del Cholo.

Evening: Dinner and Nightlife in Gijón

For dinner, explore Gijón’s vibrant food scene. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try El Planeta, a restaurant known for its oricio croquettes made from sea urchins. After dinner, head to the Cimavilla neighborhood to experience Gijón’s nightlife. This area is filled with bars, pubs, and clubs offering live music and a lively atmosphere.

Day 2: Delve Deeper into Gijón’s Culture and Nature

Morning: Visit Santa Catalina Hill and the Elogio del Horizonte

Begin your second day in Gijón with a visit to Santa Catalina Hill, home to the Elogio del Horizonte, a massive concrete sculpture by Eduardo Chillida. This sculpture provides a panoramic view of the city and the Bay of Biscay. It’s a popular spot for photos, especially at sunrise.

  • Art and Nature: Santa Catalina Hill is also a great place for a leisurely walk. The park offers open green spaces and trails that lead to different viewpoints.

Late Morning: Explore the Gijón Aquarium

The Gijón Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in marine life. The aquarium features a wide range of aquatic species, from local fish to exotic creatures. It’s an engaging and educational experience, with interactive exhibits and touch tanks.

  • Visitor Information: Plan to spend 1-2 hours at the aquarium. This is a great place for families and provides a break from outdoor activities if the weather turns rainy.

Lunch: Try Tapas at the Mercado del Sur

For lunch, head to the Mercado del Sur, a local market where you can sample traditional Asturian tapas and snacks. Try some churros with hot chocolate or a Spanish tortilla (potato omelette). The market is also a good spot to find fresh produce and local treats.

Afternoon: Visit the Cider Museum or Explore More of Gijón

After lunch, you have a few options for the afternoon. Consider visiting the Asturias Cider Museum in Nava to learn more about cider production and its importance in Asturian culture. The museum offers guided tours and cider tastings, providing an authentic Asturian experience.

Alternatively, explore more of Gijón’s unique sites. Find the Rock Stairs, a staircase with the titles of the 50 best albums in rock history according to Rolling Stone magazine. This quirky spot is perfect for photos and adds a fun touch to your visit.

Late Afternoon: Relax at the Beach or Go for More Cider

If the weather is nice, return to San Lorenzo Beach for a relaxing afternoon by the sea. You can sunbathe, swim, or even try your hand at surfing. San Lorenzo Beach is a popular spot for surfing, with waves suitable for different skill levels.

If you prefer more cider, head to the Plaza Mayor and explore the different cider bars. Try a few local ciders and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Evening: Dinner and Sunset at the Marina

For your final evening in Gijón, consider having dinner at a restaurant near the marina. Enjoy fresh seafood and other Asturian specialties as you watch the sunset over the harbor. The area around the marina is filled with restaurants and bars, offering a lively and inviting atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Gijón is a city with a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its stunning beaches to its rich heritage, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant Asturian city. This 2-day guide provides a comprehensive overview of the best things to see and do in Gijón during a weekend getaway. We hope you enjoy your visit and create lasting memories in this beautiful part of Spain.

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