Gijón is a interesting city with a history that spans over 2,500 years. When going on a trip there, you should have plenty of great things to do. To give you a bit of inspiration, here’s a guide to the best sights and attractions in Gijón!
Below you will find a list of all the best things to do and see in Gijón. They are not listed best-to-worst, but rather we have selected our 10 favorite attractions in the city, and we are starting off with the most central ones, then moving on to the sights that are slightly outside of the city centre.
We highly recommend you to write these sights/attractions down and make a checklist. That way, you can make sure that you’ll get to visit all of them – or at least the ones that appeal to you – when you’re there and ready for your sightseeing. Also, be sure to stay in a nice and central hotel. If you haven’t booked one yet, then read our best hotel recommendations in Gijón.
Iglesia de San Pedro
First of all, you should take a look at the San Pedro church. It’s an important part of Gijón’s overall look, with its location right next to the central San Lorenzo beach. The church is located in the southeast of Cimadevilla, and it has become somewhat of a symbol of Gijón.
You can hardly take a photo of the coast without this church sneaking into the shot. The church has a high tower that makes it a significant sight. Also, it’s partly a temple, so it’s a very interesting building.
We advice you to get close to the church – and to get in, if you can. But in any case, simply enjoy the view of it. It’s beautiful and it’s a big part of the mood in central Gijón.
The Roman Baths
Right next to the San Pedro church, you will find the Roman baths. The official title in Spanish is Termas Romanas de Campo Valdés. These baths, also called thermae, are a really important attraction in Gijón. Actually, it is one of the most important sites in all of northern Spain.
Like the name suggests, the baths were made by the Romans. They weren’t discovered by the Spaniards until 1903, and they were hidden from the public until 1965. Fortunately, anybody can get in today. Not only is it a great sight – it can also be a very pleasant experience.
The Roman baths are open every day of the week, except for Mondays. They open in the morning and close in the evening, although also closed in the afternoon due to the siesta. A ticket inside is only 2.50 euros per person, so it is a very affordable attraction. Furthermore, senior citizens, students, groups and everybody under the age of 16 can get in for just 1.40 euros.
Playa de San Lorenzo
The most central beach in Gijón – and the one that the locals really love going to! Playa de San Lorenzo is incredibly close to the two attractions we just mentioned – the San Pedro church and the Roman baths. In fact, the beach is just one minute on foot away from them.
It’s a highly rated beach, and it is very enjoyable to be there. It has an impressive length, but at times the water can get quite close to the coast, making the sand area somewhat limited.
We believe that it is best to go in the afternoon. Right around midday, the beach will be very crowded if the weather is good. We should also add that the beach is amazing for a quiet walk at night. There are several heladerías (ice cream shops) nearby, and it’s a great place to take pictures.
If you want to go for a swim, the conditions are awesome. There are lifeguards on the beach during the daytime. Sometimes there are even surfing lessons taking place. Overall, a very enjoyable beach to visit. And it is so close to the city centre, making it very convenient at all times.
Parque del Cerro
Not always one of the Gijón attractions that gets mentioned – but it should be. Parque del Cerro is a nice park on the northern side of Cimadevilla. It takes a bit of a hike to get up there, since it is located on somewhat of a hill. When you get to the top, there is a dramatic cliff and you can see views of Gijón from two different sides.
One of the most important sights in Gijón, Elogio del Horizonte, is here. A very unique monument designed by Eduardo Chillida. It is approximately 10 meters high and it has become yet another common symbol of the city. It is in the peak of the park, yet another reason to visit. The monument has been standing at this place since 1990 and a lot of people have tried to analyze the meaning of it.
The park is rarely that crowded, so if the weather is good, we recommend taking a picnic there. Sit a few meters away from the cliff and enjoy the view out over the water. A great experience, and a must-do for all tourists visiting Gijón!
Also in the Cimadevilla neighborhood, this time a bit more south: Here we find Revillagigedo Palace, another great attraction. The palace consists of two square towers and a central body. It has several decorations, and on the inside, it can be quite majestic. The two towers date from the 15th century, and in the 18th century, the middle body was added, making it into a legitimate palace, the way we see it today.
The palace has free admission and allows people to get in at most times. However, note that it is an important venue for various exhibitions – and whenever there is an exhibition, it costs money to get in. These exhibitions are very common: Usually they are focused on art, but not necessarily. There has also been a very popular LEGO exhibition, for example.
In any case, we highly recommend you to see this palace. Another great thing to do in Gijón and since it is so central (south of Cimadevilla, almost right by the port), there’s no excuse to miss out on it!
Aquarium of Gijón
One of the things that Gijón is most famous for is the city’s aquarium (official website here). It is probably an attraction that most people will enjoy, due to the sheer size and entertainment provided by it.
The aquarium of Gijón covers more than 4,000 square meters. More than 400 species can be found there, and you get a full journey through all the oceans of the world. It is the only aquarium in Spain that has all five types of vertebrates: Amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. In other words, it is one of the best aquariums in all of Spain, perhaps only surpassed by the L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia.
General admission costs 15 euros, but children can get in for 7.50. Large families only have to pay 3 euros per person, and if you come as a large group, the ticket will be 5 euros each. You can easily find the aquarium – it is located just a bit west of the centre, but within walking distance. Buses drive there every hour of the day, and if you’re unsure of where to get off, just aim for the large beach, Playa de Poniente, as the aquarium is right by this beach.
Museum of the Asturian People
Finally: The first museum on the list. And this is a very unique museum. It is not an art museum, but rather a historic museum, focused on the people of Asturias.
The official name of the museum is “Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies”. The museum is open air and has three main buildings:
- Casa de los Valdes
- Casa de los González de la Vega
- The Asturian Pavillon
All three are worth visiting, and you will see several interesting items related to Asturias. For example, classical instruments and local tools. The permanent exhibitions in the museum show the life of the Asturian people, then and now. It has been a very popular place ever since the opening in 1968. In fact, it is one of Gijón’s most popular attractions.
The oldest professional football stadium in Spain that is still being used. Yes, even older than the current Santiago Bernabéu, Camp Nou and Mestalla. It is the official home stadium of the local club, Sporting Gijón. At the moment, Sporting plays in La Liga 2, although it has previously been in the best Spanish league. The supporters of Sporting Gijón are known to be some of the most loyal and excited fans in the country.
While the official capacity of El Molinón is around 29,000, the record attendance is around 40,000. It’s a category 3 stadium according to UEFA, making it a mid-size arena. The main reason to go here is because of the history – you’ll be able to say that you have visited the oldest continuously used stadium in Spain.
If you love football, you should also stop by for a match. Tickets are way cheaper than in Madrid and Barcelona, so it’s a great way to experience some Spanish football live. Otherwise, a tour of the stadium, or simply a trip to the whole sporting area where the stadium is located, might be enough of an experience. El Molinón is located in the eastern part of central Gijón, and you should be able to reach it on foot.
Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura
A great sight in Gijón. Not particularly central (you have to travel approximately 3.5 km southeast), but when you get there, you will not regret it.
Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura is a transformation project. It used to be a huge university campus during the Franco-era, but it was later abandoned. In the 1990s, it was in a terrible condition. But because of the uniqueness of the campus, at least compared to all other buildings in Asturias, it was preserved.
Today it is one of the best places to go in Gijón. Several things make it special: It is now a booming cultural center where several events regularly take place. For example, the university of Oviedo regularly use it for exhibitions. Also, there is a theatre, large gardens and the opportunity to do several activities. Not to forget the architecture itself, as Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura is an impressive place, reminiscent of some majestic works in Madrid. The tower that is part of the complex is 117 meters high – in other words, the tallest building in all of Asturias!
Check their official website here for more information.
Atlántico Botanical Garden
Our tenth and last suggestion is one of the absolute best. The Botanical Garden of Gijón are in the same direction as Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura, although a bit more south. You can walk there in approximately one hour if you’re staying in the centre – or you can just take a bus, which is probably a lot easier.
Either way, you must visit the Botanical Garden. It’s a very green area and consist of over 2,000 types of plants. They keep it in really nice shape, and there are many highlights to see.
You will find four different zones, each of them different than the others. Most trees and plants are native to Asturias, or at least to northern Spain. There are some exceptions, however. The best part is probably the Garden of the Island, or perhaps the Atlantic Route. But we highly recommend you to go there and see all parts of it. The Botanical Garden of Gijón is open every day from 10 am to 9 pm, aside from festive days. Entry only costs 2.90 euros, and you can get a special discount if you are a student or if you are part of a big group.
Other sights in Gijón
The 10 attractions above are the ones that we consider the best things to do in Gijón. But if you’re looking for more, we can certainly bring a bit of extra recommendations:
- Museo del Ferrocarril (the train museum)
- Plaza Mayor and its surrounding bars
- The harbour
- Playa de Poniente
- Jovellanos museum
- Monument of the mother of migrants
- Isabel La Católica park
- Palacio de Deportes
- Casino of Asturias
- Mercado del Sur
By walking around the city, you will surely find even more attractions. And what’s better than randomly walking into exciting new sights? Exactly. Therefore, we highly recommend you to take a whole or a half day where you simply stroll around the city and see what you find. Maybe you’ll discover some hidden gems around Gijón!
Learn more about the city
If you’re going to Gijón, or even if you’re just considering it, you should definitely learn more about the city. It is very fascinating. For example, check out our general city guide to Gijón where you get information on its history and where you can learn more about how to get to and from Gijón.
Another recommendation is to visit some of the great restaurants that Gijón hosts. Most of them are seafood-based, and they are really good. Read our guide to the best restaurants in Gijón right here!
Aside from that, we hope that your interest in Gijón remains high. Certainly the city has a lot to offer, and even though Gijón is very underrated from a tourist standpoint, most people going there end up having an amazing time. It is suitable for beach lovers as well as culture lovers.
If you have any questions to some of the attractions in Gijón, feel free to leave a comment. You’re also more than welcome to write if you have suggestions on more things to do in Gijón!