Last Updated on: 31st March 2023, 10:33 am
Are you searching for a guide that shows you how to get the most out of one day in Gijón in Spain?
The largest city in the autonomous region of Asturias has a lot to offer visitors, from famous beaches to fabulous gardens to unique museums.
This itinerary lists the best things to do in Gijon in one day, plus Gijon travel tips so you can plan the perfect Gijon getaway or stop on a longer Spain itinerary.
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
Good to Know: This 24 hours-in-Gijón itinerary and travel guide comes to us from Cynthia and Alexander from Travel Your Memories.
During their 3 weeks road trip through the north of Spain, they got to visit Gijón and are happy to share their experience in this one day in Gijón itinerary.
It was also edited by me (Stephanie Craig – the girl in the sidebar). I have added some additional Spain travel planning tips and sections from my own travels in the country.
My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2023
These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.
Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing
Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.
For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.
For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.
Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.
For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.
The Top 5 Most Popular Gijón Tours
Before you dig into all the city has to offer, you should know that these are the most popular guided tours and private experiences in Gijón.
Where to stay in Gijón?
When visiting Gijón as a day trip you don’t need to find accommodation.
If you are planning to stay in Gijón below places are recommended divided into three different sections:
Budget (under $75 per night)
If you want to stay close to the beach, looking for a great place where can meet other people and follow some surf lessons this place is recommended: Gijón Surf Hostel.
Rooms are clean, breakfast is included and besides the fact that you can have great parties at this hostel, the rooms are soundproof.
Mid-Range (from $75-$150 per night)
If you want to do fitness, take a sauna, swim indoors, have a good breakfast, and want to enjoy some luxury for not that much money it is possible in Gijón by staying at Silken Ciudad Gijón.
The rooms have air conditioning, flat-screen tv, and a minibar. Rooms are clean and decorated as you aspect from a good hotel.
Luxury ($150 per night or more)
If you want to stay on the cliff of the sea and want to have a look over the Atlantic, you have to stay at La Colina. The location is charming, far away from all the noise from the city. Great place if you want to relax and take the time for yourself.
Rooms are great, breakfast is incredibly good and due to the wonderful people that are working here, you feel yourself at home.
Visiting Gijón – A City of Mystery for Many
While Gijón is a beloved tourist destination, there is still a lot that most foreigners do not understand about the city.
Where is Gijón located?
Gijón is located in the autonomous region of Asturias on the north coast of Spain on the Bay of Biscay in the Cantabrian Sea on the Atlantic Ocean.
The city of Gijón is one of the largest port cities in Spain (after Bilbao).
In addition to the important shipping and industry, Gijón has a beautiful historic center in the fishing district of Cimadevilla.
This district separates the two main beaches of the city, namely Playa de San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Beach) and Playa de Poniente.
Gijón is popular to visit because there are a lot of things to do. While this itinerary is designed for you to see the best of Gijon in a day, you should know that there’s much more here if you have extra time!
The History of Gijón
Known human history in the area dates back to about 5000 BCE.
The first known settlement, called Noega, dates back to the fifth or sixth century BCE. The people who lived here were Spanish Celts called Astures (Astyrs).
They were related to other Spanish Celtic groups like the Galicians, as well as the Central Europe and British Isle Celtic groups that are more familiar to visitors who come from outside of the Iberian peninsula.
(Think Gaelic cultures in Ireland and Wales, the Britons in England, and the Bretons in France).
This area was Romanized when the Roman Empire took control of Spain around 200 BCE.
Later the Visigoths took control in the 7th Century. Muslim forces took the city for a brief time in the 8th Century.
When the Asturians took control back, they created the new Kingdom of Asturias.
One thing that’s good to know when you are walking around Gijón is that in the 8th century the Asturian kings lived in Gijon.
Unfortunately, not much of the architecture from this era have survived into the 20th century.
The city burned in the 14th century and was destroyed again during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939).
Many of the old buildings were decimated and new (modern) buildings needed to replace them.
The history of Gijon is quite interesting. While you are here, you will get the chance to learn even more about this special place!
Exploring Asturias from Gijón
Gijón is still one of the most important cities in northern Spain, situated on a beautiful green coastline of rocks, cliffs, and coves.
The city is also popular among travelers to combine a visit with Oviedo, the capital of Asturias.
There are a lot of fun things to do in Oviedo. One main difference between the two cities is that Oviedo still has a lot of old buildings that you can admire.
If you want to visit both and use Gijon as a base, you can visit Gijón first and take a day trip to Oviedo from Gijon.
Travelers who love nature can also make a great weekend getaway in Northern Spain by traveling first to Gijón and then to Picos de Europa Natural Park which is just 130 km from the city.
Hiking in Picos de Europa National Park is one of the best ways to discover this magnificent part of nature.
How to get to Gijón
Gijón is easily reachable by plane, car, or public transport.
If you want to fly to Gijon, you can look for cheap flights on flight aggregators like CheapOair and Skyscanner.
The nearest airport is Asturias Airport which is 40km away from the city center of Gijón.
Only domestic flights are operated at this airport. If you want to travel from outside Spain to Oviedo you need to fly to Santander or León. From these airports, you can take a bus to Oviedo.
If you fly into Madrid, which is common for travelers coming from the US, then getting to Oviedo takes about six hours.
From here, you can check out a few things to do in Oviedo or head straight to Gijon.
When you are close to Gijón it is recommended to take the bus. Tickets can be bought at the bus station. In Gijón, you don’t need public transport because everything is within walking distance.
Many people choose to take a bus from northern Portugal or other parts of northern Spain like Galicia and the Basque country, but even longer bus routes in Spain are quite manageable.
It’s common for those coming from Spain or Portugal to compare bus prices with train tickets to see what makes the most sense for their particular journey.
Train travel in Europe is fairly easy (though sometimes it’s pricier than taking a bus). You can find train tickets for Gijon on Rail Europe.
If you plan on road tripping around Spain or the Iberian peninsula, then you can easily reach Gijon by car. When I travel, I use Discover Cars to reserve a rental car before my trip.
If you are still mapping out your overall trip itinerary, here is an awesome northern Spain road trip guide to help you decide where to go.
How Much Does it Cost to Spend a Day in Gijón?
In comparison to other cities in the north of Spain, Gijón is a budget-friendly destination.
Hot spots in the north, like Barcelona and Pamplona, are visited by more tourists and therefore prices are higher.
Food and drinks aren’t expensive in Gijón. You can enjoy the afternoon menu del dia typically for 14 Euro per person. This includes a starter, main course, dessert, a drink, and bread.
Additionally, accommodations in Gijón are less expensive than in neighboring cities, and you can often find good hotels for 30-40 Euro per night. At this price, they will be basic but comfortable for one or two nights.
Most sights in Gijón are free to visit. Those who want to visit museums or go on a guided tour will spend some money, but for those who want to keep their costs down, you can skip these little luxuries.
Gijón is a budget-friendly city where travelers on any budget can enjoy their time here.
What to Do With Luggage if You Only Spend One Day in Gijon
If you are only going to be in Gijon for one day, you can store your luggage while you explore instead of hauling it around with you.
Radical Storage has locations in Gijon (and all over Spain!), and they can safely store your luggage for the day for a small fee.
The Perfect One-Day-in-Gijón Itinerary
Get ready for an amazing day in Gijón!
Start your day at Gijón Surf Hostel (8:30 am)
Option 1: Start your day with some exercise by surfing at Gijón, which has waves that are good for beginners and experienced surfers alike.
The coast in the north of Spain, also called the Costa Verde, is one of the most unique coastlines in Europe.
If you are interested in surfing but haven’t done this before, this is no problem at all. You can book a surf lesson or rent a board at Gijón Surf Hostel.
The surf lesson is 2.5 hours and the group consists of a maximum of 8 people, so you get enough personal guidance to learn the basics.
It is a fun activity that can be done by nearly everyone! If you’ve never surfed before and would like to learn it, this is the perfect chance.
Option 2: If you don’t surf or enjoy water sports, you can start your day off with a beach walk on the coast instead.
The local beach Playa del Cervigón is one of the most romantic places to visit in Gijon, but it’s also beautiful to walk here alone or with family or friends.
Once your walk or your surf session is over, you can walk along the beach to the historic center.
Discover the Historical City Centre (11:30 am)
The historical city center is the old fishing village of Cimadevilla where you can enjoy some of Gijon’s historic buildings like the baroque Palacio de Revillagigedo, an 18th-century palace with a castle-like appearance, the town hall, and the lovely marina.
This district is the historic heart of the city. Climb the Santa Catalina rock on the peninsula for a great view of the neighborhood.
Take your time (around two hours give or take) to walk through the historical center.
Visit all the buildings that are mentioned above. At the end of your walk, make sure to visit the Iglesia de San Pedro, a Catholic church built along the coast. As you can imagine, this is one of the best photography spots in Gijon!
When you are inside you will get to experience how a Templar Church differs from other Catholic parishes of different eras of Spanish history.
If you don’t want to explore on your own, you can book the highlights of Gijon private walking tour instead.
Lunch at Serendipia (1:30 pm)
In the afternoon it is recommended to eat at Serendipia.
You can also order tapas if you want something local. They also have delicious sandwiches and hamburgers along with sumptuous deserts if you want something a bit more substantial (or decadent!).
In addition, it is above all a very pleasant place to relax with a great atmosphere.
If you are traveling on a budget, this place is a great option, because the food here costs between 9 and 12 euros.
Plaza Jovellanos & Museo Jovellanosat (3:00 pm)
After lunch, you will go to the most picturesque square of Gijón, Plaza de Jovellano, and presumably to visit the grave of Gaspar Melchor de Jovelllanos (1744 – 1811).
On this square is located the museum of Museo Casa Natal de Jovellanos (Museum Jovellanos). In this 15th century building, you can see paintings by Asturian artists.
This museum is recommended if you are a lover of painting and see art from the region that is unknown to the general public.
Playa de San Lorenzo (3:30) pm
After lunch, we are going to head back to the coast. Naturally, some of the best things to do in Gijón are near the beach!
This beach is known for its fine sand. It is one and a half miles long and is a popular place to stroll because of the beautiful pedestrian promenade.
Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies (4:30) pm
The Museu del Pueblu d’Asturies is known in English as the Museum of the Asturian People.
This ethnographic museum for preserving and learning about Asturian culture has a large collection of artifacts, musical instruments (especially bagpipes), and documents related to Asturian traditions such as stories and folk songs.
On the museum’s grounds, you will find several typical Asturian buildings such as a granary.
Have dinner at Farragua Restaurante (7:00 pm)
For your evening meal, there are many great options. However, we recommend visiting Farragua Restaurante for dinner.
Farragua is a creative eatery with a focus on local seafood. After spending the day enjoying being near the ocean, it would be wrong to leave Gijon without tasting its fruits!
We highly recommend the tuna tartare!
An alternative options are La Galana Sidrería and Sidrería Tierra Astur Gascona.
After Dinner, Enjoy Gijón at Night
The best thing is to walk through the center in the evening and not to plan anything! Our favorite Gijon nightlife is simply sightseeing again with a completely different perspective.
A few places that look beautiful at night include the Plaza Mayor and the San Pedro Church.
Is one day enough for Gijón?
One day in Gijón City is enough for first-timers in Gijón. However, there are still plenty of places worth visiting that you cannot fit into visiting Gijón in a day.
Below are ideas for what to add to your Gijón itinerary if you want to spend 2 days in Gijón (or even 3 days!).
What to Do with 2 Days in Gijón?
Here are more ideas for things to do (or things to circle back and do more in-depth) if you decide to stay longer and see Gijón in two days:
Spend more time in the Old Town
Climb up Cerro de Santa Catalina to stand in the middle of the Elogio del Horizonte (the Eduardo Chillida landmark Eulogy to the Horizon on the Santa Catalina Headland)
Visit the Colored Steps from the Harbor into Cimavilla
Climb the tower at the Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura (the Concert Building that you might notice looks like the Giralda in Seville).
Wander the Jardín Botánico Atlántico (the Botanical Garden)
Visit the BIOPARC Acuario de Gijon (the Gijon aquarium)
See the Termas Romanas De Campo Valdés (the Roman baths of Campo Valdés)
Enjoy a visit to an llagar (to see where the cigars are made in the surrounding areas)
Drink Sidra (locally made apple cider best drank at cider bars known as
See the Costa Verde (the coastal stretch that covers Asturias, Cantabria, and part of Basque country)
Visit Luarca, Covadonga, Cudillero, Llastres, Ribadesella, and Llanes (nearby towns with their own charms)
Surf or Splash at the Playa de Poniente(Poniente Beach-another beautiful Gijon beach. You can also choose to do other water sports like kayaking).
Or check out Playa de La Ñora, another great Gijon beach.
Visit another Gjion museum: Museo del Ferrocarril (railway museum), Evaristo Valle Foundation Museum, the Museo Barjola, the Laboral Art and Industrial Creation, or the Parque Arqueológico-natural de La Campa.
How to Spend 3 Days in Gijon
In addition to the extra activities mentioned above, you can schedule a day trip to Oviedo.
This is the provincial capital and is a one-hour drive from Gijón.
In Oviedo, you can see beautiful historic buildings, like the Santa María del Naranco, a beautiful pre-Romanesque church that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s also the Mirador de Cueva, which is one of the most beautiful viewpoints you can find in Spain.
If you are traveling for longer in Spain and would like to alternate a city trip with nature, you can opt for a visit to the Picos de Europa National Park.
In Picos de Europa there are many beautiful hikes. You can combine it with a trip to the bordering village of Cangas de Onís.
Should you visit Gijón for one day?
This of course depends on what your interests are.
If, as above, you have been able to read many activities that interest you, it is better to stay a little longer than only 24 hours in Gijón.
In addition, it also depends on your itinerary and other places you would like to visit in Spain.
Essentially, one day in Gijon will allow you to discover the major sites and highlights, but it might leave you wanting more!
5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Spain
Along with sunglasses and sunscreen, make sure to pack these:
Get yours ahead of time, either a hard copy or on a Kindle.
An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a Spanish sim card while here to help navigate public transportation and when you’re on the road.
A Backup Charging Bank. This is for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS, and general travel genie.
A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc).
My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for tourist destinations because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets plus RFID technology to keep your credit card digits safe.
It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
Get the Best Spain Vacation Photos
If you are going on a special trip to Spain, like a family vacation or couples getaway, you may want to leave making sure you have the best vacation photos!
You can use the service Flytographer to book a personal Spanish photo session so that you leave knowing you have amazing pictures to help you treasure the memories of your trip.
Flytographer is available in Spain in the following cities: Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, San Sebastian, Seville, Tenerife, and Valencia.
I used them in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I loved how our family photos came out! In just thirty minutes, we were able to capture professional travel photos that will last a lifetime.
You can use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photo session.
More Spain Travel Resources
Here are more Spain travel guides to help you plan your complete Spain trip!
Spain Country Guides
What to buy in Spain for the best souvenirs.
The best jokes about Spain and Spain puns for Instagram captions.
An interview about an important LGBTQ monument in Barcelona.
Beautiful quotes about Madrid for Instagram.
The best things to do in Mallorca in winter.
Spain is Included in these Round Ups
Before You Leave for Spain – Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road.
I use Safety Wing on transatlantic travel, and I’m happy to recommend them!
It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in cities (like Barcelona and Seville…ahem) where tourists can be the victims of pickpockets.
Get a Travel Insurance quote for your trip.