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Puerto de la Cruz Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tenerife Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Puerto de la Cruz (sometimes abbreviated to Puerto Cruz on road signs or Puerto in everyday language) is a city of the island of Tenerife. It is more a family-friendly and older resort than the other tourist areas of Tenerife.

Understand

Puerto de la Cruz was originally established as a fishing village and eventually became the port for the nearby inland city of La Orotava. During the 17th century it developed into the most important port of Tenerife’s north coast, used for exporting sugar cane and wine from the Orotava Valley. Over time the city developed a separate identity from that of La Orotava, and finally gained full municipal autonomy in 1808.

In the late 19th century British elites began to visit, staying in many of the older Spanish manors which had been converted into luxurious hotels. In 1955 mass tourism arrived in El Puerto, or Puerto Cruz, as it is sometimes called, and since then has been the largest basis of the city’s economy.

  • Oficina de Información Turística Cabildo (Tourist Information Cabildo), C/ Las Lonjas, s/n (C/ Las Lonjas, s/n) ,  fax+34 922 384 76 Monday to Friday 09:00-20:00, Sa Su 09:00-17:00.
  • Oficina de Información Turística CIT (Tourist Information CIT), C/ Puerto Viejo, 13 ,   Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 16:30-19:00.

Get in

Fly to Puerto de la Cruz

Many people will arrive on a package deal. Some by taxi from the southern airport South–Reina Sofia (around €100) and some by bus via Santa Cruz bus station (easy to do if you do not have too much luggage). Some airlines now fly in by the nearer northern airport Los Rodeos, but on the whole only from mainland Spain. It may well be cheaper and pleasanter to pre-book a return taxi or shuttle bus from Tenerife South and to hire a car locally, than to hire a car from the airport at about twice the daily rate.

For travellers without much luggage, the local Titsa express bus 343 is very cost effective and efficient , and serves both airports. From Aeropuerto Sur a one-way ticket costs €13.55, and from Aeropuerto Norte €4.75. Tickets can be purchased directly from the bus driver, exact change not required. If you travel with a late flight, be careful: the last 343 bus from Aeropuerto Sur departs around 22:30 – 23:20 depending on day of week. It usually starts from track number 30.

By bus

Tenerife has a good bus service and all buses stop on C/ Cupido, just across the street from the now defunct bus station in the centre of town. The Titsa Information Centre (tel. +34 922 381 807, Monday to Friday 06:00-20:00, Sa Su and holidays 09:00-17:00) has bus schedules and route maps, and sells Bono cards, which can save 25% on bus fares as well as on museum entries. A single card can be shared by a number of people.

Note: If you travel to/from Santa Cruz, the direct bus 103 goes by motorway and is quick. The other bus 102 takes maybe three times as long, visiting everywhere on the way, including Tenerife Norte airport and San Cristóbal de La Laguna. Going south you can take a direct bus (only a few times a day) or change at Santa Cruz bus station.

There are several travel agencies too for tours around the island or to other islands.

By car

Puerto de la Cruz is well-connected to the east and west through the TF-5 motorway. The Teide mountain area can easily be reached by just following the TF-21 uphill. Don’t listen to your GPS when it proposes leaving that road while you are still within the settled areaː It may be a shorter way to climb up one of the narrow Caminos but it isn’t necessarily faster, and depending on how good your navigation system is you might easily end up in a dead end. Driving over the mountain to Los Gigantes will take you over an hour the first time, even if you’re brave. If you are nervous, just don’t do it as the road winds scarily over high mountains. If you’re driving to the Costa Adeje area, it’s much quicker to go via Santa Cruz on the motorway, which takes about an hour.

Get around

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideBy foot

Once you get away from the main shopping centre it’s uphill all the way, and a fairly steep climb in places.

By bus

The long-distance Titsa buses are used as the local bus service. See above for bus details.

By car

Hiring a car locally is cheap and easy. Even with a small car (highly recommended!), navigating the old city centre can be tricky, as there are many narrow one-way roads. A GPS navigation system can help here, but don’t trust it blindly as the map data may be outdated. Finding a parking spot can be even more of a challenge if you don’t know where to look for it. Your safest bet is the huge 3 parking lot near the harbour (free of charge). To get there, enter the Paseo Luis Lavaggi at its far western end. This road already has some 4 parking spaces, but to get closer to the harbour you can go all the way through, turn left at the traffic light and then follow the road up the hill and along the coast. Note that it is not possible to enter directly from the east through Calle San Felipe. Also note that in most maps this is marked as (futuro) Parque Maritimo. Don’t get fooled by that, as it has been the future maritime park for decades and will probably remain a parking lot for quite some time.

What to see and do

The old port area is bustling and has surprisingly good and interesting shops tucked away among many pleasant bars and bistros. While there are lots of tourists in this area, they are mostly Spanish, and the area is pleasantly free of German and British junk food outlets. Real fisherman still go out from here. As there is so little water space in the harbour, boats are lifted in and out of the water by electric cranes; it’s very pleasant to sit with a coffee and watch them. You will still see fisherman gutting squid and scaling fish on the harbour steps. The end of the sea wall by the harbour is a good spot to sunbathe and plunge into the sea, if scarily close to the boats powering in and out of the harbour.

Between here and the Lago Martianez is a fairly tack strip of neon-lighted shops selling two-year-old technology at today’s market rates, etc, but overall it’s a pleasant walk with some nice churches, houses and gardens in amongst them all.

Museums and historic sites

  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Eduardo Westerdahl (MACEW / Eduardo Westerdahl Museum of Contemporary Art), C/ Las Lonjas, s/n (1st floor of the Casa de la Aduana) ,    Monday – Saturday 10:00-14:00, F 10:00-14:00 17:00-19:30Located in the former Royal Customs House, it was established in 1953 as Spain’s first contempoary art museum. It has a good collection of modern works by Canary Island artists. €1.50 (adults), free (children).
  • Batería de Santa BárbaraC/ Las Lonjas, 3 (next to the MACEW). This defensive fortification was built in the mid-18th century to protect the city from pirates.
  • Museo Arqueológico (Archaeological Museum), C/ El Lomo, 9A ,   Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00 17:00-21:00, Su 10:00-13:00Has a large collection of indigenous Guanche artifacts, with a focus on pottery. €1 (adults), free (children).
  • Castillo de San FelipePaseo Luis Lavaggi, 12.  A small defensive fortress built in the early 17th century to defend the town against pirates. After being completely renovated in the late 20th century, it is now used as a venue for concerts and art exhibits.
  • Iglesia de San Francisco (corner of C/ San Juan and C/ Quintana). Likely the oldest building in Puerto de la Cruz, the church was built between 1599 and 1608 and was attached to a no-longer extant Franciscan monastery.
  • Ermita de San Telmo (Chapel of St. Telmo), Paseo San Telmo, s/nErratic hrsThe small chapel was built in 1780 and dedicated to the patron saint of seafarers. After being partly destroyed by flooding in 1826 the chapel was rebuilt, and fully restored several years ago. Of special note is the interior Mudejar-style carved wooden roof truss.

Parks

  • Loro ParqueAvenida Loro Parque (Punta Brava) ,   Daily 08:30-18:45 (last entrance at 16:00)A large zoo with shows from many of the inhabitants. Named after the parrots who the park started with, there are now also penguins, dolphins, whales, sea lions and plenty other animals. Pre-order your tickets to avoid the queues at the entrance, but regardless you’ll have to endure the queues on entering where they insist on taking your photo with a parrot which you can buy at large expense later. You can also buy inclusive coach trips from Costa Adeje/Las Americanos which will take you there for the day and back (about 90 minutes travelling each way). Bringing your own drinks and food is explicitly permitted, with “Picnic areas” provided throughout the park. €33 (adults), €22 (children 6-11).
  • Jardín de Aclimatación de la Orotava (Jardín Botánico / Botanical Garden), C/ Retama, 2.  Daily 09:00-18:00Established in 1788 to nurture specimens brought back from the New World on their way to mainland Spain, the Botanical Gardens have a large selection of tropical trees and shrubs. Even if you’re not interested, it’s a beautiful place to wander around and relax. Don’t expect to see much of the native Canarian flora there, though. €3.
  • Jardín de Orquideas Sitio Litre (Jardín Sitio Litre / Orchid Garden), Camino Sitio Litre, s/n ,   Daily 9:30-17:00The lovely English-style garden of an 18th-century mansion features a large collection of orchids along with bonsai trees and a dragon tree. Famous past visitors have included Sir Richard Burton as well as Agatha Christie, who was inspired to to write her short story collection The Mysterious Mr Quin. There is also a pleasant terrace café. €4.75 (adults), free (children).
  • Risco Bello Jardín Aquático (Risco Bello Aquatic Garden), Ctra Taoro, 11 (near Parque Taoro). Daily 09:30-18:00Owned by a pair of elderly sisters, this lovely garden features a number ponds with abundant bird life. The small café in the historic mansion is a peaceful spot to enjoy a drink and snack. €4 (adults), €2 (children).

What to do

  • Lago MartiánezAvda de Cristóbal Colón, s/n.  10:00-17:00A fantastic, post-modern swimming and sunbathing complex designed by the famous Lanzaroteno architect Cesar Manrique. It’s a bit concretey by modern standards but is still an awesome paradise which costs hardly anything to enter for the day. €5.50 (adults), €2.50 (children under 10); price includes sunbeds.

Beaches

About half a kilometre to the west of the harbour is the  Playa Jardín, the town’s lovely natural beach. The sand is fairly coarse and black, and getting into the sea isn’t always easy because of the coarser shingle at the water’s edge. The surf is substantial, but not scary and there are lifeguards, along with good facilities in terms of sunbeds, changing, showers, toilets, cafes etc. To the east, there is another beach, the  Playa Martiánez – just follow the main promenade east past the Lago Martiánez.

For those seeking a little more seclusion, the black-sand beach of  Playa de Bollullo is a short distance to the west of town, with a beach bar for refreshments. Nearby  parking spots (paid) are available by the Restaurante Bollullo.

Buy

The usual Spanish knick-knacks and tourist tat. British newspapers. Steer clear of cameras, binoculars, etc from Asian dealers which are not a bargain like they may first seem. You can almost certainly buy them cheaper back home and take them back if they are faulty. Many shops shut for a few hours from midday.

  • Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market), Avda Blas Pérez González, 4.   Monday – Saturday 08:00-14:00 16:00-20:00The city’s main market has 30 stalls; services and non-food related goods are located on the ground floor, and food items are sold on the first floor. There is also an Alteza supermarket in the building. 
  • Centro Comercial las Pirámides de MartiánezAvda de Aguilar y Quesada, 1.   Monday – Saturday 10:00-21:30, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00Puerto’s main shopping centre has a number of shops and restaurants, including a Mercadona supermarket.

Eat

There are lots of good, affordable restaurants offering typical Canarian and Spanish food in Puerto de la Cruz, especially in the historic part of the town. Expect to pay between €15-20 for a meal consisting of grilled fish, Canarian potatoes, mineral water and maybe even a starter such as a bowl of gazpacho soup. Of course most international kitchens are represented too. Food hygiene standards are good, so it’s generally safe to eat just about anything.

  • Mesón Los GemelosC/ Peñón, 4.  Th-Tu 12:00-23:00Popular with both locals and tourists, this restaurant serves traditional Canarian cuisine in a pleasant setting with friendly service. On weekends the queues to get in can be very long, so reservations are recommended. Mains €8-14.
  • Restaurante La PapayaC/ del Lomo, 10.  Th-Tu 12:30-23:00Located in a historic building with lovely courtyard, the established restaurant is best-known for its traditional Canarian seafood dishes. Mains €9+.
  • Restaurante Mil SaboresC/ Cruz Verde, 5.  F-W 12:00-23:00Serves creative Mediterranean cuisine. Reservations recommended. Mains €12-18.

Grocery stores

For those who self-cater, there are several good-sized supermarkets in town.

  • MercadonaAvda Aguilar y Quesada, 1 (in the Las Pirámides de Martiánez shopping centre).
  • MercadonaC/ Blanco, 30.   Monday – Saturday 09:00-21:30.
  • Supercor ExpresC/ Marina, 8.  Daily 09:00-24:00A bit more expensive than the others, but open late nights and Sundays.

Drink

Whatever you like is here though you’ll normally have to go down south for ‘happy hours’ and the disco scene.

Where to stay in Puerto de la Cruz

Better to book before arrival as a tour or on the internet. Some agencies do long lets. Remember that it can be a long way up a steep hill back to your hotel/apartment if you are at La Paz, the back of town or ‘German Town’ as some call it because of the number of Germans who have bought apartments there. However taxi service in town is very cheap.

Mid-range

  • Be Live Experience OrotavaAvda del Aguilar y Quesada, 3 (200m from the beach and Lago Martiánez, 6km from Los Rodeos airport) ,   60€+.
  • Hotel MarquesaC/ Quintana, 11.  Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 08:00-12:00Built in 1712 as a private manor, the building is named after the Marquesa de Candia, a previous resident. In 1799 the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt stayed here for five days as a guest of the then-owner Bernardo Cólogan y Fallon. In 1887 it was converted to a hotel. Modern facilities include an outdoor pool, fitness centre, onsite restaurant, non-smoking rooms, and free Wi-Fi. €61+ (doubles).
  • Hotel MonopolC/ Quintana, 15 ,  fax+34 922 370 310 Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00This 250-year-old hotel has modern facilities including an outdoor pool and onsite restaurant. Wi-Fi is €6/day; pets permitted on request. €45+ (singles), €78+ (doubles); breakfast included.

Splurge

  • Hotel TigaigaParque Taoro, 28 (Taoro Park) ,   A great place to relax. It is surrounded by an extensive subtropical garden and from the heated swimming pool you can enjoy stunning views which reach from Teide volcano over the Atlantic. €184+ (doubles, half-board).

Stay safe in Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is often hazy, especially in the afternoon. The temperature drops with the haze, but the UV penetration doesn’t; it’s very easy to get badly sunburnt here on a hazy day if you don’t realise this.

Some people who have hired cars here have been told to leave nothing in them overnight and to even leave them unlocked as that way they do not get their windows broken by people looking to steal from them.

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Spain

Oviedo Coronavirus (COVID-19) Asturias Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Oviedo or Uviéu (in Asturian language) is a cathedral city, capital of Principality of Asturias, in Northern Spain. It has an interesting old town with various monuments listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Spain Coronavirus since reopening
3,456,886
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
77,496
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
2.2%
Deaths (%)
3,156,955
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
91.3%
Recovered (%)
222,435
Active
6.4%
Active (%)

Credit/Source: Sentosa Medical Exchange Germany & Singapore

Get in

By plane

Airport of Asturias  is approximately 40km away from Oviedo. The airport is located on the outskirts of the town of Aviles. Asturias airport has flights to and from London (Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick), Lisbon, Munich and Venice.

The bus is by far the cheapest way to get to Oviedo from the airport (8 euros). An ALSA coach will leave you in the Bus station, very close to the centre, with connections to local buses, taxis and the train station next to Buses are on the right as you exit the terminal and leave every hour from 6.00am to midnight. The journey takes from 40 to 50 minutes.

A taxi will cost around € 46 and take 20 to 25 minutes

By Coach

The Oviedo Coach Station (calle Pepe Cosmen, tel. +34 902499949) is located in the centre of town, next to the Oviedo train station. There are coach routes to most towns in Asturias and the North of Spain, as well as Madrid and some other Spanish large cities, like Seville and Barcelona. International coach routes link Oviedo daily with Paris, Brussels and Genève There is a Tourist Information Office at the bus station (tel. + 34 985117050).

By train

Oviedo train station (calle Pepe Cosmen) is on the north side of la Calle Uría (the center of the city), where there are many connecting local bus routes. There is also a taxi stand just outside the station. It is next to the coach station.

By car

There is a convenient ring-road,with various exits into Oviedo. There are places to charge, but they are not near, check directions before getting into A6. Lugones will be your easy option to return. To Oviedo, freeway will take by car in less than 20min to Gijón or Avilés.

Distances to/from Oviedo: Madrid 450 km, Bilbao 305 km, A Coruna 325 km, Gijon 30 km

Get around

The best way to get around is by walking.

Most of the center of the city can only be visited that way, because little motor traffic is allowed. Where traffic is possible, be prepared for jams and narrow passes, as sometimes parking is permitted on both sides of the road.

The local Buses (Autobuses Urbanos de Oviedo, tel. +34 985222422) are fairly reliable, and on every bus stop there is a screen with the time for arrival of the next bus. Almost all local buses go down Calle Uria. The single fare is €1.20 (children under 4 free).

There are plenty of taxis, although they are not cheap. Minimum charge at non-peak hours is 4€. Although they can be found on taxi ranks and on the streets, you can contact one of two companies directly: Radio Taxi Ciudad de Oviedo (tel. +34 985250000) or Radio Taxi Principado (tel. +34 985252500); if you need to go from Oviedo to the airport. and from the airport to Oviedo, and you prefer taxi drivers who speak English; you can reserve it by email: contacta@taxioviedo.com, or by phone (+34 615980000). Final prices, taxes included in 2016 are 40€. If you prefer other companies, prices are from 53€

What to see and do

  • The old part of Oviedo is called the “Casco Antiguo”. Wander along cobbled streets admiring its beautifully restored buildings and squares. Some of the most outstanding are the Velarde Palace (which hosts part of the Art Museum), the Town Hall, the plaza del Fontán, the Palace of Toreno and the Palace of Camposagrado.
  • The old town also hosts Oviedo’s splendid Cathedral of San Salvador. Although predominantly Gothic, some IXth century pre-Romanesque sections can still be seen.
  • The churches of San Miguel de Lillo and Santa Maria del Naranco are two quaint little pre-Romanesque churches, both on a hill just outside Oviedo, a short distance one from another. A regular local bus line will take you to both of them.
  • Museum of Fine Arts.  Santa Ana, 1 and Rúa, 8 (open Tue-Sun, only mornings on Sun and holidays, free entrance.
  • Museum of the Church.  Corrada del Obispo (open Monday – Saturdayt, free on Thursday afternoons.

The Tourist Information office is just next to plaza de la Constitución, just the other side of the archway under the Town Hall on the right (calle Cimadevilla, 4, open Monday – Saturdayt, 10am-7pm, tel. +985213385, e-mail ofiturio@princast.es).

What to do

Local festivals

There are plenty of local festivities, in which local food, folk groups and local costumes are the main attraction:

  • Fair of La Ascensión (variable date in May). It is a fair devoted to the countryside with an arts and crafts market, local produce and folk groups playing in the streets.
  • La Balesquida or Countryside Tuesday (first Tuesday of Whitsun). The main event is a procession that takes place in the square in front of the Cathedral, followed by the handing-out of bollu preñau (pronounced boyo preniau), or chorizo-filled bun.
  • La Hoguera de San Juan. The night of the 23rd of June (St. John), bonfires are lit all over the city and in the square of the Cathedral. There is also a fountain-decorating contest.
  • Fiestas de San Mateo are mostly a cultural affair with plays and concerts scheduled for the week leading up to St-Mathew’s Day. America Day in Asturias takes place on the 19th of September in honour of the Asturian emigrants. A procession takes place through the main streets. On St. Mathew’s day itself (21st of september) there is a hand-out of bollu preñau and wine, and at the end of the day fireworks in Parque de Invierno.

Buy

The old-town is full of small traditional shops. There is an open-air market in the main square on most days, which is worth a look. The traditional covered maket is close to the Plaza de la Constitución. Close to the covered market there are various shops that sell traditional foodstuff and cider. There are also various large shopping malls in Oviedo. The shopping malls offer uninterrupted shopping hours, from 10am to about 9PM. Other shops and businesses in Spain tend to close from 2pm-5pm:

  • Intu Asturias (people knows it as Parque Principado), which is located just outside Oviedo. The D1 and H1 bus goes from El Cristo and Serrano St, respectively, and takes about 30 minutes to get there, with stops along the way. Once there, you have about 110 shops, with the flagship hypermarket Familia flanking one end, and an eclectic range of restaurants, 11-screen cinema, bowling alley, casino, children’s amusements on the other end. Parque Principado is situated in a sprawling industrial estate, which also boasts stores such as MediaMarkt, AKI (a DIY superstore), Conforama for furniture and an IKEA.
  • There is another shopping mall called Los Prados which can be reached by bus no. 2,4,7 and 11. These buses can be caught from central Oviedo. This mall has Asturias’ only IMAX theatre offering movies in 3D, as well as a traditional 14-screen cinema. The range of shops is not as impressive as that of El Parque Principado, however.
  • The main shopping malls in central Oviedo are Salesas and Modoo. Salesas hosts Spain’s main department store El Corte Inglés, a huge supermarket Hipercor, as well as various fashion stores and a Burger King. Modoo (people knows it as Calatrava) features many stores like El Corte Inglés, Game, La Casa del Libro, Real Oviedo store… (For Real Oviedo see below)
  • There is a Corte Inglés situated in Uría St. This one is the biggest and the best of Oviedo.

Eat

There are many places to eat in the old-town, both indoors and in small secluded squares such as El Fontán or Gascona, to name just two. Down calle Gascona you will be able to get a huge set menu for around €10. The set menu (menú del día) may not be on the menu you are given, so you may have to ask.

Typical dishes of Oviedo are those common to all of Asturias. The Fabada Asturiana is a bean stew with a reputation all over Spain that is worth trying (maybe not in the evening!). A really well known Asturian dish is the Cachopo, this one is meat with ham and cheese all breaded. The Cachopo deserves a try. Fish and shellfish are of great quality. A local cheesecabrales, also has an excellent reputation, especially if you like strong flavours. Less known are the gamoneu and afuega’l pitu cheeses. Asturias also has a tradition for rice pudding (arroz con leche).

There are many popular places to eat, the more known are: Tierra Astur (in Gascona there are two down the street there is a grill with local products and up the street there is the restaurant with every product said above. Also in the Fontán there are two: Casa Ramón with fish from the shores and Casa Amparo. Near the Cathedral there are many places to drink and eat tapas, like Plaza del Riego with restaurants of ham and El Reloj de Porlier with its great asturian and international food.

Drink

Cider (sidra) is something that should not be missed. The cider you will find in Asturias is natural cider and has a reputation all over Spain. Drinking cider in Asturias is a ritual in itself: it is poured from on high in order to incorporate air into the cider as it falls from the bottle to the glass. When you get your glass of cider it will be naturally fizzy. You are meant to drink in one gulp what the waiter offers you, leaving a little in the base of the glass. You then pour what’s left out of the glass and leave the glass on the table until the waiter offers you more. Be aware that cider pouring is a messy business and the floor will get very, very wet and sticky (which is why the floors of sidrerías are covered in sawdust).

In many other bars and restaurants there is cider available. Look out for signs saying “Sidrería” or “Chigre”. The best place to find a number of Sidrerías by far is La Calle Gascona {100 mts from the Cathedral}. There are also plenty of wine bars close to Gascona street, on Calle Jovellanos. Do not miss El Patio de los Naranjos with friendly staff, good wine and tapas.

In the past bars used to close very late, but now there is a time schedule: Su-Th – bars close at 3:00am, discos close at 5:00am. Fri-Sat – bars close at 5:30am, discos close at 7:00am.

There are mainly 3 areas:

  • El Cristo. In this area you can find mostly bars and pubs, and some after hour. Mostly middle age people in their 30s and 40s.
  • El Rosal. It is where large numbers of youth go on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings (7pm to 3am). Once the teens have left, youngsters in their early 20s will take their place.
  • La calle Mon. The vast majority of people end their night in this narrow and noisy street. People here are usually in their 20s and 30s. Erasmus students can be regularly found in “El Escondite” and on Tuesdays in the “Asturiano”, for the Erasmus quiz.

Where to stay in Oviedo (Spain)

There are plenty of hotels of all categories in and near the old-town. If you are traveling by car, you might want to consider staying in a dwelling in a smaller village nearby (casas de aldea). There are two hostels in Oviedo:

  • Oviedo Youth Hostel “Ramón Menéndez Pidal”. C/ Julián de Clavería, 14, tel. +34 986 96 65 70
  • Ibis Hotel (Cheap hotel with modern rooms) Calle Ernesto Winter Blanco, 6. +34 985 11 43 75. From 20 €
  • Eurostars Reconquista (Best known hotel where famous people stay. The Kings of Spain, Shigeru Miyamoto, Francis Ford Coppola…), C/Gil de Jaz 16 ,  fax+34 985 23 78 09From 80 €.
  • Ayre Hotel Oviedo (City centre hotel in Oviedo with modern rooms), C/Policarpo Herrero nn (In Modoo at the back of the main entrance) ,  fax+34 985 22 15 54A hotel with modern rooms, a Congress room and many other facilities. From 60 €.
  • NH PrincipadoSan Francisco, 6, +34.98.5217792. Located in the historical centre of the city, a few meters from the Cathedral, the Campoamor Theatre, the entrance scene of the prizes of the Princess of Asturias and in front of the Historical Building of the University of Oviedo.

Views

For enjoying good views the best place is the Cristo. To go there you can go walking, following many routes and stopping at fountains and the Santa María del Naranco and Miguel de Lillo churches.

You can go by car/taxi that will be faster but you will lose the churches.

Go next

Asturias is full of coastal and mountain villages all worth visiting and spending some time in (Luanco, Cudillero, Villaviciosa…). The other major towns in the area are Gijón, a lively coastal town, with a beach worth visiting, and Aviles The Picos de Europa National Park, on the other hand, is a great place for hiking and climbing.

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Spain

La Aldea de San Nicolás Agaete Roque Bormejo Coronavirus outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem

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The western part of Gran Canaria is mostly a destination for nature lovers.

Get in

Use the roads or port  Puerto de las Nieves in Agaete.

Towns

La Aldea de San Nicolás

  • CactualdeaOpen daily from 10 am to 6 pmA cactus park located about 2 km south of San Nicolás near the small town of Tocodomán. In addition to these South and Central American plants, there are also numerous other succulents from all over the world such as Euphorbia, Agave and Aloe. Next to a shop there is a wine cellar (with cactus liqueur) and a restaurant. Admission €7, incl. Menu €13.
  • Mirador del BalcónA lookout point on the coastal road GC-200 with parking. Good view to Puerto de las Nieves at Agaete and to the southwest side of the neighboring Tenerife island.
  • Los AzulejosStrange colored rock formations. There are smaller parking spaces at some points of interest, and a bar at the most beautiful spot.

Agaete

  • Iglesia de La ConcepciónA church from the year 1874.
  • Virgen de las NievesA small church with a Triptych by a 16th-century Flemish painter.

Other destinations

  • Tamadaba RangeThe only real mountain range on the island, covered with forests of Canarian pines. The range is a natural park, thus hiking is limited to the marked paths. The cliffs allow for sport climbing activities too.
  • Roque BormejoA small tuff mountain with a sanctuary of the pre-hispanic inhabitants to be found on its summit.
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Spain

Malasana-Chueca Coronavirus (COVID-19) Madrid Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Malasaña and Chueca, as well as Conde Duque and Salesas, are neighbourhoods in northern central Madrid.

Understand

Malasaña used to be a not-so-privileged residential neighbourhood. Starting from the 1980s Movida madrileña period, however, it has been populated by the city’s young, creative, hip and artsy crowds. By day, it is a paradise for those shopping for second-hand or street fashion, artisan craftwork and young designers’ stuff. At night, the pavements are occupied by tables of bars and restaurants as well as people just spending time with friends.

Conde Duque is a smaller neighbourhood directly to the west of Malasaña. Its character is pretty similar, perhaps a little quieter. Located near the university campus, its population is quite young and studentish, too. It is named after the Conde-Duque (i.e. “Count-Duke”) barracks, an 18th-century former military compound-turned-cultural centre.

Chueca has a similar background like Malasaña (maybe a tad more bourgeois), but has built its reputation as Madrid’s gay district. Of course, that does not mean that straight people were not welcome. Indeed, most restaurants, hostels and nightlife venues cater to a general public, not a specifically gay one. Apart from that, this area has a high concentration of antique shops.

Salesas is the small neighbourhood inbetween Chueca and the posh Salamanca district.

The official name of the admistrative barrio that contains Chueca and Salesas neighbourhoods, is Justicia as the Supreme Court of Spain and the Court of Accounts are seated here. The Spanish Ministry of Justice is in nearby Calle de San Bernardo.

Get in

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideChueca and Malasaña are just 1–2 km north of the central Puerta del Sol square and 3 km north of Atocha (Madrid’s main station for intercity trains). They can be reached with several metro lines. Stations Gran Vía (lines 1, 5), Tribunal (1, 10) and Bilbao (1, 4) are located along Calle Fuencarral that is right inbetween both districts. Noviciado (2) is between Malasaña and Conde Duque, and Chueca (5) of course in the middle of the eponymous district. San Bernardo (2, 4) and Alonso Martínez (4, 5, 10) are near the northern tip of Malasaña and Chueca, respectively. Plaza de España (3, 10) and Ventura Rodriguez (3) are on the western rim of Conde Duque, Colón (4) at the northeastern corner of Salesas.

What to see and do

  • Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of History of Madrid), C. Fuencarral, 78 ,   Tu-Su 10:00-20:00This museum is dedicated to the history of Madrid from 1561 to present. Much of the history is explained by referencing exhibited paintings depicting people or events from the time, so it is also an art museum. Several maps and models (including two large ones in the basement) show how Madrid grew since the 16th century. All exhibits are explained in both English and Spanish. Free.
  • Plaza del Dos de MayoCentral square of the Malasaña neighbourhood. It was named after the 2 May uprising of 1808 against the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. A monument in its centre honours the leaders of the uprising who were executed. The monument is Malasaña’s symbolic landmark that is pictured on Malasaña postcards, on the label of Malasaña beer and other local merchandise.
  • Palacio Longoria (Longoria Palace), Calle Fernando VI, 6 / Calle Pelayo (metro Alonso Martínez). Exceptionally ornamental art nouveau building, erected 1902–03 for the banker and politician Javier González Longoria. It was designed by the Catalan architect Jose Grasses Riera and is considered to be one of the most important and beautiful examples of Spanish modernismo. Today, it houses the Spanish society of authors and editors. It can only be visited from the outside, but you may cast a glance at the entrance hall and staircase.

What to do

  • Cuartel del Conde-DuqueC/ Conde Duque, 11.  Box office: Tu-Sa 17:30-20:30; exhibits: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:30-21:00, Su and holidays 10:30-14:00This former military building now not only serves as a venue for musical, dance, and theatrical performances but also hosts contemporary art exhibits. Tickets for performances are also sold online.

Buy

  • 1 Calle Fuencarral (between metro stations Gran Vía and Tribunal). The high street that is right inbetween Malasaña and Chueca, is the main shopping and promenading route in this part of Madrid. The 500-metre long strip between Gran Vía and Calle Hernán Cortés is closed to motorised traffic which makes it ideal to stroll along. Fuencarral itself is mostly lined by branches of well-known international fashion, cosmetics and accessory chains. Have a look into the side streets on either side if you are looking for something more individual.
  • Mercado de FuencarralC/ Fuencarral, 45Centrally located shopping centre.
  • Time CapsuleC/ Belén, 7 (Chueca). Tiny, high-quality antique shop. The friendly owner is well aware of the worth of her hand-picked gems, so do not expect a bargain! Current offers are published on the shop’s website and instagram.
  • Flamingo Vintage KiloC/ Espíritu Santo, 1.   Monday – Saturday 11:00-21:00Great assortment of vintage fashion that is sold by weight.

Eat

  • Mercado de San IldefonsoCalle de Fuencarral, 57Su-W noon–midnight, F Sa noon–1AMStreetfood market on Fuencarral street, right in the middle of the Malasaña-Chueca area. 15 different stalls offer arepas (cornmeal griddlecake), brochetas (skewer), tacostapas, ham, meats, wine, beer etc. Between late-May and early-June an international street food festival is celebrated.

Budget

  • Antigua HueveríaC/ San Vicente Ferrer, 32 (Malasaña).  Tu-Th 20:00-23:00, F 20:00-24:00, Sa 13:00-24:00, Su 13:00-16:00The very best huevos rotos (‘broken eggs’) and croquetas. Cheap, beautiful and delicious! The chicken-adorned tiled front dates from the 19th century. Mains €8-14.
  • Cervecería 100 Montaditosmultiple locationsDailyPopular nationwide chain that offers 100 different types of montaditos (small sandwiches). Great place to go for a cheap drink and bite to eat.
  • Home Burger BarC/ Espíritu Santo, 12 (Malasaña).  M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00THE place for serious hamburgers. Americans will feel at home!
  • Home Burger BarC/ Silva, 25 (Gran Vía).  M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00A second branch of the same concept.
  • Tapería de MalasañaCalle Corredera Alta de San Pablo 8.  08:00-02:00Taperia with lunch room out the back. Reviews mixed about the tapas but great place for lunch; they do a great Cocido Madrileño and the house wine is more than acceptable (although served somewhat cold). Menu del dia €11.

Mid-range

  • La Cocina del Desierto (Al-Jaima), C/ Barbieri, 1 (Metro: Chueca).  Daily 13:30-16:00 21:00-24:00This dark, cave-like Moroccan restaurant has some of the best North African food in the city. The seating is at low Moroccan-style tables and the calm, mellow atmosphere makes you feel like you’re far from the bustling center of Chueca.
  • Lamucca de PezPlaza de Carlos Cambronero, 4 (Metro: Noviciado) ,   Su-W 13:00-01:30, Th 13:00-02:00, F Sa 13:00-02:30Nice designer restaurant popular within the 20s-30s crowd. Good music, cool people, even better food and cocktails. The kitchen opens in the afternoon.
  • La Panza es Primero (Cocina Mex-Mex), C/ Libertad, 33 (Metro: Chueca) ,   Daily 13:00-01:00This is a small, usually crowded, friendly Mexican restaurant with good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Sample some of their tacos and super-cheesy chilaquiles.
  • Restaurante La BarracaC/ Reina, 29 ,   Daily 13:30-16:15 20:00-23:45Recommended for paella if a more authentic experience is sought. €40+, €50 (meal for 2 with drinks).
  • Restaurante SiamC/ San Bernardino, 6 (Metro: Plaza España or San Bernardino).  Daily 12:00-16:00 20:00-24:00Beautifully-decorated with a tranquil atmosphere, the food is reasonable and offers a pleasant departure from Spanish fare, if so desired. Most mains between €8 and €12.

Drink

As becomes a real hipster quarter, Malasaña boasts its own, eponymous brand of craft beer that can be bought in local delis.

Tapas bars

  • El TigreCalle de las Infantas, 30 (Metro: Gran Vía / Chueca).  Su-Th 12:00-01:30, F Sa 12:00-02:00Probably the most well-known tapas bar in Madrid, a must do. Don’t get frightened by how crowded the bar is and go in anyway. This is one of the most lively places in the city! Get beers, big glasses of wine or un mini de mojito and get free big plates of tapas every time you order. Very affordable.

Cafés

  • Café ComercialGlorieta de Bilbao, 7 (Metro: Bilbao). Opened in the 1880s, this is the oldest cafe in Madrid, and has been run by the same family since the early 1900s. There’s a modern internet café upstairs, but the downstairs remains traditional.
  • Pastelería La DuquesitaCalle Fernando VI, 2 (metro Alsonso Martínez).  Monday to Friday 8.30AM-8.30PM, Sa 9.30AM-8.30PM, Su 10AM-8.30PMLong-standing confectionery (established 1914), offering excellent tartlets that are not only delicious but also look picture-perfect. They are also sold to take away. Tartlets 5–6 € a piece.
  • Café GijónPaseo Recoletos, 21 (Metro: Banco de España or Colon). A historic literary cafe. The outdoor terraza is nice in the summer. 
  • Café Restaurant El Espejo (El Pabellón de El Espejo), Paseo de Recoletos, 31 (Metro: Colon).  Daily 09:00-01:00 (café); daily 13:00-24:00 (restaurant)Opened in 1978, but looks much older. Has two divisions: a more casual café and a restaurant. Good food and very crowded during lunchtime. Café: €14-15 (midweek set menu), €19-20 (weekend set menu); Restaurant: set menu €11-17.
  • Libertad 8Libertad 8 is an iconic coffee shop and bar located on Libertad del barrio de Chueca, in Madrid. Opened as a coffee shop in 1975, ever since then it’s served as a stage for artists and singer-songwriters (known as cantautores). It’s become one of the most important spaces for songwriters, with frequent concerts by Pedro Guerra, Rosana, Ismael Serrano, Luis Pastor, Tontxu, Andrés Suárez, Lichis, Carlos Chaouen, or Kiko Tovar.

Bars

  • AreiaC/ Horteleza, 96 (Metro: Chueca).  Monday to Friday 16:00-03:00, Sa Su 14:00-03:00Very cool chill out bar decorated with deep colours in a Moroccan style. Dark and inviting. The seating includes cushions on the floor, traditional tables and chairs, or if you’re lucky, grab the four poster bed at the back. Drinks: €7 before 22:00 and €8 after 22:00.
  • La Via LacteaC/ Velarde 18 (Malasaña, Metro: Tribunal).  Su-Th 20:00-03:00, F Sa 20:00-03:30A swingin’ bar where you can twist the night away with local hipsters.

Clubs

  • DemodeCalle Ballesta (At the back of Gran Via, closest metro may be Tribunal/Gran Via). From 00:00 to 04:00AMCool electronic sounds for 20s-30s. Free.
  • El Junco Jazz ClubPza. Santa Bárbara 10 (Metro: Alonso Martínez). From 23:00 to 05:30AM weekdays, to 06:00AM weekendsSmallish venue, starts the night with live jazz, later on morphs into relaxed night club. Not cheap (once inside, beer still €5.50, mixed drink €8.50), so attracts older crowd than others nearby. €6 with beer, €9 with mixed drink.

Where to stay in Madrid/Malasaña-Chueca

Budget

  • Hostal Jemasaca-Palma61Calle de la Palma 61 (metro: Noviciado) ,   Breakfast (coffee + pastry + juice) is included in price and it’s served in a cafe near hostel. The nearest metro station is Noviciado. The room includes own bathroom and TV. Quiet and clean basic hostel. Double room: about 50e/night.
  • Hostal San MartinCalle Concepción Arenal 4 (Metro: Callao).  Small, clean guest-house on the 4th floor. Ideally located just meters from Gran Via, with great staff and free wi-fi. All rooms have sink & shower, but most share bathrooms. Singles: €30-36; Doubles: €42-48.
  • Hostal MH FuencarralCalle Fuencarral 10 3º (Metro: Gran Via).  Centrally located, all rooms include bathroom, TV, free wi-fi, air conditioning, central heating, laundry and baggage storage facilities. Rooms with kitchen, washing machine and fridge are also available. Single: From €30.
  • Hostal VisaC/ Pérez Galdós, 7 (metro: Chueca).  Simple, clean and secure. Central location close to Gran Via. Friendly staff. Single €30+.
  • Hostal AsunciónPlaza Santa Bárbara, 8, 2º D (Metro: Alonso Martínez) ,   Check-in: 13:00 to 00:00, check-out: 11:00Simple but clean, on 2nd floor of building. Staff speak excellent English, very friendly. Reception open 6:00 to 00:00, but no curfew, guests get access code to front door. Good free WiFi. Doubles €55.
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