Because of several other festivals and major tourist events in Gijón during August, many hotels are booked solid. It is recommended that students book their housing as soon as they have a confirmed acceptance from the Gijón International Piano Festival.
August is the high season of tourism in Gijon, so the prices are higher than perhaps during other times of the year. Shared hotel rooms should start at around 45 Euros per person, per room, at the lower end. Double rooms will start from around 60 Euros per person, per room.
Some hotels offer the possibility to share a room among three people, which reduces the cost per person. An additional list of hotels that offer double and triple rooms will be sent out upon request from Dr. Gustafson.
Some students also choose to team up and sublet apartments in Gijón during the festival, which can often turn out to be more affordable. Many have also successfully used the website www.bandb.com
to book their affordable accommodations.
All students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation during the festival as well as during any days before and after the festival.
***If you plan to arrive in Gijón before the festival or stay a few days extra, you must arrange accommodation ahead of time.***
Ticket prices to Europe during summer months can be quite expensive. You are encouraged to use any available frequent flyer miles and look for special deals wherever you can find them.
There may be bargains to be had if booking is made early. Please begin make your arrangements as soon as you have received confirmation of your acceptance.
As you make your travel arrangements, keep in mind that there is only one airport in Asturias. It is listed as OVD (Oviedo) with airline companies. Many airlines make a connection in Madrid.
Getting from the airport to Gijón takes about 30 minutes by taxi or bus.
There also may better bargains when flying only to Madrid. It is fairly easy to get to Gijón from Madrid by train (www.renfe.es
) or bus (www.alsa.es
). Keep in mind that travel by train or bus from Madrid to Gijon will add about 6 – 7 hours to your travel time.
EATING IN GIJÓN
Gijón offers a vast array of dining possibilities, from casual to very luxurious. The festival will provide a city map with some recommended dining sites and other tourist information.
During the festival days, the cafeteria of the Universidad Laboral offers not only sandwiches and snacks, but a hot lunch menu as well, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. At the university cafeteria, a one course lunch costs 6.50 Euros, and a two course lunch costs 12 Euros.
In the downtown area, lunch will costs anywhere from 9 to 15 Euros for the "menu del dia" (menu of the day -- usually includes two courses, beverage, and dessert) or 8 to 12 Euros for a "plato combinado" (combined plate -- a one course lunch). Most places do not start to serve lunch until at least 1:30 p.m.
Many students take advantage of the many supermarkets in Gijón and plan ahead to pack their own lunch each day.
Dinner can cost anywhere from 12 Euros to 25 Euros per person, depending on the restaurant and whether or not the restaurant has "menu de la noche" (night menu).
Dining with a group of people and ordering a variety of “tapas” (small portions to share) is sometimes an economical option.
Keep in mind that most restaurants do not start to serve dinner until at least 8:30 p.m. If you want to eat dinner before that, your best option would be a sandwich or snack at a bar.
TRANSPORTATION IN GIJÓN
The easiest way to get around in Gijón is to use the public bus system. Each ride costs 1.20 Euros. Buying a discount bus card from EMTUSA (the municipal transportation service) will reduce the fare to 80 cents. Bus cards are available for purchase at the first orientation meeting. Money can then be added to the card at the same machines located at various municipal buildings throughout the city and many kiosks also offer the service of adding money to the bus card.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIPS
Use ATMs. ATMs are frequent in Gijón and withdrawing money from the ATM actually yields a better exchange rate than even changing money in the airport.
If you must change currency, do so in the airport. Currency exchange places can be found in downtown Gijón, but they are scarce. Most banks do not change currency for non-clients.
Do not bring traveler’s checks if doing so can be avoided. These are rarely honoured in stores and restaurants anymore.