Cuenca Travel Guide

  • Cuenca - Spain
    Cuenca - Spain
    by solopes
  • Cuenca - Spain
    Cuenca - Spain
    by solopes
  • Cuenca - Spain
    Cuenca - Spain
    by solopes

Cuenca Highlights

  • Pro
    easyoar profile photo

    easyoar says…

     Wild and beautiful scenery 

  • Con
    DanielF profile photo

    DanielF says…

     I can't think of any 

  • In a nutshell
    DanielF profile photo

    DanielF says…

     What a spectacular location! 

Cuenca Things to Do

  • Still the hanging houses

    In a previous tip I wrote that the best angle to see the hanging houses was from the bridge. Yes. it is!Tito went there, and brought a couple of new photos that confirm the common idea. We missed that angle, but it's about time for the youngsters to help the old guys, isn't it?

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  • S Pedro Street

    Strolling along S. Pedro street is a very good experience - the old city is around you, with typical houses and gardens, with many monuments nearby. There´s no way to miss it, if you walk from Plaza Mayor to the castle.

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  • Castle

    The castle of Cuenca is a city inside the city. There's not much to see in the remains of the original Arab fortress, but the whole is nice and allows splendid views over the city, the Huecar valley and the hanging houses.

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Cuenca Hotels

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Cuenca Restaurants

  • Good "Tapeo"

    Located inside the castle, with a pleasant esplanade that "invites us" (and we didn't use because it was full and we had to go inside) it is a simple restaurant with local food.We decided to eat as locals, a set of tiny dishes with several different cooking ("tapas") and enjoyed them. It was cheap, but I think that, with a formal meal, the prices...

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  • What a look!

    We didn't enter this bar, but I was very attracted by its look. If I needed to have a drink or to eat in the area this should be the place.

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  • Good food, good price, cozy setting

    We had come to Meson Jose before to have a couple drinks in the patio. It is on a rather popular street with a few different bars and restaurants. If this place is full, feel free to try your luck at the others on the same street.The patio fills up quickly when the weather is nice. Lunch is served until 4pm. Dinner can be served in the back dining...

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Cuenca Nightlife

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Belgium Beers in Cuenca

    by DSwede Updated May 8, 2011

    This casual spot is a good place to get a couple drinks and possibly some tapas or rationes. It's interior is adorned with posters, pictures and old tins from mostly Belgium breweries, but also some German or miscellaneous others.

    The proprieter works behind the bar, pours and serves most everything. There is typically some really soft music playing, maybe jazz or blues.

    This is likely the only establishment where you can find a stock of non-Spanish beers, and not only that, but several of the Belgium beers on draught too!. Beers like Kwak, Grimbergen, St. Bernardus, Chimay, etc.

    Dress Code: The dress code here is casual, with it being a pub atmosphere instead of a club.

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    • Beer Tasting

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Cuenca Transportation

  • Transport from Madrid and Valencia

    The city is well connected with Madrid by rail (RENFE), by Bus (2h or 2:30h) and by highway, taking the A-3 highway and changing at Tarancón junction to A-40 (166 km). Also from Valencia there are good connections by rail, by bus and by highway: A-3 till Minglanilla, then CM-211 till Almodóvar del Pinar and N-320 (200 km).A new high-speed rail...

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  • Local Bus

    The bus(# 1 and 2) is commuting regularly from the Plaza Mayor to El Castillo=the Panorama point of Cuenca.

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  • By yourself

    Just walk and walk ... the day I went to Cuenca it was something holiday in Spain ... everything was closed and I was blank! I tried to ask somebody at the bus station and I got nothing. I found a hotel and ask for a city map ( thank you so much! ) then I started to walk and walk.

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Cuenca Shopping

  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    by DanielF Written Sep 5, 2002

    What to buy: I am not sure what is the speciality of Cuenca, but here, as any where else, there are some shops for tourists. Fortunately not a lot of them yet!

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Cuenca Local Customs

  • History

    Muslim troops entered in the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and conquered the area around Cuenca in 714. They built an Alcazaba (fortress) in a strategic location, between two gorges of the rivers Júcar and Huécar, the site of the present city of Cuenca. The place became a prosper agricultural and textile manufacturing city.During the re-conquest of the...

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  • Locals have a sense of humor

    Who says that just because you don't know the language you don't know what people are saying?! They are staying 'we have a good healthy sense of humor'... that's one thing I've found from walking around the streets of Cuenca.This particular find is on the top of the old city, on Calle Larga.

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  • Good Friday procession: Las Turbas

    The Good Friday Procession, The Way to Calvary, starts at 5.30 am. It is called the Mob’s procession (Las Turbas) because the mob vilifies the image of the Redeemer howling and playing out of tune trumpets and drums.The following sonnet, written by my grandfather’s brother, is dedicated it to the figure of Jesus Nazarene, sculpted in cypress wood...

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Cuenca Warnings and Dangers

  • gOdOtPm's Profile Photo

    by gOdOtPm Updated Nov 19, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, I don't want to spend more than a minute to explain how these guys ripped me off over 40 euros for a miserable, mean dinner. It was a Sunday evening and I didn't have too many places to chose among and I ended up there, in that infamous hole which is Cervecería Corinto.
    I ordered a Tuna Salad that costs 12 euros and I had a dish with A plastic-like tomato and some can tuna (not even drop of olive oil a salad? Is this Spain? GRRR!). Then the tostadas (kind of sandwiches) were also in very poor condition. The service was just unable to serve correctly 4 dishes and to charge us correctly. The owner was there, watching how his business sunk and not only didn't so anything but he looked proud of it.
    I was looking for its address on the Internet and I found they have several open cases against local authorities because of hygene reasons.
    Just in a word: shameful.

    It's in Calle Alférez Rubianes 9 - Cuenca, 16004

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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Cuenca Tourist Traps

  • Ciudad Encantada

    You must know exactly what you are about to see - this is not a tourist trap, but... alomst!I read somewhere that this place was very similar to Capadoccia. Well, Capadoccia is fabulous, and that drove me to the place, for a disappointment. The comparison is absurd. This is a trail in nature, 3 Km long, with a few strange rock formations. If you...

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  • El Tormo

    We finally arrive to El Tormo, the most famous rock formation in the whole Enchanted City: a tall monolith that stands precariously on a really narrow base.

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  • The dog

    From which perspective am I supposed to see a dog? See it how you want I definitely don't see any dog. This is a real tourist trap and I want my money back!

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Cuenca What to Pack

  • Remember it gets chilly up high!

    Cuenca has a high altitude, and so for this I recommend layers and some warmer options in general. (My visit was in February, but still it´s a point worth noting in general). The helpful tourist office adviser was shocked at our suggestion of sleeping overnight in the car, and thankfully pointed us towards a cheap pensión for which we were very...

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  • In summer, bring also a swimming suit.

    Even if the sea is far away, when the heat hits tough, you will want to go for a swimm in the river Júcar, just in the middle of the city.

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  • Don't forget your hiking boots

    Hiking possibilities around Cuenca are almost ilimited. That is the best way to get to know the canyons, lakes, reservoirs, lost villages and all the secrets to discover in this forgotten area.

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Cuenca Off The Beaten Path

  • Arcas church

    Arcas is a small village, just ten minutes from Cuenca, southwards (take road N 320)The Church is the most beautiful and well preserved Romanesque church in the province, built in the XIII century. In the façade the highlight is the main door with its pointed arches. At the head of the church, laterally, is the distinctive bell tower.In the...

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  • Playa

    Who said that there is no beach in Cuenca? After a short and nice walk along the Júcar river, you will arrive to the Playa, where there are also swimming pools.First picture: the beach seen from the castle, on the left.Second picture: the swimming pool beside the Jucar.

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  • San Julián el Tranquilo

    Saint Julian (1128-1208), the second Bishop of Cuenca, was born at Burgos and studied at Palencia. He was a brilliant student and was appointed professor of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Palencia at the age of 25. In 1196 he was appointed Bishop of Cuenca under the reign of Alfonso VIII. He arrived at night to avoid the crowd that...

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Cuenca Sports & Outdoors

  • Ciudad Encantada

    This is a very easy and interesting trail, for a short walk. Located a few kilometers out of town, this is very well signposted and prepared to people of all ages. The appreciation of the many shapes of the rock formations advise a calm walk.

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  • Water sports

    The river is small, but with a clever preparation they take all the possible advantages of it. In a cool landscape, with the hanging houses above, it is a good place for paddling in all kinds of small boats.

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  • Hikes in the hills above Cuenca

    There are countless trails around Cuenca. They are more commonly accessed as I mentioned below. They are open year round, at all hours of the day, so use them as you wish.The days can be hot and the trails dry at times, so bring water. But also being in the hills, watch out for rain, particularly in the spring. good shoes or boots are recommended.

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Cuenca Favorites

See all 14 Favorites in Cuenca
  • History and Nature

    One of the most remarkable details in Cuenca is the dramatic combination of history and nature. Monuments, canyons and river compose a strong combination, with breathtaking views in many points. No matter what you like, I'm sure you wll find something interesting in Cuenca and its surrounding area.

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  • Name origin

    There are several hypotheses about the origin of the name, but it seems that it derives from Latin Conca, which means river basin (actually, the Spanish word Cuenca has the same meaning). The old city is between the gorges of the rivers Júcar and Huécar.Another hypothesis is that the name derives of the now-ruined Arab castle, Kunka.

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  • Climate

    Cuenca is 956m above sea level, up to 1000m in the old town.The climate is continental typical of the Spanish plateau, with cold winters and hot summers. Spring and Autumn are pleasant, with smooth temperatures during the day but nights are cold due to the altitude.

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Explore Deeper into Cuenca
Mangana Tower
Things to Do
Hanging houses
Things to Do
River Jucar
Things to Do
Artificial fluvial beach
Things to Do
Cathedral
Things to Do
Plaza Mayor
Things to Do
Cathedral of Cuenca
Things to Do
The bridge of San Pablo.
Things to Do
Ciudad Encantada
Things to Do
Carmelites convent
Things to Do
Cuenca Old Town
Things to Do
Casa Colgadas (Hanging Houses)
Things to Do
The Jucar Valley
Things to Do
Cuidad Encantada (Enchanted City)
Things to Do
San Pablo bridge
Things to Do
San Jose
Things to Do
San Pablo
Things to Do
Ayuntamiento
Things to Do
Parque de San Julián
Things to Do
Virgen de la Luz
Things to Do
Convento de San Pablo - Monastery
Things to Do
Scenic walk on the cliff, passing the Santuario
Things to Do
The city cats
Things to Do
Quiet rest below San Miguel
Things to Do
Good place for lunch.
Restaurants
Traditional cuisine from La Mancha and view.
Restaurants
Ventano del diabolo.
Things to Do
La Ciudad Encantada.
Things to Do
Calle Alfonso VIII.
Things to Do
Castillo
Things to Do
Ermita de Las Angustias - Hermitage.
Things to Do
Iglesia de Santa Cruz
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Episcopal palace museum - Palais Episcopal
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Church of San Pedro
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Ronda de Julian Romero
Things to Do
PLAZA MAYOR
Things to Do
Museo de las Ciencias - Museum of Sciences
Things to Do
Plaza de la Merced.
Things to Do
Castle
Things to Do
Hospital de Santiago
Things to Do
Map of Cuenca

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