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Europe > Iberia > Spain > Central Spain > Castile-La Mancha > Cuenca (Spain)

Cuenca

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See Cuenca (Ecuador) for another city named Cuenca.

Cuenca is a town in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain. It's walled town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Understand[edit]

Cuenca is situated between Madrid and Valencia, in the third least populated region in Europe, and the town itself is a world heritage site - the old town is an outstanding example of a medieval city, built on the steep sides of a mountain. The many casas colgadas ("hanging houses") are built right up to the cliff edge, making Cuenca one of the most striking towns in Spain, a gem in the province of Castilla La Mancha.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

There are 2 railway stations in Cuenca. "Traditional" regional trains arrive to the "Estación de Cuenca" (approx. 2:50 hour from Madrid) at the town centre. While "modern" AVE (55 min from Madrid) , Alvia and Itercity (approx. 1:10 hour from Madrid) trains stop at the "Estación de Cuenca-Fernando Zóbel" located 5 km from the town centre.

By bus[edit]

There is a coach station called Cuenca bus station in the centre of Cuenca that travels to nearby cities. Travel time to Madrid is approximately 2 hours and it is about the same travel time to Valencia, costing around €12.

By car[edit]

Distances to/from Cuenca: Madrid 165 km (1h 30m), Albacete 145 km, Toledo 185 km, Valencia 210 km

Get around[edit]

Its best to go by car, but if you don't mind walking there is much that can been seen and done in the center of town.

See[edit]

Map of Cuenca (Spain)
  • 1 Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, Calle Canónigos 16001, +34 969212983. Cuenca was the longtime home of artist and photographer Fernando Zóbel, and he chose it as the location for the museum, located in two converted centuries-old "casas colgadas". Many of the pictures hang in glorious isolation with an entire wall for a single picture, and a few windows provide imposing views out over the gorge. Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Q2046601) on Wikidata Museo de Arte Abstracto Español on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cathedral of Cuenca. Its façade is unfortunately marred by a nineteenth century attempt at remodeling, but has a beautiful Gothic interior with very detailed (and in some cases seemingly pagan) carvings. There is a near-absolute ban on photography, or even sketching, inside the cathedral, except by obtaining explicit permission, typically granted only on the basis of a portfolio. Cuenca Cathedral (Q2942514) on Wikidata Cuenca Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 3 Museum of Cuenca. Dedicated largely to Roman finds in the area. Museo de Cuenca (Q6033991) on Wikidata
  • 4 Hanging Houses. Hanging Houses (Q2496001) on Wikidata Hanging Houses of Cuenca on Wikipedia
Hanging house in Cuenca, Spain from the 15th Century
A bridge in Cuenca Spain that was Designed by Eiffel, the same person who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Do[edit]

See the hanging houses by the tourist train that leaves from the Cuenca tourist office on the hour every half an hour. If you have a car you can drive to some beautiful waterfalls in another part of Cuenca.

Buy[edit]

Because of the museum and because the town is a popular place for visitors from Madrid, Cuenca has a fine collection of small art galleries. You can collect Cuenca souvenirs in the tourist center near town.

Eat[edit]

Most of the best restaurants are down below in the newer part of town, which is far less picturesque.

Alaju, Morteruelo, Ajo Arriero, Zarajos are the most typical foods

Drink[edit]

There are some lovely outdoor pubs in the old city of Cuenca. And a more trendy street in the center of town, filled with 10 to 15 clubs. There is also a massive square near this street where people hang out drinking alcohol with friends. High alcohol content liqueur named Resoli Resoli is a coffee anise and orange flavoured liqueur, 15 years after I first tried it I am still enchanted, it is worth taking a bottle home.

Sleep[edit]

Cuenca is a popular weekend destination, for lovers, artists and romantic people, so hotels are often less crowded during the week.

There is a hotel in the centre of town, its sign H O T E L can be seen from far around Cuenca in all directions. If in doubt ask at the tourist office.

  • 1 NH Ciudad de Cuenca, Ronda de San José, 1, +34 96 9230502. This hotel is in a new and calm residential zone, a few minutes away from the commercial centre, the old part of town and the intercity bus and railway stations of the capital.

There are some cheap hostels in town.

  • 2 Pension Central, Alonso Chirino 7, +34 969 211 511. Cheapest-priced at about €24 a double.
  • 3 Hostal Mora, Cjón. de San Francisco 1, +34 969 214 138.

Both are near the town center.

In old town

Go next[edit]

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