Cuenca: Best Things to Do

Flickr - Photo by Gregorio Puga Bailón

Cuenca is a city in Castile–La Mancha, Spain. The city that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site has many charms that can't be found in other places.

Some of the most charming attractions the city has are the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, La Ciudad Encantada, San Pablo Bridge, and Cuenca Cathedral.

Cuenca also has many interesting museums that can be visited such as the Castilla-La Mancha Paleontology Museum and the Science Museum of Castilla La Mancha.

The traditional dishes and cultural events also make the city even more interesting to visit.

Let's explore this amazing city!

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SIGHTSEEING

Visit the Castilla-La Mancha Paleontology Museum and learn about the prehistorical existence in Spain. The museum is home to many incredible displays and exhibitions of fossils, skeletons, skulls, and mockups. The highlights of the museum are the fossils of Iberomesornis, Spinolestes, and Concavenator. Another interesting museum in Cuenca is the Science Museum of Castilla La Mancha where you can learn about astronomy and visit the Planetarium where you're able to see more than 6.000 stars.

Castilla-La Mancha Paleontology Museum

Special museum for families with children.

Great for learning about Cuenca's amazing history.

It is interesting and entertaining.

The exceptional and very professional staff

Address : Calle del Río Gritos, 5, 16004 Cuenca, Spain

Science Museum of Castilla La Mancha

A very interesting museum, especially for the kids.

Plenty of gadgets to play and experiment with.

You will enjoy a real space navy.

Address : Plaza la Merced, 1, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

DOWNTOWN

Stop by the Plaza Mayor, a nice square surrounded by colorful houses, historical buildings, and great restaurants where you can take a break as well as savoring the delicious cuisine of Spain. And just minutes walk from the plaza, there's Torre de Mangana, one of the most popular landmarks in Cuenca. The tower used to be a part
of a fortress that was built by Ceunca's Muslim rulers in the 16th century. The inside of the tower can't be accessed by the public, though visitors can still admire the beauty of Cuenca's view from the surrounding area of the tower.

Torre de Mangana

A hidden gem of an already beautiful town.

Very beautiful tower with a very interesting history.

A good place for those looking for good views.

You can see very nice and a different angle of Cuenca.

Address : Calle Sta. María, 1, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

Plaza Mayor Cuenca

A beautiful square surrounded by colorful houses, several tapas bars, and restaurants.

Address : Calle Severo Catalina, 2, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

SHOPPING

Shop at the Centro Comercial Alcampo Cuenca, a big shopping mall in Cuenca that offers a wide range of products, from clothing, foods, and fresh products. You can find almost everything that you need here at a great price.

Centro Comercial Alcampo Cuenca

Supermarket of great surface.

Here you can find food, cleaning products, appliances, personal hygiene products and many more.

It is the perfect place to shop for university students.

Address : N-400, Km. 178,5, 16002 Cuenca, Spain

FOOD & DRINK

Cuenca has many delicious traditional dishes that you must try, one of them is Zarajos, which is a type of tapas made of lamb intestines marinated in garlic, onions, white wines, parsley, and then deep-fried, baked, or grilled. Some of the other foods that are typical of Cuenca are Ajo arriero, Cordero, Morteruelo, Mojete, and Oreja. And for the drink, Resolí is a must-try. This traditional liqueur of Cuenca is made of coffee, dry anis, aguardiente, cinnamon sticks, lemon, sugar, and etc. The drink is often associated with the celebration of Christmas and Easter.

CULTURE

Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 because of its many historical sites, museums, and other cultural infrastructure. And in 2016 Cuenca was declared as the European Capital of Culture. Besides historical and cultural buildings, Cuenca also has several cultural festivities that are celebrated annually such as Jueves Lardero, St. Julian's Day, Saint Matthew's Day, and Holy Week.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Peak season: The best time to visit Cuenca is during the spring, which is from late April to early June, or during autumn, which is from September to October. The weather is pleasant to travel around the city during spring and autumn. Cultural events and festivals are held during these times that makes the city becomes alive with celebrations.

HOTEL

Enjoy the experience of staying in a former 16th-century monastery at the Parador de Cuenca. This lovely hotel also offers great facilities that will make your stay more comfortable such as a sauna, an outdoor pool, a tennis court, and a gym. The hotel location is also close to the Hanging Houses of Cuenca which can be reached in 5 minutes by walking. Another option of accommodation that you can choose is Hotel Torremangana that has various types of rooms which are nicely decorated. The hotel is also pet friendly. Several popular tourist attractions can be accessed easily from the hotel, like the Cuenca Cathedral, and the Hanging Houses.

Parador de Cuenca

Beautiful historic hotel in wonderful setting.

Wonderful service both at front desk and bar.

Lovely room, fantastic views from the room.

The breakfast is very great.

Address : Subida a San Pablo, s/n, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

Hotel Torremangana

Lovely comfortable luxurious hotel very close the town centre.

Very clean, quiet and well organized hotel.

Room is very spacious with a huge comfortable bed.

Very pleasant and helpful staff.

Address : Av. San Ignacio de Loyola, 9, 16002 Cuenca, Spain

RESTAURANT

Restaurante Recreo Peral is a beautiful restaurant located by the Júcar River which allows you to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature while eating the food the restaurant offers. They have some special menus that you can order such as Croqueta de Gambas y Calcots, Crema de Queso Cabrales, and Tartar de Atun Rojo de Vivero. The restaurant also has a wide collection of wine to complement your meal. You can also eat at El Bodegón, a traditional restaurant that specializes in grilled meats. You can order food like Pisto Manchego, steaks, salads, and a good range of tapas. Vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available to customers.

Restaurante Recreo Peral

Delicious Spanish food in a beautiful place by the river.

Lovely decoration inside and the view outside is pretty cool.

The sangria served here is great, and the tartas are very tasty as well.

Address : Paseo del Jucar, 27, 16002 Cuenca, Spain

El Bodegón

El Bodegón is a family run restaurant in the centre of Cuenca.

The food is traditional and full of flavour.

The staff is super friendly, and the environment is great.

Address : Calle Cerro San Cristóbal, A1, 16004 Cuenca, Spain

CAFE

Stop by Moka Cafetería where you can have quality in house-roasted coffee beans. This place is perfect for breakfast since it also offers various menu such as pastries, cakes, pancakes, and other snacks. Fruit juices are also available for you who don't drink coffee. You can also grab a quick bite at Loops & Coffee. Here, you can have delicious donuts as well as great coffees and amazing milkshakes.

Moka, Cafetería

Probably the best café shop in Cuenca.

The coffee beans are roasted in house with a great variety of choice for every taste.

Friendly staff and the right attention, as well as the price.

Address : Calle de los Hermanos Becerril, 9, 16004 Cuenca, Spain

Loops & Coffee

The best place to have breakfast, snack or take a few beers.

They have varied coffe.

Serve well and is comfortable both inside and outside the premises.

Address : Calle Virgen del Pilar, 16002 Cuenca, Spain

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

Have a glass of great drink at the Grotte del Huécar. This charming bar is situated inside a natural cave which makes it unique and different from other places. Besides a unique atmosphere, the bar also has great drinks, tasty foods, and amazing live music performances that will complete your eating experience. The Big Red Bus is another place you can visit to enjoy great night time in Cuenca with its fun atmosphere and good music. The pub has some amazing gin and tonic, whiskeys, beers, and etc.

Grotte del Huécar

This restaurant and bar is inside a natural cave.

The food is delicious, with a nice selection of traditional dishes with a creative touch.

The service is amazingly fast and caring.

Perfect atmosphere and some good food.

Address : Paseo del Huécar, 2, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

The Big Red Bus

One of the most famous pubs in Cuenca.

The quality of their products are top notch.

Good atmosphere and good music.

Address : Calle Dr. Galíndez, 8, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

INTERESTING PLACE

Come to the complex of the Hanging Houses of Cuenca or Casas Colgadas and see one of the most unique tourist destinations that Cuenca has. The building is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage site and is said to be built in the 15th-century. Today, the houses that clings to the edge of a cliff only remains a few, and one of the houses that can be visited is the famous house with the three balconies. La Ciudad Encantada or the Enchanted City is also a popular landmark in Cuenca. This geological site is famous for its unique rock formations. Some of the rock formations
that you can find here are the Seta, Puente, Amantes, La foca, La Tortuga, and Los Osos.

Hanging Houses of Cuenca

Spectacular views and a beautiful place to visit during any season.

There are various areas with this type of buildings.

Well worth a visit.

Address : Calle Canónigos, 16001 Cuenca, Spain

La Ciudad Encantada

The facilities are sufficient and the rock formations are pretty spectacular.

The rock formations are spectacular and nicely visible.

The park is kept up well.

It is a wonderful place of natural beauty.

Address : Carretera CM-2104, Km 19, 16146 Valdecabras, Cuenca, Spain

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Walk through the historical San Pablo Bridge that was first built in the 16th-century. This pedestrian bridge crosses through the Huécar River and you will be able to see the sight of the hanging house from the bridge. The original bridge structure has collapsed a long time ago, and the structure that still is still standing today was built in 1902. Cuenca Cathedral is another historical site that you can't miss in Cuenca. The Gothic cathedral that is located in the Plaza Mayor was first built in 1196 and completed in 1257. Many people visit the cathedral to see the incredible architecture of the building.

San Pablo Bridge

One of the most iconic views of Cuenca.

Crossing the bridge was accelerating, good for an adrenaline rush.

Simply spectacular.

Address : Río Huécar, Cuenca, Cuenca, Spain

Cuenca Cathedral

A really impressive cathedral.

Stunning views and so peaceful and relaxing.

Beautiful cathedral, huge with plenty to see.

Address : Plaza Mayor, 16001 Cuenca, Spain