The “New York of La Mancha”, as it was named by the famous writer Azorín, Albacete maintains its beauty and splendour, being one of the most important cities in Spain.
Albacete is world-renowned for its production of cheeses and wines. In addition, it is the international capital of cutlery, as the best razors and knives in the world are from this city.
One of its main attractions is the Albacete “movida”. It has an active and very crowded nightlife, such that, every weekend, residents and visitors saturate “La Zona”, the main meeting point for wild partying in Castilla-La Mancha.
Albacete is also a city with a bullfighting tradition and has one of the strongest bullrings in the world. In addition, the patron saint festivities of Albacete are among the largest in Spain, and the bullfighting spectacle is first-class.
Without a doubt, Albacete is modern, green and bustling, with mythical places to walk and discover, full of streets, squares and natural parks with a varied and complete cultural offer.
Albacete is a place that you should know and that will surely captivate and fascinate you.
Top 5 places to visit in Albacete
Here is a selection of the most important places to visit.
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
The residents of this beautiful city are characterized by their Christian fervour. The city has several religious temples that you can visit, but the most outstanding is the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, dedicated to the patron saint of these lands.
The majesty of this temple is found inside, specifically in the artistic work carried out by the priest and painter Casimiro Escribá. He created one of the largest pictorial works in the world carried out by a single artist.
Escribá immortalized eleven biblical episodes on the walls of the cathedral, going beyond the limits of the events narrated in the holy scriptures, with beauty and great precision in detail.
Municipal Museum of Cutlery
Albacete is the world capital of knives and razors.
This city has the best cutlery workshops, which will offer you a quality product and a beautiful tangible memory of these lands.
Also in this city is a historical museum on cutlery. It is home to many artistic exhibitions and shows valuable pieces of all types, periods, styles and materials.
Likewise, in this museum is a knife workshop that recreates the work carried out in these places, images of the artisans in this trade who are part of the history of the city and audiovisual content on the manufacture of knives.
This museum is located in the heart of Albacete, in a building known as "La Casa de Hortelano", an extraordinary palace built in the 20th century.
Abelardo Sanchez Park
Albacete has one of the most impressive urban parks in Spain. Abelardo Sanchez Park has twelve hectares of pure nature. The size of the pine trees and vast vegetation will impress you.
It is considered the green lung of Albacete and is the ideal space to share with the family, as you will be surrounded by trees such as horse chestnuts, cypresses, rose gardens and elders. In addition, you can interact with the wild animals that live in freedom in this natural space.
Inside is the Municipal Museum of Albacete, a beautiful playground, a bandstand, a cafeteria and a kiosk for lending books and publications – elements arranged for the rest and relaxation of visitors.
Without a doubt, this park is the perfect place to enjoy nature without leaving the city.
This is considered the strategic centre of the city, as most of the buildings with high architectural value are located here.
In the centre of the square is a monument to the “Cuchillero de Albacete”, honouring the city's knife makers and sellers, and the “Bicha de Balazote”, a rare sculpture that represents a resting animal with the head of a bearded man with bull horns and ears.
Altozano Square has a beautiful garden located in its centre. It also houses places of historical interest for the city such as the Old Town Hall, the Gran Hotel and the Bank of Spain building.
Passage of Lodares
One of the most beautiful and emblematic places in Albacete is the Passage of Lodares, a historic modernist-style gallery designed by the architect Buenaventura Ferrando Castells.
Its interior is covered by a huge and impressive glass and iron skylight.
The façade facing busy Tinte street is the widest and best decorated, while the façade on Main street is much more modest but just as beautiful.
Inside, the premises are separated by majestic Renaissance columns, with modernist and neo-Baroque decorations. The structure is three floors high.
Without a doubt, the Passage of Lodares is one of the most beautiful commercial galleries in Spain and one of the most important icons of the city.
How to move in Albacete
Many of Albacete's tourist attractions are located in its historic centre. Most of these sites are close to each other, so you can easily walk around.
However, if you want to travel longer distances in the city, you can opt for the efficient public transport, which includes seven bus lines that mostly run through the historic centre.
Another option is the taxi service provided by the city, which is available at all hours. Its vehicles are duly identified with their typical colours. They also have designated stops that are well distributed throughout the city.
The municipal government promotes the use of bicycles as a means of transport, which makes this a good alternative for moving around and reaching tourist places. Albacete has more than 42 kilometres enabled for the use of bicycles in its urban area and more than 120 kilometres of greenways for cyclists.
To get to and from Albacete, one of the most recommended options is by land, as the city is located in the middle of an important communication hub, with direct highways to the most important cities in Spain, such as Madrid and Valencia.
Another reliable option is the intercity bus terminal located northeast of the city, with daily connections to the main cities in Spain. There is also a railway station located at the end of Avenida de la Estación, on Federico García Lorca street.
Where to sleep in Albacete
Albacete has a wide variety of tourist attractions, with some of the best cultural proposals in Spain, large and beautiful natural parks, curious museums and a magnificent nightlife including first-class bars and restaurants.
In short, you must visit this city and, for this, you must choose the best option to stay, be it a hotel, apartment or hostel, always taking into account your budget and interests.
Without a doubt, the best area to stay on your visit is the centre of the city, as it is home to the main tourist places such as the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the Museum of Cutlery and Altozano Square, as well as the beautiful Passage of Lodares.
In addition, the centre of Albacete has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, especially those located on Tejares street and Concepción street.
Outside the city, there are modern rural houses that are an excellent alternative for lovers of tranquillity and those who want to discover the natural environment of beautiful Albacete.
Top 5 dishes to try in Albacete
The typical meals of Albacete are mostly strong dishes with a high energy intake. This makes them ideal for combating the mild winters that usually prevail in the area.
Also known as “ajo arriero” or “ajo mortero”, this is the most typical food in Albacete. It is appropriate to be consumed in the winter months.
The star of this dish is salted cod, which must be desalted at least one day before it is prepared. The cod is combined with boiled potatoes, olive oil and lots of garlic.
All the ingredients are mixed into something very similar to a puree. At the end, walnuts and a few slices of hard-boiled egg are added.
This is a very typical dish of this region. Its origin is attributed to shepherds from Albacete.
It is a brothy stew prepared with different white meats such as chicken, rabbit or partridge. In some places, mushrooms are added.
Without a doubt, Manchego cheese is one of the best-known products of this city.
This cheese is prepared with Manchega breed sheep's milk.
It is a fatty cheese with an acidic, intense but very pleasant flavour, depending on its curing time, which should not be less than 30 days, and its production process, which in many cases involves submersion in olive oil.
Rice with rabbit and snails
One of the main dishes of Albacete's gastronomy is rice with rabbit and snails. It can also be prepared with hare.
This delicious dish has the following ingredients: rabbit or hare, mountain snails, rice, tomato, onion, peppers, oil, red wine and a touch of saffron.
Sweets and desserts
One cannot talk about the rich gastronomy of Albacete without mentioning its famous confectionery, which is made up of many flour-based products.
The most famous and exquisite sweets are the "Miguelitos de La Roda", puff pastry filled with pastry cream, chocolate or white chocolate.
Albacete’s confectionery also includes the "Hojuelas" and the delicious "Flores Fritas", which are prepared with flour, sunflower oil, egg, anise, sugar and a touch of honey that is added at the end.
Interesting facts about Albacete
Albacete is a quiet city, but everything changes with its patron saint festivities, which take place from September 7 to 17. These festivities are in honour of the Virgin of Los Llanos and are among the largest festivities in Spain. They even have some relevance worldwide.br />
The great festival of Albacete begins on the afternoon of September 7 with the traditional parade of floats that starts from Gabriel Lodares Square and proceeds to the entrance of the fairgrounds, known as La Puerta de Hierro.
The highlight of these festivities is the joy that spreads throughout the city, as each corner of Albacete has its own options for fun and family enjoyment. Regardless of your tastes, the Albacete Fair has a series of traditions that, as a good visitor, you must participate in.
It is obligatory to taste the gastronomy of Albacete, with the most recommended option being the “Miguelitos de La Roda”. Within the fairgrounds, you must purchase an Albacete razor, which is sold in the craft stalls. Also, you must visit the Virgin of Los Llanos in her chapel.
Last but not least, you should go to the bullfights. The Albacete Bullfighting Fair is simply fabulous and one of the biggest attractions in these parts.