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Cuenca Travel Guide

Cuenca (Spain)
Coat of Arms of Cuenca (Spain)

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Coordinates: 40.071667°, -2.135°

Population: 53,512 inhabitants (2023)

Cuenca combines contemporaneity with modernity. It is famous for its hanging houses over the Huécar River ravine, which look as if they are flying.

It is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Together with Toledo, it is one of the two World Heritage cities in Castilla-La Mancha, both of great international interest.

The history of this great city dates back to the Upper Palaeolithic, but not until 1177 did it emerge from the dust and ruins. King Alfonso VIII conquered the city for the Christians definitively in that year, and it was then when the most emblematic buildings that the city still preserves today are erected.

In addition, population growth took place, leading to the coexistence of the three great cultures of that time: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. In 1257, this same king granted the new name of the city to Cuenca, and since then this town has been known as the "City of Hanging Houses".

Nowadays, it is a very crowded city. Spain has a lot to offer, and Cuenca is a little corner that you have to know about.

Top 7 places to visit in Cuenca

To enjoy this great city, check out our selection of 10 places to visit in Cuenca:

Hanging houses

Hanging houses (Cuenca - Spain)
The first visit without a doubt has to be to the hanging houses, also known as Houses of the King. This series of houses were built directly on the gorge of the Huécar river at least since the 15th century.

They have the title of being an Asset of Cultural Interest and are truly magical. One can see the Gothic style in them, and they add a beautiful history to the city. In addition, they are the symbol of this city. Everyone knows the hanging houses and the beauty that runs through Cuenca.

St. Paul's Bridge

St. Paul's Bridge (Cuenca - Spain)
Walking across St. Paul's Bridge is another thing you must do in Cuenca. It is the best place to see the hanging houses and is also a landmark construction in the city.

It is a linear construction of approximately 100 meters through which the Huécar River crosses, with a maximum height of about 60 meters.

It is ideal for those who love heights and adrenaline, as from the bridge one can take photos, feel the breeze and see the majesty of the landscape.

Mangana Tower

Mangana Tower (Cuenca - Spain)
Mangana Tower is popularly known as the Tower of Hours, as near the top of this great tower is a clock.

It is a building that dates from the end of the 16th century and is one of the symbols of the city. It has undergone several modifications over the years so as not to lose its beautiful structure.

The origin of its name is unknown, but it is an Arabic term that alludes to the word "machine". The tower is about 28 meters high and its clock marks the time for the inhabitants of the historic centre.

Main Square

This is the nerve centre of the city. It is home to several coloured buildings, which makes a tour very pleasant.

The Town Hall, which dates from the end of the 15th century and is one of the most representative buildings of the Baroque style in Cuenca and has three semicircular arches, the Petras Convent, which dates from the mid-18th century, and the impressive Cathedral of Cuenca, which dates from the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century, are also part of the tour.

Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Julian

Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Julian (Cuenca - Spain)
This cathedral, headquarters of the Diocese of Cuenca, is the main temple of the city.

It is the result of a complex series of architectural contributions throughout the centuries that allow us to observe and take a brief tour of the different artistic styles of each era.

In the same way, the cathedral's stained glass windows are noteworthy. They have been restored, and the play of light inside is almost unmatched.

Florencio Cañas Viewpoint

Cuenca (Spain)
This is one of the relics in the historic centre of Cuenca. It is a beautiful viewpoint near the Main Square from where one can see many buildings, including the Convent of St. Paul.

In addition, it has an entrance for people in wheelchairs.

The viewpoint offers truly spectacular views of the entire Huécar River sickle. The tour is full of culture and historical passion.
Passing through one of its alleys, you will leave behind the Christ of the Passage, a figure related to a story of three young people and an unfulfilled promise.

Paseo del Huécar

Cuenca (Spain)
In our last place, but no less important, is thePaseo del Huécar.

It is a path that runs next to the Huécar River from where you can enjoy impressive views of the city of Cuenca and the Huécar River.

A really cozy walk!

How to move in the city of Cuenca

Cuenca is a wonderful city to visit, not only because of its great architectural and cultural contributions but also because it is a city designed to be explored both on foot and by car (although we recommend that it be done on foot).

Throughout the city and near the historic centre, one will find several car parks. That way, visitors can leave behind their cars and explore all the streets that the centre and the cultural centre have to offer.
In the same way, one can move by bus without difficulty. In Cuenca, many bus lines connect with each other. One can find these buses at many strategic points, including the Main Square.

In addition, Cuenca has an agile taxi system and a train station that connects the city with the main cities in Spain. In short, there are many options to move and enjoy Cuenca.

Accommodation in Cuenca

Cuenca is a perfect place to stay. It is a small city, and any of its neighbourhoods connects with the cultural centres and all the heritage found in the Old Town.

Without a doubt, the best area to stay is the Old Town, which is home to the majestic Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Julian and the hanging houses. Near the train station is another option, as one can easily connect with other cities and thus learn more about Spain.

Between the train station and the Old Town is part of the newest area of Cuenca. This is a very pleasant area with restaurants, bars and all the services one could wish for. As the dimensions of the city are small, any part of this area is suitable for sleeping in Cuenca.


If, on the other hand, you are looking for a slightly more rural adventure, it is advisable to stay near the Enchanted City. In its surroundings are good hotels. It is a pleasant area that promises a lot of mountain adventure and opportunities to participate in other sports.

Gastronomy in Cuenca

Not only does the city have a very beautiful history and a lot of architecture to discover but Cuenca's gastronomy also stands out. Get ready to discover the most famous dishes of the city.


This dish is a true delight.

It is a kind of puree or mixture made from potatoes, cod, breadcrumbs and a touch of walnuts and boiled eggs on top.

It is frequently eaten in the winter and is accompanied by tapas or a slice of bread. It is served very warm in order to warm the body amidst the very low temperatures that Cuenca sees in winter.


This dish received its name because its preparation is done with a mortar, in which all the ingredients are crushed to obtain well-mixed flavours.

The following ingredients are used: pork liver, meat (a few portions of game birds and sometimes pork loin), spices and breadcrumbs.

The result in the mortar is a kind of paste that resembles a puree or porridge. Some chefs note its similarity to pate, though it is too thick to be consumed as a pate (that is, to be spread).
Therefore, it is often consumed with utensils, such as a fork, and accompanied by bread. It is a true typical delight.


This dish has a peculiar flavour.

It is a preparation made from marinated suckling lamb intestines, which are fried in olive oil and rolled on a skewer. They can also be roasted or prepared in an oven.

One can get this delicious dish in any restaurant in Cuenca.


Not everything is made to be salty. This sweet is typical of the region. It is a peculiar sweet made from almond dough with a touch of toasted breadcrumbs, fine spices and honey. Wafers are placed on each side of the cake, and walnuts and pine nuts are sometimes used instead of almonds.

It is a very rich dish. Its name comes from an Arabic word that refers to "stuffing".

Other information of interest

Cuenca is a blessed town. It is so blessed, in fact, that it is one of the largest producers of barley, sunflower and lentils, with approximately 120,000 hectares of sunflowers.

Cuenca has an attractive Old Town, friendly people, a great culture and history, beautiful parks and squares, and rivers that run through the city. To visit Cuenca is to discover a small corner of Spain that is home to natural wonders, as well as a place to eat magnificently and rest very well.