City guides

Cuenca city guide

Cuenca at night

Make Cuenca the right way!

Cuenca is located in Castilla La Mancha, towards the center of Spain. The city of Cuenca is the capital of the province that shares the same name. The city was founded during the Moorish occupation of Spain when the invaders recognized the strategic importance of the area. The Moors built a fortress which they named Kunka, which would become the cities name. the city was built in a gorge between the Juncar and Huécar rivers and quickly became an agricultural and textile manufacturing hub and quickly began to grow.

Cuenca city guide - Table of Contents

Practical information to plan your visit to Cuenca

5 top reasons to visit Cuenca

The hanging houses

The hanging houses or “casas colgadas” as they are known in Spain, are Cuenca’s most notorious attraction. These gravity-defying edifications hang over Río Huécar gorge. In an effort to squeeze more people into the packed city center and use every last square inch of space available, the houses were built during the 15th century and have (mostly) stood there ever since. The best views of the houses are to be found on the San Pablo Bridge, a steel beam construction, notorious for its ability for making visitors suffer vertigo. 

Views of the San Pablo bridge, Cuenca

The Spanish Museum of of Abstract Art 

No one currently lives in the hanging houses, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing interesting inside. The Casas Colgadas are now home to a surprisingly amazing little museum, the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español. The museum displays works of some of Spain’s most important abstract artists like Eduardo Cillida, César Manrique, and Gerardo Rueda. As an added bonus, you get to enjoy the views from the actual hanging houses, which is almost worth the price of admission. 

Ciudad encantada or the Enchanted City

There are many hiking trails near Cuenca. the stunning views from Mirador Barrio del Castillo of the Huécar river gorge are worth the trek and the scenic path along the Río Júcar is a good workout but well worth the sweat. But, the one place you should definitely set some time aside to visit is the Ciudad Encantada or Enchanted City, an other-worldly landscape created by millennia of erosion. The elements have carved out over thousands of years amazing natural sculptures that you can visit. The landscape is quite literally enchanting, the noise seems oddly muffled and everything is abnormally quiet and still. 

Cathedral of Cuenca 

Located in the heart of the historic city center of Cuenca, in their Plaza Mayor, you will find the Cathedral. This majestic edification was built from 1196 to 1257 hand has been the spiritual heart of the city ever since. The cathedral offers a self-guided audio tour that covers every detail and hidden secret of the Cathedral. 

Cuenca is a perfect day trip from Madrid or Valencia. 

It will take you under 2 hours to get there by car from Madrid, and slightly longer from Valencia, and is one of the best options if you are looking for a day trip if you are visiting Madrid or Valencia. 

But if you want the most comfortable, all be it slightly more expensive, option you can always take the AVE. It will take you under an hour from both Madrid and Valencia, and the train will drop you off just 15 minutes from the city center. It’s quick, comfortable and easy, especially if you aren’t planning on spending the night, which you should.

Best time to visit Cuenca

If you want to avoid Cuenca at it’s busiest, May, February, and March are the months to avoid. Hotel prices are at their highest at this point. June seems to be your safest bet since the weather is still great and prices go down a bit. June can get a bit toasty, though, so keep that in mind. 

As a personal suggestion, and if you are not averse to the mild cold of the Spanish winter, December is a magical time to visit this already magical city.

Weather in Cuenca

Cuenca enjoys continental weather with very hot and dry summers. 

interactive tourist map of Cuenca

Recommended hotels in Cuenca

These are out top recommended hotels in Cuenca

Antonio's House

Antonio’s House

Why do we recommend Antonio’s House? Antonio’s House is a charming little hotel, just 5 minutes from the historic city center of Sitges and its

Recommended attractions in Cuenca

These are our top recommended attractions to enjoy in Cuenca

Belmonte castle in Cuenca

Comprising three squares buildings, the Belmonte Castle is the quintessence of what a castle should be like. The three buildings form a courtyard in the

Hanging Houses of Cuenca

Hanging houses of Cuenca

Everything you need to know about the Hanging Houses of Cuenca The hanging houses of Cuenca are located, as their name indicates in the city

Don Quixote Windmills

Don Quixote Windmills

The Don Quixote Windmills  “Tilting at windmills” is an English expression taken from Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote. In the book, the chivalrous,

Recommended restaurants in Cuenca

Cuenca is one of the best “manchego” food cities of the region

Best things to do Near Cuenca

Don Quixote Windmills

Don Quixote Windmills

The Don Quixote Windmills  “Tilting at windmills” is an English expression taken from Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote. In the book, the chivalrous,

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Video of Cuenca - The city in a nutshell

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