View of Cuenca (Castilla-La Mancha)


The city of the Hanging Houses


Have you ever been to a town nestled among walls of rock, with houses that seem to be hanging in the air? 

The Hanging Houses that literally stand out over the gorge of the river Huecar in this Castile – La Mancha destination are sure to grab your attention. But this World Heritage City of cobbled streets and ancient buildings also has a modern side and is a centre of abstract art. The old and the new together, less than two hours from Madrid.

A tour of the historic centre

It’s worth climbing the hills and winding streets into the centre of this town between the gorges of the Júcar and the Huécar to enjoy the amazing views. Be sure to see the Plaza Mayor, with the arcaded Town Hall and the pretty Cathedral, which was begun in the late 12th century.

Behind the Cathedral, a street leads to the Hanging Houses, the symbol of Cuenca. Three of the houses can be visited: Casa de la Sirena (there is a restaurant inside) and the Casas del Rey, home to the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, with works by famous artists like Tápies, Chillida and Saura. To get spectacular photos of the hanging houses, master your fear of heights and cross the iron footbridge of Puente de San Pablo. At the other end is the Convent of San Pablo, now a Parador and one of the best places to spend the night in the city, which looks even more stunning at night in the floodlights. Cuenca will also surprise you with curious places like the “skyscraper” of the San Martín district or the tunnel you can walk through on Calle Alfonso VIII. If you like museums, there are more to see: the Antonio Saura Foundation, the Antonio Pérez Foundation, the Science Museums… And if you’re interested in local traditions, the Easter Museum is devoted to the city’s most famous fiesta.

Castilian cuisine and places to swim

Cuenca is certainly good to look at. But it’s easy to find something good to eat, too. At mealtimes, you can find the best of the hearty local dishes in the Castilian-style restaurants: morteruelo (meatloaf), ajoarriero (a cod dish), the local liqueur resolí, alajú for dessert… On and around the Plaza Mayor you will find plenty of bars, although other areas also have good restaurants, such as the Castillo district in the upper part of the town, always bustling thanks to its pavement cafés and viewing points over the gorge. And if you want something different, there are more modern restaurants with signature cuisine, flamenco taverns, and a bar carved out of the ground floor of a palace. The natural side of the city can be enjoyed most in summer, when you can have a dip in the Hoz de Júcar swimming area, followed by a delicious rice with lobster at a nearby restaurant. Another option is walking the Cerro del Socorro route, or if you want to see a really unusual place, taking a 30-kilometre side trip to see the bizarrely eroded rocks of Ciudad Encantada, some shaped like animals or human figures.

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What to visit

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Practical information

How to get there - transport information

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How to get to train

  • There are high-speed trains that take less than an hour between Atocha Station in Madrid and Cuenca.

  • Cuenca’s high-speed railway station is the “Fernando Zobel”, about 6 kilometres from the city centre. It is connected to the bus and coach station via city bus route 1. A taxi service is also available.

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How to get to bus

  • The bus and coach station is on Calle Fermín Caballero, next to the historic city centre.

  • There are daily coaches to the main towns of Castilla – La Mancha and to Talavera de la Reina and Puertollano.

  • Coaches take about two hours to reach the Madrid bus and coach station, Estación Sur de Autobuses

  • Coaches to other Spanish cities, including Barcelona, Tarragona, Teruel, Valencia and Ciudad Real.

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How to get there by road

  • The main motorway to Cuenca is the Autovía de Castilla La Mancha (A-40), changing to the A-3 at Tarancón.

  • The approximate journey time for some routes to Cuenca are: Madrid and Toledo (around two hours), Valencia (around two and a half hours)

Practical information

  • Cuenca is a very walkable city. 

  • The tourist train offers a sightseeing tour with audio guide in several languages. More information

How to get around in bus

  • Four city bus routes go through the main points of the city from about 07:30 to 22:30, depending on each route. More information


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