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View of Úbeda (Jaén, Andalusia)

Úbeda

Renaissance among the olive groves

Jaén

Beautiful Renaissance buildings are the main attraction in this World Heritage City, which with neighbouring Baeza is one of the best places in Europe to see Renaissance architecture and get a feel for what life was like in that period.

It’s an excellent option for inland tourism in Andalusia. As well as its churches, palaces and mansions, the landscape of olive trees surrounding it makes for a relaxing atmosphere. Its restaurants and tapas bars, and the chance to sample the famous local olive oil, do the rest.

An amazing and perfectly preserved Renaissance town

Although past civilisations left their mark in Úbeda, the town is a unique example of Renaissance town planning and the Italianate style of the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was remodelled. Its amazing collection of palaces is a telling indication of the power of the nobility at the time. The perfect spot to start exploring the city is Plaza Vázquez de Molina, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Here you will see the Sacra Capilla de El Salvador (home of the only Michelangelo sculpture in Spain), the palace of Deán Ortega (now a Parador hotel), the Town Hall, the church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares and the palace of the Marqués de Mancera.You should also see Plaza Primero de Mayo with the church of San Pablo—one of the oldest—and the Hospital Santiago, known as the “Escorial of Andalusia”. Another surprising secret of Úbeda is the Synagogue del Agua, hidden until its discovery in 2007. During the summer solstice, the sunlight enters here in such a special way that a cultural festival is organised to celebrate it.If you like sweeping views, go to the Redonda de Miradores, a walk which will show you why Úbeda is called the “city of a thousand hills”, or the viewpoints of San Lorenzo and San Francisco to see the Sierra Mágina and the “seas of olive trees” (in Jaén alone there are over 65 million olive trees!).

Olive oil: the liquid gold of Úbeda

Olive oil with the Sierra Mágina Designation of Origin is the star product of the area. Not surprisingly, it forms part of local specialities like andrajos (a dish of wheat cakes which usually includes cod and rabbit) and ochíos (bread rolls with paprika), and there is even an Olive Groves and Oil visitors’ centre. There you can join a tasting class or activities like tours of olive groves. But you can also enjoy the finest olive oil in the town’s tapas bars and restaurants, including unusual places such as a replica of an old railway carriage. Also, if you visit Úbeda during its Culinary Festival, “In the Renaissance”, (from January to March) you can try the dishes of another era. This isn’t the only event organised in the city – it also has a prestigious International Festival of Music and Dance (May-June) and a Renaissance Fiesta (July) with exhibitions, concerts and Renaissance dinners.One last tip: Úbeda is also famous for its artisanal workshops, so if you want a nice souvenir, have a look in its potteries where you can buy something unique and watch the potters at work.

Don’t miss it

What to visit


Select from the list or hover over the map to find out about points of interest.

Don’t miss it

What to visit


Select from the list or hover over the map to find out about points of interest.

Practical information

How to get there - transport information


Select the means of transport to see how to get there or how to get around at your destination.

How to get to aeroplane

How to get to train

  • The Linares-Baeza railway station is about 26 kilometres from Úbeda.

  • There are direct trains to Madrid (from 3hr 15min), Seville (around 2hr 45min) and Malaga (around 2hr 40min), among other destinations.

  • You can reach Úbeda from the railway station by car, taxi (20 to 30 minutes) or bus (around 50 minutes).

  • The AVE high-speed railway station in Cordoba is around 150 kilometres away.

  • Book tickets

How to get to bus

  • Úbeda bus station is located next to the city’s historic quarter, a walk of between five and 20 minutes to the main tourist sites.

  • It has direct connections with places such as Baeza (a 15-minute journey), Granada (around 2 hours away), Málaga (4hr 30min) or Madrid (around 4 hours).

How to get there by road

  • From the north (Madrid, for example), take the A-4 motorway to Bailén and then the A-32.

  • From the south (Granada or Jaén), take the A-44 motorway and then the A-316.

How to get around in bus

  • Two local transport buses stop at the main points in the city.

  • Route 1 runs from about 7 am to 8.50 pm, and route 2 from 7 am to 4 pm.

  • More information

How to get around in other means of transport

  • The best way to get around the old town centre is on foot.

  • Úbeda taxis are white with a maroon diagonal stripe on the door. There are taxi stands on Corredera de San Fernando and Calle San José (next to the bus and coach station).

  • Bikes. The city can easily be covered by bike, although you need to take into account that there are some fairly difficult slopes and most streets are cobblestoned. Some areas of Úbeda have cycle lanes. There is also an 8.5 kilometre cycle lane that connects the city to Baeza, highly recommended if you like cycling.

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