A World Heritage Site, Cuenca is one of Spain's most memorable cities, its old centre a stage set of evocative medieval buildings, many painted in bright colours, stacked on a steep promontory at the meeting of two deep river gorges. Narrow meandering streets separate tall houses with wooden balconies that literally jut out over the sheer cliffs. Yet, despite its age and Unesco listing, Cuenca has somewhat ironically established itself as a vortex of abstract modern art. Two of its most iconic buildings – including one of the famed casas colgadas (hanging houses) – have transformed their interiors into modern galleries. It’s a theme continued in many of the town’s hotels, museums and restaurants.
Like many Spanish cities, the surrounding new town is bland and modern, so keep the blinkers on during the approach – up the hill lies another world.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cuenca.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Cuenca.