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“Somewhere a bit off the beaten path”

Ranked #1 of 76 things to do in Cuenca
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 16 February 2018 via mobile

We came here and stayed 3 nights because it was a bit off the road most travelled. We stayed with a local person who had a 4 room establishment (right on the edge of the old town and with a bonus little kitchen!!) and had a great time. Each day we trekked up to the old city and wandered around going to different museums and walking different old city streets and we loved it. So much history that it just envelopes you!

3  Thank sbf67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"walled town"
in 11 reviews
"plaza mayor"
in 18 reviews
"train station"
in 9 reviews
"hanging houses"
in 29 reviews
"the river"
in 12 reviews
"couple of days"
in 4 reviews
"narrow streets"
in 4 reviews
"art galleries"
in 3 reviews
"perched high"
in 3 reviews
"eating places"
in 3 reviews
"tourist office"
in 7 reviews
"up hill"
in 4 reviews
"amazing views"
in 6 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 2 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 2 reviews
"cafes and restaurants"
in 2 reviews
"great few hours"
in 2 reviews
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Reviewed 8 February 2018 via mobile

Worth our day walking the streets, viewing the ruins and seeing history come to life.
Many sites go back to XII - XVII centuries.

2  Thank Glass-House-Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2018

When Arabs conquered Iberian peninsula in the begining of 8th century, they realised advantage of great defensive site, positioned on the limestone ridge, between Jucar and Huecar rivers and they built a fortress-town known as Kunka. Up to that moment place was uninhabited and they have built a fortress town where the architecture follows natural landscape. Alfonso VIII of Castille captured the town in 1177 and Cuenca became Royal town with an episcopal see. The Christian town was built over the Arab one and began to spread itself down from the crest of the hill.
Oldest part of the city, or the Upper town, where most important pallaces and churches reside, was developed in ascending, spinal manner (today represented in shapes of Calle Alfonso VIII, Calle San Pedro and their parallel streets), adapting itself to the topography of the cliff formations. Main gate of Upper town was Arco de Bezudo (place of castle ruins), connected with drawbridge to the working class quarter of Barrio del Castillo. Its central location is reserved for Cathedral, bellow whom is possible to exit the city via San Pablo bridge to the San Pablo monastery. Lowest point of Upper town is around Plaza Mangana, fortified area in ruins and from there spreads Lower town, made in more concrentic style. Two more working class quarters, medieval in origin, lay outside Lower town walls: Barrio de San Anton and Barrio de Tiradores. Special nature of the defensive site of the Upper town and lack of space within the walls, tightened on cliffs towering the river valleys, has resulted in the construction of an unusual vertical architecture, with exceptional examples like first scyscrappers (or rascacielos in Spanish) in Europe in Barrio de San Martin and hanging houses (or casas colgadas). From almost anywhere in Cuenca spreads an amasing view on surrounding area, my favourites were little terrace/squares on lateral sections of Upper town. Above mentioned quarters and parts of the city are ones protected by UNESCO as World heritage.
Beside being one of centers of Spanish modern art, with absoulutely unique sacred and secular arhitecture and great landscape location, Cuenca also have that perfect mix of natural, even a bit of rural feeling. Just take some of trekking paths that spreads from city to countryside or nearby hills. I absolutely recommend route starting from Casas colgadas, passing San Pablo bridge, then keep going on foot from San Pablo monastery for about 30 min along a path that leads you on hilltop Cerro del Socorro. You will be relaxing bellow monument devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and rewarded with perfect panorama view of entire city.

10  Thank NikolaCelic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2018 via mobile

We really enjoyed hiking all over town from bottom to top. There was so much to take in, cathedrals, museums, cafes and bars, historical sights. We even chanced upon a Day of Souls night-time procession, and a school full of Halloween-costumed 7 year olds and their parents celebrating with food and drink in the hallways of their elaborately decorated 19th century school.
The spectacular cliffs afford some great picture spots. Allow 2 nights and at least a day.

2  Thank donf798523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 December 2017

We spent an afternoon in the walled town of Cuenca and found it to be a very lovely and friendly place. However, walking in most historic Spanish towns can be quite strenuous as the roads tend to be steep and one is either walking uphill or downhill. As a result, we walked to the Plaza Major and then took the small sightseeing train. It was reasonably priced and both started and ended in the Plaza Major, concentrating on sights in the historic town. I would recommend this as a good way to get an overview of the walled town of Cuenca before deciding on any specific sights you may want to see.

6  Thank Jewel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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