Cáceres is known for its “Monumental” medieval core, but there are also a number of new attractions in this charming countryside city
If a visit to Cáceres feels like a ramble through a Game of Thrones set, there’s a reason: The UNESCO World Heritage Site was a filming location for the show’s seventh season. Located near the Portuguese border in Extremadura, one of Spain’s most rural and least-visited autonomous communities, the city of around 100,000 boasts a mix of the medieval and the modern. Here are a few newfangled spots in and around what is known as the Ciudad Monumental.
Where to Stay
Following a major renovation, Hotel Hospes Palacio de Arenales & Spa reopened in 2020. One of a small chain of properties in Spain, the hotel features sleek decor, an infinity pool, and a lavish spa, all surrounded by a grove of centuries-old olive trees and dozens of storks’ nests. If you’re bringing the whole family, check out the centrally located Apartamentos Plaza Mayor 35, which offers 10 cheerily appointed flats, ranging in size from studios to two-bedroom lodgings that can house six, all with spectacular sunset views. By next year, Michelin-starred chef Toño Pérez and wine director José Polo of Atrio Restaurante Hotel in Plaza San Mateo will open an ultra-luxe 11-suite Relais & Chateaux property right down the block in the Casa de los Paredes-Saavedra, a landmarked Renaissance-era residence.
What to See and Do
Start off with a visit to the newly expanded Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear, which houses its eponymous founder’s private collection of more than 3,000 works, including pieces by Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, Ai Weiwei, and Louise Bourgeois. Next, get a better handle on the area’s history on one of the Cáceres City Council’s recently debuted guided and self-guided walking tours, highlighting everything from Jewish history and Muslim design to scenic vistas and the art of traditional fountains. Want to eat on your tour? Extremadura is known for its wonderful goat and sheep cheeses, and you can taste some on one of eight self-guided Cheese Routes, three of which are dedicated to the region’s Protected Designation of Origin cheeses: Torta del Casar, Queso de la Serena, and Queso de Los Ibores.
What to Eat and Drink
Speaking of food, there’s no tastier way to start your day than with a churro. Churros Factory was founded in 2017 by four entrepreneurial young locals and serves its namesake treat in a cozy yet convivial atmosphere near Plaza Mayor. For fine dining, Atrio’s owners opened Torre de Sande in late 2021 in an ivy-covered 14th-century tower in the heart of the medieval walled city. The restaurant and bar showcase Iberian ham, sausage, and cheeses, as well as an international selection of wines. Want an outdoor nightcap? Check out Caballerizas, a stylish garden lounge that opened in the fall of 2019 on the grounds of an 18th-century manor house.