Ubeda Spain is one of the jewel’s in Andalucia’s crown, an elegant and cultural town. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage list as an early example of Renaissance civic architecture, it’s an easy drive from GranadaJaenCarmona and Seville.

Things to Do in Ubeda, Spain

There are 36,000 inhabitants in Ubeda and the area is an economic hub for over 200,000 people. There’s actually a Spanish expression, andar por los cerros de Úbeda which translates literally as to walk around the Úbeda hills, which means to go off on a tangent.

You’ll certainly be spoilt for choice wandering around the town, with 48 monuments to admire.

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Ubeda Parador - where to stay in Ubeda

1. Ubeda Parador

For our road trip, we’d booked into some of Spain’s most historic hotels, the Paradors. These iconic properties are located in scenic areas and are often landmarks in their own right. 

Úbeda Parador is situated right in the centre of the old town in a 16th century palace. The Palacio del Deán Ortega was originally built for Fernando Ortego, dean of Malaga Cathedral, but he died before it was completed. 

This boutique hotel is located next to the Pantheon, one of Ubeda’s most impressive sights, on the pedestrian main square. Entering the Parador in Ubeda, Spain, you’re immediately struck by the sense of space in the covered inner courtyard.

The interior is filled with genuine antiques and our spacious room opened onto a Juliet balcony, overlooking a quiet courtyard. There was an attractive tiled floor, beautiful carved wood shutters and a good sized bathroom with two vanity basins.

Parador Ubeda - one of the best places to stay in Ubeda, Spain

2. Shopping in Ubeda

It’s a pleasure to shop in Ubeda thanks to the pedestrianized streets and many stylish boutiques. The town is known for its handicrafts, with many pottery workshops that are open to the public.

The town is known for its handicrafts, with many pottery workshops that are open to the public. Ubeda ceramics are characterized by a deep green glaze which has Moorish origins. You shouldn’t leave the town without sampling the extra virgin olive oil and olive bread.

For sweet treats, try the borrachuelos pastries or some virolos, made from puff pastry with syrup cream and pumpkin. We were lucky to have a tour of the town with Pablo, who knows Ubeda like the back of his hand. He’s actually the town’s Festival Director but with his excellent English and local expertise, he’s often called upon to show around overseas visitors. 

Revealing Why Ubeda Spain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

3. Sacra Capilla de El Salvador

Known locally as the Pantheon, it was commissioned as a mausoleum by Francisco de los Cobos y Molina. Designed by celebrated Renaissance architect Andrés de Vandelvira, who also built Jaen Cathedral, it was built between 1536 and 1559.

These days it’s a Catholic chapel, owned by the Medinaceli family, descendants of the Cobos.

Sacra Capilla de El Salvador
Sacra Capilla de El Salvador

4. Colegiata de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares

The Colegiata de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares is a short walk from the chapel and also located on Plaza Vázquez de Molina, the old town’s magnificent Renaissance square. There was previously a Roman temple on this site, then a Moorish mosque and the church itself was constructed from 1510 to 1645.

It was declared a National Monument in 1926 and is Ubeda’s main church. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is particularly impressive and was created in the seventeenth century.

Colegiata de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares
Colegiata de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares

5. Palacio Vazquez de Molina

Opposite the church is the Palacio Vazquez de Molina, another masterpiece by Andrés de Vandelvira, constructed between 1546 and 1565. It was commissioned by Juan Vazquez de Molina, secretary of State for Philip II and the nephew of Francisco de los Cobos,  and is now the City hall.

One of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Spain, this is now the Town Hall of Ubeda. The building is also known as the Palace of the Chains, as there are chains in front of the building, together with two stone lions.

Palacio Vazquez de Molina is open from 8 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm on Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.

Palacio Vazquez de Molina
Palacio Vazquez de Molina

6. Palacio de Vela de los Cobos

We were also fortunate to visit the Palacio de Vela de los Cobos during your Ubeda, Spain trip. Whilst it’s true that the palace itself has some impressive heirlooms, what makes it so special in our eyes is that the owner showed us around.

The owner of this private residence which is not normally open to the public has worked hard with the local municipality to preserve the palace and his former bedroom is exactly as it was when he was a young boy.

Palacio de Vela de los Cobos
Palacio de Vela de los Cobos

The library is a truly impressive space with many first editions and is particularly popular with scholars.

Vela Palace Ubeda

What a great ending to a fabulous visit. Ubeda is somewhere that we’d highly recommend visiting for its timeless elegance and old school charm.

We have it on good authority that the tapas are excellent too. If you have the opportunity to visit in May or June, then don’t miss the annual dance and music festival featuring jazz, flamenco, chamber music, opera, symphony orchestra and dance.

Getting to Ubeda, Spain

There are several ways to get to Ubeda, and the closest international airport is Federico García Lorca Granada Airport, 140 kilometers from Ubeda. You could also fly into Malaga, which is 230 kilometers away or to Madrid-Barajas or Seville.

A good way to visit Ubeda is as part of an Andalusia road trip. We suggest starting with a visit to the Alhambra, Granada, then travelling on to Jaen before arriving in Ubeda.
From here, travel to Carmona and then finish with 48 hours in Seville. If you have time, then Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas Natural Park is another great option, an hour and a half away from Ubeda.

Have you ever visited Ubeda, Spain?

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27 thoughts on “The 6 Best Things to Do in Ubeda, Spain”

  1. Liakada Travel

    Everything is stunning! I really love that library, looks so enticing!

    Ash | Liakada

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The library was amazing and such a privilege to have a look at all the priceless books in there

  2. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    That bedroom is right up your street! In fact you’d love the whole palace

  3. Oh my gosh that library!!!! What an incredible place to visit- the architecture looks so detailed

    Rachel xx

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The architecture is really beautiful, I’d love to return when the sun is shining!

  4. Frankie | TheMayfairy.com

    Everything looks so nice… I love a good courtyard. In fact, I covet courtyards. And libraries. With globes. Obviously 😉

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Obviously! I wouldn’t mind a courtyard and a library too 😉

  5. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries

    Beautiful architecture – looks like a fantastic place to visit in Andalusia!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      There are so many lovely places in Andalusia but this one definitely deserves to be better known

  6. Such a cute library! Ubeda looks like a place I’d love to visit one day too! The architecture is so impressive!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I loved that library too, you’d never run out of books to read!

  7. The buildings look really beautiful, the whole town does 🙂 Thanks for sharing x


  8. OMG what a beautiful place. I am wondering now why I have not visited it in the past! Added to my bucket list! 🙂

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I’m sure you’ll love it there if you get to visit, Agness! Have a great weekend

  9. Such a gorgeous place! Love the architecture here.

    Le Stylo Rouge

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      It was so unspoilt, hardly any new houses and those have to blend in with the existing ones

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I’m sure you’ll love it, Carmen! Hope you’re recovering well and have a great weekend

  10. thatgirlcarmel

    I’ve never heard of Ubeda until now. What a beautiful town. And it’s so special that you got a personal tour of Palacio de Vela de los Cobos. I could spend an entire day there reading in that library.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The private tour of the Palacio was amazing and the owner was so friendly.Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I’ve actually never heard of Ubeda (bad bad travel blogger) but I am definitely adding this to my travel bucket list. Such a hauntingly beautiful place with so much character, definitely need to visit!


    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I hadn’t heard of it until we started researching our trip but it’s a great place to visit if you’re doing a whole road trip

  12. Everything looks amazing! It’s like travelling back in time. I like the courtyard – stunning!!!

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