10 Things To Do in Jaen: Spain

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Source: FeistyTortilla

Right next door to Cordoba is one of Andalusia’s hidden treasures that despite its glorious years as a strategic post during the Reconquista of Spain has somehow managed to slip off the tourist radar. The land of mountains and olives, Renaissance architecture and free tapas – and this is just Jaen. Most people miss out on the low-profile part of Spain that has a lot on offer for every soul. Talk about southern Spain, the few things that instantly strikes your mind are the Malaga’s beaches, Cordoba’s Cathedral or the Granada’s Alhambra, but nobody takes the courtesy of mentioning the province of Jaen but this magnificent Spanish city is nothing less than a jewel of Andalusia.

1. Admire the Elegance of Jaen Cathedral

Jaen Cathedral
Source: Alejandro Flores

One of the most admired attractions, the Jaen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Santa Maria Square dominating the skyline of Jaen. Designed by the renowned architect Andrés de Vandelvira, the magnificent building is a classy epitome of Renaissance architecture and the resting place of the many desperate souls who were imprisoned here in the building.


  • Name: Jaen Cathedral
  • Address: Plaza de Santa María, s/n, 23002 Jaén, Spain
  • Phone: +34953234233
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 08:30 to 14:00 & 16:00 to 19:00

2. The Magnificence of Castillo de Santa Catalina

Castillo de Santa Catalina
Source: Pepepitos

Take a prime lookout point at the top of this castle which conveniently sits on the Cerro de Santa Catalina and look at the charismatic provincial capital that drapes over hills dwarfing the surroundings and watching over its inhabitants like a guardian angel. The views from the castle are breathtaking with a never-ending fleet of olive trees.


  • Name: Castillo de Santa Catalina
  • Address: Jaen, Spain
  • Phone: +34953190455
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 to 18:00, Sun 10:00 to 15:00

3. Explore the Land of Liquid Gold

Source: Allie_Caulfield

It’s not a surprise that southern Europe is at the forefront of olive production and processing of olive oil in the world, and the province of Jaen accounts for almost half of Andalusia’s olive oil production. The province of Jaen is filled with over 60 million olive trees, thus claims the fame for the “World’s Capital of Olive Oil.” The provincial capital is also known for its famed extra virgin olive oil.

4. The Multifaceted Palacio de Villardompardo

Palacio de Villardompardo
Source: Kordas

This Renaissance palace houses the three main attraction of the province: the magnificent 11th-century Baños Árabes, one of the best preserved Moorish baths in Spain; the Museo Internacional de Arte Naïf, which displays the work and collection of this museum’s founder and a renowned naïf artist, Manuel Moral Mozas; and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres, dedicated to the rural life of pre-industrial Jaen.


  • Name: Palacio de Villardompardo
  • Address: Plaza Sta. Luisa de Marillac, s/n, 23004 Jaén, Spain
  • Phone: +34953248068
  • Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 09:00 to 22:00, Sun 09:00 to 15:00

5. Awe-inspired by the Museo Internacional de Arte Naif

This spectacular museum traces back the legacy of the renowned naïf artist and the founder of this museum, Manuel Moral Mozas who donated his exclusive private collection, comprising of works by Spanish and foreign artists to create this very center.


  • Name: Museo Internacional de Arte Naif
  • Address: Plaza Sta. Luisa de Marillac, 0, 23001 Jaén, Spain
  • Phone: +34953248806
  • Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 09:00 to 22:00, Sun 09:00 to 15:00

6. The Elegant Church of San Ildefonso

Church of San Ildefonso
Source: Kordas

Not far from the cathedral is the wonderful Church of San Ildefonso, a historic church built in 1248 with three portals – Gothic, decorated with a mosaic illustrating the appearance of the Virgin of the Chapel, patron saint of Jaen; Renaissance which is built by Andrés de Vandelvira; and the neo-classical that goes all the way back to the 18th century.


  • Name: Church of San Ildefonso
  • Address: Plaza de San Ildefonso, 0, 23001 Jaén, Spain
  • Phone: +34953190346

7. Explore the Provincial Museum

Museo Provincial
Source: Kordas

The Provincial Museum of Jaen is divided into two main sections – the first is dedicated to Fine Art with an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures depicting the works of famous artists of Spain and beyond; and the Archaeology section which has one of the most important collections of Iberian art in Spain and it covers the first settlers, the Moors, the Romans and the Jews.


  • Name: Provincial Museum
  • Address: Paseo de la Estación, 27-29, 23008 Jaén, Spain
  • Opening Hours: +34600143452
  • Opening hours: Tue 14:30 to 20:30, Wed-Sat 09:00 to 20:30 & Sun 09:00 to 14:30

8. Walk the Tranquil Hornos de Segura

Hornos de Segura
Source: Martin Haisch

The sparkling and busy city life aside, this quiet little village is a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The unusual setting itself makes it a great place for locals and tourists alike. Beautifully nestled in the hub of Sierra de Segura, which owes its name to the Segura River, this beautiful village shares a varied environment where sudden peaks and forest alternate with the modest plains.

9. The Wild Side of Jaen

Wild Jaen
Source: Ramón Portellano

Tired of the beaches and the plains of the Castillo? Come to Jaen for a change of scenery! The landscape is wide and spectacular, with 20 percent of the land protected by the natural parks and every corner of the province is an opportunity for great hikes, see the amazing wildlife and enjoy parasailing. The region boasts of a dozen of quiet villages from where you can appreciate the dramatic vistas of the plains.

10. Enjoy Free Tapas

Source: bule

One of the best-kept secrets of Spain is to enjoy free tapas in the province of Jaen which hosts a dozen or so places that serve the best tapas in town. You order a beer or a glass of wine anywhere in the province of Jaen, you’ll get a little complimentary plate of munchies (mostly potato salad, perfectly toasted with cured ham) to go with your drink.

Have a good trip and travel!