Occupying a tiny peninsula on the south coast of Spain, Cádiz is a beautiful old city that is well worth a visit. The old town is in the tip of the peninsula and is buzzing with beautiful plazas that are constantly full of life. To get here, you must pass through the new town, an elegant metropolis with excellent beaches.
Many people combine a visit to Cadiz with a trip to Jerez as a Day Trip from Seville.
Airports Near Cadiz:
There nearest airport to Cadiz is in Jerez. There is also an airport in Seville.
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Best Time to Visit:
The Carnival in February is Spain’s biggest (outside of the gay districts of Chueca in Madrid and Sitges in Barcelona). Alternatively, late June sees the Festival de San Juan, a mini Las Fallas, where they burn big displays.
Number of Days to Spend in Cadiz (excluding day trips):
Two or three (more if you get lured by the beach).
Read more on How Long to Stay in Each City in Spain.
Hotels in Cadiz:
For Hotels in Cadiz, check out the following links:
Five Things to Do in Cadiz:
- See the Cathedral, a sandy-yellow church that is much bigger up close than you would at first think.
- Climb the Torre Tavira, the highest of the old watchtowers, with a panoramic camera (camara obscura) showing 360º live pictures of the city.
- Go to the beach. Stick around until sunset, which should be enjoyed at Caleta beach.
- Take a virtual tour of 18th century Cadiz with a 3D video of Cadiz at the city walls.
- Eat the fried fish, in particular at the Freiduria Las Flores on Plaza de Topete.
The most obvious day trip to take from Cadiz is one to Jerez, the home of sherry and famous for its horses. Jerez is a short train ride from Cadiz, or you can take a Jerez Guided Tour with Sherry Tasting and Horse Show
A little further, but still easily reachable, is Seville. Again, this is an easy train ride from Cadiz, but there are also day trips, organized particularly with those stopping in Cadiz on a cruise (though anyone can take these tours): Day Trip to Seville from Cadiz
Other people day trips from Cadiz include El Puerto de Santa Maria, Rota, San Fernando (birthplace of flamenco legend Camarón de la Isla), the mountaintop village of Vejer de la Frontera and the village of Rota.
Where to Next?:
Distance to Cadiz :
From Seville 128km – 1h30 by car, 2h by train, 2h by bus. No flights. Read more on Seville
From Madrid 654km – 6h30 by car, 5h by train, 8h by bus . (No flights, nearest airport is in Seville) Read more on Madrid
From Barcelona 1152km –12h15 by car, 10h by train. No direct route by bus – change at Seville. No flights, nearest airport is in Seville. Read more on Barcelona
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Car Rental in Cadiz:
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If you don't have long in Cadiz, a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour can be a good introduction to the city.
Cadiz is a tiny peninsula on the south coast of Spain and can be divided into two parts – the new town on the ‘neck’ of the strip of land and the old town at the ‘head’. The new town looks like most coastal cities in Spain, with large throughfares lined with palm trees and beaches with bars and clubs catering to the sunburnt tourists. The best beaches are here in the new town, but the old town is where the character is.
As you pass through the cities walls that encompass the old town, the road splinters off into narrow streets that lead into the centre and a couple of minor highways that encompass the old town. It is best to leave your car around here and travel the rest on foot.
Old town Cadiz is a collection of plazas joined by a series of narrow streets. Nominally, the ‘main square’ would be Plaza San Juan de Dios which is home to the ayuntamiento (council) building or the Plaza de la Cathedral (guess what you’ll find there!), but plazas Candelaria, Mina and San Antonio could be considered your focal points too.
Starting from Plaza San Juan de Dios, it is a short walk through the shopping district to the Cathedral. From here, walk up c/Compañia to Plaza Libertad, home to one of the oldest indoor markets in Spain.
Take the street in the northern corner, c/Hospital de Mujeres, to see the women's hospital with its ornate church, and then hop to the next street up, c/Marques del Real Tesoro, to see the Torre Tavira, with its panoramic view of the city. From up there you can decide for yourself where to go next.