Best things to do in Cádiz, a travel guide

A full travel guide of Cádiz, Andalusia’s raw gem!

Cádiz is a port city in Southwestern Spain, and it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe. If you are planning a trip to the beautiful region of Andalusia, Cádiz is definitely a city to add to your list. Whether you book a hotel for the night or just go for the day, this charming city has a lot to offer with it’s long-streched beaches, a picturesque old town and many landmarks. We stayed a full day in Cádiz and in this travel guide we’ll share all our travel tips and experiences.

In the first week of January 2024 we travelled for 7 days through Andalusia, while we stayed at a perfect little house close to Marbella. With our rental car we were able to visit 4 amazing cities during this week.
From Sevilla to Gibraltar and Marbella.

A full day in Cádiz

After a 2 hour drive, we arrived around 9.30am in Cádiz and parked our car in ”Parking Cannalejas”. This garage is easy to acces and only a 5-minute walk to our first sight of the day: Plaza de San Juan de Dios.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios

Close to the harbour, this beautiful square is the perfect startpoint for your sightseeing. Built in the 16th century and surrounded by historic buildings such as the Town Hall and the Church of San Juan de Dios, this square is an easy acces to the old town of Cádiz.
At this time of the year it wasn’t too busy, but with all the cozy restaurants and bars around the square I bet it is a lovely place for a morning coffee or breakfast!

Roman Theatre

From the Plaza de San Juan de Dios we move on to the Roman Theatre, which again is only a 5-minute walk. Also known as the Teatro Romano, this ancient archaeological site dates back to the 1st century BC.

The archaeological site includes the remains of the theatre, including the stage area (orchestra), seating areas, and various architectural elements. And it is still in relatively good condition. In our opinion definitely worth a brief visit. Now if you have really limited time, we recommend skipping this one as there are nicer sights in Cádiz.

Admission to the theatre is free and since there is a winter- and summer timetable we would definitely advise to check the openingshours on the official site.

Tavira Tower

After visiting the Plaza and the Roman Theatre, we had a reservation at 11am for the ”Torre Tavira”.
Torre Tavira is a historic watchtower, and it is one of the many watchtowers that were built in Cádiz during the 18th century. The tower served as a vantage point for spotting incoming ships and monitoring maritime activity in the port.
Nowadays it’s one of Cádiz famous tourist attractions, not only because of its fascinating view over the city but also the guided tour ”camera obscura”. This attraction allows visitors to see a live 360-degree view of Cádiz projected onto a concave surface inside the tower.
We found this to be a really cool experience. We spend here more or less 45 minutes.

Entrance to the tower is €7, but keep in mind that you do need to make a reservation beforehand.

Puertas de Tierra

Our next stop was ”Puertas de Tierra”. This historic gateway separates the old and new parts of the city. The gate was originally constructed in the 16th century and has undergone modifications over the years. The gate and the square is well-maintained. Although we didn’t stay too long here, we would say it is worth a short visit, if you have enough time.

Puertas de Tierra, a historic gateway in Cádiz, Spain

The Cathedral of Cádiz

We moved on to the The Cathedral of Cádiz, which we think is one of the most beautiful sights in Cádiz. We arrived here earlier in the day, but since it was a sunday, the Cathedral wasn’t open for visitors before 2pm.

The Cádiz Cathedral with its impressive domes, ornate chapels, and its distinctive yellow color stands out against the blue sky. A fun fact is that it was originally designed in Baroque style but was finished in a different design. Herefor, it also features elements of Neoclassicism and Rococo elements.

After visiting the magnificent Cathedral, we climbed up the panoramic tower. This was included in the entrance fee (€7). Once we got on top, we really enjoyed the amazing views over Cádiz.

Mercado Central Cádiz

Finally it was time for one of our favorite activities: food! From the Cathedral we walked to the traditional local market to have some lunch. As it was sunday, only a few stalls in the markethall were open. But there were still enough choices with typical Spanisch delicacies. We chose the delicious Ibérico ham sandwich and the fresh fried calamares. Many locals aswell tourists were enjoying their time together in the sun. The atmosphere was lovely.

The local market Mercado Central Cádiz, Spain

Plaza de España

This prominent square is located in the heart of the city, its known for its architectural beauty and serves as a central gathering place for locals and tourists. Here you can find a monument that was built to commemorate the 1812 Constitution.

There are plenty of reasons why you should pay Plaza de España a visit during your trip. It’s a lovely place to just take a break from the hustle and the bustle of Cádiz, but with its neoclassical architecture and the beautiful fountain it provides a glimpse into the history and culture of Cádiz, while offering a picturesque and inviting setting for people to gather and enjoy their surroundings.

Parque Genovés

Another great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle is ”Genovés Park”. This public park is full of botanical plants and trees, with plenty of benches and there is even a waterfall. Personally, we loved it here. The park really has a peaceful ambiance.
Just go for a stroll through the park, enjoy the nature and the many lovely cats that hang around there.

Castillo de Santa Catalina

The Santa Catalina Castle is a historic fortress situated on the southern side of the old town of Cádiz, near the waterfront. The castle served as a prison several times in Spain’s turbulent history. In 1991, the Ministry of Defense handed over the castle to the city of Cádiz.

Nowadays, the Santa Catalina Castle is open for visitors. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are now held here. If you are planning to visit this sight, make sure to walk all the way around to appreciate the coastal landscape of Cádiz.

Last but not least, we planned to enjoy the sunset at the beach.

La Caleta Beach

La Caleta is a picturesque beach, it is one of the most iconic and well-known beaches in Cádiz, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and cultural significance. The beach is known for its stunning views, with the sea on one side and historic landmarks on the other. The location provides a picturesque setting, especially during sunrise and sunset.

We found a free table at one of the beachbars, and we ended the busy but pleasent day with a beautiful sunset and a drink.

Cádiz was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip in Andalusia! We hope we could provide you with some highlights and tips in this travel guide.

Video travel guide of Cádiz

If you would like to see more of our trip, feel free to watch our YouTube video about Cádiz! Or subscribe to follow our travel adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *