The 10 Absolute Best Things To Do in Cadiz
Updated: May 13
If ancient port cities really aren't your thing, they should be. Cadiz is simply stunning, and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. It ranks highly among the best places to visit in southern Spain. With its gorgeous coastline and white stone buildings shining brightly in the Spanish sunshine, it's no wonder that it's such a popular destination. If Spanish carnivals are of interest to you, Cadiz comes second only to Rio, and I hear it's pretty spectacular. It's definitely rich in history and is considered by many to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in western Europe. If you're looking to catch a birds eye view of the city, climb up the Torre Tavira and check out the city's camera obscura! There's plenty of things to do in Cadiz for everyone. We only spent a day here and managed to see everything we wanted to. So, if you're planning a trip to Spain, and perhaps the south western coast, here are 10 of the best things to do in Cadiz:
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1. Plaza de San Juan de Dios
There are lots of plazas in Cadiz, but Plaza de San Juan de Dios was one of my favourites. Its played a key role in the city since the 16th century as the administrative and commercial centre, and is also one of the oldest plazas in the city. We walked from Cadiz's train station to the city centre, so this was the first main attraction we came across.
2. Cadiz Cathedral
Cadiz Cathedral was built in the 18th century, and although it doesn't date back to the medieval period, it's still an impressive building and adds to the charm of the city. You can get some great views of Cadiz from the Torre de Poniente which is a very popular tourist attraction, but you will need to pay an entry fee.
3. Sample Some Tapas
I'm pretty sure all of my blog posts about Spain include at least one picture of a tapas dish. But hey, when in Andalusia right? There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from in Cadiz, and the ones that serve tapas are a great option if you're on a tight schedule and need to eat something quickly.
4. Stroll Along the Coast
Cadiz is surrounded on three sides by the water, so a walk along the seafront is a must. You can walk around the whole perimeter of Cadiz in about 45 minutes, and it's a beautiful walk too that includes 2 castles along the way. And of course, this is one of the free things to do in Cadiz so why wouldn't you do this?
5. Castillo de San Sebastian
Castillo de San Sebastian is a pretty unique place to visit in Spain, because it's set on an islet. If you take a stroll along the path that leads up to it, you'll end up in the middle of the sea and get some great views of Cadiz. According to tradition, the islet was home to the Temple of Kronos. It's also been the setting of numerous films such as James Bond Die Another Day.
6. Castillo de Santa Catalina
Castillo de Santa Catalina actually sits opposite San Sebastian. It was built in the 17th century and served as a military prison. If the tide is out you can sit in one of the boats stuck in the sand and take in your surroundings. The beaches in the province of Cadiz are some of the best in Spain, so if you have time I'd recommend doing a road trip along the coast and stopping at some of them.
7. Alameda Apodaca
There are lots of parks in the city, which are a good stop if you need to get out of the sun for a bit. Alameda Apodaca in particular is right next to the sea making it great for photos too. There are also enormous trees in it!
8. Roman Theatre
This partially excavated Roman Theatre dates back to 70BC, and if you don't have time to visit, you can snap a cheeky photo between some buildings like I did. Check the opening times for this attraction because it's only open for a few hours of the day.
9. Plaza de Espana
I think every city in Spain has a Plaza de Espana. So of course you need to visit each of them. This one sits at the onset of the narrow shopping streets of Cadiz, so you'll probably come across it even if you don't mean to.
10. Puerta de Tierra
Puerta de Tierra is a monument built around the remains of the city's defensive walls which marked the entrance to the city. It now sits in the middle of the road so is a bit tricky to get a photo with, but it's still nice to look at from a distance.
Cadiz is a great day trip for anyone, even if you're visiting Spain for the first time. If you've been to Cuba, a little birdy told me that it's almost a mirror image of Cadiz, which is why it was used as Havana in the James Bond film. Maybe I need a trip to Cuba to be the judge of that. These were just some of the many things to do in Cadiz, and if you're researching cities to visit in the south of Spain, make sure you add this stunning coastal city to your Spain itinerary.
If you're staying in or near Cadiz and want to do a day trip, check out 12 Top Things To Do in Seville and 10 Things To Do in Cordoba. Or, if you're planning on doing a road trip, here are my Best Road Trip Destinations in Andalusia suggestions. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram!