Visit Cadiz: Top 12 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

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Things to do in Cadiz

You’re planning to Visit Cadiz, in Spain, during your next trip?

This Andalusian city will for sure charm you with its beaches, seaside, and beautiful old town.

Close to Seville (1h30 by car), it’s the perfect destination for a day trip during your trip to Andalusia! Once parked in one of the city underground car parks, you’ll really enjoy walking around the city.

So, what are the best things to do in Cadiz? Where to stay? Follow our guide about the Cadiz must-see attractions, and discover How to visit Cadiz in a day.

Let’s get started!

Visit Cadiz: the 12 must-see attractions!

1. The Plaza de San Juan de Dios

Start your day in Cadiz with the Plaza de San Juan de Dios. This square built in the 16th century was for a long time the heart of the city, because of its proximity to the port. Many exotic products from India were exchanged.

On this square, you can admire 2 beautiful buildings: the town hall and the church of San Juan De Dios. The Plaza de San Juan de Dios, decorated with water jet and fountains, surrounded by cafes and restaurants is very pleasant for pedestrians.

Voyage Tips Advice
  • After crossing the Constitution Bridge, keep going straight on las cortes de Cadiz avenue and Astilleros avenue. You will reach the port and its underground car park. Park there, you will be close to the historic center, the best starting point for a day in Cadiz.
  • At the entrance of the square, on Ramon de Carranza Avenue, you will find Cadiz tourist information office. You should get a tourist map there, it will make it easier to find your way around the city!
Plaza de San Juan de Dios
Plaza de San Juan de Dios

2. The Roman Theater

From the calle San Juan de Dios, go to Cadiz Roman theater.

Dated from the end of the 1st century BC, it was discovered by chance in 1980. It’s the oldest in Spain as well as one of the largest, with a capacity of 20,000 people. Today, the proximity of surrounding buildings prevents further excavations.

Feel free to enter, the museum and theater visit is free. It’s small, but I loved the way the tour is organized, you can even walk in an underground hall under the bleachers.

Cadiz Roman theatre
Under the bleachers of Cadiz Roman theatre

3. Cadiz Cathedral

With its golden dome, Cadiz most famous monument can be seen from everywhere while walking in the city. Started in 1722, the construction of Cadiz Cathedral was completed only a century later and thus mixes several architectural styles such as Baroque and Neoclassical.

The Cathedral, located in the historic center, was nicknamed “Catedral Nueva” by the locals, in opposition to the “Catedral Vieja“. Catedral Vieja is also known as the Santa Maria Church which, you guessed it, was the former cathedral.

So, in addition to the cathedral, don’t hesitate to visit  Santa Maria Church. It’s nearby and the entrance is free.

During your visit to the new Cathedral, you should definitely go up the Tower of Poniente (Torre de Poniente in spanish), one of the cathedral’s bell tower. Once at the top, you can enjoy a nice panoramic view of the whole city.

The view from up there is particularly impressive!

Cadiz Cathedral
Cadiz Cathedral

4. Cadiz Market

After the catehdral, you should walk to Cadiz market. For me, going to the market is a must when discovering a city or region. The best way to discover local products!

To go there, take the Calle Compania to the Plaza de las Flores (so called because of the many flower stalls you will find there).

You will then arrive to the Plaza Libertad, and its central mercado. Unlike other markets in Andalusia, it’s not super big, but for sure enough to taste some fresh local products. It’s your best bet if you want a good cold cuts and cheese sandwich!

Cadiz Market
Cadiz Market

5. The Tavira Tower

Close to the market, first going to Alcala Galiano Street and then turning left on Sacramento Street, you will come across the Tavira Tower, one of the 126 towers (yep, only!) in Cadiz. It’s one of the most visited buildings after the Cathedral.

These towers generally served as watchtowers for the port, and Tavira Tower was the highest and main one.

The main attraction of the tower is the Camera Obscura, a room equipped with a set of optical lenses and mirrors: it allows you to admire the entire bay of Cadiz in a magnificent panorama.

In the Tavira tower, there are also exhibition halls and audiovisual projections.

You can find more information for your visit on Tavira Tower official website

Voyage Tips Advice
To go to the next attraction of Cadiz, the San Sebastian Castle, I recommend you to walk along the seaside, on Avenue Campo del sur. You will enjoy a superb view of the Cathedral and its dome. And well, it’s always nice to take a walk by the sea, while enjoying a welcome sea breeze!

6. San Sebastian Castle

Your walk along the Campo del Sur, will take you directly to the entrance of the paseo Fernando Quinones, the path leading to the castle.

Connected to the city by this pier, the San Sebastian Castle is located on a small island. The legend has it that this is where the temple of Cronos stood, in antiquity. It was the Venetians who called it “San Sebastian”, to invoke his protection.

A bit of history: in the 15th century, sailors of a Venetian ship contaminated by the plague epidemic were allowed to settle there and built a hermitage.

A watchtower was then erected to counter any attacks. Then, in 1706, the castle was built to strengthen the defenses of the city.

Today, San Sebastian castle is the opportunity to take a beautiful walk along the ocean and admire a great view of Cadiz seafront. Inside you will have access to free exhibitions. Its courtyard often hosts concerts and other events.

Voyage Tips Anecdote
The castle is world famous for having served as a film location for a James Bond movie: “Die another day”.
San Sebastian Castle Cadiz
San Sebastian Castle, in Cadiz

7. La Caleta Beach

Between the two castles of Cadiz, La Caleta beach is the perfect stop for swimming and cooling off. However it’s relatively small and located in the historic center, so in summer, it may be a bit crowded!

You will find all the amenities: restaurant, bar, toilets, showers. It’s a supervised beach, and the 2 castles forms a sea wall that protects it from strong waves.

The little fishing boats moored beside give it an authentic charm.

La Caleta beach Cadiz
La Caleta beach

8. Santa Catalina Castle

Located at the other end of La Caleta beach, this fortress was part of the city defence infrastructures.

After the plunder of Cadiz by Anglo Dutch troops, The King of Spain decided to build the fortress to strengthen one of the most vulnerable points of the city.

The building is star shaped, with several defensive bastions. The parade ground is surrounded by different pavilions and a chapel dedicated to Santa Catalina.

Santa Catalina Castle can be visited and hosts several art and paintings exhibitions. It’s also a great viewpoint: just walking on the ramparts and enjoying the view on Caleta Beach and San Sebastian fortress is very pleasant!

Santa Catalina Castle Cadiz
Santa Catalina Castle

9. Genoves Park

About a hundred meters from Santa Catalina Castle, you can find the entrance to Genoves Park, the largest public garden in the city.

This park along the ocean contains botanical species from different countries and various small monuments including the very popular Children under an umbrella fountain. There are also a small man-made cave and lake, a waterfall and a few ducks.

It is the ideal place for a short break in the shade!

Children under an umbrella fountain Genoves park
Children under an umbrella fountain, in Genoves park

10. Alameda Apodaca park

If you want to enjoy the freshness of the gardens a bit more, You should then head to Alameda Apodaca park. It’s very easy to find it, as you just have to walk along the sea.

With its many trees, fountains, wrought iron lamp posts, sculptures, colorful ceramic benches and checkerboard tiles, it’s for me the most beautiful park in the city.

I didn’t have the opportunity to see it but it seems that the park is particularly beautiful at sunset.

Alameda Apodaca park
Alameda Apodaca park

11. The Museum of Cadiz

Let’s go for a bit of culture now! At the end of Alameda Apocada walk, turn right onto calle Zorrilla to reach the Plaza Mina.

If you have time to visit a museum, I recommend the Cadiz Museum, on this square. There are 3 floors,  for 3 different periods:

  • On the ground floor you will find the Phoenician and Roman archaeological remains
  • On the first floor, Spanish painters from the 16th to the 20th century are honored
  • On the second floor, you can discover Cadiz  folk customs, including the famous puppets of Tia Norica and some more contemporary works.

Voyage Tips Advice
If you’re from an European country, it would be a shame to miss it, as it’s free for European citizens.

12. Cadiz Plaza de Espana

We will end this day in Cadiz with a stop at Plaza de España (“Spain square” in English), to admire the famous Monument to the Constitution of 1812 or “Monument a las Cortes”. When exiting the museum, you will need to take Antonio Lopez street to get there.

The monument was built in 1912 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution. Yep, you may not know it, but it was signed in Cadiz in 1812!

This monument is very symbolic. The lowest part represents a semicircle and an empty presidential chair. Several silhouettes hold texts of the constitution and on the sides, figures of horses symbolize peace and war.

Several themes also evoke agriculture and citizenship.

Plaza de Espana Cadiz
Plaza de Espana, in Cadiz

Where to stay in Cadiz

  • Cadiz Inn Backpackers: Hostel located 10 minutes’ walk from the Cathedral. Bed in dormitory from 14 € per night. strong points: its roof terrace and the staff welcoming.
  • Hotel La Catedral: As the name suggests, it’s located right next to the Cathedral. Modern and elegant room from 60 € per night, including breakfast. I have a big crush for the rooftop terrace with an outdoor pool and breathtaking views of the cathedral! This is my favorite in Cadiz for its great value for money!
  • Parador de Cadiz: Located in front of the ocean and 5 minutes’ walk from the beach of La Caleta. Very nice modern and bright room from 138 € per night, breakfast included. Strong points: outdoor pool with nice views, quality of service, well-equipped rooms, original and modern architecture. It’s the best hotel in town, perfect for a luxury stay in Cadiz!

My impressions about Cadiz

If you follow this guide, you will have a great itinerary to visit Cadiz in a day!

Personally, I really loved Cadiz. Maybe because it was a bit little less touristy than the other cities we visited in Andalusia.

The fact it’s on the ocean side and you can swim really gave this day a “holidays” feel! It was very pleasant and relaxing after visiting more urban cities like Seville or Cordoba.

Another thing I really loved is the way you enter the city: when you arrive by car, you will cross the Constitution’s bridge. It’s quite impressive, with its 185 meters height!

Actually, it’s one of the highest cross-sea bridges in the world. Hey, it’s even taller that San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge!

Andalusia travel Guides

You’re traveling in Andalusia? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Spain: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Spain are listed there.

The 20 Best Things to Do in Andalucia: The ultimate bucket list!

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Visit Cadiz
Visit Cadiz
Visit Cadiz: Top 12 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions
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Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. Vincent

    Hi Vincent,

    Thank you for your most helpful blog!

    We were in Cadiz this week and followed your excellent advice and saw most of your suggestions. We loved it and your blog made it so easy for our short visit. We walked everywhere from our central hotel and really were able to get a ‘feel’ of the place.

    The live music in most of the squares was very special, sitting, relaxing over a coffee and being entertained by music we loved just made it all the more memorable. In the evening we found a few tapas bars serving interesting and tasty tapas.

    Looking forward to following some of your other suggestions for other destinations.

    Thanks again,
    Franki

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi Franki,

      I am really glad my article about Cadix helped you to plan your visit and that you enjoyed it a lot!

      See you soon on the blog, and if one day you need some help to plan your trip to a place I visited, don’t hesitate to ask me.

      Cheers!

      Vincent

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