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!
- Things to do in Cadiz
- Visit Cadiz: the 12 must-see attractions!
- Where to stay in Cadiz
- My impressions about Cadiz
- You’re traveling in Andalusia? These articles will help you!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Andalusia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the Lonely Planet Andalusia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the Rick Steves Snapshot Andalusia guide on Amazon.com
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.
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