As the prized jewel of Andalusia, and the oldest city in Western Europe, Cadíz takes you on an unforgettable journey through Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Moorish times while allowing you to soak up the sun on gorgeous beaches and cool off in lush gardens later in the day. On the edges of the long seafront promenade, the blue-turquoise colours of the ocean contrast beautifully with the orange and red buildings from long ago. Splashed in between, modern white-washed houses add a modern touch to the vibrant and rich cultural atmosphere.
The monuments and churches of Cadíz quietly remind you of the city’s great significance to Spain, whispering of how the country’s ideas of independence were born here not that long ago. With so much packed into one small strip of land, the city seems to invite you to grab your shoes or bicycle to see it all on foot. In just a few steps you can walk through centuries, pushed along by the never-ending rhythm of flamenco music in the streets. Here are the best things to do in Cadiz.
- Cadiz, Spain
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Cadiz
- 1- Admire The Impressive Catedral De Cadíz
- 2- Ponder Ancient Times At The Teatro Romano De Cadíz
- 3- Look Back In Time At The Museo De Cadíz
- 4- Wander The El Pópulo Neighbourhood
- 5- Stop By Casa Palacio Del Almirante
- 6- Take A Stroll In The Parque Genovés
- 7- Soak Up The Sun In The Playa De La Caleta
- 8- Explore The Castillo De Santa Catalina
- 9- Walk Out To The Castillo De San Sebastián
- 10- Climb The Tavira Tower
- 11- Stop Smell The Flowers In The Plaza De Las Flores
- 12- Examine Ancient History At Yacimiento Arqueológico Gadir
- 13- Learn About Spain’s History At The Plaza De España
- 14- See A Show At Teatro Manuel De Falla
- 15- Relax At The Jardins Alameda Apodaca
- 16- Have A Coffee In The Plaza de San Juan de Dios
- 17- Be Entertained By The Puppets At Museo Del Titere
- 18- Learn About Spanish History At The Iglesia Del Oratorio De San Felipe Neri
- 19- Visit The Mercado Central Cadíz
- 20- Take A Swim At Playa De La Victoria
- Cadiz: 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket – explore at your own pace.
- Cadiz: Medieval Tour – discover the rich tapestry of history.
- From Seville: Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera Day Trip – if you’re planning on seeing all three places you can visit as a day trip.
20 Things To Do In Cadiz
1- Admire The Impressive Catedral De Cadíz
Peering over the city the Golden Dome of the Cadíz Cathedral is the city’s most iconic structure.
Construction of the cathedral began in 1722 but it wasn’t fully completed until over a century later.
You can discover Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles beautifully mixed throughout the building.
Many of the locals refer to the Cadíz Cathedral as ‘Catedral Nueva’ since the older Santa Maria Church or ‘Catedral Vieja’ was built before.
Be sure to climb the Torre de Poniente before continuing on your journey. The top of the bell tower offers wonderful panoramic views of Cadíz from above.
Cadíz Cathedral is at Pl. Catedral, s/n, 11005 Cadíz.
2- Ponder Ancient Times At The Teatro Romano De Cadíz
Discovered by accident in 1890, the Teatro Romano de Cadíz is the oldest Roman theatre in the country and has a capacity for an impressive 10,000 spectators.
Built sometime around 70 BC, the locals often refer to it as the ‘house of the blushing bricks’ for the unique reddish tones of its façade.
Entrance to Teatro Romano is free and the guided tour offers insight into the history of the structure and events.
During the tour, you are led through the fascinating ancient tunnels that once led spectators to their seats.
The theatre is now the most popular stage during the carnival festivities held each February and in the rest of the year many plays, operas, and musical performances take place here as well.
Teatro Romano De Cadíz is at C. Mesón, 11, 13, 11005 Cadíz.
3- Look Back In Time At The Museo De Cadíz
Near Plaza Mina, the Museo de Cadíz contains both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeological Museum.
Starting from the bottom, you see archaeological exhibits from the Phoenician and Roman times including pieces from the Roman Theatre of Cadíz.
The first floor proudly displays many works from Spanish painters during the Golden Age which took place between the 16th the 20th centuries.
On the second floor, the fine art exhibits delve into the folk customs of Cadíz, with puppets from the Tia Norica along with some other modern works.
Museo de Cadíz is at Pl. de Mina, s/n, 11004 Cadíz. Join this guided tour of the city.
4- Wander The El Pópulo Neighbourhood
Dating back to the 13th century, the El Pópulo ‘Barrio’ is the oldest neighbourhood in Cadíz and one of the oldest in Europe, connecting the historic old town with the Cathedral of Cadíz.
In this area, you can discover some fine examples of Gothic architecture on narrow and winding streets.
Medieval walls used to surround El Pópulo and their remnants can be seen in the three arches constructed in the 13th century.
What once was a run-down part of Cadíz has now become one of its best treasures with a number of historical buildings such as the 17th century Casa Palacio del Almirante.
A great way to explore is on a guided bike tour.
5- Stop By Casa Palacio Del Almirante
Known as the ‘House of the Admiral’ this Baroque-style palace was constructed in 1685 by Don Diego de Barrios, an admiral of the Indies Fleet.
As one of the most well-preserved houses for shippers to the Indies, its large Genoese reddish marble façade stands out clearly from all the other buildings in the neighbourhood.
Comprised of two distinct portions, the entrance is flanked by two beautiful stunning Tuscan columns, while the upper balcony boasts the unique Solomonic columns on each side of the door.
The Barrios family coat or arms rests high just below the two observation towers at the top.
Casa Palacio Del Almirante is at Pl. San Martín, 4, 11005 Cadíz. Add this attraction to your private custom-designed tour with a local guide.
6- Take A Stroll In The Parque Genovés
When it comes time for an afternoon stroll there is no better place to get back to nature than the Parque Genovés.
First opened to the public in 1892, this small park presents more than 150 different types of trees and shrubs including many exotic species.
The walkways are lined with tall Cypress trees and well-maintained bushes leading you to the large man-made pond and massive waterfall.
You can walk above the top of this impressive water feature on a set of bridges or wander behind the waterfalls into a large rock cave.
Look out for the life-size dinosaur replicas and be sure to check out the ‘Children under the Umbrella’ sculpture and fountain that pays tribute to the patron saint of gardeners, Saint Rosa de Lima.
Parque Genovés is at Av. Dr. Gómez Ulla, s/n, 11003 Cadíz.
7- Soak Up The Sun In The Playa De La Caleta
During your stay in Cadíz, one of the best spots to soak up the sun is the Playa de la Caleta on the northwestern side of the city.
This small beach is adjacent to the La Viña, an old town neighbourhood perfect for trying some local tapas or having a drink afterwards.
The 450-metre soft sandy beach is in the middle of two of the city’s most important landmarks.
On the right, you can see the star-shaped Castillo de Santa Catalina, and to your left the long rock pathway that leads to the Castillo de San Sebastián.
In the centre of Playa de la Caleta, you will find the Balneario Nuestra Señora De La Palma Y Del Real (Spa of Our Lady Palma and Royal) a site of cultural interest that is no longer in operation.
The small boats still moored on one side of the beach harkens back to the days when it was used by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans as a docking port.
The beach has also been featured in several movies including the film Die Another Day, a James Bond blockbuster from 2002.
8- Explore The Castillo De Santa Catalina
Forming one of the most integral parts of Cadíz’s defence against invaders, the Castillo de Santa Maria star shape and imposing walls jut out into the sea just north of Playa de Caleta beach.
As the city’s oldest military structure dating back to 1598, the King of Spain decided to build the fortress after an attempted takeover of the city by Anglo-Dutch troops.
The Castillo de Santa Catalina now hosts a number of art and painting exhibitions every year and also houses the Chapel of Santa Catalina which was added around 100 years later.
Castillo De Santa Catalina is at C. Campo de las Balas, s/n, 11002 Cadíz.
Recommended beach tour: Cadiz: 1.5-Hour Beach and Photo Tour by Segway
9- Walk Out To The Castillo De San Sebastián
On the southern end of Playa de la Caleta beach, the walkway known as Paseo Fernando Quinones leads you out to astounding views of the city and sea next to the Castillo de San Sebastián.
Rumoured to be the location of the Temple of Kronos, the construction of the castle dates back to the 15th century but what we see today was actually built in 1706.
Inside the complex, the lighthouse that illuminates the beach and La Viña neighbourhood at night was erected in 1908.
The interior grounds of the castle are currently closed, but seeing inside the courtyard and the great views of the city is worth the trek.
The Castillo de San Sebastián is at P.º Fernando Quiñones, s/n, Cadíz.
10- Climb The Tavira Tower
Rising 45 metres above sea level, the Tavira Tower boasts impressive views of Cadíz from above.
Constructed in 1778, this historic building functioned as an integral part of the city’s defence, scouring the sea for intruders during multiple wars.
After climbing 170 steps visitors are met with spectacular views of the sea and city in four directions.
The very top of the tower houses a camera obscura, the first ever to arrive in Spain.
This device uses a high-power lens to look at objects far off in the distance and then projects them onto a screen where you can see the image in great detail.
The daily 20-minute guided tour provides information about various landmarks in Cadíz and their interesting history.
Tavira Tower is at C. Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10, 11001 Cadíz.
11- Stop Smell The Flowers In The Plaza De Las Flores
Packed with local vendors selling loads of colourful bouquets, the vibrant Plaza de las Flores awakens the senses of every passerby on their way to grab a coffee or do some shopping on Calle Columela.
As one of the main squares connected to the historic old town, the Plaza de las Flores features a number of historic Neoclassical Baroque-style buildings nearby and the original post office constructed in the 1930s.
12- Examine Ancient History At Yacimiento Arqueológico Gadir
Cadíz’s earliest roots date all the way back to the 7th century BC when it was called Gadir by the Phoenicians that first discovered the site and formed the original settlement, one of their very first.
Inside the Yacimiento Arqueológico Gadir, you examine the fascinating remains of two houses and roads from these times as well as a Roman fish factory.
The museum is spread out across multiple levels and gives you insight into the Phoenicians and Romans who flourished in Gadir, and a 12-minute video provides even more understanding about the discoveries made at this archaeological site.
Yacimiento Arqueológico Gadir is at C. Cánovas del Castillo, 35, 11001 Cadíz.
13- Learn About Spain’s History At The Plaza De España
Just a short walk from the old town of Cadíz, the Plaza de España offers a pleasant place to wander and learn more about one of the most significant events in Spanish history.
In the centre of the park, you can admire the 32-metre-tall Monument to the Constitution of 1812, which was constructed exactly 100 years after the signing of Spain’s constitution, one of the very first in the world.
The symbolic monument features a female figure representing Spain standing over an empty presidential chair.
Several silhouettes hold the written constitution and the horses on the sides represent times of peace and war.
14- See A Show At Teatro Manuel De Falla
Built between 1885 and 1905, the Teatro Manuel De Falla first opened its doors in 1910, introducing guests to a stunning example of Neo-Mudéjar architecture inside and out.
The soft red brick façade with tall imposing horseshoe arches reminds visitors of the strong Moorish influences seen throughout Cadíz, and the concert hall inside takes the breath away from people eager to the next show.
During carnival season the Teatro Manuel de Falls comes to life, full of competitive events with singers, dancers, and all sorts of musicians.
For the rest of the year, the venue is the perfect place to enjoy lively flamenco concerts or relax while listening to sweet jazz.
Teatro Manuel de Falla is at Pl. Fragela, s/n, 11003 Cadíz.
15- Relax At The Jardins Alameda Apodaca
The climate in Cadíz provides the perfect atmosphere for flowers, trees, and plants to flourish.
If you’re looking for a pleasant escape from the sun, the Jardins Alameda Apodaca is the perfect place to relax.
Adorned with beautiful fountains, sculptures, and trellises covered in colourful flowers, the park hugs the coast of the sea and is a favourite spot for many to watch the sunset.
From here you can also explore the Jardins Clar Campoamor or take a closer look at the Baluarte de la Candelaria, a fortress from the 17th century which now serves as a venue for concerts and other events.
16- Have A Coffee In The Plaza de San Juan de Dios
With a number of cafes and restaurants, this pedestrian-friendly square with water fountains and statues is the perfect place to start your day with a coffee and admire the city’s town hall, and the Iglesia de San Juan de Dios.
Originally built in the 16th century, the Plaza de San Juan de Dios once served as the heart of the city.
Because of its proximity to the port, the local traders long ago once exchanged exotic products from India here.
The local tourism office is just around the corner ready to help you organize your visit to Cadíz before heading on your way.
17- Be Entertained By The Puppets At Museo Del Titere
With over 350 puppets from around the world, the Museo del Titere aims to preserve the memory of the puppeteers and artisans for people of all ages to enjoy.
Housed inside the vaults of Santa Elena, in the Puertas de Tierra, visitors are treated to interesting collections of puppets dating back hundreds of years.
The origins of puppet shows came from China around 4,000 years ago before spreading to the rest of the world.
At the end of May, Cadíz celebrates its annual Puppet Festival where 25 performances are carried out by companies from Spain, Europe, and Latin America.
Museo Del Titere is at Puertas de Tierra, Bóvedas de Santa Elena, s/n, 11006 Cadíz.
18- Learn About Spanish History At The Iglesia Del Oratorio De San Felipe Neri
Known for being the place where the Consitution of 1812 was drafted and signed, the Iglesia Del Oratorio De San Felipe Neri contains one of Murillo’s greatest works, the Immaculate Conception.
The small church is one of the very few examples of Andalusian Baroque, with an elaborate main altarpiece from the mid-18th century.
Before you go, be sure to look at a series of tombstones outside that commemorate the centenary of the Cortes of Cadíz.
Iglesia Del Oratorio De San Felipe Neri is at C. San José, 36, 11003 Cadíz. You may like this tour.
19- Visit The Mercado Central Cadíz
Brimming with fresh seafood, meats, and produce, the Mercado Central features over 100 food stands housed inside a beautiful building from 1839.
Be sure to get there early to witness the lively atmosphere created by the traders and customers.
In one corner of the market you can try some of Cadíz’s traditional dishes in the Rincón Gastronómico (gourmet corner), one of two open-air wings added to the central building recently in 2009.
The Mercado Central is at Pl. de la Libertad, S/N, 11005 Cadíz.
Recommended tour: Cadiz: 3-Hour Tapas Tour
20- Take A Swim At Playa De La Victoria
With over three kilometres of pristine coastline overlooking the Atlantic, Playa de la Victoria is recognised as one of the best urban beaches in Europe, proudly displaying its blue flag status.
The long promenade that runs along Playa de la Victoria has the highest concentration of bars, restaurants, and accommodations ready to satisfy the thousands of summer sunbathers that come to Cadíz each year.
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