An easy one hour drive south from Seville, this coastal city acts as a much needed escape during the hot and sticky summer months for the inland Spanish cities. Cádiz, an arm shaped peninsula on the South West coast of Spain, offers a mixture of sun, sand, and some of the oldest history in the country.
If you’ve only got two days to spend hopping around the city, there’s plenty to see to keep you busy and also to relax at the same time. The locals, better known as “gaditanos”, take their time to enjoy every minute of the day. Morning coffees are thoroughly enjoyed, lunches are long, and afternoon strolls are even longer.
photo by: cadizturismo.com
Relax: Arriving to Cadiz in the morning will allow you take your time, grab a coffee on any of the outdoor patios surrounding the city. On the surrounding streets of the Plaza de San Juan de Dios, home to the breathtaking Town Hall, you have tons of options for outdoor seating with beautiful views of the old architecture or even the bay! Enjoy your coffee while taking in the sunshine before heading over to the tourist kiosk for some maps and local info on bus tours and flamenco shows!
Follow the line! The city has mapped out various routes to help with self guided tours depending on your specific interests. The four options include:
Route One: Mediville District and Puerta de Tierra
Route Two: Castles and Bastions
Route Three: Shippers to the Indies
Route Four: Cadiz Construction
No matter which route you take, don’t miss out on going up the Torre Tavira with 360* views of the city. Choose to take in the sights yourself from the top patio of the building and then venture one floor down to experience the “dark camera” which projects live colored imagines from the city onto a white canvas in a dark room.
Both the parks along the cities coast are also gorgeous shady getaways for a peaceful stroll and beautiful views.
photo by: tripadvisor.co.uk
Eat: For lunch venture to the popular and highly recommended restaurant: El Aljibe. A beautiful homey-vibe, this Andalucian gem offers a full (and we mean A HUGE) menu of tapas as well as a separate restaurant and wine menu! Try the red peppers stuffed with shrimp, the creamy tetila cheese or any of the beautiful selection of meat and bird.
Beach: The sun goes down quite late during the spring and summers in Spain. So take advantage of the extra late day sun and rent a surfboard or take a windsurfing lesson if the winds are blowing and the waves are breaking. Or simply sit back and spend the early evening lounging around on one of the many beaches!
Drinks: Have a drink at the Cervecería Marisquería Aurelio – a tapas bar known for their variety pale, dry sherry and more laid-back and local atmosphere. You can find this gem hidden on Calle Zorrilla, 1 in the Old Town.
Dinner: After the sun goes down and you’re ready to eat, don’t miss having a meal at El Faro in the local fishermen’s neighborhood: La Viña. With fresh tapas ready-to-eat at the bar, you’re instant gratification will be indulged! Also try their tortillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters); sopa de pescado (fish soup) and pescado a la sal (fish baked in salt) for a more complete meal.
Night Out: A trip to Andalucia isn’t complete unless you see some traditional Flamenco. Spend the evening at La Cava watching spectacular performances and sipping on local wines, beers, or spirits.
photo by: sobrecadiz.com
Market: Spend the morning wandering around the local Central Market located in the heart of the Old Town. Offering various options for quick breakfast, lunch and dinner – this market is a nice way to start your day! Then sit down for a relaxing coffee in one of the many beautiful bars hidden on the streets stemming from the Plaza Libertad.
Just around the corner is the famous Plaza Topete or better known as the Plaza de Las Flores – take a peak and you’ll see why!
photo by: telegraph.co.uk
Boat Ride: Down by the train / bus station you can find the local catamaran that crosses the bay to Roto (home to a United States Naval base) and The Port of Santa Maria. With inside or outside seating, enjoy the 30 minute ferry ride to the small, beautiful, coastal city of The Port of Santa Maria. Just 2.40 euro each way.
El Puerto de Santa Maria: A different energy flows through the city with more shops, a huge green park running along the coast, and various bars and restaurants to satiate those seafood cravings! Also home to an ornately decorated bull ring, the main church featuring gothic, baroque, and neo-classical elements as well as various museums: Museo Fundacion Rafael Alberti and El Museo Municipal de El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Lunch: When you’re ready for lunch, head back towards the waterfront where you’ll find Bar Gonzalo on Calle Micaela Aramburu, 26 (closed Tuesdays!). Known for their plates of fried fish – a very popular dish in the South – Bar Gonzalo wins with prices and quality. Also try their Manta Ray in tomato sauce, potatoes in garlic-mayo sauce or seasoned carrots.
Explore: After indulging in some local cuisine, walk out the door and head right towards the waterfront and large city park and visit the sand dunes! Called Dunas de San Anton, they separate part of the city blocks from the waterfront. Filled with beautiful trees and walking paths that lead to the dunes / sandy beaches, it’s a nice afternoon stroll before catching the ferry back to Cadiz.
(Last boat back is at 20:45 weekdays & 21:05 Saturdays)
Sunset: Don’t miss out on a sunset walking along one of the many beaches in Cadiz. However, the BEST place to view the sunset is from Caleta Beach located in the Old Town just between both Castillos: San Sebastian and Santa Catalina. Castillo de Santa Catalina also houses a gallery open to the public and both Castles are available to visit during the day free of charge. Another fun fact! these beautiful old fortresses were also used for filming in Die Another Day for it’s similarities to Havana, Cuba.
photo by: ojodigital.com
Last bite: If you’re craving some meat dishes after indulging in all the delicious seafood – check out Meson Cumbres Mayores on Calle Zorrilla, 4. Inspired by its roots in Huelva, this restaurant serves some of the best meats in town. You can pick and choose from their regular menu or select one of their “set menus” and let the chefs at Meson Cumbres Mayores spark your taste buds before you head out of the city onto your next adventure.
photo by: foodsfromspain.com
For more bar and restaurant recommendations, check out Foods From Spain.