What to do in a day in Cadiz city or in Cadiz province
Are you travelling to Cadiz on a cruise or are just spending the day before you move to another place? Are you not sure which landmarks to focus on? Or on the other hand, are you thinking to skip the city and do a day trip from the port of Cadiz?
If you are interested on traditional food and culture, or want to learn more about Sherry, Bluefin tuna, local food, visit traditional bars like tabancos then you can take our tour. However, If you are interested in history then keep reading and we will try to give you the best itineraries for within Cadiz city and Cadiz province.
What to visit in Cadiz city from Port of Cadiz
For us this walk is our favourite and you will see why this peninsula is such amazing fortress. If you have more time I would recommend walking through the beautiful narrow streets of Cadiz. We will be giving a small summary of what you will be visiting in this itinerary step by step.
You can start our itinerary from the port and head towards the Walls of San Carlos:
Murallas de San Carlos
In the middle of the sixteenth century, one of the three bastions was planned. The purpose of the so-called San Felipe was for port defense and used from 1560. With the increase in maritime traffic, in 1765 a remodeling of the area began. It resulted in the whole of its current appearance. The walls were built as part of this ambitious plan.
Plaza de España
The monument was built in 1912 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution. The first Constitution was signed in Cadiz in 1812 during the French invasion with Napoleon!
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.
We recommend visiting Cadiz museum, to learn the history of the oldest or second oldest city (after Lisbon), of Western Europe. See all the relics and antiques that the different civilizations that conquered Cadiz left behind.
Alameda Apodaca Park
A special characteristic here is the use of glazed ceramics and wrought iron, as well as the diversity of vegetation. It is particularly beautiful at sunset.
Baluarte de la Candelaria
This fort was built in 1672, taking advantage of a raised area of ground, under orders of the governor, Diego Caballero de Illescas.
Protected by a strong wall which also serves as a breakwater, its cannons controlled access to the port. It has served as barracks, engineering school and centre for the army’s carrier pigeon division. Now it is used for concerts and expositions.
This park is the largest public garden in the city and is located along the ocean. This park contains botanical species from different countries and various small monuments. Some of these are the popular children under an umbrella fountain, a man-made cave and lake, and a waterfall.
Santa Catalina Castle
This fortress was part of the city defense 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. It was built in the 17th century and declared of Cultural Interest in 1985. It has an Italian-style star-shaped floor-plan and served as a military prison.
Now however, it is used for cultural events.
La Caleta Beach
La Caleta is a local beach, if you are hot you can always come here for a swim and join the locals. However, you can be certain that during a warm day it will be very crowded.
San Sebastián Castle
Legend has it that this is where the temple of Cronos stood, in antiquity. The Venetians called it “San Sebastian”, to invoke his protection.
In the 15th century, sailors of a Venetian ship with the plague epidemic settled there, chosen for its isolation from the rest of the city to prevent spread of disease. They built a hermitage and erected a watchtower to counter any attacks. To strengthen the defenses of the city a castle was built in 1706. The castle is world famous for serving as a film location in the The James Bond movie: “Die Another Day”.
This tower is the highest and main tower of the 129 towers used as watchtowers for the port in Cadiz. It’s one of the most visited buildings after the Cathedral.
The main attraction of the tower is the Camera Obscura in the floor before the terrace. It has 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. This tower is from the 18th century, when, thanks to trade with the West Indies, Cadiz was at its most magnificent.
The local market is in the Plaza de la Libertad, Building of 1838. In 2009 it reopened after restoration. The market contains 57 vegetable shops, 54 fish and seafood, 44 meat, 7 groceries, 4 bakery stalls, 1 olive shop, 1 bag shop, and 1 fishing items shop.
Catedral de Cadiz
The 18th century is considered a golden century for Cadiz, mainly due to their monopoly on American trade. With its growing population, the Old Cathedral of Santa Cruz was no longer adequate to offer religious celebrations on such a grand scale.
The construction of a great architecture, “The New Cathedral” was started, with the financial help of the shippers to the Indies. It was designed by Vicente Acero in 1722 when it began, and was finished a century later. Thus, it encompasses a mix of several architectural styles such as Baroque and Neoclassical.
The genius of the designer was also able to give the work an original quality. He combined the Spanish architectural tradition with the Baroque forms from Italy. This is the way a Gothic plan coincides with the rich line movements of Italian architects of the time. On all these modifications, it is worth highlighting the Neoclassicist tones that were imposed as time progressed.
The main facade, framed by two large towers that increase its amplitude, is divided into three streets. The main front of white marble faces the central street. The octagonal towers on either side consist of three bodies, the first of them in Baroque style and the other two made in neoclassical style. The dome stands out for the yellow colour that the glazed tiles provide, with the four sculptures of the Evangelists rising from its base.
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 towers. Once at the top, you can enjoy a nice panoramic view of the whole city.
Over 2000 years ago, Cadiz citizen Lucio Cornelio Balbo “El Mayor”, a personal friend and advisor of Julio César, decided with his nephew Balbo “El Menor” to expand the urban perimeter of Gades (the Roman name for Cadiz), building the Neapolis. In this new area, under “El Pópulo neighborhood”, they built an amphitheater and a theater around 70 B.C.
At the end of the 3rd century AD the Romans abandoned the building. The theatre was sacked from the following century up to the Medieval period and people used the remains of its powerful structure as warehouses, stables and houses. It also served as the basis for the Islamic fortress, cited in sources of the time as “Theater Castle”, later rebuilt by Alfonso X “the Wise” after the reconquest of the city.
The excavations carried out have brought to light part of the theater. This theatre is the oldest and one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. Its structure has very archaic features, with the curved profile of cavea (seats). Under them runs the wide distribution gallery. The cavea settled on a slope of the land, and the Romans used the natural rock to build the gallery by cutting it.
El Pópulo neighborhood is on top of the ruins, so the most monumental area of the complex, the scenario and the porch, have not yet been excavated. Today, the proximity of surrounding buildings prevents further excavations. It had a capacity of 20,000 people.
Feel free to enter, a visit to the museum and theater is free.
San Juan de Dios Church
Attached to the Hospital of the same name, and in the heart of the old town is where you will find the church of San Juan de Dios. It highlights the tower, made by Torcuato Cayón in 1768. It was later modified in the 19th century.
Finally from here you will head to the Canalejas park or towards the sea and can head back to the port.
What to visit in Cadiz province from Port of Cadiz
If visiting Cadiz city is not in your interest, but you want to visit the province of Cadiz, or you have something in mind, then the information below will be handy for you. We are a tour operator company based in Vejer de la Frontera. We can design bespoke or private tours for you, your family and friends or more. Contact us through our email firstname.lastname@example.org, or WhatsApp to +34 722 251 790.
Sherry and Traditional Spanish White Village of Cadiz Tour:
As many famous travel magazines/guides, New York Times and Lonely Planet, have named Cadiz province and specifically Vejer de la Frontera and Jerez for its gastronomy and old famous cellars, you could be interested on these tours. Spend a wonderful couple of hours visiting a traditional white village in Cadiz. Vejer de la Frontera is officially recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Here we can offer you a private walking tour to learn about its history and get to know all the important landmarks in just 1:30h. From here we can head back to Jerez de la Frontera where we will eat in traditional tabancos, then we can enjoy a walk through its most famous landmarks, and finally enjoy a Private Sherry tour.
However if you are more interested in the Atlantic Bluefin tuna, one of the most sought after and the biggest tuna in the world then join this tour. You will learn the history of Bluefin tuna in the area since Phoenician and Roman times by visiting a beautiful old Roman Port city near one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain; visit a local food market; and taste different parts of Bluefin tuna in a local restaurant focused on tuna in all ways, salt-dried, grilled, raw… We will then visit Cape Trafalgar, relax and then head back to Cadiz.
If you love wine, specifically Sherry you can’t miss this opportunity. If you do not have 9 hours we can adapt the tour to your needs. We could customize this private full day tour experience for you.
If you want to learn and experience it with the company of a local guide and turn your visit to Cadiz province into an exciting gastronomic adventure, book with us. Sherry love is very contagious, surely you will also become a Jerez lover!
We do small Sherry & Tapas tour in Vejer where you will taste different types of Sherry and local food like Bluefin tuna, bull meat, salmorejo, eggplant with honey and pinenuts, etc.
If you would like to visit other beautiful white villages like Vejer, we can do a tour from Cadiz to visit white villages in Cadiz province.
If you have something on mind, please let us know. We would love to hear from you and create a bespoke tour adapted to your liking.