Cádiz in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Do you want to get to know a city full of history, cobbled streets and castles? Then you should travel to Cadiz, a historic and lively city in the south of Andalusia.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Cádiz in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Genoves Park, Cadiz | ©Antgarprats

The city of Cadiz is popularly known as the silver cup. This tender name is due to the fact that it is a small city that was separated from Africa by the columns of Hercules which, according to Hellenic mythology, were made of silver. In this historic and ancient city you will find the best things to do in Cadiz during your vacation.

This small city is part of the metropolitan area of the Bay of Cadiz-Jerez. For this reason it is advisable not only to visit Cadiz but also the nearest municipality which is Jerez de la Frontera, as well as San Fernando. For this you can use a train that allows you to reach both places in less than an hour, so two days is enough time to see all that the city can hide.

Day 1: Explore the center of Cádiz

Cadiz Cathedral| ©Pepe Rodríguez Cordon
Cadiz Cathedral| ©Pepe Rodríguez Cordon

Cadiz is considered the oldest city in the West. For this reason you will find many interesting places to explore and get to know. During your first day of your visit I recommend a tour of the historic center of Cadiz.

Although many know this city for its beautiful beaches, this destination has much more to offer. This first day will be focused on exploring some of its history and culture. All the sites are close to each other, so you will be able to explore them on foot.

Transfer to the hotel and breakfast

You've finally arrived in Cadiz! Most tourists land at Jerez de la Frontera airport, the closest airport to the city (45 km north of Cadiz). To get to your destination city you have several options. One of them is to take a cab, use the C1 commuter train or the Seville-Cádiz Renfe line. Any of these methods will get you to the city in less than an hour.

When you arrive at your hotel you can leave your bags there and get ready for the day. A breakfast inside the hotel can be a good option. Anyway on the way you will find different restaurants where you can eat to start the day on the right foot.

Explore the Pópulo neighborhood and visit the Cathedral of Cádiz

To start touring the city you have the option of taking a personalized private tour. However, if you have time, like to walk and discover new places on your own, I invite you to walk around the city. The first point to explore may be the Barrio Pópulo, the oldest area of Cádiz.

This area has its origins in Roman times. You should definitely explore it when you visit this city, as it has many outstanding attractions and monuments. Among them is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Cadiz.

This cathedral offers a cultural tour that you can do any day of the week for less than 10 €. With this type of tour you can explore the exterior of the cathedral, the Clock Tower, its chapels, the crypt, among other areas. If you join this tour you can learn all the architectural and cultural history that this cathedral represents.

If you are interested, you can attend one of the services held every Sunday at 12 noon. Please note that the visit to the cathedral takes about 40 minutes.

Book a personalized private tour of Cadiz

Interesting details

  • Location: Cádiz Cathedral, Pl. de la Catedral, s/n, 11005 Cádiz, Spain.
  • Price: less than 10 €.
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday open from 10 am to 8 pm. On Sundays it opens at 1:30 pm and closes at 8 pm.

Visit the Cave of the Blue Bird and the Central Market

Viewpoint of the Tower of Tavira| ©Pep.1984
Viewpoint of the Tower of Tavira| ©Pep.1984

Around 10:30 am you can continue your tour by visiting the Cave of the Blue Bird. This is a visit to the subsoil of the city where you can learn about the mythical Phoenician port of Gadir. Even part of its port structures were excavated in the natural rock and today are still preserved.

Over time it passed into the hands of the Romans and then to entrepreneurs who transformed it into the birthplace of flamenco. Nowadays you can buy tickets to explore the cave. These visits can be made from 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. You can also buy tickets to enjoy a flamenco show in the evening.

After this visit you can walk about five minutes to the Central Market of Cadiz. Here you can just spend a few minutes if you want to get a closer look at the life of the locals. This place is usually very busy and there you can buy fruits, meats and vegetables. It also has a Gastronomic Corner in case you want to try some tapas with beer.

Interesting details

Cave of the Blue Bird Cave

  • Location: C. San Juan, 11005 Cádiz, Spain.
  • Price: less than 10 €.
  • Opening hours: open from 10 am to 6 pm.

Visit the Tavira Tower and have lunch in a nice restaurant

Five minutes from the market is the Tavira Tower, which was originally a watchtower to watch the ships returning from America with goods. Today you can enter with a pre-booked ticket that costs an average of 10 €.

Inside you can go up to the Camera Obscura, a floor that houses a dark room where you can see a very bright projected image of the outside. It is an optical effect that will surprise you. You can learn more about it when you visit the tower.

You can also visit its exhibition rooms and then go up to the observation deck and see the whole city from there. When you finish this visit it will probably be 12 noon, so you could look for a restaurant where you can have lunch. Near the Tavira Tower there are several restaurants that might interest you. Among them are El Garbanzo Negro, the pizzeria Pica&Pica and El Toro de Sacramento.

Interesting details

Tavira Tower

  • Location: C. Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10, 11001 Cádiz, Spain.
  • Price: less than 10 €.
  • Hours: Open from 10 am to 6 pm.

Visit the Museum of Cadiz

Around one o'clock in the afternoon you can visit the Museum of Cadiz, a cultural center that will help you understand all the richness that has the Tacita de Plata. Inside you will find several sections dedicated to archeology, fine arts and ethnography.

For citizens of the European Union the entrance to this museum is free, for the rest it has an average price of 2 €. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. To visit it you only need about an hour, so you would leave here around two o'clock in the afternoon.

Stroll through Genoves Park

A 10 minute walk from the Museum of Cádiz is the Genovés Park. This is an ideal place to spend part of your afternoon relaxing after walking around the historic center of Cadiz.

This park is considered the green lung of the city. You can walk around admiring a great variety of trees such as the dago, American cypresses, metrosidero, among others. You can also appreciate the fountain with the iconic sculpture of the "Children under the umbrella".

If you travel with children to Cadiz you can enjoy this park, especially if you go to the waterfall and the elevated bridge. There you can see beautiful ducks and take the best pictures of your trip to Cadiz. You can also enjoy the small playground or the skating rink.

Enjoy the sunset at La Caleta Beach

After spending an hour and a half or more at Parque Genovés you can walk for less than 10 minutes to La Caleta Beach. Around four o'clock in the afternoon is a good time to enjoy the beach atmosphere and watch the sunset. On the way to the beach you will see the Castillo de Santa Catalina. You can take a detour to get closer and go inside if you want to appreciate the panoramic view or the art exhibits inside.

After this short visit you can continue on your way to the beach. Get ready to watch the sunset as you swim in the water and soak up the soft rays of the evening sun. You can go to some viewpoints on the beach to get a much better view of the sunset.

At the other end of the beach is the Puerta de La Caleta and the Castillo de San Sebastian. It can be a nice experience to see its grandeur and take some pictures. Note that this castle is not open to the public.

Tapas dinner in a restaurant of La Viña

Barrio de La Viña is another popular area of Cadiz. This is a picturesque old fishing village that you can visit after spending the afternoon at the beach. For dinner you can go to Bar La Tabernita where you can have tapas or a dinner accompanied with beer.

Other nearby places are Restaurante El Faro de Cadiz, Bar Santa Catalina and Taberna Las Banderas. If you are not in a hurry to rest to regain energy, you can take your time and go on a tapas tour of these bars. This way you can explore the cobblestone streets of La Viña.

Day 2: Explore the surroundings of the city of Cádiz

In Jerez de la Frontera| ©Sergei Gussev
In Jerez de la Frontera| ©Sergei Gussev

The second day in Cádiz can be used to explore the surroundings of the city of Cádiz. In the municipality of Jerez de la Frontera you can make some excursions and walks that you will surely love. Also, in this area you can walk around the Bay of Cadiz and have an incredible time.

Keep in mind that on the first day you did not have to use public transportation, but for the second day it will be necessary. That is why I recommend you to calculate the departure and arrival times. It is also important that you consider whether you should do a tour on your own or with a private guide.

Doing a walking tour in Jerez de la Frontera

If you are staying in the city of Cadiz and want to travel to Jerez de la Frontera on your own, you must board the train at Cadiz station. It is about six stations to Jerez, which takes about 40 minutes.

About 15 minutes from the train station is the Plaza del Arenal, from where you can start your walking tour. From there you can head to the Alameda Vieja, a green, recreational and ancient area of the city. Other important sights to see are the Church of San Miguel and the Palace of the Marquis of Bertemati.

Although you can do this tour on your own, I recommend taking a guided tour that will allow you to learn about the architecture and art of all the sites I mentioned.

Book a walking tour of the art and history of Jerez de la Frontera

Visit the Alcazar and the Cathedral

Around 11 am, after the walking tour, you can visit the Alcazar and the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera. Both sites are minutes away from each other. You can visit first the Conjunto Monumental del Alcázar which consists of a group of fortified buildings dating back to the 12th century.

The entrance to this site is free and its opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. In summer they usually close at 5:00. Inside the complex you can see the mosque, the Arab baths, the castles and even the beautiful gardens.

Afterwards you can enter the Cathedral of Jerez. Please note that the entrance to this site has an average cost of 5 €. Inside you will find a permanent exhibition where you can see beautiful paintings such as La Virgen Niña by Zurbarán. You can also explore its chapels and the Bell Tower.

Book a walking tour of Jerez with the entrance to the Alcazar and Cathedral

Tapas Tour of Jerez de la Frontera

When you finish your visit to the cathedral it will be time for lunch. To continue exploring the city you can take a tapas tour of Jerez de la Frontera. A good option is to hire a professional guide to take you to the best bars and restaurants in the area.

These tours are usually done on foot and last an average of two hours. Near the cathedral there are restaurants that you can visit as part of this tour. One of them is Restaurant Pedro Nolasco. You can also return to the Plaza del Arenal. There you will find more bars like Taberna Jerez, Taberna San Pablo and Las Banderillas.

Take a boat ride in the Bay of Cadiz

Sunset in the Bay of Cadiz| ©Javier Linares
Sunset in the Bay of Cadiz| ©Javier Linares

After lunch I suggest a boat ride in the Bay of Cadiz. If you start this adventure at two o'clock in the afternoon, the ride would end at around five o'clock. To do this you should head to Puerto de Santa Maria in Cadiz. You can take a C1 train from Jerez de La Frontera station to the Puerto train station.

The trip only takes about 10 minutes and upon arrival you can walk to the Puntilla Beach. There you can meet your guide and board the boat to explore the Bay of Cadiz. This tour usually includes a paddle surf board, refreshments and snacks.

If you are traveling with your partner you can spend a romantic afternoon. In that case, you can decide whether to do a private ride or with a small group of people. The whole experience takes about three hours.

See a flamenco show and have dinner

Around five in the afternoon it will be time to return to Jerez. You can take the same train back. To enjoy the rest of the evening I suggest you buy a ticket for a flamenco show.

The most popular place to enjoy this experience is Puro Arte Flamenco Jerez. This evening can be accompanied by an Andalusian style dinner. It is a great way to end your day. When the show and your dinner are over, at around seven in the evening, you can head back to your hotel and rest.

How to get around by public transportation in Cadiz?

Buses around Cadiz| ©City Sightseeing
Buses around Cadiz| ©City Sightseeing

The province of Cadiz has the Renfe train system that can help you move from the airport of Jerez to the city of Cadiz. The average fare is 2 € and you can also buy a card that includes more trips.

However, in the city of Cadiz it is not usually necessary to use public transport as all the places are close, although it is still very important for people with reduced mobility and at night. Cadiz is an easy city to get around on foot. If you prefer, you can take tours by bicycle or private car.

What to bring in your suitcase when you go to Cadiz?

Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer
Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer

Cadiz is a place where you will be close to the sea. For this reason it is recommended that you bring a swimsuit, sunscreen and everything you see necessary for a day at the beach. This will help you to be much more comfortable.

As you may have noticed, during these two days you will have to walk. This is why it is best to travel with comfortable clothes and ergonomic shoes. This way you will be able to explore the city on foot without getting too tired.