10 Things to Do in Cádiz in December

Cadiz is famous for its beaches and summer resorts but it also has many attractions to discover during the winter months and to enjoy on Christmas Eve.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Cádiz in December

Cadiz Night | ©Neil Holden

Cadiz is one of the pearls of the Andalusian coast, especially for its beaches, its summer attractions and the boat rides in the bay to watch the sunset during the summer season, but it is also an ideal place to discover during the winter months, especially in December when the streets of Cadiz are dressed up in the Christmas theme.

Among the best things to see and do in Cadiz in December are the Christmas markets in the old town, the living Bethlehem of Prado del Rey, the zambombas of Jerez, the guided tours of the Catacombs of Beaterio and the ice rink in the Plaza de San Antonio that amazes young and old.

1. Visit the Christmas market in the Plaza de San Antonio

San Antonio Square| ©Mario Naranjo Molina
San Antonio Square| ©Mario Naranjo Molina

In December Cadiz prepares to receive Christmas and one of the typical attractions is the picturesque Christmas market in the Plaza de San Antonio, in the old town. There you can visit the stalls and buy gifts and presents, but also food and Christmas decorations made of ceramics, resin and other materials.

During the Christmas eve the market is the representative site of the Plaza de San Antonio, which also inaugurates every year in December an ice skating rink for adults and children, a giant Christmas tree and a toy library with children's activities, where children can stay while adults do the shopping.

The market also has one of the best activities to do in Cadiz during the winter and consists of Christmas carol shows and Christmas story reading. Another flea market in the city that you can visit is the one at Casa Aramburu and in Chiclana the Besugo Market.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the market is free.
  • When... The market is open throughout the month of December.
  • Where... In the Plaza de San Antonio, in the old town.

Book a guided tour of Cadiz

2. Enjoy the zambombas flamencas in Jerez

Flamenco show| ©n8fire
Flamenco show| ©n8fire

The Christmas zambomba is part of the typical folklore of Jerez de la Frontera and is a custom of the holidays before Christmas Eve that has remained unchanged since the eighteenth century. These festivities are celebrated in the patios of the neighbors, where tradition indicates that ham and wine sandwiches are shared while a group of people sing flamenco carols using zambombas and tambourines as instruments.

To visit a zambomba is to attend one of the best flamenco shows in Cadiz and every year in Jerez guided tours are arranged through the streets of the city, brotherhoods, peñas, clubs and bars, where visitors can join the party.

In Jerez are also common solidarity zambombas, in which to enter you need to bring a food item or you can also attend the patios of the neighbors who enable the entry of tourists and usually charge an entrance fee equivalent to the price of a typical local dish.

Book tickets for a flamenco show in Jerez

3. Visit the ice rink in the Plaza de San Antonio

Skating in Cadiz| ©Xtraice
Skating in Cadiz| ©Xtraice

The Plaza de San Antonio is the Christmas epicenter in the historic center of Cadiz and in addition to the Christmas Market and the giant tree, there you can also visit the ice rink for adults and children that the City Council installs in the center of the square and remains open from the first days of December until the weekend of Epiphany.

Admission to the ice rink is free and you can attend with your own skates or rent a pair at the Christmas market stalls. Visiting the rink is one of the best alternatives to consider if you plan to tour Cadiz with children but also if you are a fan of ice skating. In addition, the easy access to the old town area by public transport or on the tourist buses of Cadiz will simplify the plan.

In December, other children's attractions are also installed in the square , such as the Christmas train, the storytelling stop where Christmas stories are read and the Professional Craft Fair of Cadiz that provides ornaments and toys for children.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the track is free.
  • When... From the first week of December until the weekend of Epiphany.
  • Where... Plaza de San Antonio, Cádiz.

Reserve a seat on the tourist bus of Cadiz

4. Visit the living Bethlehem of Prado del Rey

Living Nativity Scene| ©Francisco Javier Prieto
Living Nativity Scene| ©Francisco Javier Prieto

Prado del Rey is a picturesque village in the interior of the Province of Cadiz that during December attracts the attention of the people of Cadiz with a living Na tivity scene that takes place in the Plaza de la Constitución and is inaugurated on December 8 of each year, coinciding with the date of the Immaculate Conception.

The Living Nativity Scene of Prado del Rey gained fame for its realism and for the number of actors involved in the theatricalization, including the Three Kings, the shepherds, the bakers, the farmers, St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary and many other characters in the different scenes of the Nativity Scene.

Initially, the Living Nativity Scene was only held once a year, but due to the number of people who attend every Christmas for some editions, in addition to the presentation of each December 8, the City Council of Prado del Rey also provides other dates so that no one misses it. Undoubtedly, visiting the Living Nativity Scene is one of the best activities to do from Cadiz.

Interesting details

  • Price... Witnessing the Living Nativity Scene is free of charge.
  • When... The first presentation is on December 8 of each year.
  • Where... In the Plaza de la Constitución, Prado del Rey.

5. Attend the Expoclick of Playmobil in Chiclana

Christmas in Cadiz| ©Basilievich
Christmas in Cadiz| ©Basilievich

If you plan to visit Cadiz with children during December you can not miss the Playmobil Expoclick exhibition in Chiclana, which has become a tradition during Christmas Eve. In this event for the whole family you can find dioramas and recreations made with plastic dolls.

The theme of each edition is varied and not only addresses Christmas but also includes the recreation of famous series such as The Walking Dead or Disney movies and real scenarios of wars and battles or sports stadiums, so in the exhibition you can find attractions for all audiences.

The exhibition opens every year during the last days of November and remains open until Epiphany weekend, but the main activities take place in December.

Details of interest

  • Price... General admission costs approximately 2 euros.
  • When... From the last days of November until Epiphany weekend.
  • Where... Avenida del Comercio 27, Chiclana.

6. Visit the Route of the First Round the World in Sanlucar

First World Tour in Sanlúcar| ©Gustavo Maximo
First World Tour in Sanlúcar| ©Gustavo Maximo

One of the great prides of Sanlúcar de Barrameda is that from its port departed in 1519 the expedition led by Sebastian Elcano and Ferdinand Magellan that gave the First Around the World, so nowadays the town offers an excursion to visit the route followed by the expeditionaries during their stay in the city.

These excursions, which take place in December in commemoration of the first time the expedition made landfall once they left Spain, propose a tour of the Equatorial Clock, the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de Guía, the model of the Nao Victoria located in the old Ice Factory of the town, and the Church of the Trinity.

In all the areas of the tour, the navigators carried out some activity during their stay in the city or are tributes to the voyage, which lasted more than 3 years. The guided tour also includes a visit to the Convent of the Capuchins and the churches of the city that participated and made donations to finance the expedition.

Details of interest

  • Price... General admission costs approximately 15 euros.
  • When... Daily guided tours in December.
  • Where... Tours start at the Portico de Bajo de Guía, in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

7. Taste the Christmas sweets of Medina Sidonia

Medina Sidonia| ©Michael Gaylard
Medina Sidonia| ©Michael Gaylard

Medina Sidonia is a town in the interior of the Province of Cadiz that lives from tourism but also from the candy industry. During December thousands of people from Cadiz come to the town to visit its medieval architecture and enjoy the local confectionery, which is considered one of the best in Andalusia.

The tortas pardas, amarguillos, piñonates, yemas and pastas are the typical sweets of the town, but at Christmas are added the mantecados and alfajores of Arab tradition, which are made with nuts and honey, which can be bought in bars of up to a kilo and have become one of the founding myths of Medina Sidonia.

There are several companies in Medina Sidonia that make and sell the local alfajores throughout the province, but if you walk around the town you will see that it is also possible to buy handmade sweets in the streets or in the squares.

8. Take a guided tour of the Catabombs of Beaterio

Catacombs of Beaterio| ©Santiago Cordero Guerrero
Catacombs of Beaterio| ©Santiago Cordero Guerrero

Cadiz is the city of the sun, the coast of light and its beaches amaze with their golden sands, but it is also a place of mysteries and secrets. A local legend indicates that there is a hidden circuit of tunnels that run through the basement of the city and some time ago the myth became reality when the City Council enabled the Catacombs of Beaterio.

These Franciscan catacombs served in the Middle Ages as a refuge for the Templars and Freemasons and during the first half of the 20th century they were redefined as a hiding place for the victims of the Civil War. The Beaterio Catacombs are open to the public only during the winter months and only in December it is possible to visit them on free guided tours.

The restricted access to the catacombs is because the City Council tries to preserve their condition and also during the summer there is usually conservation work to keep the tunnels away from the summer heat.

Details of interest

  • Price... In December the guided tours of the catacombs are free to encourage tourism.
  • Where... Valverde 3, Cádiz.

9. Spend Christmas and New Year's Eve in Grazalema

Grazalema| ©Enrico Razzetti
Grazalema| ©Enrico Razzetti

Grazalema is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain and one of the best kept secrets of the people of Cadiz. In its medieval streets, nestled in the mountains, thousands of people spend Christmas and New Year, as it has a very good atmosphere, excellent gastronomy and a lot of festive plans.

In Grazalema on Christmas Eve you can find a living Bethlehem, spend New Year's Eve in the forest dining in rural houses and enjoy a fireworks display with the mountains in the background, so if you plan to visit Cadiz in December, reserve one of the holidays to spend them in this town can be a good alternative.

Keep in mind that Grazalema is in the interior of the province, about 100 kilometers from Cadiz and in the area of Zahara de la Sierra, so it can be an uncomfortable option if you have planned a short stay in the city. If that is your case, here is a list of activities you can see and do in Cadiz in 2 days.

10. Visit Juvelandia as a family

Amusement park| ©Pedro Lozano
Amusement park| ©Pedro Lozano

Juvelandia is a children's and youth leisure fair that is held every year in the González Hontoria Park in Jerez de la Frontera and that stands out for the activities for children, so visiting it is an ideal alternative if you plan to visit Cadiz with children.

The fair includes in its program workshops, playgrounds, sports competition areas, inflatable games, fairground attractions, food stalls, circus performances and children's music shows, making it a perfect recreational space for children to have fun and interact with other children, since Juvelandia also receives contingents from different schools.

The best time to visit the fair is when it opens, at 12:00 noon, or closer to closing time, at 9:00 p.m., since this is when there are fewer visitors. Please note that minors must be permanently accompanied by a responsible adult. The fair is open until the Epiphany, so you can also visit it if you plan to visit Cadiz in January.

Temperatures in Cadiz in December

Evening in Cadiz| ©Angel Sotomayor
Evening in Cadiz| ©Angel Sotomayor

December is one of the coldest months of the year in Cadiz, with an average temperature of 12°, with minimums of 7° and maximums of 16°, so keep in mind that if you plan to visit the city during Christmas Eve temperatures can drop drastically.

December is also one of the rainiest months of the year, so I recommend that you bring a raincoat, umbrella and waterproof boots during excursions, because the rains are usually sudden. If you are planning to visit Cádiz in winter I also advise you to bring warm clothes.

The influx of tourists in Cadiz in December

Streets of Cadiz| ©santiago lopez-pastor
Streets of Cadiz| ©santiago lopez-pastor

December is one of the quietest months to visit Cadiz, except for Christmas and New Year's days. The arrival of winter, the drop in temperature and the rainy season deters many tourists from touring the city during the winter,

. On the other hand, if you choose to visit Cadiz in December you will be able to enjoy the city's attractions with few tourists, affordable accommodations and you will not have to worry about excursions, as they are rarely sold out.

Prices in Cadiz in December

Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

From an economic point of view December is one of the best months to visit Cadiz, as it is low season and a cold and rainy time the prices of accommodations and excursions decrease drastically, so you will be able to save money during your visit to the attractions.

In addition, if you want to get extra discounts a good idea is to book the excursions in advance online, which will also help you to put together an itinerary, especially if you plan to visit Cadiz in 3 days or during a short stay.

What to pack to visit Cadiz in December?

Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer
Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer

To combat the rains and the cold during your visit I advise you to include the following items in your suitcase:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Wool sweaters
  • Wool scarf
  • Wool socks
  • Light coat
  • Cotton T-shirts
  • Umbrellas
  • Raincoat
  • Waterproof boots
  • Thermal T-shirt
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Lightweight pants