Best Things To Do in Cádiz

Spain's port city par excellence and home of the Spanish Navy, Cadiz offers many ways to get to know it closely, beyond beaches and coasts.

Andressa García

Andressa García

14 min read

Best Things To Do in Cádiz

Cadiz | ©Evgenii

Being such a cultural city with a rich history, there are many interesting places to visit within the city, the Roman Theater, the Cathedral of Cadiz and the Castle of Santa Catalina are some of the must-see places to visit when you visit Cadiz.

Nor can you leave out during your visit to this city, places like the neighborhoods of La Viña and El Pópulo. And of course, its beautiful beaches are magical places that you can not miss during your vacation in this place. Wait for me to tell you in detail, each of these must-see places in Cadiz.

1. Visit the old center: Cathedral, Roman Theater and the Pópulo

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

The first thing you have to visit as soon as you arrive in Cadiz, no matter how many days you are going to stay, is undoubtedly the old center of the city. Like many Spanish cities, Cadiz was also a walled city, so its old town and its widening, are well separated from each other.

So, going back to the visit to the old center, among the interesting things you can see in this place are the Cathedral of Cadiz, the Roman Theater and the neighborhood of El Pópulo itself. Generally these and other places of great cultural and tourist interest in Cadiz can be visited on one of the best guided tours of Cadiz.

The visit to the old town is a good activity to include among the things to see and do in Cadiz in January because at the beginning of the month takes place the traditional parade of kings, an ideal activity to do with children and the rest of the family.

Cathedral of Cadiz

The Cathedral of Cadiz is the first most visited attraction in Cadiz. It is a site of great tourist, liturgical and cultural interest for locals and visitors, especially for the rich history it houses. Cadiz locals often call it "The New Cathedral" and it also has a couple of towers from where you can enjoy incredible views of both the city and the ocean.

Something that you will love about visiting the cathedral inside is the extremely careful architecture that preserves this building. You will be struck by the attention to detail typical of neoclassical and baroque constructions.

But beyond the technical specifications, you can visit the Cathedral from Monday to Saturday between 10:00 and 20:00, while on Sundays you can go to see it from 13:30 to 20:00, taking into account that the last group of visitors enters 45 minutes before closing time.

And about the price, you have to know that the general admission has an approximate cost of 7 euros. This price may change according to the age and condition of each person. You can buy your ticket for the tourist bus of Cadiz to get to the Cathedral.

Roman Theater

The figure of the Roman Theater spread throughout Europe in the glory days of the Roman Empire, clearly. In the case of Spain, there are several cities in which even today you can still see the remains of what in ancient times were places of entertainment: theaters.

In the case of Cadiz, it is still possible to see the great Roman Theater, which thanks to the large number of excavations that have been made, has managed to uncover a part of the great theater, the same that is considered by many archaeologists and historians, as the oldest in Spain and throughout Europe.

To visit this Roman Theater you will have to take into account the season of the year. If you go between April and September, you can visit it from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 and Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00. If you go from October to March, you can enter from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 16:30 and Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00. Admission is free.

El Pópulo Neighborhood

The visit to the Pópulo also has to be included in any tour of the historic center of Cadiz, but in any case, it is necessary to tell you that this place is a must. In fact, inside the Pópulo you will find the Cathedral of Cádiz and also the Roman Theater, but besides that, it is a very picturesque area that I recommend you not to miss.

The Pópulo went, in a few years, from a degraded place, to one of the main points to visit by tourists, so you can not stay behind if you visit Cadiz. If there is something that attracts this area, it is that it holds the title of the oldest neighborhood in the West.

One of the biggest attractions to see inside the neighborhood are the arches that surround the city, where in the past there used to be gates that closed and guarded the town at the time, territory that is now the Pópulo. But besides that, it is in this neighborhood where you can find many of the best flamenco shows in Cadiz.

Take a tour of Cádiz like a local

2. Tour La Caleta beach and the Santa Catalina Castle

La Caleta Beach| ©kanbron
La Caleta Beach| ©kanbron

La Caleta beach and Santa Catalina Castle are located in the same direction, in fact, the Castle is the most striking monument in La Caleta. This beach is one of the most popular in Cadiz, getting to have a lot of tourists every day, being one of the favorite destinations among the best things to see and do in Cadiz in September, to give you the last summer dip.

If there is something you will like about La Caleta is that, regardless of the season of the year, you will always find it full of tourists. The path of rocks along the coast will invite you to walk around the place, and you can also enjoy the shade that you can find in what remains of the old spa in the area.

The Castle of Santa Catalina, meanwhile, has been declared of Cultural Interest because it is one of the oldest military buildings in Cadiz, and even the whole of Spain. Something curious about this castle is that it functioned as a military prison for 200 years, until 1991, where many political and military figures were imprisoned.

Since it was no longer used for these purposes, the castle has remained as one of the most interesting places to visit, especially if you expect to make a tour of Cadiz in 4 days, and after the filming of the movie "Die Another Day" used it as part of its exteriors.

Interesting details

  • Price: If you want to visit La Caleta or the Castle of Santa Catalina on your own, you don't have to pay, neither to enjoy the beach, nor to enter the Castle, because the entrance is free.
  • Schedule: To visit La Caleta there is no schedule. To visit the Castle of Santa Catalina, you can go from Monday to Sunday between 11:00 to 19:30 in winter and from 11:00 to 20:30 in summer.
  • How to get there: To get to this castle and the beach, you can do it by private car or by public transport, since there are several lines that reach the beach and the castle.

Book a boat trip in Cadiz

3. Enter the Santo Domingo Church

Santo Domingo Church| ©Sebastián Aguilar
Santo Domingo Church| ©Sebastián Aguilar

The church of Santo Domingo is one of those especially beautiful places to visit in Cadiz. Since 1639 it began to function as the first convent to be founded in Cadiz. The church in question was built around 1666 and partially rebuilt after the fire that almost destroyed it in 1936.

You will like the large amount of ornaments inside, which include marble pieces in almost the entire structure, in fact, the sculpture of this church is considered one of the best Italian Baroque altarpieces in Spain. Besides, this kind of church visits are always an excellent activity to include in the list of things to see and do in Cadiz in winter.

In the end it is much more than a liturgical experience, it is an incredible multi-sensory and cultural visit that transports you to the best years of the European Baroque period. In the center of the church you can see an image alluding to the Virgin of the Rosary, which emulates the image that was lost in the fire of 1936.

Interesting details

  • Price: Admission is free, although if you hire a guided tour of Cadiz, you may have to pay around 90 euros for the entire tour, including the Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
  • Hours: Visiting hours are Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and 18:30 to 21:00. Mass is from Monday to Saturday at 20:00 and Sundays and holidays at 12:00 and 20:00.
  • How to get there: You can arrive by private car and park near the church, or you can arrive by public transport.

4. Traveling to Jerez to visit the Alcazar and the Cathedral

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

One of the best excursions from Cadiz to the outskirts of the city that you have to do is to the town of Jerez de la Frontera, where you can visit the Alcazar and the Cathedral, which are the most interesting and touristic places of that town. To make this trip, you can do it on your own, or you can make an excursion that will take you to this place with an expert guide.

In the second case, the tour guide will tell you the time at which you can leave Cadiz to continue the tour to Jerez, a town that I also recommend you to include among the places to visit in Cadiz in December. The first thing you will see when you arrive in this town is the old Alameda and after that you can continue to the Alcazar, one of the oldest fortifications in the city and in Spain.

After seeing the whole complex in which the Alcazar stands, you can continue to the Encarnacion Square, where the Cathedral of the town is located, which is one of the most important monuments of the city. This is a good day trip, so I recommend this destination especially in Cadiz itineraries in 3 days or more.

Details of interest

  • Price: The guided tour to this location can have an approximate price of 30 euros per person. In case you go on your own, you will not need to pay anything, except for fuel and tolls on the way.
  • Schedule: The schedule for this tour can be decided by you if you travel on your own, in case you take a guided tour, the schedule is determined by the tour guide.
  • How to get there: To get there you can do it by private car or on a guided tour, where you will get on a bus with all the comforts.

Take a walking tour of Jerez with entrance to the Alcazar

5. Climb to the viewpoint of the Torre de Tavira

Tavira Tower viewpoint| ©Pep.1984
Tavira Tower viewpoint| ©Pep.1984

One of the biggest attractions you can visit in Cadiz is undoubtedly the Torre de Tavira, a place from which you can see the whole city of Cadiz without any filter. It is definitely one of the best viewpoints in the city thanks to the inclusion of camera obscura technology. This attraction is a must-see especially in summer season, so I would include it among the best things to see and do in Cadiz in August.

On the penultimate level is located this camera obscura, which is nothing more than a darkened room with black painted walls, from where you can see the entire city of Cadiz in real format, with movement and with completely clear colors. That is to say, through this camera obscura you will be able to see the city from a practically photographic perspective.

This attraction is always open to the public, although visitors are asked to make a reservation in advance to ensure the quality of the experience when they climb the tower. It is one of the best things to see and do in Cadiz with children because they love the idea of being able to see the whole city from this system.

Interesting details

  • Price: The rate can cost between 5.50 and 7 euros, depending on the condition of each person.
  • Hours: Between October and April it is open between 10:00 and 18:00. From May to September it is open from 10:00 to 20:00.
  • How to get there: You can go to this camera obscura by private car or walking if it is close to your accommodation.

6. Walking in the San Juan de Dios Square

San Juan de Dios Square| ©Jose A
San Juan de Dios Square| ©Jose A

Just like almost all places of tourist relevance in Cadiz, this San Juan de Dios square has its history that goes back a few centuries. At the beginning of its history, this place was laid out in an irregular shape because it took into account the mouth of the ancient Millennial Sea that passed through all of Cadiz.

Over time, it became a popular place where merchants used to sell all kinds of exotic products brought from the West Indies, this at the time of the conquest of America. Later in time this place definitely became a square.

Today it is one of the most visited urban centers of Cadiz, and even in its surroundings you can see other buildings that are also worth visiting as the church of San Juan de Dios and the Pazos Miranda. This square is one of the places where the Virgen del Rosario passes every year on the day of her feast, which is one of the activities that you can not miss if you visit Cadiz in October.

Interesting details

  • Price: There is no cost to visit this square.
  • Hours: You can visit it at any time of the day, although I recommend you to contemplate it at night.
  • How to get there: To get to this square you can use the train or go by bus. If you go by private car, you can find parking nearby. And if you go on a guided tour, you will surely go by bus with all the comforts.

7. Walking in Genoves Park

Genoese Park| ©Pedro García
Genoese Park| ©Pedro García

Genovés Park is the second largest green space in Cadiz and in fact, it is the largest located within the urban area of Cadiz. This is an extensive piece of land that was inaugurated in 1892 as a park within the city and since then it has become one of the most iconic places in Cadiz.

In this park you can find peace, tranquility and serenity, but above all it is a space where you can enjoy with the children, or if you go in a romantic plan, it is a good place to go with your partner to spend a quiet moment.

In addition to everything, this park was decreed as an Asset of Tourist Interest thanks to its varied biodiversity of trees, palms, shrubs and other plants. Among them are the cypress trees at the entrance that give the park an ornamental image and an elegant entrance.

But the park is not only natural spaces, but these are also combined with some elements of urbanity such as lampposts, kiosks, gates and paths, which adorn each of the areas of the park. In the end, it is an excellent option to include in short itineraries such as trips to Cadiz in 2 days.

Details of interest

  • Price: Admission to this park is free.
  • Hours: You can visit the park from 8:00 to 23:00.
  • How to get there: You can go by bus or private car, because there are parking places nearby. You can also take a guided tour to the park, in which you will go by bus with all the comforts.

8. Walking along the Paseo Marítimo of Cádiz

Cádiz Promenade| ©Emilio
Cádiz Promenade| ©Emilio

This is one of the experiences you definitely can't miss in Cadiz. The promenade is one of the tourist sites with more visitors every day. In this area of the city you will be able to enjoy the buildings where most of the city's higher income population lives.

It is a center of tourist and economic interest, as you can see in this place a large number of stores of all kinds. But beyond trade, in the tourist area in this promenade you can have beautiful views of the coast of Cadiz and is also something like the border between the sea and the city.

On Victoria beach, which is one of the beaches along the promenade, you will see different beach bars that are open not only in summer but also in winter, so it is an excellent option to eat something while touring the area. Walking along the promenade is one of those activities that you can not miss if you travel to Cadiz in one day.

Details of interest

  • Price: You don't have to pay anything to walk along the promenade of Cadiz.
  • Schedule: There is no schedule to visit the promenade of Cadiz but certainly the day is the best time to do it.
  • How to get there: You can get to the promenade of Cadiz by car and park near it, or also on foot. You can even get there on a bike tour.

9. Getting lost in the streets of the Viña neighborhood

La Viña neighborhood| ©Javier Pereda
La Viña neighborhood| ©Javier Pereda

La Viña is another of the places you have to visit when you visit Cadiz, along with the Pópulo, is one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city. The history of this neighborhood is interesting, since it is a place that from its beginnings was inhabited by people of the working classes.

It did not generate great interest among the merchants of the Indies when it began to be populated this sector, in which there used to be vineyards, due to its distance from the port of the city. Since it began to be populated this area became a great urban center but for the middle and lower classes.

Some of the places you can not miss if you pass through the neighborhood La Viña are: the Church of La Palma, the old Provincial Hospice, the Spa of Nuestra Señora de La Palma, the Castle of San Sebastian and the beach itself La Caleta.

Interesting details

  • Price: You don't need to pay to visit and tour this neighborhood, but if you take a tour of the area, you will probably have to pay a fee depending on the number of sites you visit on the tour.
  • Hours: You can visit La Viña at any time, although I recommend you to visit it during the day to appreciate its colorfulness.
  • How to get there: You can get to La Viña by car, bus or train. If you are staying near this neighborhood, it is also a good idea to walk there.

10. Getting to know the town Medina Sidonia

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

If there is a town that enjoys great charm in the vicinity of the city of Cadiz, that is Medina Sidonia. This town is located between the white villages and the coast of Cadiz. Something that you will love about this place are the breathtaking views of the entire coast.

Thanks to its elevated location, you have the opportunity to look beyond the white houses to appreciate the entire ocean. The climate is another feature to highlight in this town, without leaving behind the large number of monuments and buildings that you can visit in its interior to further enrich your cultural visit to Cadiz.

Some of the must-see places in this town are: the Arco de la Pastora and the Convento de Arriba, the Church Santa María Mayor La Coronada, the Arco de Belén or the Castle of Medina Sidonia. In particular I would recommend you to dedicate a whole day to visit this town. It is one of the places I would visit as part of the best things to see and do in Cadiz in summer, to take pictures and postcards more colorful and sharp.

Details of interest

  • Price: There is no cost to visit this place on your own, except for fuel and other similar things. In case you take a guided tour, it may cost more than 100 euros per person.
  • Schedule: You can visit this town at any time you want, but if you go on a guided tour, you will have to adjust to the schedule proposed by your tour guide.
  • How to get there: You can get there by car going up towards the white villages. In the village there are many places to park your car.