Cádiz is one of the most emblematic cities in Andalusia. Considered as the oldest city in Western Europe it offers a great combination of historic evidence from different ages and centuries. Here are the best bucket list things to do in Cádiz, Spain!
In this blog post, you will find all the places with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. We really enjoyed stepping back in time while walking around the city and visiting historic remains of different times. Happy exploring!
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1. Explore the secrets of Cádiz on a guided Medieval walking tour!
The best way to explore the most beautiful place in Cádiz – the Old Town – and all its secrets is to go on a guided Medieval walking tour with a local who will tell you all about this ancient city and how it came to be.
Cádiz is often regarded as one of the most ancient cities in the Western World so walking the winding streets of the Old Town definitely feels like stepping back into the past. It is best to know what you are looking at and not miss any of its hidden gems and secret spots.
In just 2 hours you will cover most of the main attractions in Cádiz Old Town like the Roman Theatre, the cathedral, and many hidden gems in the oldest neighborhood of Cádiz – El Pópulo – with its winding streets, secret stone arches, and Medieval city walls.
2. Climb up to the roof of Catedral de Cádiz!
Catedral de Cádiz is amongst the most beautiful buildings and picture-perfect places in Cádiz. The construction of the cathedral started in the first half of the 18th century and lasted for more than 100 years. It was built in neoclassical and baroque styles.
At the time of building this cathedral, Cádiz was a booming city and the massive cathedral was built, in part, as a consequence of that – to impress the trading partners (countries like America) and to present the city as an important, well-off partner.
Visiting the inside of the cathedral is an extraordinary experience on its own, however, there is more to the cathedral. You can actually climb up to the Bell Tower (or Clock Tower) of the cathedral to not only get amazing views over the city but also stand under the church bells when they hit every quarter of the hour!
The Bell Tower of the cathedral was one of my favorite places to visit in Cádiz! Climbing to the tower is included in the entrance fee to the cathedral. First, you visit the cathedral, and then at the exit of the cathedral, there is a door to get to the tower.
The climb is long. There is a continuous incline spiraling upwards until the very top of the tower. There are no stairs, but a flat surface leading up. Once you get to the top there are 360-degree views over the city. I really recommend walking up there at full hours when the bells ring. It was loud and it was fun!
Definitely one of the coolest places and experiences in Cádiz! You can buy entrance tickets at the entrance or online. The same ticket includes a visit to the cathedral, to the crypt underground, and also to the Clock Tower.
Tip! Entrance to the Cathedral of Cádiz is included in Cádiz Medieval Walking Tour. Just make sure you don’t forget to climb up to the Bell Tower to see the view of the city!
Check out seaside views of the Cathedral of Cádiz!
If you are looking for some iconic views of Cádiz then this is definitely one of those! There are two nice viewpoints at the seaside (locations below) where you can get this iconic overlook of the city coastline and the majestic Cathedral of Cádiz. This is also one of my favorite Instagram photo spots in Cádiz!
3. Enjoy time at the famous beach in Cádiz – La Caleta!
La Caleta Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Cádiz. People come here to relax, spend time at the beach, play sports, watch the sunset, and so on. It is a great place for some beach time or just relaxing or having a picnic by the sea.
We also visited this beach many times during our stay and the most memorable time was the last day when we watched the sunset in the ocean. There is a beautiful promenade along the beach where you can sit down and enjoy the view!
Puerta de la Caleta
Puerta de la Caleta is an iconic double-arched gateway at Caleta Beach that leads to a long stretch of paved promenade right into the ocean up to Castillo de San Sebastian – a closed-down island fortress. It is a very popular walking and running spot for locals.
Walk from these gates to the fortress is more than 600 meters long. We hiked it during the sunset and it was quite magical. A must-visit spot and especially beautiful when the sun sets!
The viewpoint of the beach
Located right in the middle of the beach there is a unique white building in a curved shape – Underwater Archaeology Center Headquarters. This building and the ocean make for a beautiful sight and a cool photo spot in Cádiz.
If you can, definitely come here for the sunset, but it will be just as beautiful during the day too. Either way, this is the best place to watch the sunset in Cádiz where you can get a beautiful view of the sun setting right into the ocean. La Caleta beach must be on your Cádiz travel itinerary!
4. Climb to the highest roof in Cádiz – Torre Tavira!
Torre Tavira is an 18th-century watchtower and the highest point in the Old Town. At the time Cádiz was one of the most important ports in Spain in terms of trade and World exploration.
This tower was built as a watchtower to oversee ships that came to the port. Today Torre Tavira serves as the best place to see Cádiz city from above. It has a 360-degree platform on the roof where you can see the city in every direction.
The tower also has the first Camera Obscura in Spain installed inside where you can purchase tickets and join a tour to find out how it works. You don’t need to join a tour in order to climb to the roof – you can access the viewpoint with a separate ticket and get the best views over Cádiz.
Location: Torre Tavira
5. Taste Andalusian flavors on a guided Cádiz Tapas Tour!
There is no better way to enjoy local culture than by tasting local food and drinks. Taste unique Andalusian flavors and learn about the local culture and gastronomy on a guided tapas tour to various bars and restaurants favored by locals!
You get to taste different tapas of local produce including cheese, cured meats from nearby villages as well as the famous pescaito frito (Cádiz’s famous fried fish) and others plus a glass of local wine, or a refreshing beer (or other drinks). Cádiz is full of flavors waiting for you to taste them!
6. Be amazed by the waterfalls and crazy trees at Parque Genovés!
Parque Genovés was one of my favorite hidden gems and discoveries in Cádiz! At first, you may think there isn’t anything special about a simple park. However, this park really takes the cake!
Parque Genovés is a unique garden with trees cut in different and cool shapes, tall palm trees, an artificial hill with caves, and even a waterfall that creates a pond for ducks to swim in and enjoy.
I definitely did not expect to see a unique place like this in Cádiz. Make sure to pay attention to working hours, because, although the visit to the garden is free and it is accessible to the public, the garden remains closed during the night.
This is a great place to get some shade during hot days and a more quiet place to hide from the buzz of the city. The garden is well-maintained and looked after, so kudos to the local municipality for creating such a cool and unique oasis!
My favorite place was the waterfall. It makes this place more alive and authentic. Although the waterfall is artificial, it does create this feeling like you are in a real forest or even a jungle. Definitely a must-visit place for any visitor to Cádiz! Even if you can only spare a short walk through the garden!
The most hidden part about this oasis is a cave-like tunnel through the rock where you can walk right behind the waterfall. There are openings in the tunnel where you can see the water falling and get some splashes on your face too! So cool!
Location: Parque Genovés
7. Go underground at Teatro Romano de Cádiz
Teatro Romano de Cádiz was one of my favorite hidden gems and finds in Cádiz. I did not consider visiting this place at first. Why would I include a Roman theatre when visiting a Spanish city? However, it is free to visit and I thought I should give it a go.
It turned out to be quite impressive. We only paid a quick visit to this site, but it was not a big hassle as it is located right in the heart of the Old Town squished between the houses maybe 100 meters away from the cathedral. Definitely worth a visit!
If you want to take a look at how Cádiz was about 2000 years ago then this is the place to go. This partly-excavated ancient theatre was built by Romans and could house 20 thousand people. This is huge for that time!
The coolest part about this place was that there is an underground tunnel behind the theatre where you walk around the theatre from behind and enter the theatre through cut-out portals! Just like people two thousand years ago! So cool!
Tip! A visit to the Roman Theatre is included in the Cádiz Medieval Walking Tour.
Location: Teatro Romano de Cádiz
8. Walk the famous Alameda Apodaca promenade and marvel at 100-year-old ficus trees at Jardines de Alameda Apodaca!
Alameda Apodaca is a famous oceanside promenade in Cádiz. It is a wide pathway with gardens, restaurants, flower bushes, trees, beautiful benches, and even some old cannons and sentry boxes along the seaside walls. You basically walk on top of the defensive walls of the city.
It is a great place to take a walk in the evening and wait for the sunset in the ocean. Or just the opposite – if you are one of those who like to start the morning by being active, this is the right place to come for a morning run or walk! But during the day it is a great spot to get some shade and relax.
Somewhere along the way on Alameda Apodaca, you will find a unique garden – Jardines de Alameda Apodaca. It is an absolutely beautiful seaside garden with massive ficus trees, overgrown archways full of blooming flower bushes, and beautiful ceramic benches.
In Jardines de Alameda Apodaca you will not only find shelter from the hot sun, a place to relax and take a breath but also some of the craziest ficus trees you will ever see. These were definitely some of my favorite secret spots to discover in Cádiz!
Those ficus trees are absolutely massive, but the best part is those crazy roots! They stretch out so far and so high that you can easily sit on them. They are pretty gigantic, haha! If you believe the information, the trees are a hundred years old or more! No wonder they are massive!
9. Get oceanside views at Castillo de Santa Catalina
Castillo de Santa Catalina is an oceanside defensive fortress in Cádiz. The best part about it – the entrance to the 17th-century fortress is free! However, it has working hours so definitely check before going. It is located right next to the famous La Caleta beach.
The fortress offers amazing ocean views and feels like stepping back in time when Cádiz was an important port and trading hub for Spain. It was imperative to defend the city because of its location. Attackers came from all sides so this fortress is a unique testimony of the past times this city has once experienced.
There are really nice ocean-side views around the castle and the fortress. I especially loved the view of La Caleta beach bay where local fishermen park their boats (most of them are parked in the water).
There is also a small church open for visitors inside the walls of the fortress. You can walk inside there and climb up to the upper floor to see it from above. Definitely take a look! This is a cool place to explore if you have spare time in Cádiz!
Location: Castillo de Santa Catalina
10. Explore the bustling Mercado Central Cádiz and buy some souvenirs at nearby street stalls!
Mercado Central Cádiz is a gastronomic paradise! In this market, you will find numerous open food stands where you can get all kinds of dishes for lunch – sushi, kebab, hotdogs, fried seafood, tapas, pizzas, and so on.
But you can also get fresh ingredients and homemade products from vendors as well – starting from cheese and sausages, vegetables, fruits, and some interestingly prepared sea urchins for you to try! The market is very bustling so try to not get lost there!
However, Mercado Central Cádiz is not the only must-visit place in the area. The streets and squares right around the market are usually also full of street vendors offering different products, souvenirs, and anything you might need.
There is a fantastic little square right next to the market – Plaza de las Flores or the Flower Square. Definitely pay a visit here to walk through an ocean of flowers, along cafés and restaurants, and other street vendors. I loved exploring and wandering around the area next to the market!
11. Finish your Cádiz trip on a sunset catamaran cruise!
There might not be a better way to end your trip to Cádiz than taking a sunset catamaran cruise around the Bay of Cádiz!
Join this shared 1-hour catamaran cruise from the Port of Sancti Petri that will take you towards Sancti Petri Castle and the Costa de la Luz towns of Chiclana, San Fernando, and Cádiz.
The relaxing sunset trip includes a glass of cava or soft drink. Pay attention that the trip departs from the Port of Sancti Petri, so you might need to take a taxi if you don’t have a car and if you are staying in the Old Town of Cádiz!
More Andalusia travel inspiration!
- 9 hidden gems and unique spots in Cádiz, Spain
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- How to visit the charming Frigiliana and all the best places to see in 1 day
- 13 hidden gems and unique spots you should see in Malaga, Spain
Cádiz is one of the most iconic cities in Andalusia and Spain. Cádiz once played one of the most important roles in the county serving as the base for exploration trips around the World.
Considered as the oldest city in Western Europe it offers the opportunity to step back in time while walking the streets of Cádiz Old Town. With its rich historic heritage, it is a great spot to explore in Andalusia!
I hope you enjoy your time in this emblematic city by visiting unique corners in the Old Town, the cathedral, gardens, seaside fortresses, and promenades! It is a place like no other! Happy exploring!