Jerez de la Frontera is a hidden gem in Andalusia known as the birthplace and the world capital of fortified wine – sherry. If you get to visit this charming Andalusian town then here are the bucket list things to do in Jerez de la Frontera!
In this blog post, you will find all the places with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. We loved exploring bodegas, centuries-old churches, and cathedrals, and walking the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town! Happy exploring!
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1. Go on a tour at the world-famous sherry and wine bodegas!
Jerez de la Frontera is world-famous as the world capital of the fortified wine – sherry. It is the birthplace of this popular drink. And the area around Jerez de la Frontera is the only place where it is allowed to produce this specific drink – sherry.
There are multiple bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera. We opted for the iconic González Byass sherry bodega Tio Pepe thanks to their long history of sherry making.
Even though we are not sherry fans we joined a guided tour through their bodegas to find out more about the art of wine and sherry making. You can find and book different tours on their website.
The best part of the tour was visiting the storage cellars of sherry and wine barrels. They are dark, and gloomy and have a rich and sweet smell inside them. Truly a fantastic experience!
Hearing how much effort is put into each bottle made me appreciate the art of creating such drinks. My favorite part was admiring the different sizes, shapes, colors, and ages of the oak barrels. Feels like stepping back in time!
There was one hall with barrels signed by all the famous visitors to this bodega. We noticed signatures by people from royalty to Hollywood and back! These bodegas are the essence of the town so definitely try to visit one!
Location: Bodega Tio Pepe
2. Explore Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera!
One of the must-do things in Jerez de la Frontera is visiting Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera. It is a fortified complex with a castle, a mosque, gardens, Arab baths, and a tower with amazing views over Jerez de la Frontera.
The entrance fee to this place was only 5 EUR and you can spend at least 1-2 hours wandering around the complex. It is very well-preserved and well-maintained. We bought tickets at the ticket office on-site.
Probably my favorite place inside the walls was the little mosque. Obviously, it is not functioning anymore and it is a very small one, however, I absolutely loved the architecture there. Especially the traditional horseshoe-shaped arches that you can see in Islamic architecture.
Another favorite was the tower where you can climb up to see the city from above. Right next to it were the Arab baths. If you still haven’t been in those, definitely check them out. It is fascinating to see how the bathing system worked many centuries ago.
There is also a beautiful garden with plants, trees, flowers, and fountains where you can get some shade from the sun and smell fresh flowers. They really do take care of the gardens here!
The biggest revelation that I saw in Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera was seeing the mill and the mechanism that produces olive oil. Those tools are massive and it is hard to imagine how they created this system already centuries ago!
Location: Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera
3. Admire the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera and climb up to the bell tower!
Once you get to Jerez de la Frontera it is impossible to miss the gigantic cathedral. It is a stunning 17th-century building that was built above the Great Mosque of Jerez. It is very common in Andalusian cities to build churches and cathedrals on top of previous mosques or simply turn mosques into churches.
The Cathedral of Jerez is a combination of Baroque, Gothic, and Neoclassical styles. It has very distinct shapes on the roof and a beautiful dome. The most unusual thing is that it has a separate bell tower. It is a separate building standing a few meters away from the church.
Visit the inside of the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera
Amongst the most beautiful places in Jerez de la Frontera is the interior of the cathedral. You can enter the cathedral for a fee of 7 EUR (see timetables and prices here) and then explore the cathedral, and all the hidden corners (like the Treasury) AND climb up to the Tower of the Cathedral to see the city from above!
I loved exploring the cathedral with its majestic columns, sculptures, glass mosaics, altars, and treasures (where you can’t take photos). The most interesting part was those rooms that are usually left for the priests and workers of the church. However, here you can see all the back rooms behind the main hall!
Climb up to the bell tower of the cathedral!
After exploring the cathedral you can climb up to the tower of the cathedral. It is very unique as it is standing separately from the church. Most often you see the tower connected to the church tho.
The tower was also built in a place where there was a minaret of a mosque. This is something very typical you can see all over Andalusia – that a mosque or a minaret has been rebuilt as a church or a cathedral.
I loved exploring this majestic cathedral! I think it is so fascinating to see that people were so advanced in physics, engineering, architecture, and design many centuries ago. And they built such massive and complicated buildings that are still standing today. They definitely have my respect!
Location: Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera
4. Marvel at the skills of horses at the “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” show!
Dancing horses is something you don’t get to see often! Can you imagine horses dancing ballet and doing pirouettes, do a Pas de Deux, and more?
Sounds unbelievable, however, Jerez de la Frontera offers an absolutely unique experience of attending a show “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”!
The show is accompanied by Spanish music and 18th-century-style costumes. You will see different riding styles, and choreographies according to the repertoire. This experience is not to be missed in Jerez de la Frontera!
The show takes place at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art not far from the Old Town. The equestrian center is devoted to Andalusian horses and offers daily horse-dancing shows and a museum to explore.
You can buy entrance tickets for the show here or choose one of the options you see below. One offers only tickets to the show but with the other one you can visit the Saddlery, the Palace and two museums as well – Art Equestrian Museum and Carriage Museum.
5. Get lost in the Historic Center or join a walking tour!
Historic Center of Jerez de la Frontera is relatively small and it is very easy to walk around and see many beautiful places, experience the rich history of this iconic town, and soak in the local culture!
You can either walk around on your own or join a guided tour around the Historic Center and find out more about the Muslim and Christian heritage, marvel at the Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical architectural styles, and find out the legends and traditions of local people.
We did not have time to join a guided tour but we managed to squeeze in our schedule a walk around the Old Town. From beautiful squares, narrow streets, beautiful buildings, cobblestone sidewalks, and tasty-smelling markets – Jerez de la Frontera had everything and more!
Plaza del Arenal
You will definitely want to visit Plaza del Arenal. It is the central square in Jerez de la Frontera. You will see many restaurants, shops, and people just socializing and relaxing around this area. All the main attractions in Jerez de la Frontera are within walking distance from this square.
Plaza de la Asunción
Another must-visit square in Jerez de la Frontera Old Town is Plaza de la Asunción. It is definitely one of the most beautiful squares in the town. The square is located in the historic center right in front of the 15th-century Real Iglesia De San Dionisio Areopagita church.
However, my favorite thing about this square is the central sculpture – a monument to the Virgin of the Assumption located right in the center of the Plaza de la Asunción. It has a very detailed design and beautiful ornaments on top of it.
Iglesia de San Miguel
The Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera is not the only beautiful church in the city. I think that Iglesia de San Miguel also deserves some attention. It was one of my favorite buildings I saw in Jerez de la Frontera (read – one of the most beautiful, in my humble opinion!)!
It has a stunning Gothic facade and is beautiful everywhere you look, so I recommend walking around the church to see it from all sides. Unfortunately, the church was closed so we could not see it from the inside. But I guess it must be stunning!
Imagine an alley lined with purple and pink blooming trees on both sides of a wide walkway and a pavilion built in the 18th century at the end of the alley! Sounds like a dream?
Well, it wasn’t possible for us as we visited Jerez de la Frontera in Spring, however, if you are visiting closer to the summertime then definitely walk past this alley! It would look dreamy all colored in purple and pink!
The alley is also a nice place to relax with benches lined all the way between the trees. It is located right next to Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera (but not part of it; it is accessible to anyone) and across the street from Bodega Tio Pepe.
6. Join a flamenco show in the birthplace of flamenco – Jerez de la Frontera!
Did you know that flamenco emerged around the end of the 18th century and Jerez de la Frontera is considered as the possible birthplace of this dance? And at least some recognized styles of flamenco were created right here!
In any case, visiting a flamenco show in Andalusia is a must and you have the amazing possibility to do it in Jerez de la Frontera! Witness this beautiful art and the talent of local artists by joining a show in a restaurant with optional tapas or even dinner! Choose your show tickets below!
7. Explore local cuisine, visit the Central Market, and taste some tapas!
What better way to explore local culture than tasting some local food and drinks? I always try to visit local markets as well and the one in Jerez de la Frontera – Mercado Central de Abastos – is a great spot to check out.
Another option to find out about local dishes is by joining a traditional tapas tour with a knowledgeable guide who will take you along the journey through the city while tasting multiple tapas and drinks at famous local restaurants. Definitely a must-do in Jerez de la Frontera!
8. Explore hidden gems in Jerez de la Frontera!
Claustros de Santo Domingo
Claustros de Santo Domingo is my favorite hidden gem in Jerez de la Frontera. Hiding silently on the outskirts of the Old Town, this building was a 13th-century cloister built in Gothic and Mudejar styles.
Today it is the municipal property and holds different exhibitions and other events. The building has opening hours however the entrance to see the building and the inner courtyard is free.
When we visited there were just a few people inside and, I suppose, not many tourists would know about this place as it is a bit further away from the heart of the historic center. However, I can say that this was my favorite hidden gem and definitely among my favorite places in Jerez de la Frontera.
Visit to this building will only take about 10-15 minutes as the courtyard is not too big and you can walk around it quite quickly. Definitely pay a visit to see this beautiful architecture if you happen to be nearby! It feels like stepping back in time for sure!
Estación de Jerez de la Frontera
Another cool find and a hidden gem in Jerez de la Frontera is Estación de Jerez de la Frontera, specifically – the building and the facade of the railway station. If you happen to be in this area, definitely walk by this building! In this exact place in 1854, they inaugurated the first railway line in Andalusia!
The new railway connected Jerez de la Frontera and El Puerto de Santa de María seaside town. The main motivation behind the railway line was the necessity to ship barrels of wine from Jerez de la Frontera to port and then to the United Kingdom.
However, this unique building was constructed in 1930. The beautiful facade of this building shows a combination of bricks, stone, colorful tiles, and iron. The architect of this building was the famous Aníbal González. He is one of the authors of the world-famous Plaza de España in Seville.
The illustrations on the tiles depict different stories and historical personalities from the past. The building has three arch-shaped entrances and many columns. Definitely pay a visit to this building inside – the design and the architecture are just as impressive as the outside!
9. Check out the most beautiful street in Spain – Calle Ciegos!
One of the most special and beautiful spots in Jerez de la Frontera is Calle Ciegos or the Alley of the Blind. It is a narrow vine-leave-covered street with a view of the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera at the end of the street.
We visited this place in spring when the leaves were not in full bloom yet. However, we got a great view of the cathedral! In a couple of weeks – sometime around May – the street will look like a tunnel when the leaves come out.
This street was once a public street. It was named Calle Ciegos or the Alley of the Blind because this was once a usual gathering place for poor and blind people who would beg for money from churchgoers. The street was a regular route to go to the church.
However, it is not publicly accessible today. After the famous González Byass sherry and wine bodega expanded, the municipality allowed this street to be included in their territory. You can only access it if you go on a tour to González Byass bodegas.
We did exactly that to get here. You can join this sherry winery and tasting tour or you can check out also some other tours and visits on their website. We crossed this street many times during the sherry tour. However, we also came back here after the tasting to do some photos.
I’m pretty sure you can get to visit Calle Ciegos street if you visit the Restaurante Pedro Nolasco restaurant that is located right next to this street. As well as if you stay at their hotel – Hotel Bodega Tio Pepe – and ask them to show you this street. This is all part of their territory.
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Jerez de la Frontera is a hidden gem in Andalusia. Although usually it is not included in most Andalusia travel itineraries, I don’t have a single regret that we visited this charming town!
Jerez de la Frontera is famous for being the birthplace and the world capital of fortified wine – sherry. The name ‘sherry’ actually comes from the name ‘Jerez’.
I hope you enjoy some time in this historic town by exploring bodegas, centuries-old churches and cathedrals, narrow cobblestone streets, stone arches, and walls, and soaking up all the Old Town charm you can get! Happy exploring!