Cadiz, Spain

A little street doubling-up as a bar, leading to Alameda Apodaca coastal walk in Cadiz Centro, Andalusia, Spain

A little Cadiz street doubling-up as a bar and leading to Alameda Apodaca coastal walk, el Centro, the old town.

Visit Cadiz

Cadiz 3-D Map, Andalusia, Spain

Cadiz Map

Cadiz  is a little off Spain’s beaten tourist track and all the better for it, with less brain-dead, sand ‘n’ sangria tourism, less greedy overdevelopment, more cultural attractions, more fine old buildings, an excellent, easy-going lifestyle and amiable natives.

BTW, we haven’t bothered with pictures of new town buildings as you’ve seen that bland modern style before. We stayed in the old town and recommend it for interesting life, culture and great wanderings. But if you’ve come for the beaches then best to stay in the new town.

Where to stay and getting around

Old City Wall, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

The Old City Wall, separating the new town (other side of the wall) from the old.

This lively little peninsula city in west Andalusia is split into two parts, the ‘head’ end of the peninsula in the old town – and that’s where most travellers should stay, while beach freaks might want to be closer to the biggest stretch of sand, Playa de la Victoria, in the modern ‘body’.

Whichever, the #1 bus service running down through the city is very convenient, fast, cheap and frequent so getting from one place to the other fast and cheap is no hassle, during the daytime anyway.

Cars in the old town are a total nightmare as streets are tiny and parking is very restricted, so if you drive there ensure your hotel organises some kind of parking. See the Cadiz map.

For any reasonably fit visitor getting around the old town is an easy walk, e. g. about 20 minutes from the City Wall to Parque Genoves, so wheels will only be useful for excursions. The bus to Playa de la Victoria takes no more than 10 minutes and seems to run every 10 minutes during the day.

An old town street with tiled Madonna image, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

An old town street with tiled Madonna image.

Cadiz History

The Cathedral, Catedral Nueva, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

The 18thC Catedral Nueva, impressive size and yellow dome but less-than-gripping interior.
For spectacular fixtures and fittings try the bling of Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.

Cadiz was founded by the Phoenicians in 8th century BC and later developed as a naval base by the Romans but really hit the jackpot when Columbus stumbled across the Americas in 1492 and New World treasures began pouring back to Spain, especially from Mexico’s Aztec Empire to the nearest serious Spanish port, making this the country’s richest and most sophisticated city by the 18th century, with an unusually liberated middle class.

Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Museo de Cádiz, one of Andalucia’s best museums, including terrific Roman remains.

Plaza San Juan de Dios with the Ayuntamiento [Town Hall], Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

Plaza San Juan de Dios with the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) as backdrop.

A café in Alameda Apodaca coastal walking promenade, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

A café in Alameda Apodaca beside the coastal promenade.

Plaza de España, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

Part of Plaza de España with 18th century watchtowers in the background.

These watch towers are a couple of the 127 left from the original 160, built so merchants could watch over their ships in or approaching port. Torre Tavira (not pictured) is a famous tourist attraction in the centre that offers a camera obscura and massive waiting lists. If you just want a high view of the city the bell tower of the Cathedral Nueva offers a great view – including the famous yellow/golden dome – for a low price.

A tiny tapas bar in Barrio de la Viña, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

A tiny tapas bar in Barrio de la Viña, Cadiz old town.

Getting to Cadiz

To Seville: 128 kms. By train or car/bus about 2 hours.
To Ronda: 147 kms. By car/bus about 2 hours.
To Tarifa: 106 kms. By car/bus about 1. 5 hours.
To Huelva: 214 kms. By car/bus just over 2 hours.