Cádiz is in fact the oldest existing city in Western Europe, situated on the Costa de la Luz and facing the African subcontinent. With a history entrenched in Roman and Moorish occupation, the town exhibits a fascinating mixture of architecture and ethnic influences. The Costa de la Luz is also an exceptional stretch of coastline, sporting seemingly never-ending fine white sands and guaranteed scorching sunshine.


Cádiz is home to many beautiful and historic monuments and attractions. Its peculiar location at the end of a narrow peninsula, almost completely surrounded by the sea, brings an added charm to the city. The Moorish influence in the old city is aesthetically very significant with narrow cobbled streets opening onto small squares and the Islamic-style golden cupola of the cathedral looming high above long white houses. It takes only an hour to walk around the headlands where you can visit the entire old town and pass through some lovely parks with sweeping views of the bay.

One of Cádiz's most famous landmarks is its cathedral; on the site of the older cathedral that burned down in 1596, it began life in a baroque style, but was later completed in the neoclassical style. Inside the chapels there are many paintings and relics from the Old Cathedral and other monasteries. You can also climb the old tower that stands above the central Plaza. Also overlooking La Plaza de San Juan Dios is the [http://www.cadizayto.es/ Town Hall Ayuntamiento] of the Old City.

Cádiz is famous for the number of watchtowers that flanked its stretch of coastline in the 18th century. There were, at one stage, more than 160 towers to watch over its waters; they were used by the many local merchants (and often formed part of their houses), who could then be informed of the ships that arrived and left. Nowadays, [http://www.torretavira.com/ Torre Tavira] is the tallest remaining tower of its kind. Equipped with a Cámara Oscura, on the tourist trips visitors are led into a dark room that offers reflected panoramic views of the Old City.

The old city gates can still be viewed at Las Puertas de Tierra that lie just on the edge of the old town and originate from the 16th century, although much of the original work has disappeared. In the 20th century the entrances to the gates were remodeled to accommodate modern traffic. Today, the two arcs cut into the wall serve as one of the primary and most spectacular entrances into the city.

Absolutely essential in any trip to Cádiz is a visit to one of the numerous stunning beaches. La Playa de la Caleta is the perhaps the most popular beach in Cádiz owing to its unequalled beauty and its proximity to the Barrio de la Viña. It is the beach of the Old City, situated between two castles, San Sebastian and Santa Catalina. An alternative is La Playa de la Victoria that is visited by tourists and local folk of Cádiz alike. It is about three kilometers long, and it has an average width of fifty meters of sand. Finally, La Playa de Santa María del Mar or Playita de las Mujeres is the smallest beach in the town and is situated between La Playa de Victoria and La Playa de la Caleta.


Cádiz is a town of narrow streets with bags of character and small independent shops and boutiques to be discovered. The principal shopping street is Columela that exhibits fashion, furniture and bookshops.

A novelty in Cadiz are the traditional, old barber shops only for men, owned by old style barbers, where you can get your hair cut, be shaved and have a nice chat with the barber!

As always in Spain, at the weekend on Sunday mornings one can find an interesting flea market around the Central market in the old part of the town. It is a great way to spend the morning, browsing the wealth of curious items that are displayed by the market vendors.

Nightlife and Eating Out

As with any town in the south, tapas is never a shortage and wondering round the narrow streets of Cádiz one can always stumble upon tapas seafood treasures. Café-Bar Madrileño for example, situated in Plaza de Mina, boasts a wide choice of tapas at reasonable prices and fish and seafood raciones.

For restaurants El Faro on Calle San Felix 15, justly deserves its reputation as being the top restaurant in the province. On the outside it's one of many low white houses are decorated with bright blue flowerpots, but once inside, the decor is inviting and cosy with tiled walls, oil paintings and black and white photos of old Cadiz. Hams hang from the ceiling of the bar and the counter is piled high with oranges. Seafood dominates the menu, but there are plenty of alternatives, such as venison in blue cheese sauce.

A more fast food option is Pizzeria Nino in Plaza de Topete has very tasty pizzas, pasta, Tex Mex fare and burgers available. Another very Spanish custom is to go to a “Churro bar”, usually for breakfast or post-night out, where one can get churros coated in sugar or in chocolate and probably a coffee to accompany. Churro bars are aplenty in the town and particularly in the main squares.

Tourist Information

Cádiz Tourist OfficeAvda/ Ramón de Carranza, s/n 11005

  • Tel: 956203191 956203195
  • Fax: 956203192
  • Email: otcadiz@andalucia.org
  • [http://www.andalucia.org www.andalucia.org]


The province of Cádiz now has its very own airport, situated 7km from the town of Jerez de La Frontera. Ryanair, Vueling and Iberia airlines operate from this airport.

A larger airport is situated in Malaga that serves all national and many international destinations. The airport is easily reached along the coastal road.

There is also a smaller airport at Seville, mainly serving national destinations and an increasing number of international ones.

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