Cádiz is an exquisite seaport in southern Spain surrounded by countless beaches on the sunny Coast de la Luz. Cádiz, founded in 1100 BC by the Phoenicians, is Europe’s oldest city and the starting place for Christopher Columbus’ voyages in the New World.
Cádiz is still one of Spain’s premier ports, with a thriving international culture. Cádiz offers lots of Mediterranean appeal to match the mild weather, from palm-lined promenades to plazas overflowing with fragrant orange trees.
Tourists may visit the beautiful beaches and seaside communities along the Côte de la Luz from Cádiz. More daring travelers might go on a unique trip in North Africa to the adjacent port towns of Algeciras or Tarifa.
Your Ultimate Guide to Top 14 Things to See & Do in Cádiz
With this list of the top attractions and activities to do in and around Cádiz, you can learn about the greatest locations to visit in this sun-drenched coastal city.
- Explore the Seafront Promenades and Gardens.
- rest on Cádiz’s Beaches
- Nueva Catedral (modern Cathedral)
- El Pópulo: The altest Barrio of Cádiz
- See the View from Torre Tavira
- Museum Cádiz
- Fiestas Carnaval
- Oratorio San Felipe Neri
- Hospital the Mujeres and Capilla the Nuestra Señora del Carmen
- Museum las Cortes Cádiz
- Day travel to Sanlúcar de Barrameda
- Day travel to the Beach Resort of Chipiona
- Exploring Cape Trafalgar’s Spectacular Coastline
- Day travel to Playa de la Bolonia
Explore the Seafront Promenades and Gardens
The palm-lined promenade north of Plaza España is great for a leisurely stroll. The picturesque Alameda de Apodaca is a wide terraced promenade lined with leafy palm trees and quaint street lamps. This wide trail is a favorite spot for locals to take an evening stroll.
Tourists may see the monument to the Marquis of Comillas and the magnificent bayside scenery from the Alameda Marqués de Comillas promenade. Each of these promenades is surrounded by waterfront gardens with shade trees and well-kept greenery.
rest on Cádiz’s Beaches
Cádiz is a famous seaside resort for Spanish and European visitors due to its beautiful beaches and pleasant Mediterranean environment. Unlike many beaches in Spain, Cádiz’s beaches have not been ruined by overdevelopment or high-rise hotels.
The Playa de la Caleta is the most popular beach on the Bay of La Caleta within Cádiz’s Old Town. This “Blue Flag” beach is popular for its long stretch of golden sand and calm waters suitable for swimming and wading. There are also decent amenities and lifeguards on duty at the beach. Restaurants and snack bars abound in the area surrounding Playa de la Caleta.
A continuation of Beach de Santa Mara del Mar is another excellent beach, Playa de la Victoria, which is regarded as one of Spain’s greatest. The Paseo Maritimo, a lovely promenade, and extensive public amenities, including changing rooms and showers, characterize this vast sandy beach.
Nueva Catedral (modern Cathedral)
The Catedral Nueva is located on Plaza de la Catedral in Cádiz’s historic El Pópulo neighbourhood. Vicente de Acero planned the cathedral in 1722 and completed it in 1838, exemplifying the Spanish Baroque and Neoclassical styles of the 18th century.
El Pópulo: The altest Barrio of Cádiz
The influential façade overlooking Piazza Pio XII features Baroque towers. The magnificent gilded dome glistens in the sun and is the most iconic feature of Cadiz’s skyline.
Visitors are surprised by the cathedral’s domestic, an impressive space of grand proportions, measuring 85 meters long and 60 meters wide, with massive columns and an elaborate 18th-century choir stall.
The Treasury homes the Cathedral Museum, which houses an outstanding collection of religious art. One of the highlights is the Custodia del Millón, a four-metre-high silver screen adorned with a million jewels. The collection also includes outstanding works of art, especially paintings by Alonso Cano and Murillo.
- location: Plaza de la Catedral, Cádiz in Spain
See the View from Torre Tavira
Cádiz is famous for its watchtower, which testifies to the commercial importance of the city in the 18th century. The city has a total of 129 watchtowers. At the heart of Cadiz is Torre Tavira, the highest point in the Old Town.
Located at an altitude of 45 m above sea level, the tower offers unparalleled views of the coast and beyond the Atlantic Ocean horizon. Don Antonio Tavira used the Torre Tavira to monitor ships returning from the Americas with goods.
- Location: 10 Calle Marqués del Real Tesoro, Cádiz in the Spain
The Cadiz Museum is famous for its ancient artefacts and fine art collections. The Archeology section on the first-floor displays artefacts from the Phoenician necropolis of Cádiz.
The most famous of the archaeologists’ collections is a Phoenician marble sarcophagus from the 5th century BC. Other Greek, Roman, Visigothic and Arab artefacts complete the collection.
The museum’s art collection includes The Ecstasy of St. Bruno, and The Vision of St. It contains paintings by Zurbaran, including Francis and Pentecost and Assisi. The collection also includes works by Rubens’ Chant and Murillo (the Ecstasy and Saint Francis of the Homo), Alonso Cano, Ribera, van Eyck Zurbaran and Rogier van der Weyden.
- Location: Plaza de Mina, Cádiz in Spain
For an unforgettable experience, tourists should visit Cádiz during the fun festivities of Carnival, when the city turns into a big party scene. This festival usually starts on Shrovetide Tuesday in February or early March and lasts 11 days.
The background of Cadiz Carnival goes back centuries and was influenced by one of Cadiz’s long-standing trading partners, the legendary Carnival of Venice. During the lively festival, locals and tourists don costumes and partake in street festivals.
Most festivals take place on Plaza del Mentidero and parades through the streets packed with spectators.
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
Built around 1688, this lovable little church is devoted to Saint Felipe Neri. The Court of Cádiz met here in 1812 and adopted the Spanish Constitution. A plaque commemorating this event adorns the west side of the church.
- Location: Calle Santa Inés, Cádiz in Spain
Hospital Capilla the Nuestra Señora del Carmen and the Mujeres
The 18th-century Hospital de Mujeres is a magnificent Baroque building organized around two courtyards with grand staircases. The façade consists of three parts and is decorated with Italian Baroque details.
The building’s main tourist attraction is the Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Chapel of Our Lady of Carmen), which displays the Neoclassical altarpiece of Our Lady of Carmen and El Greco’s famous painting, The Ecstasy of St. Francis.
- Location: 26 Calle Hospital de Mujeres, Cádiz in Spain
Museum las Cortes Cádiz
The Cadiz Constitution Museum was opened in 1912 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Cadiz Constitution. The museum is located near the Oratory of San Felipe in a building where the courts gathered to work on the documents.
Visitors will fully understand the process of creating the 1812 Cadiz Parliament and the Spanish Constitution. The museum is open from Monday to Friday at 9:00 to 15:00. Entrance is free.
- Location: 9 Calle Santa Inés, Cádiz in Spain
Day travel to Sanlúcar de Barrameda
approximately 50 km from Cádiz is the picturesque fishing village of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The town has a quaint historical center with atmospheric narrow winding streets. Sanlúcar de Barrameda also boasts excellent seafood restaurants and beautiful golden sand beaches.
Day travel to the Beach Resort of Chipiona
About 50 km from Cadizin, Spain, Chipiona Beach Resort is an excellent choice for a relaxing holiday. There are many hotel options and several expansive beaches in the area.
Exploring Cape Trafalgar’s Spectacular Coastline
The sleepy seaside town of Los Caños de Mecca on the picturesque coast of Cape Trafalgar (58 km from Cadiz) is the best place for a beach holiday. The beaches of Los Caños de Meca have excellent general facilities, water sports equipment rentals, beachfront restaurants, eateries and evening entertainment.
Day travel to Playa de la Bolonia
One of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa de la Luz, Playa de la Bolonia is about 95 km from Cadiz and 15 km northwest of Tarifa. Set in an isolated nature reserve, this 3,800m long white-sand beach boasts stunning sights.
Playa de la Bolonia also has ancient Roman ruins. On this site was the Roman settlement of Belonia Claudia, founded in 171 BC. Bolonia Beach is also popular with windsurfers because of its gusty winds.