Things to Explore in Cadiz: Spain’s Oldest City
If you visit southern Spain, you must spend a day enjoying Cadiz, Spain’s oldest city. Here you will find beautiful beaches, iconic cathedrals, peaceful Genoves Park, plazas full of flowers, museums, and plenty of shops and restaurants.
We booked a day trip from Seville with Get Your Guide Tours. We met our tour guide, who was fluent in English, at a predetermined pick-up point. On the way to Cadiz, we enjoyed our ride while listening to our guide’s personal experiences of traveling abroad while also sharing information about the tour, the attractions, areas of interest, where to eat, shop, and explore the city.
Here are some suggestions of things to see:
Learn a little history at the Old Town Hall
Our tour began in front of Plaza de San Juan de Dios, which sits directly across from a busy docking station for cruise ships, and on the other side is the historic Old Town Hall. An entrance fee of 6 Euros to see the remarkable artwork and details of this landmark building… it is worth the price.
The plaza in front of the Old Town Hall is one of the large public squares in Cadiz. Here you will find a picturesque view as well as tranquil sounds of a large water fountain. A proud statue of Cadiz Moret, whose real name is Segismundo Moret, who was a politician and a writer, stands tall in the center of the plaza.
Visit the Golden Dome of the Cathedral
The 18th century Cadiz Cathedral was known as “The Cathedral of The Americas” because it was created with money from Spain and America. It was originally built in 1260 and later destroyed by fire in 1596. The rebuild of this historical site took over 116 years, which resulted in many changes from the original plans
Walk across the plaza to visit the Church of St. James
The Church of St. James hosted the College of the Society of Jesus, where today only the church remains. After the assault of Cadiz’s city in 1596 by the Anglo-Dutch troops under the Earl of Essex, the College was in such bad shape that the first temple had to be rebuilt, now in the Mannerist style, which is most of the Jesuit churches.
Feel the breeze of the sea
We circled the Cathedral to reach the seawall for a scenic view of the old town of Cadiz. I suggest you take a walk along the water’s edge while admiring the ancient buildings’ architectural design and enjoy the rolling waves of the sea below. It is a great place to take pictures of Cadiz coastline and outline of the magnificent churches.
Stroll through the old town
Cadiz is a terrific city to take random detours off the main path and discover other interesting sites that date back to the 13th century. One intriguing building we came upon was The National Tobacco Factory, currently the Convention Center of Cadiz, once was a booming business when Cadiz was an industrial city. Many cobblestone streets lead to fascinating places where you will find merchants selling fresh flowers, hazelnuts, and other goods.
Visit the Genoves Park
After exploring Cadiz on foot for few hours, it was time to meet our tour guide, who then drove to other parts of the city where he pointed out a park, the Paseo Canalejas. Although we didn’t have much time to explore it, it is certainly a park to check out on our next visit.
Play in the sand at Playa de Victoria
Cadiz sandy beaches are nicely manicured and are a superb place to dip your toes in the water. Playa de Victoria gave us a beautiful sunset photo-op before we headed back to Seville.
If you are into history, Cadiz is the place to be! If not, Cadiz emerald coastline, cobblestone streets, shops, castles, museums, and street markets will surely keep you entertained. You can walk the perimeter of this peninsula and find a wide range of activities. Here, you can stay as busy or as lazy as you’d like on your vacation in Cadiz.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.