What better way to get to know Cadiz than by exploring on foot? We found Cadiz to be a great place to explore with our two young children. There are lots of places to stop and rest little legs and many things for adults and children to enjoy in this city.
By walking around Cadiz, we were able to visit all the main points of interest in one of the world’s oldest cities.
Where to park in Cadiz
We parked in the underground car park, called Canalejas, which is opposite the port and ideally placed to begin the loop walking tour of Cadiz. When you surface from the carpark you will be able to see the huge cruise ships that dock in Cadiz allowing tourists a chance to also see this city and surrounding area.
Take a moment during your walk to enjoy the natural wonder of the seawall against the Mediterranean Sea. You can get some great photos along this seawall! Head left when you see the cruise ship docks towards the next stop on your walking tour of Cadiz.
Monument to the Constitution of 1812
In the Plaza de España in Cadiz, the monument dedicated to the Constitution of 1812 was built in 1912-1929, by architect Modesto Lopez Otero and sculptor Aniceto Marinas Garcia. They won a competition to design the memorial to the 1812 Constitution.
The semi-circular shape makes it difficult to photograph! The horses on each side represent war and peace, while in the middle there are scenes of agriculture, politics, and Hercules.
Legend has it that Cadiz is the oldest city in the West, originally formed when Hercules split the continents of Europe and Africa.
Walls of San Carlos
The Walls of San Carlos are part of the 18th-century bastion surrounding the historic city centre. You can climb them for free and get great pictures and views from the top. If you have little ones, you can check out the many canons, and line up the passing ships to be “blasted”!
Plaza de Mina
The Plaza de Mina is a beautiful square with huge, rubber trees. You can spend lots of time taking pictures in the large roots or swinging from the thick branches. There are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the view, or people-watch to pass the time.
Bulwark of Candelaria
The Bulwark of Candelaria was built in 1672 to protect the port of Cadiz. When we visited it was closed to the public, however, it’s supposed to be an amazing spot for sunsets. If you can’t find it on your maps app, try the Spanish translation – Baluarte de la Candelaria.
Centro Cultural Reina Sofía
Originally built in 1795, this Old Engineers and Military Government Barracks was converted a few years ago into a superb cultural centre. Entrance is free. You can get incredible views from the windows, hallways and balconies. The patio shows classic architecture from the period of greatest splendour of the city of Cádiz.
There are many fascinating exhibits inside; the boys loved the skeletons and tools used by the university.
Walking along the coast is the best way to enjoy Cadiz. After our trip to the cultural centre, we carried on to the beautiful Parque Genoves. This is a picturesque park with a variety of flora and fauna, including a waterfall and a lake.
Castle of Santa Catalina
Just along from the Parques Genoves is the Castle of Santa Catalina, which dates back to the 17th century. It was closed when we visited Cadiz, but apparently, there is an Italian-style star-shaped floor plan inside. It served as a military prison in its day but now is free to explore. The city declared it a place of Cultural Interest in 1985 and it’s now used for cultural events.
Castle of San Sebastian
This castle is actually a fortress on a small island just off La Caleta Beach, connected by a stone walkway. Legend has it that this was also the site of the Temple of Kronos, father of the Greek gods. Inside is a 134.5-foot electric lighthouse. The unusual location of this fortress has made it a filming location for many movies, including James Bond. We couldn’t enter, as it seemed to have been closed for some time. There were no opening times or other information outside, only notices from a security company.
There were people all along the walkway really enjoying their afternoon by the sea. It was a very busy promenade! Near to the castle there were teenagers jumping in the water, swimming under the wall and climbing back up the rocks on the other side. It looked like a pretty decent way to spend a hot day!
La Caleta Beach
While the modern part of Cadiz is lined with beautiful beaches, La Caleta Beach is the only beach in historic Cadiz. It’s not a big beach, but there are a few bars and cafes on the beach to grab a drink or quick bite. La Caleta Beach was made famous during the filming of James Bond; I think it’s the beach where Halle Berry walks out of the sea towards Pierce Brosnan.
Opposite the beach, we found a beautiful shady spot to sit for a while to enjoy a small picnic. The rubber trees were incredible, and the boys couldn’t resist having a small climb up one! Supersol is just around the corner if you want to buy refreshments.
Plaza of the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Cadiz is an impressive Roman Catholic church that towers over the city. It took 116 years to complete, starting in Baroque fashion and ending in neoclassical style. We arrived about 15 minutes before it closed and we decided the entrance fee was a bit too steep for a very quick peek around. Apparently, it is well worth the climb up the bell tower for incredible pictures of the city.
Instead, we went for a drink and tapas in one of the restaurants in the plaza. From here, if you have time, you can walk to the Teatro Romano de Cádiz, and take a tour of partially excavated ancient ruins of a massive Roman theatre that held 20,000 spectators. Alas, it was closed by the time we got there, and I’ve only a photo of the entrance sign!
Plaza de San Juan de Dios
The Plaza de San Juan de Dios is a commercial square in the city with beautiful dancing fountains. Sights nearby include City Hall, the Church of San Juan de Dios, and the House of Miranda Pasos. It’s a great place to grab a bite or drink during the day or come at night to watch the fountains come alive with colour. Note that there is also a little Carrefour here if you want a cheaper option to buy refreshments!
And now you’re back close to the Canalejas car park! The map below shows almost the whole route, but there’s a limit on the number of stops you can have on a google maps route. Basically, from the Cathedral you walk towards the carpark and you can’t miss the Roman theatre or the Plaza de San Juan de Dios on your way!