Between wandering the streets, visiting the Royal Alcázar, hanging in the Plaza de España and eating all of the tapas, there is plenty to keep you busy in Seville. That said, there is also a lot of other really cool things to do in the area. So it’s worth carving out some time for getting out of the city…and we recommend a Seville to Cádiz day trip.
There’s a lot to love about Cádiz, notably the long lovely beaches, the multi-layered history, killer views and even more killer eats. It’s become one of our favorite cities in Spain. It may be hard to pack it all into a single Cádiz day trip. But follow our tips and you can make the most of your time
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How to Get From Seville to Cádiz for a Day Trip
You can catch a Renfe train from either the main Santa Justa station or the San Bernardo station. Choose Santa Justa if you staying in the Centro district. Choose San Bernardo if you are staying closer to the Plaza de España.
Most trains take 1:45 to get to Cádiz. The less frequent Alvia trains shave off :10 minutes, they also cost twice as much, and the time savings isn’t worth it.
The trains typically start around 6:30 AM and run approximately once an hour. Trains returning from Cádiz run as late as 10:40 PM.
The trains do fill up, especially on the weekends. So if you know in advance that you want to do a day trip from Seville to Cádiz, choose your date and book the train early.
Once in Cádiz, the train station there is conveniently located an easy :15 minute walk to the center of the old quarter.
How to Spend a Day in Cádiz: 5 Top Things to Do
Take a Walking Tour
You can certainly wander around Cádiz on your own and visit the activities listed here at your leisure. But if you really want to understand this city’s ancient history and culture, it’s best done on a walking tour. They cover the key sites, offer historical context and will give you tips on where to eat.
Choose your walking tour timing very carefully. Cádiz takes its siesta very seriously. So if you take a walking tour that cuts into the middle of the noon-3pm lunch hour, when the tour is finished, you’ll have nowhere to eat. So, try to get a tour that finishes by 1pm or starts up after 3pm.
Guru Walk has free (for a tip) tours that are very informative (but that sometimes conflict with lunchtime) or book a private customized walking tour that works for your timing and interests.
Tour the Cathedral (and Tower)
Even if you don’t get to everything on this Cádiz day trip, be sure to make time for the cathedral.
This baroque wonder was built between 1722 and1838. It features an extensive collection of paintings, a crypt and a stunning choir. The entrance fee includes an audio tour that, frankly, offers more information than you really need on the building and artworks.
The main event for the cathedral is to visit the top of the bell tower. From there you get 360′ view of the entire city and coastline.
The plaza in front of the church is a nice spot to stop for a rest and to get a gelato.
Visit the Cádiz Museum
Cádiz was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC, following the Trojan war. The Carthagians moved in around 230 BC, becoming a flashpoint for Hannibal’s conquest of the southern Iberian Peninsula. In 206 BC, the Romans wanted a piece of the action, booting the Carthagians and establishing their own outpost. Then came the Moors (711-1262) and finally a consolidated Spain in ~1262.
You can explore these many layers of history by visiting the Museo de Cádiz, which has artifacts from all of the abovementioned eras.
Visit the Roman Amphitheatre Ruins
In 1980 after a fire destroyed a warehouse district, the resulting clean-up effort uncovered this 2,000 year old gem. It’s tucked away right into the neighborhood. The attached museum has interesting exhibits that explain more about the area’s Roman history.
If you visit, be sure to check the hours, because they close earlier than some of the other local attractions.
Hang Out On (or Stroll) the Beach
You’ve only got one day in Cádiz and there is a lot to do in the Old Town. But it would be a shame if you missed the opportunity to hang out on one of Cádiz’s many nice beaches.
Do your walking tour, museums and eating early. That way your time will be freed up for some beach time. Cádiz faces the Atlantic and they have miles and miles of soft sand beaches. And if you are visiting in the summer, you’ll have a long day of sunlight for soaking up the rays.
One of the most popular beaches is La Caleta. It’s right in Old Town and you can play on the sand or walk out to the old Castillo de San Sabastian. But this beach is really popular and it does get crowded. So, if you want some elbow room, head outside of the city walls to Playa Santa María de Mar. It’s much quieter there and you can rent chairs at the south end of the beach. This beach is also just a few blocks from the train station, so you can close out your day trip with some beach time and then catch a late train back to Seville.
If you are visiting in cooler weather, or don’t want to swim, it’s still worth walking the extensive promenade that starts near La Caleta and extends for miles and miles south.
Where to Eat in Cádiz
Andalucía is known for its cured ham, fresh seafood, salmorejo (which is a gazpacho variant) and sherry. You can find all of that and more in Cádiz. For some of down home cooking try the Taberna Casa Manteca for grandma’s croqueta recipe.
You won’t go wrong with any of the restaurants along that same street, which is Calle Christo Miserichordia. Or put a picnic together with fresh produce, bread and cheeses at the central market. Get some dessert at the Naragoni Gelato stand in front of the cathedral.
More Cool Things to Do in Spain
- Make the most of three days in Madrid.
- Or stay longer and do some day trips from Madrid (which are easily done by train).
- Learn more about the Camino de Santiago with our first timer’s guide.
- Explore some cool things to do in Burgos.
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