Cádiz — a personal guide

Looking for information on a place in Andalucia or simply asking for advice on somewhere to visit? Post here and someone out there may know the answer.
Lavanda
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4406
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: Cáceres Province, Extremadura

Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Lavanda » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:08 pm

Cádiz

Cádiz is fast becoming one of my favourite places. I first went there 12 years ago when I was looking for somewhere to live once my husband, Roger, and I had retired. We thought the Costa de la Luz might be the place for us but it wasn’t. Too many people, wind turbines and wind.

I went back to Cádiz three years ago and quite liked it. It hadn’t changed but I had. I visited again the following year and this year I have been three times, so far. I like it in early Spring as there are fewer tourists. I don’t count myself as a tourist as I speak Spanish and have been visiting Cádiz this year as part of my research on my current book — the slowest book in the world to get written, it seems. So I was in Cádiz to ‘work’. The late Spring is also lovely and the early Summer is good, too, as it is much less hot than Extremadura and the horrible wind in Cádiz is actually quite nice.

Transport

I don’t drive to Cádiz from where I live because what would I do with my car once I got there? Park it and pay seems to be the only option as a car is useless in the narrow streets of Cádiz and only useful for going slowly around the outside of the city which is pointless as far as I am concerned. On my day of travel, I get up at 5.00 and my Husband, Roger, drives me to Mérida, a 40 minute journey, to get the early bus to Seville, Plaza de Armas. Then it’s a quick hop on the airport bus to go as far as the Plaza Prado San Sebastian Bus Station for the bus to Cádiz which only stops in Jerez and then I’m in Cádiz. It only takes five hours which is the same as the way I drive anyway. Going back is easier as there is a bus from Algeciras to A Coruna which stops in Cádiz, Jerez, Almendralejo and Mérida. Perfect.

Hotels

I like to stay in the Senator Cádiz Spa or the Hotel las Cortes de Cádiz both of which are old buildings with inner courtyards and within walking distance of the bus station and everything else. I walk a lot and prefer to get around like that but Cádiz, to be honest, is tiny.

Places where I like to eat

Bar Quilla. Playa de la Caleta. It’s facing the sea and the Santa Catalina Fortress, is popular with Spanish people, has great food at reasonable prices and the staff are really friendly — they remembered me after only one visit but then I do speak Spanish with an English accent and an Extremeño twang so I guess, once heard, never forgotten.

Bar Mediterráneo. Plaza de la Mina. Great breakfasts, lunch food, tapas and drinks. Again, really friendly staff but I do go there a lot when I am in Cádiz.

Highlights

The Puerta de Tierra was restored in the mid-18th century and is the entrance to the city. The gate was vandalised in the 1940s to allow motor traffic to enter the town. Inside the town is built on military lines. Behind the gate are barracks and *beep*, some still owned by the military and some used by the fire brigade.

The city is dominated by the ‘new’ Cathedral (Tues-Sat: charges) which is one of Spain’s largest. The ‘new’ cathedral is 18th century and has a Byzantine-style dome made of yellow tiles that glint golden in the sun. The exterior is more interesting than the interior.

Just to the south side of the Cathedral square is a medieval arch marking the entrance to the Barrio del Pópulo, all that remains of Medieval Cádiz. The streets are tiny and very often dilapidated and filthy but they have a charm. The Roman Theatre is in this part of Cádiz — but it’s very disappointing after seeing the one in Mérida, in my opinion. The ‘old’ cathedral, the Church of Santa Cruz, dating from the 13th century and built over a former mosque, is on the highest point of this barrio. It was destroyed in 1592 when the British sacked the city but later rebuilt.

Don’t miss the pleasant Market and Flower Market of Plaza Topete. Then meander through the narrow streets up to the Castillo de Santa Catalina. Walk along the Parque Genoves and back through the narrow streets to the Oratorio San Felipe Neri was where the Cortes assembled in 1812 and next door is the Museo Histórico Municipal (Tues-Sun, closed 13.00-16.00). It has a huge model of Cádiz and traces the history of the city with a great many maps. The museum is mainly devoted to the declaration of the Constitution in 1812.

Walk to the Plaza de Mina. The Museo Provincial de Cádiz (Tues-Sun, mornings) has archaeological artefacts including a statue of the Roman Emperor Trajan and two Phoenician sarcophagi, plus fine art paintings by Rubens, Zurbarán and Murillo.

In the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva are paintings by Goya (Mon-Fri, 10.00-13.00: charges).

The city wall can be seen again at the Murallas de San Carlos and the San Felipe Battery on the far side of the Plaza de España. In the centre of the plaza is a Monument to the Cortes of 1812. It was built for the first, brief democratic period in Spanish history. This was a bit ironic because Spain was still ruled by Napoleonic France at the time.

(The old city of Cádiz is dotted with churches and towers but its narrow streets have an attraction of their own. Go to the top of Torre Tavira in the Calle Marqués del Real Tesoro (open daily; charge) for an overview of the town. It’s one of the highest towers built on a former shipping merchant’s house for looking out to sea and watching for approaching merchant ships. It now houses a camera obscura which gives a 360º view of the city).

My favourite place

Plaza de la Mina. There are amazing trees including jacaranda which flower purple in the Spring and are simply wonderful. The architecture is old Cádiz but beautiful. There’s the Bar Mediterráneo, and Mina Five, a brilliant juice bar especially nice in the Summer. The bookshop, Librería Manuel de Falla sits between those two places and has a great bookseller. He knows where everything is in a shop that has huge piles of books on every available surface and all you have to do is ask and he finds what you want in a few seconds. Amazing! Then there is the Provincial Museum. I love it. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in there this year and have had lots of help including from the Director. Tengo mucha cara. In addition to the exhibits on the ground floor, mostly in Spanish, there is an exhibition space on the next floor given over to religious paintings including some by Zurbarán, who was born just up the N630 in Fuente de Cantos, Extremadura. However, there is also a small but important exhibition of the history of money tucked away in some side rooms. It’s very well done and worth an hour of anyone’s time.

Getting around

Walk. The city is helpfully divided up into themes with lines in different colours painted on the sides of streets to get you to the next place in the theme and so on.

User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2234
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby IreneD » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:05 pm

Sounds absolutely lovely! Makes me realise we haven't really been out and about much since we moved here 7 years ago! The places we have visited, Seville, Granada, Cordoba and one or two other smaller places were all before we actually lived here. (We have been back with visitors to places not too far afield, like Malaga and Granada).

I really think we must make the trip to Cadiz next Spring, taking all this interesting info with us, to get the most out of our visit. Many thanks.

Lavanda
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4406
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: Cáceres Province, Extremadura

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Lavanda » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:17 pm

I'm glad you find it interesting. I like going to different places and am quite adventurous on the bus. I've still not been to Cordoba, though!!!

User avatar
costakid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4443
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:55 am
Location: malaga este

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby costakid » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:13 pm

Cordoba is well worth a visit.

elusive
Resident
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby elusive » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:24 pm

Ive been to cadiz twice. Stayed there once and the other time stayed in jerez and did a day trip via the ferry from puerto S.M its a very unique place. Very different to many places ive been to.so worth at least a couple of nights.we stayed 3 and visted jerez. It lovely up the coastline . We stopped at the roman ruins at bolonia and stayed over night in vejer de la frontera which is beautiful. Love jerez aswell. And made a side trip to arcos while there. All stunning!!

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3221
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby olive » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:44 pm

Seconded. Cadiz is a nice place to go. We parked our car up for the durationand walked everywhere.

Nice write up and very helpful info. Thanks for taking the time. :thumbup:

elusive
Resident
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby elusive » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:14 pm

When we stayed there we parked at the train station the first night as it was the cheapest.other days we found free street parking on the long straight road just before you get to the port

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5352
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:58 pm

I'd love to go there now having read that. Nice one Lavanda!
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

Lavanda
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4406
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: Cáceres Province, Extremadura

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Lavanda » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:02 am

The other nice thing about going somewhere more than once is that you can start to explore beyond the tourist areas and pick up local habits.

The square in front of the 'new' Cathedral is a tourist attraction and the cafés and bars are usually full of people working out the maps they just got from Tourist Information opposite where the cruise liners dock. More about them in a minute. Opposite the Cathedral near a small corner in the centre of the parade of shops and cafés is a café/bar simply called 'La Catedral — Tapas y Vinos'. The two waiters have got to be the most grumpy, indifferent and slow waiters in Cádiz, so much so that it's actually funny if you are not in a hurry. However, next door is a wonderful little cake shop, called 'Casa Hidalgo', specialising in locally-produced typical Cadiz cakes. It is separate from the café/bar because I asked in the cake shop. Strangely, it is perfectly normal for Spanish people to get their cakes from the shop, order coffee in the café/bar and eat the cakes while drinking the coffee. I did this and thought I would be challenged by said grumpy waiters but they smiled slightly when they bought my coffee and I undid my cake bag, they nodded and treated me less indifferently after that. Local customs, and all that.

A bit further on from these places, further left as you stand with the Cathedral behind you, is a small restaurant called 'Bongo'. Excellent food, especially for lunch. They do a really good langostino, tropical salad, goat's cheese thing and the waiters are all fit young men with lovely smiles. You need to book a table, unless you are eating earlier than 14.00, as it's very popular.

Cruise ships. Why? At one time in the Spring there were four of them docked into the harbour — all taller than most buildings in Cádiz. The streets were full of bored tourists following a guide they could not possibly hear and these people were just wandering around, almost aimlessly. They have full-board on their boats and spend no money in Cádiz but get in the way of other people who do want to spend money. I got this point-of-view from the Tourist Office and who can blame them. Not me. All Cádiz gets are the docking fees, I suppose.

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5352
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:51 am

The Cruise ships hahaha, one of the funny things my OH and I will not forget and still laugh about which backs up your point.

A couple local, not friends as such but people we chat to when walking 3 years ago said they were doing a Med cruise, every holiday they do a cruise and they said the ship would be docking in Malaga knowing we had a place over there.

We were away at the same time and incredibly our annual visit to Malaga coincided with their stop. We were booked in to the Ibis, on the dry river bed near the old town...............so we arranged the meeting for that day at their suggestion.

We thought it may be nice to show them a few places which they'd maybe not find, the old market bars, La Guardia etc, problem was they said can we meet by the boat, a bit of a drag. The boat docked at 11am, so I suggested we'd walk up to the quay and have a beer in that little place near the docking area that sells the beer in the buckets at around 1pm........thinking they could not miss that as the meeting point.

So we turns up as arranged, they were there but not with a wine or a bucket of beer as we'd imagined.......they were just standing outside looking at the Guardia Civil boat moored there!

So I orders a bucket and we sit down. OH and I thought we'd suggest a restaurant (if they fancied lunch) we always like to visit in Malaga, Restaurant La Plaza, in a square called La Plaza I think .......really well presented food, lovely crockery/utensils/linen etc., not your normal Steak, chicken, albondigas place, very well priced too.

So we had the beer and with one bottle left in the bucket they showed no sign of ordering another :mrgreen:

We asked if they'd fancy a walk through Malaga and have some lunch. The woman said "No we're going back on board for the buffet........we've paid for it you understand." Our flabbers were gasted.

We said our goodbyes, and went on our way to La Plaza..........where we had our braised ox cheek (mine) and Lenguada with a well priced bottle of the house white and were amused at the thought of them in the buffet queue with wrist bands on waiting their turn for the wondrous plate full.

Furthest they went in to Malaga that day was the end of the quay we learned.........some holiday.

Horses for courses I guess.
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

elusive
Resident
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby elusive » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:22 pm

Great story! Maybe doing a cruise is the in thing.yet they have no intrest in seeing places. On chan 5 theres a series called the most expensive cruise ship in the world or something! 10 grand for a cabin 50k for the top suite for a weeks cruise around the med etc. If seeing that doesnt put you off then i dont know what what Loaded people and all the crew bar the supervisors (of course) are indians and tai's etc working their guts out for peanuts.talk about how the other half live.

saw the same in cadiz. We went to a god awful chinese on the main square.it was fulk of staff from the cruise ship having a cheap 3'courses. and I'll remember it for it been the first and thankfully only time i saw, no doubt a yank on his hols wearing a trump "make america great again cap" they really do excist! :shock:

User avatar
gerryh
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 7330
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:17 pm
Location: Cajiz, Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby gerryh » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:03 pm

What is the weather usually like in February in Cadiz? Is it usually busy in February?
Many years ago, before we moved to Spain we spent half a day in Cadiz whilst on a Mediterranean cruise.
Always said we should go back there and have a proper look.
Cheers
Gerry
Gerry Harris

katy
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 12069
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:45 pm

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby katy » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:37 pm

DA we have met quite a few people who never even leave the ship! Many just wander around the cruise port souvenir shops. Not sure how port towns benefit but I know the tour buses and taxis do. Have also seen fresh foods being loaded onto the ship in most Caribbean ports. Have to say we rarely eat ashore as too stuffed and also skip lunch on board too although may take afternoon tea. There are some real eating machines onboard. We have walked round the pool deck late night and people are queuing for pizzas, wraps etc at midnight after a 5 course meal. One steward told us it is not uncommon for orders of steak etc at 3am. We haven't cruised for two years and won't be this year. they are not what they were, especially since some ships have turned all inclusive. Cruise ships are ruining tourist hotspots all over the world and they are getting bigger and uglier.

Back to Cadiz. never found a good hotel, would welcome recommendations. Stayed at the Parador twice. Good location and small walk to good places to eat. If staying at the side where the sea and the park is there is a lot of drug dealing openly taking place. The second time we were woken at 8am to loud noises coming from our balcony to find workmen scraping pain off the walls and the balcony full of rubbish.

Since then we have preferred to stay in Puerto de Santa Maria, stayed twice at the monastery de San Miguel which is quirky but not really a 4* as they claim. Easy travel to cadiz and some Bodegas to visit. Would recommend Bodegas Osborne.

Lavanda
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4406
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: Cáceres Province, Extremadura

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Lavanda » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:40 pm

I posted a reply but it's not posted so goodness knows where that went.

Only wanted to say the I loved the story, DA but I don't know what the weather is like in February, Gerry, sorry.

elusive
Resident
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby elusive » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:59 pm

I guess feb weather is dependent on the winds and fronts coming off the atlantic. And do they have carnival then aswell? Which is very popular. We always book last min if sriving somewhere to make sure the weather will be good

User avatar
costakid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4443
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:55 am
Location: malaga este

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby costakid » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:06 pm

A friend of mine who lives in malaga always slags off the cruise passengers for there lack of spending. My argument is they must spend something but he says they go back for the all inclusive as previously said.
I couldn’t think of anything worse than a cruise. Bad enough plymouth to santander, I am stir crazy after 21 hours on there.

Benal Pirate
Andalucia.com Amigo
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:19 pm
Location: Manchester & CDS

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby Benal Pirate » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:04 pm

We are doing our first cruise in Jan. We noticed the boat we've booked was in Malaga for the day a couple of months ago, so we decided to check it out. It wasn't easy to miss, so we walked to it. Passengers were returning for lunch complaining that Malaga was nothing but bars and shops! Probably their loss.( But do think visiting any city for a couple of hours, not knowing ones bearings makes it hard to to gain any affinity for a place). And to be fair the boat looked empty so must presume most passengers were still ashore somewhere.
One thing I did find off was the 4 euro charge for the bus from the boat to the centre - one way I think. Ripping off the cruise passengers methinks when I can get the bus home from Malaga for 1.10 euros at 2 O'Clock in the morning.

User avatar
costakid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4443
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:55 am
Location: malaga este

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby costakid » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:04 am

We use the bus all the time. City centre to east of the city is 1.10 anytime of day and night.

Nothing in Malaga apart from bars and shops?? What about the 25 museums, the cathedral, the Alcazaba, the roman theatre plus plus. They must be blind or of low intelligence because its not too hard to google things to do and see in any city.

I know its your fellow passengers comments and not yours Benal.

User avatar
gerryh
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 7330
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:17 pm
Location: Cajiz, Malaga

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby gerryh » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:46 am

Getting away from cruises and back to Cadiz.
Googled the weather in February and it looks that it should be reasonable.
Just booked for 4 nights in a hotel in the old town.
My choice of hotel was very much influenced by which hotels had parking available.
Cheers
Gerry
Gerry Harris

User avatar
costakid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4443
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:55 am
Location: malaga este

Re: Cádiz — a personal guide

Postby costakid » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:33 pm

We stayed in the old quarter in an apartment which was owned by the hotel opposite. We had to check in and out etc with the hotel but a lovely apartment with a central courtyard.


Return to “Travel, Tourism & Destinations”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests