Located on a small spit sticking out in the glistening blue waters of the Andalusian coast, Cádiz has been enchanting visitors for centuries. While the city is small, it punches well above its weight when it comes to the influence it has had on the history and culture of Spain and beyond. Once a bustling hub of the Moorish sultanate, it became a centre of legal and political thought following the reconquista. One of its claims to fame is being the site where the Cádiz Constitution of 1812, which paved the way for the liberalisation of Europe, was drafted. This budget travel guide to Cádiz, Spain covers all the highlights of this Andalusian gem, and will show you how to enjoy them affordably.
Accommodation in Cádiz
To truly immerse yourself in the history and culture of Cádiz, we recommend finding accommodation in the historic centre of the city, on the north end of the spit. The old town will enchant you with its narrow alleys and multicoloured squares, and you’ll be within a stone throw of breath-taking landmarks such as the Cathedral and Roman Theatre. The most affordable options in this area are hostels and Airbnb’s.
Even more affordable accommodation can be found in the modern part of the city, just off the main artery of Avenida Andalucía. This is a good option if you plan on spending most of your time on Playa de la Victoria or one of the city’s other main beaches. There are also quick bus connections from here to the old town, so you won’t miss out on the best the city has to offer.
Eating and drinking in Cádiz
The best and most affordable bars and cafés Cádiz has to offer are located around Playa la Caleta, near the University of Cádiz’s main student halls and faculty buildings. Try the chiringitos (beach bars) on the beach itself, or savour some delicious seafood tapas on Calle Virgen de la Palma, a beautiful tree-lined street running just down from the beach.
What to visit in Cádiz
The first stop on your tour of Cádiz should be the Cathedral. Take in sweeping views of the city, sea and coastline from its soaring bell tower, wonder at the intricate beauty of its main hall, and discover its history in its underground crypts. Entry costs 4 euros with a student card.
The Roman Theatre is a fascinating landmark. The narrow building is rather unassuming from the outside, and will easily go unnoticed by those who aren’t aware of what it has to offer. Inside, however, it is a wonderfully preserved example of the height of Roman culture. Be sure to book in advance to guarantee entry.
Also be sure to spend several hours peacefully wondering the streets of the old town. These beautiful thoroughfares are all unique, making it an absolute delight to lose yourself in the heart of the city.
At the periphery of the old town you’ll find the Muralla Puertas de Tierra, the ancient defensive wall erected to protect the densely inhabited old town. Wonder along the bottom, and stop for a rest in the lush parks beneath it.
If relaxing in the warm sun is your thing, sure not to miss on Cádiz’s beautiful, sun-drenched sand beaches. The three most popular are Playa la Caleta, Playa de Santa María del Mar, and Playa de la Victoria.
Finally, venture just outside the city to enjoy the natural beauty of the Bahía de Cádiz natural park. This natural conservation area boasts an incredible variety of fauna and flora, such as flamingos, violin crabs, and thistles. It is also a working salt pan, with a fascinating visitor centre.
This concludes our budget travel guide to Cádiz, Spain. Time to enjoy this incredible city!