Heads up: some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you click and make a booking or purchase, I’ll make a commission (at no extra cost to you). I partner with companies I personally use and the $$ goes towards creating more awesome, free travel content.
Once you’ve spent a couple of days exploring the beautiful city of Seville, you’ll probably want to organize a few day trips to explore the surrounding area.
Popular places to visit on day trip from Seville include Ronda, Cordoba, Jerez, Granada and Cadiz. When I visited Seville I ventured to both Ronda and Cadiz, then spent a couple of days in Granada.
This guide includes everything you need to plan a day trip to Cadiz, including how to get there, things to do, and where to eat.
A Quick Intro to Cadiz
Cadiz is a port city located on the southwestern coast of Spain in the region of Andalusia. Founded by the Phoenicians, it’s one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in Western Europe. The city has been the home of the Spanish Navy since the 18th century and served as the departure point for two of Christopher Columbus’ four voyages to the New World.
During your Cadiz day trip you’ll see numerous well-preserved historical landmarks, including a cathedral, an 18th-century watchtower, remnants of the ancient city wall and an ancient Roman theater. The city’s charming old town is filled with narrow alleyways and many plazas where you can sit and enjoy a coffee or something to eat.
Since it lies on the coast, Cadiz is a great place to visit if you want to escape the heat of Seville and laze on a sandy beach for the day.
How to Get to Cadiz from Seville
There are a few different ways you can get to Cadiz from Seville. You can get there by train, bus or car, or by booking an organized tour. I took the train, since it was the most convenient option.
Train from Seville to Cadiz
The train from Seville to Cadiz takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes, although there are some slightly faster trains that take 1 hour 30 minutes. Trains depart from Seville Santa Justa station, arriving at Cádiz train station, which is close to Plaza de Sevilla.
Routes are operated by Spanish rail company Renfe, and you can book tickets online at renfe.com. Tickets cost around €13.30 each way so €26.60 round trip.
Bus from Seville to Cadiz
Buses from Seville to Cadiz take approximately 1 hour 45 minutes and cost around and cost €14.50, so that’s roughly the same as the train. Transportes Comes and ALSA are the two main bus companies that operate this route. Buses depart from Prado de San Sebastian (near Plaza de España) in Seville and arrive at Cádiz bus station.
Driving to Cadiz
The quickest way to get to Cadiz and other towns in Andalusia is by renting a car. The distance between Seville and Cadiz is 75 miles (121 kilometers) and the car journey takes roughly 1 hour 15 minutes. It’s a very scenic drive, so it certainly won’t disappoint.
If you’re thinking of renting a car, compare prices using Rentalcars.com and Kayak.
Your other option for exploring Cadiz is booking a tour. Here are some tours you can book with GetYourGuide:
- From Seville: Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera Day Trip
- Cadiz: City Sightseeing Guided Tour by Bike
- From Seville: Jerez, Cádiz and Andalusian Horses
- Cádiz: City Walking Tour with Pópulo and Cathedral
One Day in Cadiz: Itinerary & Things to Do
Cadiz is a very walkable city. With one day in Cadiz, you can easily explore most of the city’s attractions. Here are some of the top things to do:
Playa de la Caleta
Playa de La Caleta is the smallest beach in Cadiz and is located close to the city center. It’s popular with locals who come here to swim, sunbathe and enjoy picnics on the sand. Measuring 450-meters long, the beach is situated between two castles – San Sebastián castle and Santa Catalina castle – and was featured in the James Bond movie Die Another Day.
When I visited La Caleta, children were diving in the water from the pier and it had a great family atmosphere. You’ll see lots of families using the beautiful white spa (called Balneario de Nuestra Señora de La Palma y del Real) as a shelter from the midday sun.
Cadiz is also home to other, longer beaches, including La Victoria, Santa María and Cortadura, but if you only have one day in Cadiz then I’d suggest visiting La Caleta because it’s the closest to the old town.
Castillo Santa Catalina
I then walked along the stone boulevard to Castillo Santa Catalina, which was built in 1598 to improve the city’s defenses and protect the northern side of the beach. In 1769 it was turned into a military prison and was used to hold prisoners until the Ministry of Defense handed it over to the city in 1991.
Santa Catalina Castle now features a gallery for art exhibitions and is free to enter. From the castle ramparts you can enjoy beautiful views along the coastline, so it’s a great spot for taking photos. Within the castle you can also visit the Chapel of Santa Catalina de Austria, which was built in 1693.
Plaza de San Juan de Dios
Plaza de San Juan de Dios is a large plaza with fountains, palm trees and numerous bars and restaurants surrounding it. The plaza is a great place to have a coffee, grab lunch and do some people watching. There are several prominent buildings lining the square, including the City Hall and the Church of San Juan de Dios.
While you’re strolling around the town definitely check out Central Market, which is packed with over a hundred stalls selling meat, fruit, vegetables and of course, plenty of fresh seafood!
The market also features a Gourmet Corner, Rincón Gastronómico, where you can try some of Cádiz’s traditional cuisine and other freshly made foods.
The old town is full of narrow streets and there are several plazas containing most of the major buildings and sights. One of the most iconic buildings in Cadiz is the cathedral, which is situated in Plaza de la Catedral. This Roman Catholic church was built between 1722 and 1838 using money from trade between Spain and America.
Entry to the Cathedral costs €6 for adults and includes access to one of the bell towers, which offers panoramic views over the city and the Bay of Cádiz.
If you want to capture the best views of Cadiz, climb up Torre Tavira – an 18th-century watchtower that serve’s as the city’s highest viewpoint. The tower was named after its first watchman, frigate lieutenant Antonio Tavira.
As you ascent the stairs you’ll come across two exhibition halls, one of which is dedicated to the 18th and 19th century history of Cadiz. You’ll then get to experience the Camera Obscura, which was the first to be installed in Spain.
If you’re not familiar with the Camera Obscura – it projects an image on a white concave horizontal screen (like a table) which is placed in the centre of completely darkened, black painted room. It works a bit like a periscope and projects images of everything that is going on outside the tower.
Explore the Many Plazas
Cadiz is home to a long list of plazas, including:
- Plaza de San Juan de Dios
- Plaza de San Antonio
- Plaza de San Francisco
- Plaza de Mina
- Plaza de Candelaria
- Plaza de España
- Plaza del Mentidero
- Plaza Viudas
- Plaza de la Catedral (Pío XII)
- Plaza del Palillero
- Plaza de Fragela
- Plaza Argüelles
- Plaza de las Flores
- Plaza de Antonio Martín (antigua Cruz Verde)
- Plaza de San Severiano
- Plaza Asdrúbal
- Plaza Ingeniero la Cierva
You could spent an entire afternoon just wandering around all the plazas and watching locals go about their daily life.
Where to Eat in Cadiz
The city’s plazas and alleyways are filled with great restaurants where you can try Andalusian cuisine. I would definitely recommend sampling some cuisine in the Gourmet Corner at Central Market and perhaps visiting another restaurant for a larger meal.
These are some of the best restaurants in Cadiz:
Restaurante Balandro – Run by the Vélez brothers, this modern restaurant has been around since the 1990s, serving Mediterranean cuisine and seafood caught fresh from Cadiz bay.
La Candela – La Candela is a tapas bar serving innovative tapas that will make your mouth water. Try to make a reservation in advance as there’s often a wait to get in.
Casa Lazo – Located in the old town, this bustling local restaurant serves authentic tapas in a traditional atmosphere. On the menu you’ll find dishes such as octopus salad, tuna tataki, garlic prawns and Iberico ham.
Restaurante El Faro de Cadiz – This family restaurant has been around since the 1960s and is known for its excellent food and homely interior. Dishes include fried nettles, grilled seabass, duck in orange sauce and canutillos stuffed with two chocolates.
Restaurante Salicornia – Located on Plocia street, Salicornia is a chic restaurant serving dishes made with only the best ingredients. The chef sources 100% Wagyu meat from the Japanese regions of Kagoshima and Takayama, Iberico Bellota ham from the Valley of the Pedroches, black-backed eel from the north of Spain and red tuna from Barbate in Andalusia.
Your FAQs About Cadiz, Answered
Yes Cadiz, is worth a day trip. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, sampling Analusian cuisine and exploring the city’s many pretty plazas. While the city doesn’t have as many landmarks as Seville, it still has a fair few things to see, including the Torre Tavira watchtower and Cadiz Cathedral.
You can definitely see most of Cadiz in a day. I would suggest 1-2 days max here. If you’re planning day trip to Cadiz from Seville, make sure you catch an early train since the journey takes around 1 hour 45 minutes. This way you have plenty of time to hit the beach and explore the town.
Cadiz is famous for its sherry wines and bluefin tuna, which is caught from the Strait of Gibraltar. During the month of May, fishermen catch bluefin tuna using the almadraba method, which dates back to the 14th century. Another popular food to try in Cadiz is ‘Tortillitas De Camarones’ aka shrimp fritters, which are basically tiny shrimp that have been battered in chickpea flour, water, salt and parsley before being fried in olive oil.
If you have one day in Cadiz, make sure you visit La Caleta Beach and walk along the seafront. At either end of the beach you’ll find two castles – San Sebastián castle and Santa Catalina castle – which are worth exploring. Spend the afternoon exploring the town center, including Mercado Central, Torre Tavira, Plaza de San Juan de Dios and Plaza de la Catedral.
A Final Word…
Seville is a great base for exploring the region of Andalusia, so I’d definitely recommend organizing a few day trips if you can.
A day trip to Cadiz from Seville is easy to do – just hop on the train or the bus! It’s a great option if you want to hit the beach, enjoy the views of the bay and try some good food.
Other Spain blog posts: