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Cádiz, Spain

A day trip by train or cruise ship

Cádiz photo

ABOVE: A view of the Cathedral from the Campo del Sur's pedestrian promenade. INSET BELOW: The city's location on the Costa de la Luz, a rooftop view of the historic center, and an antique street sign.

For travelers, Cádiz is a city with a split personality:

  • Cádiz mapAs the largest town on Spain's Costa de la Luz or "Coast of Light," Cádiz attracts crowds of Spanish, French, and German holidaymakers who come for the beaches, hotels, and apartments on the isthmus between the old town and the Spanish mainland.

  • As the oldest continuously-inhabited city on the Iberian Peninsula, Cádiz has an historic center that's jammed with medieval streets, churches, military fortifications, merchants' towers, and even a Roman theatre that was discovered in 1980 after a fire. (See Wikipedia's article about Cádiz.) The city center also has beaches and waterfront promenades, so you can put on your flip-flops and head for the sea when you've had your fill of history and culture.

Cadiz photoCádiz is a city where you could happily spend a week--or longer, if you're like the young Australian musician I met on Oceania's MS Regatta who fell in love with Cádiz and bought a house in the city.

Still, by confining yourself to the city center, you can sample the highlights of Cádiz in a less than a day--as I did on my most recent visit, when I was in Seville with a handful of colleagues. We made a spur-of-the-moment decision to hop on the regional train to Cádiz with our Eurail passes (which would have been InterRail passes if we'd been residents of Europe). The trip took about 90 minutes in each direction.

Cádiz photoIn this article, I'll describe the highlights of a day trip to Cádiz and tell how to reach the city by rail, by car, or from a cruise ship. I'll also tell you where to obtain free tourist literature and where to find more information on the Web. As a bonus, you can browse through a gallery of captioned photos, which will give you a preview of what to expect during your visit.

Next page: Sightseeing, beaches

In this article:
Sightseeing, beaches
Practical information
Cádiz photos

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.

Top photo copyright © Nikada.
Map scan copyright © HenrikDB.
2nd inset photo copyright © Tness74.
3rd inset photo opyright © Peter Bates.