Fancy a trip to Cadiz and only have one day to spare?
You don’t need to worry!
One day is plenty of time to see the best places in Cadiz without feeling like you’re rushing from one place to the next.
Where to start and what to see?
This short itinerary is based on my day trip to Cadiz from Seville and highlights the best bits you can see in just one day.
Even if you’re travelling to Cadiz for a few hours, or just passing by, you can get inspired to discover the most beautiful places to enjoy the best Cadiz has to offer.
With that in mind, let’s get started with the list!
How to See Cadiz in One Day
One day itineraries are a bit tricky, because you could be just coming for a day trip, staying overnight or passing by and want to spend a few hours in the city.
Below is a list of the highlights you can pick and choose, to customize the trip to your liking.
If you are staying overnight and have 24 hours to spend here, I would definitely recommend seeing the sunset – Cadiz is one of the best places for sunset watching.
That’s something I have missed on my trip since I was returning back to Seville with a train in the late afternoon.
Cadiz is not very big, and you can cover nearly all of it on foot – it might be more convenient than dragging your car and looking for parking spaces.
I had a 6 year old with me and we had no issues walking through the whole town, while taking regular ice cream breaks and finding shelter from the sun.
What to See in Cadiz in One Day: The Itinerary
I have prepared the list below in a specific order, so it’s easy to walk from one place to the other, and you cover most of the city.
1. Cadiz Cathedral
The cathedral is one of the main tourist hotspots in the city, and as you would expect, predictably crowded.
It’s located close to the old town and the main coastal road, with a large plaza filled with restaurants right in front of it.
The plaza is full of life with groups of tourists stopping to hear a lecture about the cathedral, locals rushing past and people taking photos.
Due to lack of time, I did not venture inside, but I would imagine that there is plenty to see and learn.
If you only pop to the plaza for a coffee with breakfast, and to admire the view from outside, it’s still well worth it.
2. The Old Town
If you want to experience the charm of this ancient city, the old town is the perfect place to explore.
You can get there simply by wandering off to the small narrow alleyways from the main plaza in front of the cathedral.
A word of warning: it gets very busy!
It’s utterly charming but also very stressful to navigate if you’re visiting at the height of the season.
The old town is a bit similar to what you see in Malaga old town, only the streets are more narrow and the buildings even older and more impressive.
Some parts feel like they’re crumbling down and look neglected, but it adds to the less touristy feel of the city, compared to other places on Costa del Sol.
There is an old traditional market in the old town that’s also worth checking out.
3. Paseo Fernando Quionones
As you finish your stroll in the old town, head back to the coastal promenade and stroll towards the Castle of San Sebastian.
The castle ruins are connected to the mainland with a pathway across the ocean, and it’s one of the best places to take in the views of Cadiz from a different vantage point (also great for photography).
As you walk through, you will see some locals sunbathing on the rocks below and seagulls chasing each other above your head.
It’s quite a long walk and has beautiful views of Cadiz and its beaches.
If you’re planning to grab some snacks to eat for lunch, sitting in here and enjoying the view is one of the best lunch spots you can get. Just watch out for the hungry seagulls!
The castle was closed when I was visiting and from what I could see, there wasn’t much to explore inside.
4. Coastal Promenade & La Caleta Beach
As you continue your walk from the castle back along the coastline towards Castillo de Santa Catalina, you will pass one of the most famous beaches in Cadiz – La Caleta Beach.
You can recognize it quickly by the old white building that’s at the end of it – it reminds me a bit of Brighton in the UK.
The promenade is a beautiful place to take a stroll and enjoy the views.
5. Castillo de Santa Catalina
After the Castle of San Sebastian was closed, I was surprised to find another one – even more impressive – that was open and only a short walk away.
It looks like an old Alcazar, with old crumbling walls and observation towers remaining, and a few buildings in the central courtyard. It’s nearly invisible from the main road, as you only see some old damaged walls.
The sand washed walls provide a beautiful contrast with the deep blue colour of the sea, while the courtyard feels like cut out of some western cowboy movie. There is so much space to run around, so if you’re travelling with kids, they will love it!
At the time we visited, there was nobody around and the place felt like a private Hollywood movie set.
Apart from walking around and taking in the views, there wasn’t much to see, but I still loved it.
6. Jardines de Alameda Apodaca
If you’re looking for gorgeous gardens with a view, it doesn’t get better than this!
The Alameda Apodaca gardens were one of the last places I found in Cadiz and even though it’s a relatively small public park, it makes up for it with its beauty.
At the centre stage is an ancient over 100 years old fig tree, the sheer size of it is breathtaking. The gardens are lining a coastal promenade with beautiful views and a stunning backdrop.
The park has just a few benches and a very small cafe at the end of it, the perfect place to enjoy a bit of a break from walking and shelter from the sun in the summer.
It’s also a great place to finish your exploration of Cadiz!
I hope you enjoyed these picks for a one day trip!
If you visited Cadiz already, please do leave some of your own recommendations in comments below!
Explore More in Cadiz
Getting to Cadiz from Seville: Your Complete Transport Guide
Cadiz, Spain: Stunning Photography Locations You Can’t Miss
Southern Spain Travel Planning Guide
Is it safe to drive in Spain?
YES! The roads in Southern Spain are generally in very good condition, with modern highways connecting the biggest cities. To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, which will get you the best deals on your car rental for your trip.
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE?
PUBLIC TRANSPORT — Southern Spain has a well-established and modern network of trains and buses. To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
DAY TRIPS — If you don’t like the hassle of using public transport, local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
WHERE SHOULD I BOOK MY ACCOMMODATION?
BOOKING.COM — I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and have never had any negative experiences. Their reviews are very accurate and you get the best deals even on apartments, not just hotels.
ARE THERE LUGGAGE STORE OPTIONS IN THE CITIES?
YES — If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, before heading to the airport, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage options in almost all the destinations in Southern Spain.
DO I NEED TO BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD FOR THIS TRIP?
YES – You can, of course, use your own card if you have roaming data available. If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards, avoiding the hassle of sourcing local physical sim cards and extra roaming charges anywhere you go.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.