Monday, November 4, 2013

Things to do in Cadiz, Spain

Cadiz is a fantastic city, situated on an isthmus poking into the Atlantic Ocean. It has not packed full of tourist attractions, though although the Tavira tower with its camera obscure is worth a visit, and the cathedral is immense and impressive. However, many things to do are completely free.

Do a walking tour

Cadiz is extremely walked able, and the local government knows it they have prepared several walking routes through the city, and have marked the way in brightly colored paint. I particularly enjoyed the green line, which takes you to the old and new cathedrals, the Roman amphitheatre, the market, the town walls, and other highlights. At each stop, there is an information board in Spanish and English brilliant.

Visit the museum

If you are an EU citizen or resident, entrance to the museum is completely free. If you are not, the €1.50 entrance fee probably will not break the bank anyway.

The pride of the museum is the two sarcophagi which were found almost 100 years apart right here in Cadiz. You will also see Phoenician relics, a bunch of headless statues and exhibitions of religious and modern art. Don’t miss the puppet display, which is on the third level but has to be accessed by a separate staircase from the other exhibitions on this level you will be given a map when you enter the museum, which should help you find it.

If you have a bag, you will have to leave it in a locker on the lowest level make sure you have a €1 coin to activate the locking mechanism.

Learn about La Pepa

Spain’s first constitution was signed 200 years ago, and you can learn all about it in a free exhibition at the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri. The document is known as La Pepa, because it was signed on St Joseph’s feast day.

The exhibition is all in Spanish but it is worth a look even if you do not speak a word; I enjoyed the table hanging from the ceiling and the holographic displays.

Get your castle fix

When looking at a map of Cadiz, you might have noticed the long walkway heading out to sea, with a castle at the end of it. Although you cannot enter the San Sebastian castle, you get good views of the city from its gates, as well as a chance to be sprayed by the occasional wave crashing against the rocks as you walk along the walkway.

The Santa Catalina castle is a different story. Not only can you enter, the various rooms of the complex are used as an art gallery and exhibition space and it is definitely worth a visit.


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