Cadiz Port Guide (Spain), Shore Excursions, Things to Do on a Cruise

Welcome to Cadiz port (Spain)!

Tucked in the Bay of Cadiz, in southern Spain, the medieval city of Cadiz is located on a peninsula and boasts rich Moorish and Western European cultural and historic heritage, great shopping, beautiful beaches and a variety of things to do.

Due to its attractive geographical position and proximity of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Andalusian cities of Seville and Jerez de la Frontera, the port of Cadiz is one of the most visited and popular ones in Mediterranean cruise itineraries.

In this article, I share with you insider information on:

  • Cadiz port (Cadiz cruise terminal, getting around the port)
  • The best shore excursions and 15 best things to do in Cadiz cruise port

Visit our cruise port guides for Alicante, Bilbao, Vigo, Barcelona, Valencia, La Coruna, Cartagena, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar, Lisbon

Cadiz Port Info

Cadiz cruise terminal is located within a 5-10 minute walking distance from the city center and its highlights.

The cruise terminal is situated alongside Alfonso XIII pier and features modern facilities including check-in desks, tourist information desks, luggage storage area, free wi-fi zone, gift shops and large parking that can accommodate up to 16 tour buses. Taxis and Hop on Hop off buses are located right outside the cruise terminal area.

See Cadiz cruise port map on Google maps

Visit the port of Cadiz official website/cruise schedules

The historic port of Cadiz is known as a large cargo port and one of the main locations for cruise ship drydock refurbishments in Western Europe.

It also features a ferry terminal that offers a ferry service operated by the Spanish company Trasmediterranea. The company serves routes to the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma) and the trips can take up to 2 days one way.

Useful info:

  • The currency in Spain is EURO (€). You can use both cash and credit cards in Cadiz. ATMs are available in the city center. See the currency converter
  • Cadiz train station (Adif-Renfe train station) and the main bus station (Estación de Autobuses de Cádiz) are located near Plaza de Sevilla, within a 15-minute walking distance (1.2 km/0.75 miles) from the port of Cadiz. The trains offer daily transfers to Jerez de la Frontera, Seville, and other cities in Spain.
  •  A great variety of shopping and dining options are available all around the city center. However, keep in mind that the majority of shops/pharmacies are closed between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM (Spanish siesta time) and on Sundays. Big department stores are open during the whole day, from 10 AM to 10/11 PM. Museums are generally closed on Mondays.
  • You can find wi-fi in almost all cafes and restaurants, Cadiz cruise terminal, and free wi-fi marked zones in the city.
  • The majority of surfaces in Cadiz are flat and suitable for wheelchair users and people with walking difficulties. However, there are some cobblestone parts of the town that are not recommended for these guests.

15 Best Things to Do in Cadiz Cruise Port

Before I share with you the best things to do in Cadiz and the top shore excursions, I invite you to subscribe below and get my exclusive, insider Shore Excursion Guide for FREE!

1. Plaza de San Juan de Dios

Plaza de San Juan de Dios is the main square in Cadiz, located a 10-minute (700 m) easy walk from the Cadiz cruise terminal. All you have to do is turn left upon leaving the cruise terminal area and keep walking along Avenue De Puerto for about 10 minutes.

The main square is dominated by the imposing building of the City Hall of Cádiz (Ayuntamiento de Cádiz) and is surrounded by numerous shops, restaurants and cafes. Here, you will also find a tourist office, a pharmacy, banks and other historic landmarks.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios in Cadiz
Plaza de San Juan de Dios and the City Hall of Cadiz.

 2. Plaza de España 

This spacious green square is located right across the Cadiz cruise terminal, less than a 5-minute walk from the exit (170 m). You just need to cross the street and you’re there.

This beautiful square is a great place to start the walking tour of the Cadiz as it boasts one of the most imposing monuments of the city – The Monument to the Constitution of 1812, whose construction dates from the beginning of the 20th century. The monument is huge and commemorates the centennial of the signing of the Constitution of 1812.

Monument to the Constitution of 1812 in Cadiz port
Monument to the Constitution of 1812.

3. Cádiz Cathedral

Catedral de Cádiz is one of the major Cadiz highlights, located only 12 minutes walking distance from the Cadiz cruise port (850 m).

Known for its golden dome and two imposing bell towers, the cathedral overlooks the coast on one side and dominates Plaza de la Cathedral on the other. During your visit, you can also visit the adjacent Santa Iglesia Catedral (free entrance) or enjoy magnificent views of the city from the Tower of Poniente (Torre de Poniente).

The general entrance fee to Cádiz Cathedral is 6€. For more information, visit the Cadiz Cathedral official webpage.

Explore Cadiz walking tours 

Cadiz Cathedral
Cadiz Cathedral

4. Mercado Central

Cadiz Central Market is a must-visit place in Cadiz if you want to experience the local life and taste delicious local food. It is located on Plaza de la Libertad, a few blocks away from Cadiz Cathedral, only 12 minutes walking distance from the Cadiz port (850 m).

This small, yet bustling market features a multitude of stalls offering all sorts of goods, from paella, cheeses, wines, seafood, to fruits, vegetables, meat, sherry, tapas and so much more. Here, you can taste quality, freshly made local specialties at a very cheap price.

5. Parque Genovés

The picturesque Park Genovés is the largest public garden in the city, located near Santa Catalina Castle, within a 20-minute walking distance (1.5 km/0.9 miles) from Cadiz port.

This huge park overlooks the ocean and boasts wonderful plants, trees, fountains, sculptures, a small man-made cave and a lake with a waterfall.

Park Genoves Cadiz
Park Genovés. Source:

6. Santa Catalina Castle

Castillo de Santa Catalina is a star-shaped, 17th-century fortress complex that nowadays hosts modern art exhibitions.

It is located approximately 2 km/1.2 miles (a 25-minute walk) from Cadiz cruise port and from its ramparts you can admire gorgeous views of the coast, ocean, San Sebastian fortress and La Caleta beach. The entrance to the castle is free of charge.

7. Cadiz Beaches

The city of Cadiz is located on a peninsula and all the beaches are located along its western coast. Cadiz beaches are mostly sandy, wide, open to the Atlantic ocean, and the water can sometimes be cold, wavy and contain seaweed, depending on the season.

The beaches in Cadiz don’t have much shade, so make sure to bring a sun hat, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen upon coming.

Suggested article: What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 50 Cruise Essentials

If you come in the summer and decide to spend a relaxing beach day in Cadiz, there are a few beaches to consider:

La Caleta Beach – La Caleta is located near the historic center of Cadiz, between Santa Catalina Castle and Puerta de la Caleta fortress, which opens to San Sebastian Castle. The water here is a bit less wavy than other beaches as it’s surrounded by the two castles that form a sea wall that protect it from strong winds.

On the beach, you’ll find amenities such as restaurants, bars, showers, toilets.

It takes approximately 20 minutes walk (1.7 km/1 miles) to get to the beach, and the best way to reach it is through the city center. La Caleta is one of the closest beaches to the Cadiz cruise port.

Playa Santa María del Mar – I loved this beach! It is located 1.6 km/0.9 miles (a 20-minute walk) from the port of Cadiz and you’ll recognize it by a circular-shaped observation deck and a bar-restaurant at one of its ends. This beach is wide, quite long and offers amenities such as showers, toilets and a few bars and restaurants.

There are many local vendors selling refreshments at a very affordable price (make sure you have some local currency on you) so you can soak up some Mediterranean sun while sipping the local beer or Don Simon sangria.

Playa Santa María del Mar Cadiz
Playa Santa María del Mar

Playa de la Victoria – This beach is located 4.7 km/2.9 miles (a 12-minute drive) from the Cadiz cruise terminal. Playa de la Victoria is wide, long and has a beautiful oceanfront promenade lined with bars, restaurants, hotels, play areas and shops.

This sandy beach is open to the ocean and offers amenities such as sunbed/umbrella rentals, showers, toilets, and more. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center, this is the place to go!

Playa de la Cortadura – This beach is rated as one of the top beaches in Cadiz and is often offered as a shore excursion by the cruise lines. It is situated in La Cortadura residential district, next to Playa de la Victoria, 6 km/3.7 miles (a 15-minute drive) south of Cadiz port and the city.

This beautiful, clean beach boasts soft sands, amazing water, a variety of sports and amenities such as sunbed/umbrella rentals, showers, toilets, and a couple of bars and restaurants.

Playa del Chato, Playa de Santibáñez and Playa del Torregorda are located further away and are perfect for those of you who look for more remote places out of the city. These beaches don’t have amenities and are completely natural, with rocks and some wild parts. I would rather recommend these beaches for a walk than for swimming.

8. Cadiz Museum

Only 500 m from the port of Cadiz, after you pass by the Monument to the Constitution of 1812 and continue walking along Antonio Lopez street, you’ll reach Playa de Mina where Cadiz Museum is located. This 3-story heritage museum is housed in an old Franciscan convent and offers insights into Cadiz history, archeology, ethnology and fine arts.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 AM to 9 PM and from 9 AM to 3 PM on Sundays and holidays. Museo de Cadiz is closed on Mondays. The entrance is free for EU citizens. For non-EU visitors, the ticket price is 1.5 €.

9. Teatro Romano de Cadiz

The Roman theater of Cadiz dates back to the 1st century BC and is located next to the Cadiz Cathedral, 900 m (an 11-minute walk) from the Cadiz cruise terminal.

In this archeological museum, you will explore partially excavated ancient ruins of a massive Roman theater that used to host over 10.000 spectators. The entrance is free of charge and the visit takes around 30-40 minutes.

Check out Cadiz walking tours and activities

10. Alameda Apodaca Park

Alameda Apodaca park and gardens are situated 600 m (a 7-minute walk) away from the port, only a few blocks away from Cadiz Museum.

This colorful, well-maintained park is a great place to unwind, a perfect oasis in the bustling city center. It boasts beautiful plans, lots of greenery, picturesque fountains, statues and gorgeous views of the Atlantic ocean.

11. Tavira Tower

Torre Tavira is located close to the central market (Mercado Central), 900 m or a 12-minute walk from the cruise terminal. The tower dates from the 18th century and is one of the highest points in the city, offering unmatched panoramic views from its observation deck.

One of the main attractions of the tower is the Camera Obscura, a room equipped with a set of optical lenses and mirrors that reflect everything that happens at this very moment outside the tower (moving images in real-time). The Tavira Tower also has two exhibitions halls and various audiovisual projections. The general entrance fee is 7 €.

Check the fees and opening hours on Tavira Tower’s official webpage.

12. Seville

Cruise lines normally organize shore excursions to a few Andalusian cities as they are located close to Cadiz. One of them is Seville, the magnificent capital of Andalusia and the largest city of this southern Spanish region.

Seville is located 122 km/75 miles (a 1 hour 30-minute drive) from Cadiz, and due to the ship’s limited time in port, I definitely suggest you visit it either with your cruise line or a reliable independent tour operator.

Seville is absolutely stunning. It is medieval, lively, and offers so much to see and do! If you are coming for the first time, I suggest you explore the medieval old town with the iconic Seville Cathedral with its La Giralda bell tower, the imposing Plaza de España with its beautiful fountain, admire the Moorish architecture and walk along the banks of River Guadalquivir while you listen to the beats of flamenco dance, or visit Las Setas to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.

Suggested article: 25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items

Explore Cadiz shore excursions to Seville

Plaza de Espana - Seville Spanish Square
Plaza de España

In the heart of Seville’s old town, there is another city highlight not to be missed – The Royal Alcázar de Sevilla, an impressive Royal palace with breathtaking gardens, a filming location for the Kingdom of the Dorne in the fifth season of legendary Game of Thrones series. However, you need to save at least one whole day to explore the palace.

I’ve been to Seville twice and absolutely fell in love with it. To read more about Seville’s attractions, I suggest you check out my article 3 Top Seville Attractions That Will Make You Fall in Love with the City

Royal Alcazar de Sevilla
Royal Alcazar de Sevilla gardens

13. Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera is another city in Andalusia that you can visit on a shore excursion or in your own arrangement, located 33 km/20 miles (a 35-minute drive) northeast of the Cadiz cruise port.

This medieval, typically Andalusian city is known for its sherry production, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art (home to the world’s finest horses) and its historic old town that has been declared a historic-artistic site.

Many tours include the visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art where visitors can enjoy daily horse-dancing shows, stables and the museums. You can read more about the foundation on the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art official website.

While there, don’t miss the chance to visit the imposing Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral dating from the 17th century, Alcázar of Jerez de la Frontera (an 11th-century Moorish fortress), “bodegas” or (the cellars where you can learn about sherry making tradition) and the beautiful historic heart of the city.

Visit Jerez de la Frontera from Cadiz Port 

Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral
Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral

14. Vejer de la Frontera

Known as one of the most beautiful “white villages” in Andalusia, Vejer de la Frontera is another place you should visit on a cruise-line sponsored or independent shore excursion. This extraordinary place is situated 57 km/35 miles (a 50-minute drive) from Cadiz port and is one of the most impressive places I’ve visited in Spain.

It is a typically Andalusian village with a strong Arab influence in architecture and during the visit you can admire its fortified walls, squares, fountains, mystical corners and stunning views of the Andalusian countryside.

Vejer de la Frontera is located on a hill, has a lot of cobblestones and therefore is not suitable for wheelchair users and people with walking difficulties.

Read more about this beautiful village in my article Ports in Spain: 20 Cities to Visit on a Cruise to Spain

Explore Vejer de la Frontera tours from Cadiz

Vejer de la Frontera landscape
Vejer de la Frontera

15. Cadiz Shopping and Dining

Last but not the least, I have to mention the delicious local food and a variety of dining options in the city of Cadiz. Do not miss the opportunity to try fresh seafood, tapas, sangria, local specialties at very reasonable prices, and go shopping if time permits as you’ll find a great number of shops, designer stores, souvenir shops and so much more!

Cadiz is one of my favorite cruise ports in Spain and the best thing is that the city center is right across from the cruise terminal. Enjoy your time in Cadiz and let me know your thoughts!

Visit our cruise port guides for Alicante, Bilbao, Vigo, Barcelona, Valencia, La Coruna, Cartagena, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar, Lisbon

15 Best Things to Do in Cadiz

  1. Plaza de San Juan de Dios
  2. Plaza de España
  3. Cadiz Cathedral
  4. Mercado Central
  5. Park Genovés
  6. Santa Catalina Castle
  7. Cadiz Beaches
  8. Cadiz Museum
  9. Teatro Romano de Cadiz
  10. Alameda Apodaca park
  11. Tavira Tower
  12. Seville
  13. Jerez de la Frontera
  14. Vejer de la Frontera
  15. Cadiz Shopping and Dining

Don’t forget to subscribe below and get my exclusive, insider Shore Excursion Guide for FREE!

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