Words by Erin Hardie | Photos by Ryan Platten
|3.50€ per pint of Guinness
*2.20€ per pint of local beer (Cruzcampo)
The chalk to Seville's cheese!Click To Tweet
We visited Cádiz by an hour’s train ride from Seville, as we continued our southwards journey of Spain. We were excited to get out to the coast for our first time since visiting mainland Spain, but the beaches we found were not the only thing to set Cádiz apart from Seville. In fact, Cádiz seemed rather like the chalk to Seville’s cheese. Which is not to imply that Cádiz is lacking (I know we’d most of us choose cheese over chalk any day) but simply that all the things that make Cádiz wonderful are somewhat the opposite of the things that make Seville wonderful!
The palm tree-dominated seaside streets of Cadiz lend themselves to a nice laid-back atmosphere.
Seville is big and busy! And brimful of international tourists. Cádiz by contrast was much quieter and smaller, and the tourists were mostly “intranational”,
that is Cádiz seems the holiday choice for Spanish but perhaps doesn’t make the cut on the crowded schedules of internationally visiting tourists. We observed a near-total siesta closure from 3pm-5pm around the old town that further hinted that this was a place a dash more off the beaten track than big smoke Seville. And hardcore sightseers may be disappointed as by and large, you can “see” Cádiz in a day. But don’t forget that Cádiz is a beach town. Seaside places were never meant for rushing. And even if lying by the shore is not your favourite thing you could still relax tableside, there’s no shortage of alfresco options for a drink or a bite, in no less than ten different squares in the Cádiz old town area!
Plaza de las Flores in the heart of Cadiz’s old town mainly sells flowers, but other plazas are hubs for alfresco drinking and eating
And did I mention there’s a beach? In fact there’s beach for days. Cádiz is a narrow peninsula poking out of the south-eastern coast of Spain. Alongside the flat, yellow sand beaches runs a paved promenade, and across the road from the promenade, at certain points, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Havana, Cuba, so colorful and mid-height are the buildings opposite. In fact this is such an easy mistake to make that the makers of the 2002 Bond Movie, Die Another Day, used stretches of this vista for the opening Cuban scenes!
The waterfront of Cadiz looks remarkably similar to that of Havana
Being seaside it will come as no surprise that seafood is the main event culinarily speaking in Cádiz. But our advanced research on the train journey down did turn up one point of shock and “whaaaat”!? Alongside the Spanish flavours you’d expect to find you will also find sushi! Cádiz’s fishing industry is the world’s second largest producer of tuna, and 80% of this catch (bluefin tuna) gets sent to Japan.
There is plenty left in town though if you’re hankering for a taste of the Orient; try the tuna sashimi or nigiri. You can get it at a number of sushi restaurants or just from a stand-up stall at the (mostly fish) market: the Mercado Central.
Every street you turn down has a restaurant or bar for you to relax in.
So whether you prefer old world sightseeing charm or long days of beach lounging and seaside strolling make sure Cádiz doesn’t get cut from your crowded schedule, it’s a gem whose charm is truly on a par with Havana, Cuba. Read on for our top picks to see slowly to really get the feel for Cádiz, which is to just relax and soak it all in 🙂 If you’ve been to Cádiz we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
Until next time, Salud (cheers)! Erin & Ryan.
Our top picks
Have you been to Cadiz? We’d love to hear your take on this quaint seaside town! Leave a comment below 🙂
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