- For other places with the same name, see Cadiz (disambiguation).
Cádiz is on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea. The older part of Cadiz, within the remnants of the city walls, is commonly referred to as the Old Town. It is characterised by the antiquity of its various quarters, among them El Pópulo, La Viña, and Santa María, which present a marked contrast to the newer areas of town. While the Old City’s street plan consists of narrow winding alleys connecting large plazas, newer areas of Cadiz typically have wide avenues and more modern buildings. In addition, the city is dotted with numerous parks where exotic plants flourish, including giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus from the New World.
Cádiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in all southwestern Europe. Traditionally, its founding is dated to 1104 BC.
The city was founded by the Phoenicians from Tyre, who called it Gadir. Over the years the city changed hands (and names!) many times. It was inhabited by the Romans, destroyed by the Visigoths, rebuilt by the Byzantines, and occupied by the Moors until they were removed in 1262 AD by the Spanish.
Christopher Columbus sailed from Cádiz on his second and fourth voyages, and the city later became the home port of the Spanish treasure fleet.
In the 18th century, it became one of Spain’s greatest and most cosmopolitan cities and home to trading communities from many countries. Many of today’s historic buildings in the Old City date from this era.
The city has undergone much reconstruction. Many monuments, cathedrals, and landmarks have been cleaned and restored, adding to the charm of this ancient city.
The closest airport is Jerez de la Frontera, about 30 minutes by car or taxi (fixed price €46), 1 hour by direct bus, though there are few buses and the schedules do not fit most flights. There are several daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona (Iberia, Vueling). Ryanair flies daily to London Stansted and Frankfurt Hahn. Other operators fly scheduled, charter, or seasonal flights. The nearest major airports are in Sevilla (1 hour by car, 2 hours by bus or train) and Malaga (2-3 hours by car or bus).
For Jerez-Cádiz and other medium range timetables see this site. Most long range buses are handled by Comes from Plaza de la Hispanidad.
From Jerez to Cadiz fares are only €5 for an adult and €3 for a child – see train timetable here: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html
Trains from Seville are around €16 for a single and €20 for a return. If you get a return you have to book your seat reservation for the way back upon arrival at the station, otherwise you’ll be expected to pay the full fare!