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12 Step Planet: Cádiz
The Spanish city of Cádiz is the perfect spot for a relaxing European break. Maeve Heslin reports back from this beautiful seaside location.
Maeve Heslin, 22 Mar 2012
What are the touristy things to do?
Cádiz is a city steeped in history. In fact, it’s the oldest city in western Europe, having been founded approximately 3,000 years ago. Parts of the ancient city remain intact, particularly the wall which was built in 1596 to defend against a British attack. You can visit the remains of an old Roman Theatre in the city centre, and the Archeological Museum (Plaza de Mina) is definitely worth a visit too. By night, Cádiz is picture-perfect; take a stroll down by the port as the sun sets and you’ll see why this city is so popular with its visitors. There's also a fantastic city beach, which is spotlessly clean and dotted with lidos.
What’s the nightlife like?
Fantastic – Cádiz is a university town, so during the academic year, there’s plenty of buzz about the place. As Spanish bars stay open way later than here, be prepared for plenty of all-nighters! That most fantastic of Spanish customs, the siesta, will sort you out the next day.
If you happen to be in Cádiz in February/March, make sure to catch the city’s annual Carnaval. During this week-long celebration (think Mardi Gras meets Hallowe’en), thousands of festival-goers descend on the city in the most impressive costumes you’re ever likely to see. The streets are absolutely mobbed and hotels will most likely be booked out, so if you’re not in the market for some serious partying, best avoid Cádiz for the duration! It’s definitely worth seeing though, if even for one night of complete madness.
Anything to avoid?
As in most big cities, pickpockets tend to prey on oblivious tourists. Keep your wits about you and your belongings safely packed away, and you should avoid running into any trouble.
What should I bring home?
Splash out on checking in a bag (it hurts, we know), and stock up on delicious local olive oil and the aforementioned vino, cheese and ham. I’m informed by one Mr. Stuart Clark that Cádiz’ football team (nicknamed the Yellow Submarines) are pretty good, and have a lovely shirt which sport fans might want to check out!
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