Last updated on January 26, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Andalucia

Where to stay in Cadiz – Best 4 Areas & Hotels

I love this beautiful city. It has it all, a characteristic centre, amazing beaches typical of the Costa de la Luz, and it is so well-connected to the rest of Spain. But one thing must be said, it’s difficult to understand where to stay in Cadiz.

The city is part of a rather large peninsula that extends into the bay, with a modern area, facing a long beach, and the Old Town, a real maze of narrow lanes, tiny squares and hidden corners. Right in the middle is the neighbourhood of Santa Maria, next to the Port, so handy if you are taking a ferry.

So it’s not just about selecting the best hotel, boutique stay or budget accommodation, but also the area that suits you the best.

If you ask me, the best place to stay in Cádiz is the Historical Centre, so typical of Andalucia and with a great shallow beach. But it has its own drawbacks and it may not work so well for you; that’s why I have created this guide that describes the best areas to book your hotel in Cadiz, with all the pros and cons, besides a short list of hotels to check out.

Eating at Taberna El tio de La Tiza, my favourite restaurant in Cadiz
Eating at Taberna El tio de La Tiza, my favourite restaurant in Cadiz

Where to stay in Cadiz – Key Points

Below is a quick table that compares the 4 best areas to stay in Cadiz (rating 1=poor to 5=great). Click on the area name to read a full description or just keep reading the full guide. On a mobile, swipe left or right to see all the columns.

AreaBest forProsConsSuggested HotelCharacterBeachesCouplesFamiliesRestaurants
and Bars
Historical CentreCharacteristic stay, romantic and next to the actionLovely historical centreMay not work if driving thereParador de Cádiz54544
San CarlosNightlifeBest bars and nightclubsIt can be noisyAtico Centro Historico4233Bars
5
Cadiz New CentreFamiliesGreat beachNot much characterQuiero de Cadiz25454
Santa MariaShort stay next to the stationNext to the stationNot much happeningHotel Boutique Convento Cádiz33442
Comparing the 4 best areas in Cadiz
Map of the main areas of Cadiz
Map of the main areas of Cadiz

If you are thinking of renting a car in Spain and driving through an itinerary of Andalucia, I suggest booking your vehicle on DiscoverCars, an Airbnb of cars that compares local and international rental companies providing the best deals with the possibility of adding full insurance for just 7 Euros/day!

Typical direction sign you find in the airports for the car rental (Aiquiler de coche)
Typical direction sign you find in the Malaga airport for car rental (Aiquiler de coche)

My 3 best hotels in Cádiz

Historical Centre – Great for character and boutique stay

  • Best place in Cadiz for a characteristic stay, romantic and next to the action

Pros

  • Lovely historical centre
  • Great selection of restaurants and bars
  • A great shallow beach (La Caleta Beach)
  • Plenty of attractions

Cons

  • Most expensive area
  • Mostly pedestrian, may not work if driving there
  • A sizeable walk to the train station

The Historical Centre is my favourite place to stay in Cádiz because I love so much the character of the Old Town, with those typical Andalucian narrow streets and hidden tiny squares that get busy in the late afternoon with restaurants setting up the tables for dinner.

One of the best things about the Historic Centre in Cadiz is that local people still live there so you get to experience real Spanish life, not just Airbnbs, hotels and tourists everywhere.

Playa de La Caleta, the main beach of the Old Town is also unreal, well protected by the waves, with shallow water ideal for adults and kids, and lovely buildings all around. It’s also the best spot for sunset, in my opinion.

The Historical Centre is also the best area to to stay to visit the main attractions, all within walking distance. Start with the Castillo de Santa Catalina (free entrance and fantastic views), keep walking to the nearby Parque Genovés, and venture inside the maze of streets to head to Plaza de Mina.

Plan a stop at the small Catacumbas del Beaterio. It’s not a must, in true honesty, they are tiny and not as impressive but still something unique and not as expensive.

Playa de La Caleta
Playa de La Caleta

In the south of the Historical Centre, you will find the most interesting attractions. The Catedral de la Santa Cruz is certainly a must-visit, beautiful interior and you will have the possibility to walk up the bell tower for the best views in the city.

The Teatro Romano de Cádiz is another place you should check out and it’s free to enter too, which makes things easier. And finally, make a stop at Mercado Central for some food.

This is the spot for lunchtime, with plenty of local tapas to choose from and a great selection of beers and wines, all at a very affordable price with a great vibe all around.

Talking of food, the Old Town is also the best neighbourhood to be based in Cadiz for the widest selection of restaurants and bars. It’s really hard not to get a good one. My favourite is still the Taberna El tío de La Tiza that, besides offering great food, is set in a spectacular square with a great vibe.

Casa Lazo has the best raw tuna in Southern Spain and I am not exaggerating!

So, what’s the catch with staying in the Historical Centre? As you probably expect, this is the most expensive of all areas but honestly by not as much, in fact, it’s very similar to other parts of the city but you get smaller rooms and apartments, so it’s more about value for money.

Lovely lanes in the Historical Centre
Lovely lanes in the Historical Centre

Moreover, if you drive to the Historical Centre, just be aware that you can’t enter with a car and you need to leave it in one of the many parking areas around the Old Town. I usually use Parking Santa Bárbara which charges only 10 Euro/day.

As a result, you will have to walk to your accommodation with your luggage. On my last trip, I had a big bag as we were travelling around Europe, not ideal but you do it only at arrival and departure, so not too bad.

If you make it to Cadiz by train, you should consider booking your accommodation in the southeast part of the Historical Centre or even in Santa Maria (more on it later) otherwise be ready for quite a walk, a lovely walk I may add, but only if you don’t have heavy luggage.

Here are 3 of the best accommodations in the Historical Centre:

Parador de Cádiz ($$$-$$$$): One of the best Cádiz hotels. A special place to stay. Modern and stylish with exceptional sea views and a great location. Excellent breakfast. Pool and spa facilities.

Los Claveles ($$-$$$): My last finding on a recent trip. Spacious, clean, and well-equipped 2BR apartment in a fantastic location, close to the beach. Quiet, however, metres away from my favourite bar and restaurant, the Taberna El tío de La Tiza.

Plenty of space in the living area of Los Claveles
Plenty of space in the living area of Los Claveles

Pensión La Cantarera ($): A charming and quaint pension. Basic but clean and comfortable. Offers great kitchen facilities and free coffee. Superb value for money.

La Luz de Cádiz is another great option, a 3BR apartment that works so well for big families or a group of travellers.

San Carlos – Best place to stay in Cadiz for nightlife

  • Best for nightlife and RVs/caravans/motorhomes

Pros

  • Best bars and nightclubs
  • Plenty of Parking
  • Walking distance to the Historical Centre
  • Close to the port

Cons

  • It can be noisy at night
  • A fair walk to the train station

San Carlos is technically part of the Historical Centre, at the northern end of the peninsula, next to the port where you can take the ferry to Arrecife or to the Canary Islands.

This is where you will find also the cheaper and bigger parking area, called Parking Muelle Reina Sofía, the hot spot for anyone travelling by RV and looking for a cheap place to stay.

There is however a caveat. There are a few bars and disco clubs that can get noisy at night like the Momart Theatre or the SOHO Alternative Bar.

And in this respect, this is a great area to stay if your focus is nightlife till the early hours of the morning. Most of these venues are around the Punta San Felipe, on the northern side of San Carlos.

Stay southern, closer to the centre and the noise level is much lower, although it depends on the wind as well.

In this respect, I would suggest this area to the young crowd looking for a long night of fun.

Here are 3 of the best stays in San Carlos:

Atico Centro Historico ($$): Clean, spacious 2BR apartment with modern amenities, including a well-equipped kitchen. Located on a very quiet street with a fabulous terrace, great for a group of friends.

Apodaca Rooms ($): Comfortable and clean rooms with excellent city views. Great value for money.

Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel($): Quiet, charming and well-located hotel that works so well with families and kids also thanks to the rooftop dip pool which is a great bonus. Good breakfast variety.

Hotel Casa de las Cuatro Torres and Hotel Argantonio are two other great quiet options in the area.

Amazing courtyard in the inside the Cadiz buildings
Amazing courtyard in the inside the Cadiz buildings

Cadiz New Centre and Playa de la Victoria

Pros

  • Free street parking and/or multilevel parking garages
  • Amazing long beach
  • Nice bars and restaurants
  • Shopping

Cons

  • Lack of character, more of a modern city centre
  • Far from the Historical Centre and the bus/train station

If you drive your car from Jerez de la Frontera, the New Centre is the first area that you will go through and you may wonder why Cadiz is so famous. This neighbourhood is dominated by multilevel buildings, plenty of shopping opportunities, supermarkets and all you can expect from a modern city.

The highlight of this area is most definitely Playa de la Victoria, a stunning long and wide beach that gets so popular in summer.

You will find plenty of restaurants on the northern side while lots of cool bars and beach clubs are located on the southern side. Beach soccer and volleyball fields are pretty much everywhere.

The view that you can get from some accommodations (I have listed a few below) can be really stunning, definitely a good reason to stay in the New Centre and something that you will rarely have in the other areas.

There is a nice young vibe, more of a local vibe compared to the Old Town, however, the New Centre, as you may expect, lacks character. In saying that, it’s so much easier to get around, with wider streets and easy access to shopping and supermarkets

I would not probably suggest this area if you arrive by public transportation because you will be quite far from both stations and the Historical Centre, however, it works great if you arrive by car and you are after street parking (with some free options as well) or easy-to-find and inexpensive parking garages.

Here are 3 of the best hotels in Cadiz with easy access to the beach:

Quiero de Cadiz ($$$$): Spacious, modern 3BR apartment with stunning beachfront views. Ideal for big families, offering superb value and a fantastic location.

Hotel Monte Puertatierra ($$$$): One of the best hotels in Cadiz. Spacious and clean rooms, comfortable beds, and a great location near the beach. Breakfast is delicious.

Hotel Playa Victoria ($$$-$$$$): Modern hotel with stunning Atlantic Ocean views, beachfront location, spacious, comfortable rooms, family-friendly amenities. Gorgeous pool.

The Hotel la Paseo del Mar (Meliá) is another great option with stunning Ocean views.

New Centre of Cadiz
New Centre of Cadiz

Santa Maria – Short stay

  • Best for a short stay next to the train station

Pros

  • A stone away from the train and bus station
  • An easy walk to the Historical Centre
  • An easy walk to Playa de Santa María
  • Next to the Cathedral & Teatro Romano

Cons

  • You are neither at the beach nor in the Historical Centre
  • Lacks of restaurants and bars

Santa Maria works so well if you are planning a short stay in Cadiz and you are travelling with public transportation. You will be literally metres from the train and the bus station, perfect also if you have an early departure or late arrival.

You will be also within walking distance of both the interesting part of the Historical Centre as well as the local beach. In fact, the Cadiz Cathedral and the Teatro Romano are also a couple of hundred metres away.

The area is quite residential with mostly new 2-3 levels buildings and a real lack of bars and restaurants, so you will need some walking for that.

Overall I suggest this area only because it’s close to the stations, otherwise, I would stay in the Historical Centre. You will get better value for money, but just slightly.

Here are 2 of the best accommodations in Santa Maria:

Hotel Boutique Convento Cádiz ($$-$$$): One of the best boutique hotels. A 17th-century convent turned accommodation, offering a unique blend of historical charm and modern amenities. Amazing courtyard and a good breakfast.

Santa María 12 Boutique Apartamentos ($$): Superb location, immaculately clean and comfortable rooms. Views of the city from the stunning rooftop.

The Cadiz Market - A great place for lunch next to Santa Maria
The Cadiz Market – A great place for lunch next to Santa Maria
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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