Planning a Trip
Twelve daily trains arrive from Seville (taking 1 hr., 45 min.), Jerez de la Frontera (40 min.), and Córdoba (3 hr.). A one-way fare from Seville costs 10€ ($16), from Córdoba 17€ to 34€ ($27-$54), and from Jerez 4€ ($6.40). The train station is on Avenida del Puerto, Plaza de Sevilla 1 (tel. 90-224-02-02; www.renfe.es), on the southeast border of the main port.
Six daily nonstop buses run from Madrid to Cádiz. Trip time is 8 hours and 45 minutes, and it costs 25€ ($40) for a one-way ticket. The bus from Madrid is run by Secorbus (tel. 95-625-74-15; www.socibus.es) at Avenida José León de Carranza (N-20). However, most bus riders arrive from Seville on a vehicle run by Transportes Generales Comes, Plaza de la Hispanidad 1 (tel. 90-219-92-08; www.tgcomes.es). Arrivals are at the rate of 11 to 14 per day, taking 2 hours and costing 10€ ($16) for a one-way ticket. These buses arrive at a terminal on the north side of town, a few blocks west of the main port.
Driving from Seville, the A-4 (also called E-5), a toll road, or N-IV, a toll-free road running beside it, will bring you into Cádiz.
The tourist office, Av. Ramón de la Carranza s/n (tel. 95-620-31-91; www.andalucia.org), is open during the summer, Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and weekends 10am to 2pm. Winter hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 7:30pm and weekends 10am to 1:30pm.
Cádiz is well served by a network of buses, which are certainly the cheapest means of getting about. A single ride on any city bus costs .95€ ($1.50). Most residents save money by buying a Bonobus Pass for 6.20€ ($9.90), valid for 10 rides. It's sold at news kiosks and tobacco stands. Bus nos. 1 and 7 travel frequently between New Town and Old Town, and nos. 2 and 7 make constant runs around the Old Town's sea-fronting periphery. Most of the inland streets of the Old Town are, however, much too narrow for bus access. For more information about routes, call Autobuses Urbanos at tel. 95-628-38-04.
Motorists who arrive in Cádiz have generally rented a car in Seville, to drive south. Once in Cádiz, you'll have to cope with the parking. Many hotels have parking garages in their basements, charging approximately 9€ to 14€ ($14-$22) per day. If you're driving a lot in a rented car, the convenience of parking at your hotel is definitely worth it. As for parking in the Old City, you'll find underground parking garages scattered judiciously throughout the Old Town, each of them charging around 1€ ($1.60) per hour of parking time. Unless you're a very experienced European driver, we advise you not to venture too aggressively into the center of the Old City with your car, since roads are unbelievably narrow -- stick to the peripheral avenues flanking the seafronts instead. Should you happen to see an available parking spot on the ring road encircling the Old City, either deposit coins into the local meter or into any of the blue-sided computerized boxes scattered throughout the town; then display the ticket that emerges on the dashboard of your car to avoid getting a ticket. The charge is 1€ ($1.60) per hour. Once you're in Cádiz, you can also rent a car. The two best agencies are ATESA, Avenida del Puerto (tel. 95-626-66-45; www.atesa.es), open Monday to Friday 9am to 1:30pm and 4:30 to 7:30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm, and Avis, Hotel Tryp Jerez Alameda Cristina 13 (tel. 95-631-41-20), open Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 4 to 7:30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm.
You can walk around the Old Town on foot, which is about the only way to see it. To go farther afield, call a taxi at tel. 95-621-21-21.