Jerez de la Frontera is no ordinary historic city. Located between the Cadiz Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, this Andalusian city is known for wine, flamenco, motorbikes, and horses. The bustling Jerez, the 25th largest city in Spain, has around 200,000 residents as of 2015.
Despite its historic facade, Jerez has kept up with the demands of the modern world with its industry-based economy. Jerez, the European capital of wine, is also Andalusia’s transportation and communications hub. In the realm of motorsports, Jerez has made itself worthy of being the world’s first Motorbike Capital. Since 1987, Grand Prix motorcycle races have been held at the Circuito de Jerez.
Jerez, just like other Andalusian towns and cities, enjoys subtropical Mediterranean climate making it a pleasant place to visit at any time of the year. With its aristocratic ambiance and trademark Spanish vibrancy, why wouldn’t you want to visit it? Jerez has successfully kept up with the times while retaining the elegant, sophisticated culture of old Spain. In an ever-evolving world, that is something worth noticing.
Here are the best things to do in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain!
1. Marvel at the historical sites
Jerez has been named a historic city for a reason. The city’s cobblestone streets pass through many plazas, baroque churches, and other architectural wonders. Its abundance of sights make it perfect for a nice walk around town.
The 11th century fortress Alcazar, the oldest building preserved in Jerez, is a must-see for sightseers. Located within the Alcazar is the Cámara Oscura (Camera Obscura) tower. This interesting feat of science and architecture contains a system comprised of two lenses and a large periscope mirror.
Visitors can gather around a large parabolic table and view the magnified city from above. For the best views, it’s best to visit on a clear, sunny day. Another architectural masterpiece worth visiting is the Catedral de San Salvador. Decked in baroque, neoclassical and Gothic aesthetics, the cathedral also contains an art collection.
Alcázar of Jerez de la Frontera
Address: Calle Alameda Vieja, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. (November to March), 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (April, June, September 16 to October 31), 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (July to September 15)
Price: 5.63 USD (5 EUR), 4.50 USD (4 EUR) for groups
Contact: +34 956149955, +34 956149956, +34 956149044 (fax), [email protected]
Catedral de San Salvador
Address: Plaza de la Encarnación, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Price: 5.63 USD (5 EUR)
Website: Catedral De Jerez
2. Bask in romantic flamenco music and great bars
Jerez de la Frontera is known as the cradle of flamenco. And like most Spanish cities, it has plenty of lively and unique bars in almost every corner. These bars make up a large part of the flamenco scene. For hardcore enthusiasts, there is also a variety of private and exclusive flamenco shows in Jerez, usually at the city center.
The Tabanco el Pasaje is a flamenco bar popular with locals and tourists alike. Guests can drink sherry and feast on tapas while being serenaded by musicians and flamenco dancers. Its rustic vibe and atmosphere garnered the bar great reviews. The place may be small and cozy, but it only adds to the tabanco’s sense of community. Tabanco el Guitarrón de San Pedro is another great locally recommended sherry bar where visitors can also sample flamenco dancing. Sometimes there are also live jazz performances.
Tabanco El Pasaje
Address: Calle Santa María, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Contact: 956-333-359, [email protected]
Website: Tabanco El Pasaje (in Spanish)
Tabanco el Guitarrón de San Pedro
Address: Calle Bizcocheros, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. There are shows at 10 p.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Contact: +34 649-65-69-18
Facebook: Tabanco el Guitarrón de San Pedro
Private and exclusive flamenco shows
Address: Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Contact: (+34) 954-324-983, [email protected]
3. Enjoy horse shows presented by one of the world's leading authorities in equestrian sports
Jerez is known for being at the forefront of equestrian sports. Jerez is home to the Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre (Royal Equestrian School) where visitors can visit the museum, watch horse shows and take equestrian courses. For the horse shows, guests can watch horses doing various tricks and “dances” for around 90 minutes or 1.5 hours. The area is also wheelchair-accessible. Every May, the Fundacion also presents the Feria del Caballo or horse fair.
Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre
Address: Av. Duque de Abrantes, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: Horse shows - From USD 23.83 (25.61 EUR)
Contact +34 956-319-635, +34 956-318-015 (fax), [email protected]
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4. Experience fine Andalusian art
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Jerez is an artistic site as well as a historic city. It is abundant with museums and shops that showcase Andalusian art at its finest. Zoco de Artesania de Jerez, named after the souks of Morocco, presents the quirky arts and crafts of local artisans. Another place of cultural and historical value is the Palacio del Virrey Laserna (Viceroy Laserna Palace).
This aristocratic ancestral home was once lived in by José de la Serna e Hinojosa, the last Viceroy of Peru and Spain in America. This exquisite palace also has an art collection, showing visitors what it was like living as royalty in old Andalusia. Another quirky museum to check out is the Museos de la Atalaya (clock museum). Small yet charming, it has a vast collection of antique clocks dating back to the 19th century.
Zoco de Artesania de Jerez
Address: Plaza Peones, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Saturday)
Contact: +34 956-14-98-67
Facebook: Zoco de Artesania de Jerez
Palacio del Virrey Laserna
Address: Calle Conde de los Andes, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Contact: +34 956-34-87-94, [email protected]
Website: Palacio del Virrey Laserna
Museos de la Atalaya
Address: Calle Cervantes, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday
Admission: 6.75 USD (6 EUR), 3.38 USD (3 EUR) for those over 65 years old.
Website: Museos de la Atalaya
5. Get a taste of the famous Jerez sherry
It is no secret that Jerez sherry is one of a kind. Jerez is at the forefront of “enotourism,” which takes visitors through various distilleries in a certain region. Along with the towns Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez is part of the Sherry Triangle, a region known for its exclusively-produced wines.
Jerez’s many bodegas include Gonzalez Byass, an environmentally-friendly winery handed down from five generations. There is also Lustau, which produces more than 50 types of sherries. They also make great sherry wine vinegar. Another winery of note is the Bodega Tradicion, which produces some of the oldest sherry in the world. The Colección Joaquín Rivera, a private art collection, is also located there.
Address: Manuel María González, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 12 PM to 6 PM (Monday to Saturday), 12 PM to 2 PM (Sunday)
Website: Gonzalez Byass
Address: Plaza Cordobeses, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 9 AM to 5 PM (Monday to Friday), 10 AM to 2 PM (Saturday)
Contact: +34 956-16-86-28, +34 956-33-19-63 (fax), [email protected]
Website: Bodega Tradicion
Address: Calle Arcos, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 9:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday
Admission: 16.90 USD (15 EUR)
Contact: +34 956-34-15-97, [email protected]
Website: Bodegas Lustau
6. Excite your taste buds with a taste of Andalusia
Jerez, aside from being a sherry capital, is also a top gastronomic destination. With an abundance of restaurants, bars, and cafes, it’s impossible to run out of choices! La Carboná, popular with tourists and locals, is a restaurant that also offers sherry cooking classes. Located in an old bodega, they have a sherry pairing menu to go with the sherry experience.
Guests say that it is particularly cozy in the winter. Tabanco San Pablo, a lively and locally-recommended bar and restaurant, is also famous for its tapas and sherry served straight from the barrel. The neighboring town El Puerto de Santa María, also part of the Sherry Triangle, is home to one of the best restaurants in Spain. Aponiente, located in a 19th-century tide mill, has been given two Michelin stars.
Address: Calle San Francisco de Paula, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., closed on Tuesdays.
Contact: 956 347-475, 676 999320, [email protected]
Website: La Carboná (in Spanish)
Tabanco San Pablo
Address: San Pablo, Jerez De La Frontera, Spain
Contact: 956 33-84-36
Website: Tabanco San Pablo (in Spanish)
Address: Calle Francisco Cossi Ochoa, El Puerto de Sta María, Cadiz
Opening hours: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Price: From 185.75 USD (165 EUR)
Contact: 956 85-18-70, 606 225859
Getting there: Take the train to El Puerto de Sta. Maria
7. Experience a rush of adrenaline at the motor racing circuit
Jerez is known to motor racing fans everywhere. Since the 1980’s, Jerez has been hosting Formula One Grand Prix races. Located just outside the city at the Arcos de la Frontera is the Circuito de Jerez where the Spanish Moto GP is held every year.
Circuito de Jerez
Address: Carretera de Arcos-Jerez de la Frontera, Km 10, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain
Contact: +34 956-151-100, +34 956-151-105 (fax), [email protected]
Website: Circuito de Jerez
8. Explore the rest of Cadiz
A train ride away from Jerez, the port city of Cadiz is rife with historical architecture. It has a medieval ambiance and its proximity to the ocean makes it the ideal place for water activities. It is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe, and is known for its seafood and lively Carnaval.
The City Of Cadiz
Address: Cadiz, Spain
Getting there: Take a train to Cadiz City.
Website: City of Cadiz
Immerse in the beat of Spain's vibrant culture
Jerez de la Frontera is a city not meant to just be seen, it is also meant to be experienced. In a city filled with art, action and gastronomic delight, Jerez always has something around the corner to keep you coming back for more.
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