It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate why Gibraltar is included high up on many tourists’ bucket lists when visiting Europe. First of all… location.
The famous “Rock” is the geographic gateway to both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (easterly and westerly directions, respectively), through the strategic Strait it looms over, and Gibraltar enjoys the same climate and convenient transport links as neighbouring Spain’s popular Andalucian coastline. For those wanting to visit northern Africa, there are also direct flights from Gibraltar International Airport to Morocco (Tangier and Casablanca).
Add to that Gibraltar’s intriguing history, rich cosmopolitan mix, modern tourist infrastructure (including hotel accommodation), and regular flights to and from London, Bristol and Manchester, and you have all the ingredients for a memorable weekend getaway or more extended holiday stay.
Below we highlight the must-see attractions and should-do activities – plus some of Gibraltar’s lesser known tourist features. For more detailed information: Visit Gibraltar.
Tours, Excursions… and Adventure
Cable Car: Impressive views from the Top Station, 412 metres above sea level after a six-minute ride, where you can rest and enjoy a drink and a snack at the Top of the Rock Café and the Mons Calpe Suite Restaurant (available for private functions).
Skywalk: At 340 metres directly above sea level, this vantage point offers breathtaking 360-degree views spanning two continents and linking to other sites within the Gibraltar Nature Reserve and Upper Rock, including the Windsor Suspension Bridge.
Apes’ Den: Normally found in northern Africa, the Barbary Macaques are believed to have been imported into Gibraltar during the early days of the British garrison. They might be cute if you want to take photos but they are wild animals and can become cantankerous and mischievous, so be careful and keep a safe distance.
Nature Reserve: A pleasant walk from the Top Station, with St Michael’s Cave a 20-minute downhill stroll and other sites of interest including the Great Siege Tunnels, City Under Siege Exhibition and Moorish Castle.
Lower St. Michael’s Cave: Unlike the upper section (known for over 2,000 years), Lower St. Michael’s Cave was only discovered in 1942, when sappers driving a secondary exit tunnel found a cavern that may have been sealed for 20,000 years – highlighted by white, grey and red stalactite columns resembling a cathedral with pulpit, chancel and organ pipes.
Gorham’s Cave Complex: An area covering 28 hectares which, in 2016, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exceptional testimony to the occupation and cultural traditions of Neanderthal and early modern human populations.
In addition to four main beaches, other popular attractions and activities that can be enjoyed in Gibraltar include sailing, yacht charters, diving, watersports, helicopter rides, e-bike tours, nature trails, birdwatching tours, dolphin watching trips – and even “Rock Escape Rooms”.
Other Places of Interest
Casemates Square: Once the site of public executions, the square is lined with numerous pubs, bars and al fresco restaurants at the northern end of Main Street, in the heart of Gibraltar’s shopping district. A hub of nightlife, it is the setting for major cultural events including live open-air concerts, grand military parades, National Day celebrations and New Year’s Eve parties.
Gibraltar National Museum and Moorish Bath: Founded in 1930, in the city centre, the museum houses an enchanting array of cultural and natural history collections, prints, paintings and drawings, and objects dating from 127,000 years ago to the 21st century. The Moorish Baths are considered to be some of the finest remains of that period on the Iberian Peninsula.
Irish Town: The commercial heart of the city, once home to a convent for nuns (founded in 1587), this street is understood to have taken its name from Irish women immigrants who were sent to Gibraltar in 1727-1728 to provide female company for the troops.
Ocean Village and Marina Bay: Award-winning bases for yachts and motor boats, with international amenities and a modern marina village lifestyle, and home to Gibaltar’s two casinos – one located in a former cruise ship that has been converted into a luxury hotel (Sunborn Gibraltar).