Discover all the best things to do in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia, Spain:
- Cathedral and Alcazar,
- Town, churches and Monuments,
- Sherry Wine tasting,
- Horse and Dance shows...
Plus all my tips to make the most of your time in Jerez: Map, getting around, hotels...
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Why visit Jerez de la Frontera in Spain?
Is Jerez de la Frontera worth visiting?
Jerez de la Frontera is definitely worth visiting.
Even though Jerez is not as popular as other Andalucian cities, it has a lot to offer.
There are a variety of things to do in Jerez, like seeing its stunning architecture and museums, tasting its famous wine, watching unique horse shows, and more.
One of the best towns to visit in Andalucia (see my list).
What is Jerez de la Frontera famous for?
Jerez de la Frontera is famous all over the world for its sherry and brandy.
In fact, the word sherry is an anglicized version of the word Jerez.
Jerez de la Frontera is also famous for its fine horses, flamenco, and rich music.
Top 5 things to do in Jerez de la Frontera
I will introduce the best things to do in Jerez de la Frontera in more detail later in the article.
Here’s the list of the top 5 things to do in Jerez de la Frontera.
- Visit the Alcazar - the famous 11th-century fortress
- Climb the Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral tower and enjoy stunning views
- Visit the Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral
- Stroll around town through its small lanes and soak in the architectural beauty of Jerez, with over 20 churches
- Visit a winery and taste sherry wine
About the name
The name Jerez comes from the old Arabic name ‘Sherish.' In the Muslim period, it was also known as Xerez.
‘De la Frontera’ means ‘of the frontier’ or ’of the border.’
It was added to the name to signify the town's position on the border between the Christian and Islamic populations in Spain.
The word ‘sherry’ is also derived from Jerez - famous for producing fortified wine (sherry)
Do not confuse it with the town ‘Jerez de Garcia Salinas’ located in Mexico.
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning Tips & Map - Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia
Where is Jerez de la Frontera located? Map
- In the Cadiz province of Andalucia (South-West).
- Cadiz to Jerez = 30 minute drive
- Seville to Jerez = 1h15 minute drive
- Connected by E5, A-4, A-381, A-382, A-480
- Below is a map to help you get oriented:
All my favorite locations are included (with GPS coordinates and practical tips) in my Travel Guide eBook that helps you easily plan your road trip around Andalucia:
Plan your dream road trip around Andalucia!
How to get to Jerez de la Frontera
- Your best option is to rent a car and drive to Jerez.
- You can also take a bus from Cadiz or Seville or Malaga - Alsa is the leading bus operator
- You can take a regional train (Andalucia Express) going to Cadiz from Seville and get down at Jerez. A few long-distance trains from Madrid Atocha also halt at Jerez.
- You can also reach Jerez as part of an organized tour from Sevilla (combined with Cadiz) - See details and availability
- Alternatively, take a tour from Seville (without Cadiz but with a horse show) - see details and availability
Need to rent a car in Spain?
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- Parking is outside the city center as the city center is a pedestrian area.
- There is paid underground parking in Plaza del Arenal, Calle Corredera, Alameda Cristina, and Alameda Vieja close to the center.
- Roadside parking outside the city center with a ticket is for a limited time. Tourists should avoid this option.
Best time to visit Jerez
- The best time to visit Jerez is Spring or Autumn when the weather is pleasant.
- July and August are pretty hot, and it is best to avoid visiting Jerez during these months.
- February and March can also be interesting with a lot less crowds and the orange trees blossoming.
- Best to visit on a weekday as Saturdays are usually crowded, and a few attractions are shut on Sunday.
- The best way to explore Jerez is on foot, as vehicles are not allowed inside the city center.
- Most of the key attractions are close to each other. For example, Alcazar is just 300 meters away from the Cathedral.
- Many walking tours are conducted during the day - check out this one - But you can always plan your own walking tour.
- There are a few hop-on-hop-off buses too that take you around key tourist attractions -
How long to visit Jerez
- Most of the key tourist attractions in Jerez can be seen in a day.
- But if you want to explore the attractions in greater depth or add a few interesting experiences to your itinerary, you will need to spend at least two days in Jerez.
- Jerez can also be an excellent base to explore nearby Andalucian towns like Cadiz, Bolonia, Costa de la Luz, etc. In this case, you should stay in Jerez for a longer period.
- Jerez has wide cobbled streets that are pedestrian-friendly.
- Nice touristy maps are available in hotels and visitor centers.
- The town is easy to walk around - but make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Avoid heels.
- There are many restaurants spread out all across town.
- Sherry tasting tours are a Jerez specialty and definitely worth experiencing.
- Central Market (Mercado Central de Abastos) is shut on Sunday.
- You can enjoy free parking for a few hours without a paid ticket on Sunday.
- The Cathedral Tower allows free entry for a few hours on Sunday.
- Head to the visitor center to get a free map and advice
Where to stay in Jerez de la Frontera
You can find a good choice of hotels and rentals within walking distance of all the attractions.
- I stayed at the Eurostars Asta Regia Jerez hotel - located in an old style building, it has a perfect location for explore all on foot. And it comes with a buffet-style breakfast - check out photos and availability
- For luxury, check out Hotal Casa Palacio Maria Luisa with stunning architecture and design - check out photos and availability
- For a rental apartment, have a look at Amplio Apto Centro Vistas Torneria - check out photos and availability
- Otherwise check out all the best rated accommodations in Jerez de la Frontera
Looking for the best place to stay in Andalucia?
#1 to 4 - Visit the Jerez Alcazar (Fort) - best thing to do in Jerez de la Frontera
The Alcazar is one of the most important tourist attractions in Jerez. The structures inside the complex, like the fortress, mosque, bath, tower, palace, etc., are all well preserved. A visit to the Alcazar gives insights into the Moorish and Christian influences over Jerez.
The Alcazar was built by the Almohads in the 12th century. It was built after demolishing Caliphate constructions from the second Taifa period.
Later, in the 14th century, it became the seat of Christian mayors, and more structures were built in the area.
- Opening hours: 9:30am to 3pm and 9:30am to 6pm (In July and August)
- Price: Historic site: Adults: €3 - Monumental Site and Dark Camera: Adults: €5.40
- Check latest info on Official website
#1 - Walk on the Fortification walls
You can see the remains of the fortifying walls of the Alcazar originally built by Almohad. Three distinct influences - those of the Caliphate, Almohads, and Alfonso X’s governors can be seen here.
Notice the octagonal towers!
#2 - Discover the Mosque / Chapel
The Christianised Mosque, which is beautifully preserved, is a must-visit attraction too.
Originally a mosque, it was converted to a chapel in the Alfonso X regime. It was dedicated to Santa Maria la Real. Inside, you can find architectural nuances depicting its transformation from a mosque to a chapel.
#3 - Explore the other ruins: baths, cistern
You will also find the well-preserved remains of the Arab baths. A cistern used to feed the bakery, and the kitchen garden is worth seeing.
#4 - Visit the Palace
You should then visit the Palace of Villavicencio. This palace was built in a totally different era from the rest of the structures at the Alcazar. The palace can be traced back to the 17th century, when the Alcazar was looked after by the Villavicencio family.
The third floor of the palace is famous for its 19th-century pharmacy displaying interesting medical jars.
And make sure you check out the rooms inside the palace decorated with old posters depicting the changing history of this place.
#5 to 8 - Jerez Cathedral and Tower
Just a few meters from the Alcaraz is yet another significant monument of Jerez - the Jerez Cathedral or Catedral de Jerez.
The Cathedral, although not as enormous as other European Cathedrals, has its own charm.
Before this church was built here in the 17th century, this place was where the Great Mosque of Jerez was located.
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:30am to 8pm / Sun 1pm to 8pm
- Tower closed from 1pm to 4pm
- Price: General admission: €6 or €7 with tower. The ticket includes an audio guide.
- Check latest info on Official website
#5 - Admire the Facade
The Cathedral has three main façades. It was with a mixture of baroque, neoclassical, and Gothic styles.
The main one can be seen on climbing the stairs and is the most stunning. It is symmetrical and makes for excellent architectural photos.
The use of blue stones in the façade adds to its magnificence and distinguishes it from other European cathedrals.
#6 - Marvel at the cathedral
The inside of the cathedral boasts of detailed stonework.
The use of white stone sets it apart from other exclusive Baroque-style cathedrals found all across Europe.
The columns are quite impressive with the lines between the rocks.
It definitively worth a visit for a very different experience than classic cathedrals.
There are many paintings and sculptures inside the Cathedral that enhance its beauty.
And don't forget to loop up and look at the sculpted ceiling.
#7 - Visit the Sanctuary & Sacristy, chapter house
You will find an intricately created sanctuary in the Cathedral. It houses historical artifacts.
The Sacristy boasts of furnitures, paintings, robes, ornamented plates, and a charming gold filigree cup.
There is a patio behind the sacristy covered in orange trees that’s excellent for shade on a hot day.
#8 - Climb the Jerez Cathedral Tower
The bell tower is separate from the main building. it was probably built on top of the minaret of the old mosque.
To go up the tower, get your ticket at the Cathedral first. Entry to the tower is included in the combined ticket.
I counted just under 100 stairs to reach the top.
It is definitively worth the climb. One of my favorite moments visiting Jerez.
At the top you can enjoy stunning views of the roof of the cathedral and the town, as well as the the giant bells.
For the best light, visit at the end of the day.
#9 to 16 - Visit the Jerez old town
The Jerez Old Town must be visited on foot.
The ‘ruta panoramica’ as it is called, passes through the most emblematic monuments of the city including many churches.
#9 - Relax in the Alameda Vieja park
The Alameda Vieja park, right next to the Alcazar, is home to many orange trees.
The orange trees not only add photogenic value to the park but are also a lovely place to relax and take a break when visiting Alcazar in Andalucian Summers.
On Sundays, the park comes to life thanks to its busy flea market selling antiques, books, toys, posters, clothing, and more.
If visiting in February / March, you might be lucky to see the orange trees blossoms and enjoy the sweet scent all around.
#10 - Visit the Iglesia de San Miguel
The Church of San Michael or Iglesia de San Miguel is one of the most beautiful churches in Jerez.
The ticket to visit the Cathedral allows a visit to this Church as well.
It was built in the 15th century under the regime of Alfonso X. The construction of the Church took several hundred years and resulted in a Church that beautifully blends Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic architectural elements.
Many find it more beautiful than the Cathedral. Its interior is adorned with the artistic use of wood, metal, and stone.
The visiting hours are limited. Plan accordingly as the Church is a must-visit.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, at least 10am to 1pm
Price: included in the Cathedral ticket.
#11 - Marvel at Plaza Asuncion - San Miguel Dioniso
The Plaza Asuncion is a stunning square located in the Old Town.
This square was first known as the Plaza de Los Escribanos. The scribes worked at this square in ancient times.
In the middle of the square is the Monumento a la Asunción.
And around the square, you can find :
- the 15th-century Gothic Mudejar-styled Church of San Dionisio.
- the former town hall (Antiguo Cabildo), a 16th-century structure built in the Renaissance style.
#12 - Notice the Old Fish market
Next, check out the Old fish Market (Pescadaria Vieja) building located right in the city center.
The street has a lot of charm.
The name is the due to the fact that from late 17th century and the 18th century, it was the location of the Fish Market.
This building was built in the 18th century. Today, it works as a cultural center and exhibition hall. You will find classic as well as contemporary artwork on display here.
It’s an excellent place for art lovers. Expect to spend at least an hour here.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 2pm
#13 - Admire the façade of Palacio del Virrey Laserna
The Palace is named after Viceroy Laserna. It has remained with the same family since the 13th century. It underwent a major refurbishment in the 18th century and since then depicts a neoclassical style.
José de la Serna y Martínez de Hinojosa, the first Count of the Andes, was born here, and the palace continues to be the official residence of the Counts of Andes.
A descendent family member offers a guided tour of the palace to tourists making it a unique, insightful experience.
- Opening hours: From Tuesday to Saturday
- From October to April, mornings from 10am to 2pm, evenings from 4pm to 7pm.
- From May to September, mornings from 10am to 2pm, evenings from 5pm to 8pm.
- Sunday from 11am to 2pm.
- Price: 7 Euros
Official website – Get detailed information here
Or you can just walk past it and admire the façade.
#14 - Seat and people watch at Plaza del Arenal
It was a place of significance as this is where fights, battles, and duels were fought in the 16th century.
Today, you will find an equestrian statue of the ex-prime minister of Spain - Miguel Primo de Rivera and sculptures of renowned flamenco artists here.
The square is always vibrant, thanks to its many restaurants and bars.
#15 - Get the time at the Clock museum
The clock museum or the Museos de la Atalaya is the only clock museum in Spain.
It showcases around 300 clocks belonging to the 17th to 19th centuries. Some clocks are working even today.
A 50-minute guided tour of this museum can be booked.
- Opening hours: The ticket house is open from Monday to Friday from 09am to 12:30.
- Price: €5.5 for adults
- Official website – museosdelaatalaya.com
#16 - Learn more at the Museo Arqueológico Municipa
The Museo Arquelogico Municipa or Municipal Archeological Museum doesn’t feature on many lists of must-visit places in Jerez de la Frontera.
But anyone spending more than a day in Jerez should visit this place.
The museum houses many exhibits from the Corinthian, Caliphate, and Roman times.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday and public holidays: 09:00 to 15:00
- Price: €5
- Free entry: First Saturday of every month
- Official website – Check latest infos
And keep track of your own trip!
#17 to 21 - Best Jerez de la Frontera Attractions
17 - Taste Sherry wines of Jerez
As I told you earlier, the very name sherry comes from the name ‘Jerez’.
So visiting a sherry winery and wine tasting is an experience nobody should miss.
History of Sherry
- Phoenicians introduced winemaking to Jerez in 11 BC.
- It grew more and more during the Roman rule (200 BC)
- Distillation techniques of the Moorish era gave it a better structure - brandy and fortified wine started getting produced
- In 1587, 3000 barrels of sherry were taken to England by Francis Drake, after which it became enormously popular, mainly in Britain but slowly in other parts of the world too.
Why should you visit a sherry winery
- Jerez has had a history of winemaking since as early as 11 BC.
- So many bodegas (cellars) carry a rich history and legacy. Obviously, that means that the stories and legends shared on a wine tour are enthralling.
- The tour is a great way of getting a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the world of winemaking.
- The tour's highlight is tasting the legendary sherries of this region.
Best sherry bodegas in Jerez
The five sherry bodegas in Jerez listed below are all outstanding.
- Bodegas González Byass (Tio Pepe)
- Bodegas Domecq Alvaro
- Díez Mérito
- Bodegas Tradición
This is one of the best sherry-tasting tours : check out details and availability
Note: During the visit of Tio Pepe, you will see Ciegos street
Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful streets in Spain, it has a naturally grown thick grapevine roof over it.
The street is probably the most Instagrammable spot in Jerez.
#18 - Food Tour
A trip to Jerez would be incomplete without tasting Spanish tapas.
Thankfully, food tours in Jerez take you across some of the best restaurants in Jerez.
#19 - Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art
The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is one of the world's most prestigious classical riding academies.
A visit to this school gives you an insight into:
- The training of horses
- The facilities required
- History of horse breeding
The tour is also visually delightful, taking you through a lush garden, a 19th-century palace, and stables.
Here’s an excellent tour - see details and availability
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm (see website)
#20 - Horse show
Jerez is as famous for its horse shows as it is for its sherries.
In fact, you may be able to taste sherry in other parts of the world, but you will have to be in Jerez to experience one of its famous horse shows.
Seeing the effortlessness with which horses and their riders perform various skills will leave you awe-struck.
The most famous one is - How the Andalusian Horses dance. Check out details and availability
If you want to learn more about the Carthusian breed and watch a dressage exhibition, check out this tour here: Check out details and availability
#21 - Flamenco
Visiting Jerez is the best way to learn all about Andalucian culture. From sherry and horse shows to flamenco, Jerez packs the best of Spain for you.
Renowned flamenco artists from Jerez are La Paquera de Jerez and Lola Flores, whose monuments can be seen in the Old Town of Jerez.
In fact, you will find plenty of flamenco bars and restaurants all across town.
If it’s your first time watching flamenco, make sure you enjoy the authentic one, often included in tours like this one here - check out details and availability
#22 to 24 - Things to do Around Jerez de la Frontera
#22 - Monasterio de la Cartuja
The Carthusian Monastery was built in the 15th century under the orders of the knight Álvaro Obertos de Valeto.
Even today, it is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular monuments in the province of Cadiz.
You can only enter the garden and the patio area. Entry inside is prohibited. But even then, the place is worth visiting for its exquisite facade.
#23 - Cadiz
Cadiz is just an hour away from Jerez. You can visit Cadiz on a day trip.
Some of the best things to do in Cadiz are:
- Take a stroll at El Malecón - the Cuban-looking coastline of Spain
- Relax at Playa de la Caleta - A small beach close to the center
- Visit its many beautiful churches, cathedrals, and monuments
- Taste its delicious food - churros, camarones, and more
#24 - Relax at a beach near Jerez de la Frontera
The closest beaches are those just East of Cadiz.
They can be reached in under 30 minutes of driving.
#25 to 30 - Extra ideas if your are staying longer in Jerez
#25 - Take longer day trips
You can also stay in Jerez for your holiday and enjoy longer day trips to:
#26 to #30 - Explore the rest of the city with its churches and streets
- #25 - Visit Iglesia de San Juan de los Caballeros
The best part about a walk around the old town is that you come across many beautiful monuments that may not be very famous but are charming nonetheless.
The Iglesia de San Juan de los Caballeros is one such monument.
This Church was built under the rule of Alfonso X and is a historic parish of his times with modest Gothic and Golden ornaments inside.
This moderate church in the San Juan neighborhood has a Mudejar style to the otherwise modest Gothic and Renaissance structure.
- #26 - Visit Iglesia de Santiago
The buzzing Santiago square in Jerez is named after the Santiago Church.
The original church by the same name was built immediately after the reconquest. But the one you see today was built in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The construction is mainly Gothic except for the tower and belfry - built later using the Baroque style.
It is not as beautiful as the Cathedral or some other churches in Jerez. But it is worth a visit purely as a place of worship.
- #27 - Visit the Mercado Central de Abastos
The most bustling place in Jerez is the Mercado Central de Abastos. The neoclassical building of the market dates back to 1873.
But even today, it continues to be used as the primary market of Jerez.
You will find fresh fish, top-quality meat, and excellent fruits and vegetables here.
Right outside the market is a churros stall - ideal for a budget-friendly coffee & churros breakfast.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am to 2:45pm
- #28 - Iglesia de San Mateo
The Old Town of Jerez is replete with churches, cathedrals, and other monuments that go back a few centuries. The San Mateo Church is one such Church that dates back to the 13th century.
Along with the Iglesia de San Juan de Los Caballeros, this one was also one of the six parishes built after the Reconquest.
The Church is worth checking out if you have some extra time on hand.
- #29 - Convento de Santo Domingo
This Church featured in the series ‘The Crown’ and has recently gained popularity.
Like most churches of Jerez, this church was also built in the 13th century under Alfonso X’s regime.
It was the first church constructed outside the wall enclosures of the town.
It is significant for conducting the first Catholic mass in Jerez after the Reconquest.
Is Jerez de la Frontera on the coast?
Jerez de la Frontera is not on the coast.
The best beaches near Jerez de la Frontera are in Cadiz - a short drive away from Jerez de la Frontera.
Is Jerez de la Frontera safe?
Jerez de la Frontera is as safe as any other Andalucian town.
But exercising basic caution, like in most tourist areas, is always advisable.
Jerez de la Frontera or Cadiz? Where to stay?
Whether to stay at Jerez de la Frontera or Cadiz depends on what type of holiday you like.
- If you like beaches, coastlines, and more buzz - stay at Cadiz and visit Jerez de la Frontera for a day - check out best rated accommodations in Cadiz
- If you like horse shows, sherry, and flamenco and don’t plan to spend much time on a beach: stay in Jerez de la Frontera - check out best rated accommodations in Jerez
Looking for the best place to stay in Andalucia?
Want to see more of the best Andalucia has to offer?
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- 21+ best cities and towns in Andalucia - read article
- Cordoba vs Sevilla vs Granada - where to go? - read article
- Tips to plan a road trip around Andalucia - read article
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