So now you’ve climbed the Rock of Gibraltar (click here for my top tips), what else is there to do in this British Overseas Territory? Read on to find out…
Explore the old town
A walk along Main Street should be one of the first things you do in Gibraltar; you could spend as little as an hour or as much as a whole day stopping off at shops, eateries and historic buildings. It has bookstores, clothes shops, jewellers, souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, fast food outlets, cathedrals, monuments, churches and much more!
The northern end of Main Street opens out onto Casemates Square which is buzzing with activity and has views of the nearby Moorish Castle.
As the second biggest sandy beach in Gibraltar, Catalan Bay is popular with sun-seekers & bathers alike. It’s also possible to hire a boat or kayak to explore the surrounding coves or simply get a view of the Rock from the sea. Unfortunately this means it can get very busy during the peak summer season but outside of these months it becomes a quaint, quiet and colourful bay full of character and charm.
Cafes, bars and restaurants line the beach with fresh seafood being served up alongside British classics. You can also get “sunbed service” – order food from La Mamela restaurant and they’ll deliver it to you on the beach!
As Gibraltars southernmost point, Europa Point provides sweeping views of the Mediterranean across to Northern Africa. The Strait of Gibraltar (body of water separating Europe from Africa) is a busy place for boating – container ships, fishing boats, cruise liners and speedboats can all be spotted from here.
Keep an eye out for birds too as the rugged coastline of Europa Point is a common stop-off point for many migrations. Also located here is the Trinity Lighthouse and Mosque of The Two Holy Custodians (sometimes called the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque). Along with it’s views and rich history, these make Europa Point a rather unique place – certainly one to be visited!
To get to Europa Point take the route 2 bus from the centre of town. Alternatively, you can walk along the West side of Gibraltar (4.5km from Casemates Square) where you’ll find Camp Bay & Little Bay – picturesque rocky beaches with man-made swimming pools and an artificial reef.
Other things to see or do
- Relax in Commonwealth Park
- Discover the defensive structures along the old Line Wall
- Enjoy a meal with views of the marina at Queensway Quay
- Spot the quintessentially British features of Gibraltar
How to get to Gibraltar
Gibraltar is unique in the fact that it is physically separated from the rest of continental Europe by an airport. Yes, you have to go across an international airport runway to get from Spain to Gibraltar – crazy, I know! Luckily it’s not a very busy airport so there’s plenty of time for pedestrians and vehicles to cross.
However, passing through border control can be a lengthy process. Vehicle queues are often long in both directions (Spain to Gibraltar and Gibraltar to Spain) so unless you have a specific need to take your car across the border I would recommend going on foot. Passport and security checks were really quick when I visited and it’s also a cool experience walking across the runway with the Rock of Gibraltar towering in the background.
Buses from all over Spain stop at the town of La Línea on the Spanish side of the border – from the La Línea bus station it’s less than a 5 min walk to the border, making this an easy and inexpensive option. Of course you can also arrive in Gibraltar by plane but it’s restricted by the limited number of arriving flights and usually more expensive.
So there you have it – Gibraltar evidently has plenty more to it than just a giant rock; easily enough to keep you busy for a long weekend!