Between Seville and Cadiz lies a hidden gem: Jerez de la Frontera. The city of sherry, Andalusian horses, and flamenco. These are the best things to do in Jerez de la Frontera.
About Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera, also known as Jerez, is a city in the Spanish region of Andalusia and is located between Seville and Cadiz. Jerez de la Frontera has a rich history. In Roman times it was an important trading post and the city was later conquered by the Visigoths and the Moors.
During the Reconquista, it was recaptured by the Christians, and in the 15th century, the city became an important center of the wine trade. Jerez de Frontera’s wine industry peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, and today it is still an important center of Sherry wine production. Jerez de la Frontera is also known for its Andalusian horses and the Royal Andalusian School of Horsemanship. The city has a rich culture and is known for its flamenco, gastronomy, and fiestas, such as the Feria del Caballo.
Although Jerez is a beautiful city, it has not been discovered by mass tourism. This not only makes it affordable, but you also get to experience much more of local life in Andalucia. Jerez de la Frontera is therefore an incredibly fun and interesting destination to explore.
Things to do in Jerez de la Frontera
What to do in Jerez de la Frontera? These are the most beautiful sights and fun things to do in the city.
Did you know that sherry wine originally comes from Jerez? Because of this, you will find many bodegas in Jerez where you can take a tour and taste sherry wine. Here are some recommendations:
- González Byass – One of the largest Sherry producers in Jerez de la Frontera.
- Sandeman Jerez – Sandeman is known for its iconic black clothing and hat worn by its winemakers and employees. You can also see this in their logo.
- Tío Pepe – One of the most famous Sherry brands in the world. According to many, this is the most beautiful bodega in Jerez.
Bodegas are often open at limited hours. Ask your accommodation which ones you can visit.
Go to a horse show
In Jerez, you will find the Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecuestre, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrianism. It is an important center for the training of horses and riders in the Andalusian equestrian tradition. Founded in 1973, the riding school is located in an impressive palatial building called the Palace of the Dukes of Abrantes.
The Royal Andalusian School of Riding is known for its spectacular horse shows, in which talented riders and horses demonstrate traditional Andalusian riding skills such as piaffe, passage, and Spanish step. During the show, the riders wear traditional clothing, including Andalusian hats and riding jackets, making the show a festive and colorful event.
Not only can you visit one of the spectacular shows, but you can also book the guided tour and with it see the stables and carriage museum. You might even see a bit of the rehearsal. This is certainly one of the most popular things to do in Jerez de la Frontera, so book a spot before they sell out!
Real Convento de Santo Domingo
The Real Convento de Santo Domingo is a historic monastery in Jerez de la Frontera, located in the heart of the old town. Originally built in the 15th century, it underwent several renovations and expansions in the following centuries.
The monastery has a beautiful Baroque church, with an impressive interior with paintings, sculptures, and decorations in typical Baroque style.
Besides the church, the monastery also has a museum that shows the history of the monastery and the religious art of Jerez de la Frontera. The museum contains a collection of paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and other artifacts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Discover the Alcazar
Jerez is an old city and this is especially evident in the 11th-century Alcazar. The Alcázar is an ancient fortress and palace located in the historic center of the city. It was originally built by Moorish rulers of Al-Andalus and has since been restored and rebuilt several times.
The Alcázar is built in a mix of styles, including Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance. It has beautiful gardens with fountains, ponds, and an extensive collection of plants and flowers. A very nice place to walk around for a while!
Admission is €5. For €7 you may also view the camera obscura. (Prices March 2023)
Visit the Catedral de Jerez
Right next to the Alcazar, you will find the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera, officially known as the Cathedral of the Holy Redeemer (Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Salvador). The building is a fine example of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on the site of an older church, it has an impressive facade with towers and sculptures.
Buy your ticket to the cathedral here (including the audio tour)
Iglesia de San Miguel
The tall steeple you see as you enter the city is not of the cathedral, as it belongs to Iglesia de San Miguel. You can climb this extraordinary octagonal tower for a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings.
The church itself is also worth a visit. It was built in the 15th in Gothic style and later underwent several renovations and extensions in Baroque and neoclassical styles. Inside the church, you will find a special altarpiece made of gilded wood.
Palacio del Virrey Laserna
The Palacio del Virrey Laserna is a beautiful palace in the historic center of Jerez de la Frontera. Built in the 18th century, it originally served as the residence of Virrey Laserna, a prominent figure in the Spanish kingdom.
The palace has a striking Baroque-style facade, with fine ornaments and decorations. The interior of the palace is equally impressive, with a grand hall decorated with frescoes and marble columns. There are also several halls and rooms in the palace, including a beautiful library and a chapel.
You can visit the building with a guided tour, but you can also book a room there and it’s not even crazy expensive! If this isn’t a special place to sleep I don’t know what is.
Relax at Plaza del Arenal
Plaza del Arenal is the centerpiece of the city. All major shopping streets open onto this. This large square is where everyone in the city congregates. It is used for special events and is surrounded by restaurants and cafes. A good place to sit on the terrace.
Eat the tastiest tapas on the terrace
Nowhere in Spain did I see so many cafes and terraces as in Jerez de la Frontera. And they were almost all full! It’s not surprising either, because you can eat great food here for not much money. Almost every menu features very tasty tapas. Often you can choose from three formats: a full plate, a half, or a tapa. The tapa is the smallest.
The nicest terraces for tapas can be found around Plaza Plateros. This is an incredibly cozy little square and there is an enormous amount of choice. I ate at Casa Gabriela, here they have tapas that is a little bit different from what you’re used to. It’s so good!
Get lost in the old town
Jerez has a beautiful old city center full of narrow winding streets. You’ll find the finest one northwest of the cathedral. Personally, I especially liked the area around Iglesia San Mateo. This is a small church surrounded by orange trees. The views are absolutely gorgeous!
Visit a flamenco show (for free)
Jerez is the birthplace of flamenco. Throughout the city are tabancos (tapas bars) where flamenco shows are performed. At several places, you can even enjoy free shows while enjoying a snack and a drink! This can include:
- Tabaco El Pasaje: 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Restaurante A La Feria: 9:30 p.m.
- Tabanco Cruz Vieja: 10 p.m.
Check locally if the times are still correct, your accommodation rental company can tell you more about this.
Tip: Want to be sure of a (good) seat? Reserve a table here.
Visit the circuit of Jerez
Just outside the city is another important attraction of Jerez de la Frontera: the racetrack. Jerez is home to the Jerez MotoGP, one of the most important motorcycle racing events in the world. Check the calendar on the track’s official website before your visit, maybe you can catch one of the races.
Accommodation in Jerez de la Frontera
Although Jerez is a good destination for a day trip from Seville or Cadiz, it is even more fun to spend at least a night in the city. This will give you plenty of time to explore the most beautiful sights and you can go out at night and visit a flamenco show. These are great places to stay in Jerez de la Frontera:
- Vivian’s Guest House – A hostel with dorms and private rooms located between the train station and downtown. This is the perfect place for solo and budget travelers. The owner is super friendly and gives good tips.
- Palacio del Virrey Laserna – Unique stay in a former palace. The rooms are completely decorated in style, and you’ll feel like royalty!
- Hotel Bodega Tio Pepe (4⭐) – Beautiful hotel with an outdoor pool in a great location. You sleep on the grounds of Tio Pepe and have views of the Alcazar and the cathedral.
Check Booking.com for more options, availability, and prices.
Book a trip to Andalucia
Would you like to discover Jerez and more beautiful places in Andalucia? Book your trip now!
✈️ Airline tickets
The largest international airports in Andalucia are Malaga Airport and Seville Airport. Check WayAway to find the best deals and get cashback on plane tickets. From there, you can make your way to Jerez by train or rental car.
🚆 Travel to Spain by train
Spain is very well accessible by train from other European countries. Check Rail Europe for train times and tickets.
🚍 Public Transportation in Spain
Within Spain, it’s very easy to travel by public transport. Check out the Omio website for all the options.
🚘 Rental Car
Although public transport is quite well organized in Spain (I traveled through Spain by train), it is still useful to have a rental car. This makes it even easier to get to really special places. Check Rental Cars or Discover Cars to find the best deals.
💊 Travel insurance
🎡 Tours and activities
Read more about Andalucia and Spain
Looking for more tips on visiting Jerez or the beautiful region of Andalucia? Here are some great travel guides:
I travel several times a year to beautiful Spain and I discover new places every time. You might also like to read one of these articles:
- What are the best things to do in Cádiz? 17 tips!
- Spain Bucket List: 25 incredible places to visit in Spain
- Nerja Spain: 16 fun things to do
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