Gibraltar is located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, which forms the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar along with its Moroccan counterpart, the Jbel Musa peninsula. The strait connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic, making it an invaluable passageway for trade and naval warfare. A much sought after and fought after landform, control of the peninsula has changed hands repeatedly over the ages. Rich in maritime, wartime, and cultural history; Gibraltar offers travelers a truly fascinating experience. Legendary attractions like The Rock of Gibraltar, Saint Michael’s Caves, and The Great Siege Tunnels are must-see locales. Here are the Top 25 Things to Do in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s most amusing attraction, Ape’s Den hosts a colony of Barbary Macaques, which are native to Northern Africa. A number of myths offer speculation about how this species of apes were originally imported to southern Spain. One story suggests that the macaques travelled from Morocco across a subterranean tunnel that opened into St. Michaels cave, a wondrous limestone cave located in Gibraltar’s Upper Rock Nature Reserve. The macaques, which are small in size and irresistibly cute, roam freely in a semi-wild state. Visitors are warned to keep distance, however, to avoid intentional or accidental bites. It is strongly advised that travelers do not feed, harass, or overcrowd the monkeys. Sightseers can book educational, primatologist-lead tours.
Old Queen's Road, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-54-01-80-96
2.Great Siege Tunnels
The legendary tunnels form a labyrinth, originally designed by the British to act as a defense system during the Great Siege of 1779-1783, which greatly assisted their victory over the French and Spanish armies. Tunnels were dug manually and blasted by gunpowder; a military effort headed by Sergeant Major Ince to secure guns onto a northern facing projection of the monstrous Rock of Gibraltar. Admission to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve allows visitors an elevated 360 degree view of Gibraltar and neighboring countries; sightseers can even see Africa. Guests can choose to walk the nature trails or upgrade tickets to include walks through the rock’s caves and historical tunnels.
Northern end of The Rock, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-16-33
© Gibraltar Museum
The Gibraltar National Museum’s presents a comprehensive historical look at the events, culture, and natural history of Gibraltar. Exhibits feature works and artifacts dedicated to the Pleistocene era, history of fishing villages, Moorish culture and architecture, historical battles of Gibraltar, and more. Visitors can view items like 19th century glass grenades, mid-evil era Islamic lamps, and a Solutrean Flint arrow dating 20,000 years back. Tours of the World Heritage Site travel to Gorham’s Cave, the site of early Neanderthal settlers. Walks to the famous Mediterranean Steps and O’Hara’s Battery are included as part of the tour. There is a gift shop and a book shop on-site.
18-20 Bomb House Lane, PO Box 939, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-42-89
4.Casemates Square, Historical Walk
Old Town is home to Casemates Square, the site of the Moorish Water Gate, which was a launching area for manually propelled galleys; the ominous-looking water vessels of the early 14th century. The infamous Battle of the Strait was centered around Gibraltar, where war raged among competing navies for control of its waters. Control of Gibraltar changed hands between the Moors, Spaniards, and the British. In later history, the strait would play a pivotal role during the World War. A wealth of cultural and historical diversity means there’s plenty to see and do. Travelers can visit the square’s massive limestone American War Memorial, Fish Market Lane, Reclamation Road, the British War Memorial, the Southport Gates, and more.
Grand Casemates Square, Gibraltar, Spain
In the early 16th century, The Convent belonged to the Franciscan friars of the Catholic church. It was rebuilt during the early 18th century before serving as the official residence for Gibraltar’s governors. The structure is known for its display of armories, which feature various coat of arms. Soldiers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment conduct a guard mount a few days out of each week, and a Changing of the Guard a few times annually. The legendary tale of the “Lady in Grey”, a young nun who secretly married against her father’s wishes, takes place in The Convent, where it is said she was punished by live burial into one of its walls.
285 Main Street, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-50-00
6.The Rock Hotel
© The Rock Hotel
Nestled into the foothill beneath The Rock of Gibraltar, this luxury hotel boasts majestic views of the bay and the Gibraltar Strait. The hotel, first established in 1932, blends colonial era décor with modern-day amenities to host a lavishly unforgettable experience. Travelers can enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor and African coastline from any of the 94 guestrooms, each of which dons a balcony, while suites feature oversized terraces. The hotel’s exclusive Terrace Restaurant plates authentic Mediterranean cuisine. A proper English afternoon tea is served daily in the Lounge Bar and includes exquisitely prepared sandwiches, cakes, and scones. Mornings and afternoons are best spent at the massive outdoor swimming pool, which overlooks the Botanical Gardens.
3 Europa Road, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-30-00
7.Europa Point & Lighthouse
The inlet to the Strait of Gibraltar is formed geologically by the Europa Point; located at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar, and the Jbel Musa; a small peninsula located at the northwestern tip of Morocco. Europa Point has ushered in mariners sailing in from the Mediterranean Sea for thousands of years, dating all the way back to ancient Greek and Phoenician times. The Rock of Gibraltar once served as a massive beacon, guiding ships towards the peninsula, which housed legendary marine caverns and platforms. In 1841, the Gibraltar Trinity Lighthouse was constructed, standing 49 meters above sea level. Today, the lighthouse operates on a fully automated system.
Europa Point, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-50-00
Ocean Village is gathering place to over twenty bustling oceanfront restaurants and bars, teeming with mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine and European cocktails. Yachters and sailors can moor in the Ocean Village Marina or the neighboring Marina Bay, which is also owned and operated by Ocean Village. Over 250 luxury berths include access to fresh water, power, and telephones. A superyacht expansion project is currently underway and plans for the construction of 144 waterfront apartments are slated to be completed in the coming years. Travelers flying into The Gibraltar International Airport should take advantage of the short nine-minute walk to Ocean Village and make it a first stop on the list of adventures.
World Trade Center Gibraltar, Unit 302, Bayside Road, PO Box 685, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-00-48
9.Second World War Tunnels
During World War II military efforts expanded the tunnel system first constructed during the late 1700s to create more space for the storage of equipment, ammunition, and food. The Royal Engineers and Canadian army headed the project by contracting four separate specialized tunneling companies. The network of tunnels was so large and complex that it virtually created an underground city, capable of housing 16,000 troops. Power generators, a water distillery, a hospital, a vehicle maintenance shop, a bakery, and a telephone exchange were all contained within the subterranean dwelling. Tours of the tunnels run daily and cost eight pounds per person.
Willis's Road, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-16-43
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10.Saint Michael's Cave
© Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
Saint Michael’s Cave is located in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and is formed geologically by limestone. Inside, dramatic stalagmite structures hang from above, striking awe in all who enter. The cave has been the setting of countless legends and folklores. Some once believed that the cave was bottomless, while others claimed that the cave was connected to Africa by a subterranean passageway beneath the Strait of Gibraltar. There are several tales of military heroes undertaking secret missions to the cave, or vanishing in the cave, never to be seen again. Since the early 1960s, the cave has been used as a theatre seating up to six-hundred concert, drama, and ballet attendees. Visitors are welcomed daily.
Saint Michael Road, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-50-00
11.Gibraltar’s Nature Reserve
The nature reserve at upper rock is a must-do experience for those traveling to Gibraltar. Panoramic views of the African coastline, Atlantic Ocean, Strait of Gibraltar, and the legendary gates leading to the Mediterranean Sea can be seen from the top of The Rock. Scenic trails include the Mediterranean Steps, Inglis Way, Douglas Path, and Royal Anglian. Hikers can take in the grandeur of the reserve’s protected habitats and wildlife, while learning about The Rock’s complex history. A true landmark location, numerous military batteries, defensive guns, and searchlight emplacements can be found within the park. No unauthorized vehicles are permitted within the reserve. Guests must arrive by cable car or a guided tour bus.
Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-16-33
© Ben Gingell/stock.adobe.com
Visitors hiking The Mediterranean Steps should expect a bit of a challenge; its steep terrain, narrow cliffside paths, and high elevation is not for the faint of heart. The best times to hike are early mornings and late afternoons when there is some morning haze or shade cover. The steps begin at Jews’ Gate, located at the southern end of Gibraltar’s Nature Reserve and end at the summit of The Rock near O’Hara’s Battery. Hikers pass Michael’s Cave and the Goat’s Hair Twin Caves, where artifacts have been unearthed to reveal the existence of prehistoric humans. Numerous military fortifications and stunning views of the strait surprise along the way.
Ohara's Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-50-00
13.Holy Trinity Cathedral
© Álvaro Germán Vilela/stock.adobe.com
Situated in Cathedral Square, Holy Trinity is best known for its Moorish Revival Architecture. Towering horseshoe-shaped arches line the front of the cathedral, forming a portico. The building is painted a crisp Mediterranean white with yellow-gold eaves and trim, and turquoise doors. Inside, stone columns form tall archways along the flanks of the chapel, which feature bright windows and British flags. A pipe organ towers at the rear of the church. Polished wood pews and Spanish-style iron chandeliers form an aisle leading up to the sanctuary, which dons ornate woodwork, gold inlay, and a circular stained glass window. The church, originally built in 1832 as a gathering place for Anglican worshippers, was officially consecrated in 1838.
215 Cathedral Square, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-83-77
14.Cathedral St Mary the Crowned
© Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
Originally the site of a prominent mosque, The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Crowned was converted to a Roman Catholic church around the year 1462. The church’s exterior is painted in salmon with white trim and features a traditional bell tower. Within the cathedral, marble floors, a domed ceiling, towering archways, and an immense sanctuary create an awe-striking experience. Stained glass windows, a massive crucifix, a pipe organ, and several memorials dedicated to soldiers and clergy add to the holiness of the space. A quiet courtyard with lush gardens and ornately carved statues offers reprieve from the bustling action of Main Street.
215 Main Street, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-66-88
© Paul James Bannerman/stock.adobe.com
Located in the heart of Gibraltar’s commercial district, Irish Town was once named “Calle de Santa Ana” before it was sieged by Anglo-Dutch forces in 1704. The town once hosted the Convent of Santa Clara and a Mercedarian Fathers monastery, before they were abandoned and forcefully taken over. Female Irish immigrants are thought to have arrived in late 1727, for the purpose of entertaining Irish regiments. A meat market, several warehouses, merchant houses, and a Victorian police station all used to reside in Irish Town. In the early 20th century, tobacco factories, coffee roasters, and shipping offices carried on the town’s tradition commerce. Today, pedestrians can enjoy meandering through the several shops, restaurants, and bars.
South End: John Mackintosh Square, North End: Cooperage Lane, Gibraltar, Spain
16.The Moorish Castle & Tower of Homage
The Moorish Castle is one of the most marvelous attractions in Gibraltar. Remarkable views of the strait and African coastline can be seen from its position on the hillside. The Tower of Homage, the castle’s most prominent feature, looks down upon Gibraltar. Fortifications built around the castle were first built circa 1160 and remained intact after the Spanish reconquered the city in 1333. In fact, control of the castle has changed hands several times during the course of history, following several bloody battles and sieges. In the 1500s, the castle provided protection to hundreds of townsmen who retreated to the safety of its gates, while Turkish pirates ransacked Gibraltar.
5 Moorish Castle Estate, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-16-33
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© Adrian Berger/stock.adobe.com
Dolphin Adventure offers exciting marine wildlife tours of the Strait of Gibraltar and the bay. Guests board catamarans and head out to see short-beaked dolphins and striped dolphins, in their natural habitat. During summer months, large pods of bottlenose dolphins migrate to the Mediterranean Sea; a breathtaking experience for those lucky enough to witness it. During whale watching tours, guests’ boat to the strait to observe several species of whales in migration. Pilot Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Sperm Whales, and even Orcas can be spotted. Several species of fish, turtles, and marine birds add to the enjoyment. Tours are professionally guided by marine biologists. Dolphin Adventure also hosts cable car rides up to The Rock.
9 The Square, Marina Bay, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-05-06-50
18.Windsor Suspension Bridge
The Windsor Suspension Bridge at Royal Anglian Way is not for the faint of heart. Seventy-one meters of architectural genius crosses delicately over a gorge that is fifty meters deep. The bridge offers unobstructed views of the Strait of Gibraltar, the bay, and the African coastline. Visitors access the suspension bridge from the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. The bridge was constructed by the Bovis Koala engineering firm and a revered Spanish construction company named Infraestructures de Muntanya. The Muntanya construction company built similar bridges in the Pyrenees before taking on the Windsor Bridge project in 2016.
Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-16-33
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The Ibrahim al Ibrahim Mosque is spectacular emblem of Muslim architecture. Commissioned by King Fahad Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, construction of the mosque was completed in 1997. Situated at Europa Point, the mosque’s façade glows impeccably white against the rocky hillside and ancient fortress walls of the Moorish Castle, which are located at its rear. A gorgeous tile-patterned dome and heavy teak wood doors contrast gorgeously with its white-washed exterior. A slender minaret extends seventy-one meters into the sky. At nighttime, the mosque is lighted beautifully; a truly breathtaking sight for all to see.
Europa Point, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-04-76-93
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© Rendezvous Chargrill
Located on the Queensway Quay Marina, this restaurant and bar serves up a diverse meu of mouthwatering eats. Mediterranean dishes, seafood, steak, and barbeque are cooked to perfection in charcoal ovens. The grill also offers tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. Travelers will appreciate the restaurant’s outdoor seating, which boasts sparkling water views. Guests can indulge the taste buds while watching the bob of luxury vessels on the water. An extensive list of delicious wines has been crafted to complement each flavorful dinner. The ambiance is casual and inviting; the menu is moderately priced.
14 Queensway Quay, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-06-64-20
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21.The Lord Nelson
© The Lord Nelson
The Lord Nelson is a themed pub and bistro that was designed as a tribute to the HMS Victory, a gun ship belonging to the Royal Navy during the Battle of Trafalgar, which took place during Great Siege of Gibraltar. The restaurant is located within the historic Grand Casemates Barracks, built of limestone. Nautical sails, rigging, and memorabilia adorn the walls. The venue serves English “pub grub” and a sampling of dishes from around the world. Deep fried brie with homemade chutney, traditional fish & chips, bangers on mustard mash, fish goujons, and burgers are just a few of the local favorites. Guests will love the cozy, sports bar feel of the pub.
Grand Casemates Square, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA, Phone: +350-20-05-00-09
22.Aqua Bar in the Sunborn Hotel
Located within a five-star luxury yacht hotel, the Aqua Bar is situated poolside on the top deck of the vessel. An elevated turquoise blue pool runs along the center of the polished deck, which is flanked by lounge chairs and café tables. Guests sip superbly shaken cocktails, while basking in the sun and taking in the grandeur of surrounding vistas. Riveting views of The Rock and the marina are sure to impress. At dusk, lamps and candles glow warmly, shimmering against the reflective water of the pool. Travelers yearning for a lavish experience won’t soon forget what this yacht-top bar has to offer.
35 Ocean Village Promenade, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-01-60-00
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Buoyed up to the Marina Bay, this waterside restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The nautically inspired interior features contemporary design and a casual atmosphere. An English-style menu features roasted lamb, fish & chips, ale pie, and Yorkshire pudding. Pub grub favorites like nachos, potato skins, fried calamari, and burgers are also served. A full bar, hearty wine selection, and refreshing beers pour cold on a warm summer day. The pub hosts sports games, live DJs, and interactive quiz nights. A true fixture in the community, this restaurant is a great gathering place for locals and travelers alike.
Marina Bay, GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-06-01-60
© Star Bar
A landmark venue, The Star Bar is regarded as Gibraltar’s oldest drinking establishment. Its restaurant is famous for serving an authentic English breakfast of fried eggs, beans on toast, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, pork sausages, black pudding, and more. The main menu samples classic American, Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Italian dishes. Nachos, spiced lamb, pastas, Portuguese pork burgers, crispy duck wraps, calamari, and marinated olives are among the fan favorites. A large draft beer selection refreshes, while a wine & tapas menu delights with small bites. The venue hosts a full bar, outdoor seating, and weekly events.
12 Parliament Lane, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-07-59-24
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25.Cable Car Ride Up to Top of the Rock Cafe
© Top of the Rock Cafe
Located in the Upper Rock Reserve, the Top of the Rock café is a casual eatery with spectacular views. The Rock, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the African coastline can all be seen from inside the café, which boasts floor to ceiling glass windows. The interior is minimalist but does provide seating. Guests can order sandwiches and small bites at the counter. The café also serves bottled beer and wine. A large terrace equipped with pay binoculars extends off of the café. Barbary Macaques jump about, adding to entertainment. The café is accessible only by cable car. Guests take a 6-minute ride up from the base station, which is located near the Alameda Gardens.
Red Sands Road, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar, Spain, Phone: +350-20-01-27-60
25 Best Things to Do in Gibraltar
- Ape's Den, Photo: valet/stock.adobe.com
- Great Siege Tunnels, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- Gibraltar Museum, Photo: Gibraltar Museum
- Casemates Square, Historical Walk, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- The Convent, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- The Rock Hotel, Photo: The Rock Hotel
- Europa Point & Lighthouse, Photo: Andreas/stock.adobe.com
- Ocean Village, Photo: laranik/stock.adobe.com
- Second World War Tunnels, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- Saint Michael's Cave, Photo: Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
- Gibraltar’s Nature Reserve, Photo: valet/stock.adobe.com
- Mediterranean Steps, Photo: Ben Gingell/stock.adobe.com
- Holy Trinity Cathedral, Photo: Álvaro Germán Vilela/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral St Mary the Crowned, Photo: Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
- Irish Town, Photo: Paul James Bannerman/stock.adobe.com
- The Moorish Castle & Tower of Homage, Photo: alexzappa/stock.adobe.com
- Dolphin Adventure, Photo: Adrian Berger/stock.adobe.com
- Windsor Suspension Bridge, Photo: gorelovs/stock.adobe.com
- Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, Photo: Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
- Rendezvous Chargrill, Photo: Rendezvous Chargrill
- The Lord Nelson, Photo: The Lord Nelson
- Aqua Bar in the Sunborn Hotel, Photo: laranik/stock.adobe.com
- The Ship, Photo: Bogi.Knips/stock.adobe.com
- Star Bar, Photo: Star Bar
- Cable Car Ride Up to Top of the Rock Cafe, Photo: Top of the Rock Cafe
- Cover Photo: laranik/stock.adobe.com