Situated at the most southern geographical point of the Iberia Peninsula sits one of Britain's most captivating overseas territories, Gibraltar. With a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire, Gibraltar is a melting pot of cultures packed together in a mere 2.6 square miles (6.8 sq km). Although small, Gibraltar offers a lot for every traveler and is an excellent destination for a day trip. If you are visiting Gibraltar, we highly recommend you purchase the Nature Reserve Pass, which includes many main sights, activities, and attractions entrances. You can buy the pass online or in-person at the Jew's Gate or the Moorish Castle entrance.
To help you plan you're trip, below is a list of what I consider to be the top five things to do and see in Gibraltar.
5 - The Great Siege Tunnels
The Great Siege Tunnels are a labyrinth of artificial tunnels dating back to the 1700s. Initially built by the British forces during the Great Siege of Gibraltar in the late 18th century, the tunnels were repurposed and expanded during World War II (WWII). The total estimated length of the tunnel network is approximately 34 miles (55 kilometers) and, at one point, could accommodate up to 16,000 soldiers and supplies for over one year! You can easily access the tunnels through the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, including guided and non-guided tours. Due to safety measures, exploring the entire 34 miles network of tunnels is impossible. However, there are plenty of dark and mysterious corridors to explore, and they will leave you wanting to go back and discover more about this enigmatic site.
4 - The Moorish Castle
Dating back to the 8th century AD, the Moorish Castle is a fortification built by Moorish forces during their occupation of Gibraltar from 711 to 1309. The Castle's main attraction is the Tower of Homage, which was destroyed and rebuilt during the second Moorish occupation of Gibraltar in the 1400s. As you explore this magnificent Islamic architectural site, you will be fascinated by its beauty and resiliency. Also, during your visit to the Castle, you can go to the top of the tower, where you will have a breathtaking view of the city. You can easily reach the fortification entrance by catching a taxi or a private tour bus.
3 - St Michaels Caves
Many stories and legends surround the mystical caves of St. Michael. Located within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, the St Michaels Caves were once believed to be a bottomless gateway to Hades, the God of the Underworld in ancient Greek mythology. The caves have also been declared to be one of the pillars of the famous demi-god Hercules and contain an underground tunnel that connects to Morocco, Africa. Stories and legends aside, the St. Michael Caves are a fantastic place to visit while on your trip to Gibraltar due to their unique history that dates all the way back to the Neolithic era. You can easily reach the caves by walking, Taxi, or cable cart.
2 - Windsor Suspension Bridge
The Winsor suspension bridge is the perfect stop for the adventure-seeking traveler. Hanging over a 50-meter deep gorge and measuring 71 meters in length, you can easily access the bridge by walking down from the upper nature reserve area. You can also hike up the mountain through the many nature trails inside the reserve. Upon reaching the bridge, you will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views and the opportunity to take some incredible pictures. If you are considering hiking to the suspension bridge, we recommend taking a pair of hiking shoes since the terrain can get a bit jagged.
1 - Tax-Free Shopping
With its proximity to Spain and Africa and a span of attractive landscapes to enjoy, one thing that may not come to mind when contemplating on Gibraltar is shopping. Gibrartals' duty-free status makes it a paradise destination for tax-free shopping. The currency used in Gibraltar is the British pound and is readily attainable through the many ATMs and money exchanges throughout the city. With shops on every other corner and many options, there is something for everyone in this shopping utopia.
There it is, our top five recommendations on what to do while visiting Gibraltar on a day trip! If you're ever in Gibraltar and have more time to explore, we highly recommend booking a boat and crossing the Gibraltar strait into Morocco, Africa!
Have you been to Gibraltar? What were your favorite things to do and see there? Let us know in the comments below!