Commonly nicknamed “The Rock”, Gibraltar extends over just 7 square kilometers in which multiculturalism is one of the fundamental characteristics. In this space 30 thousand people of innumerable nationalities, religions and beliefs coexist. The same that shape a lifestyle divided between the most British traditions and the most Andalusian.

If you are near to Gibraltar and want to spend a different day from the typical Andalusians days, we tell you what to see: 6 essential places that you can not miss in this corner of England.

1.The airport

Exactly: you read correctly. Probably, sound strange to you, but it is not necessary that we tell you: yourself, when you cross the border that separates the British side from the Spanish, you will understand. Because yes, it turns out that Gibraltar airport is one of the smallest in the world, and one of the few that is forced to stop traffic from entering the city every time one of the planes lands or takes off. And it turns out that one of the main avenues of Gibraltar, the Winston Churchill – which communicates the border with the center – literally crosses the airport’s runway.

So don’t be alarmed if, when you get ready to enter this peculiar corner of the world, a traffic light prevents you from continuing the path. That will be because something of the most curious is about to happen. Open your eyes wide and enjoy the experience of seeing, just a few meters away, how an airplane takes land or launches on the flight. The fact that the track occupies only 1829 meters in length, with the sea on both sides, makes the moment even more expectant. Keep this in mind when planning what to see in Gibraltar: it is one of the experiences that can not be missed, no doubt.

2. Casemates Square

We could describe this lively square as “the heart of Gibraltar”, because in Casemates Square passes both the Gibraltarians who go to the nerve center and those tourists who want to know their most emblematic places. The famous square is surrounded by walls erected at the beginning of the 19th century and was used, for a long time, as a bomb-built barracks and as a munitions warehouse. However, its origins go much further, almost as much as that of the city itself, since it was fortified for the first time in times of Arab rule. Here public executions were also carried out.

Today the situation has changed a lot and Casemates Square is full of typical pubs, restaurants and coffee where you can rest and have a drink. Located at one end of Main Street, the main shopping street, is one of those places to see in Gibraltar, there is no doubt about it.

3. Main Street

In fact, Main Street is not only the perfect place to go shopping, taking advantage of the fact that we are in a duty-free place (ideal to encourage us, especially with cosmetics, perfumes and electronics), but also because it is a faithful reflection of the different cultures that have passed through here.

And where can we see this? For example, in its doors and windows, many of them Genoese style, with wooden shutters and balconies made of wrought iron. The reason is very simple: the Genoese, born merchants, settled in the rock making almost 35% of the population Genoese in the eighteenth century. Every Saturday afternoon, in addition, it is easy to find Orthodox Jewish families walking along Main Street: another example of the different cultures that have been installed here.

Also on the main street is the Gibraltar Parliament building and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Coronada, located on what in up to 1490 was a mosque.

4. Punta Europa

The southernmost point of British overseas territory: that is Punta Europa. In ancient times it was considered one of the two columns of Hercules. The other, 32 kilometers away, would be in Morocco, on Mount Djebel Musa. In fact, if there is luck and good weather, it is very possible that you can see the Moroccan coast from this point.

One of the most characteristic elements of Punta Europa, at the southern tip of Gibraltar, is its lighthouse, called, of course, Punta Europa Lighthouse. Painted in red and white – the colors of Gibraltar – it is the only lighthouse located outside Great Britain that continues to manage the Trinity House. It was Sir Alexander George Woodford, governor and commander in chief of Gibraltar, who laid the first stone at the beginning of the 19th century: April 26, 1838.

Also in Punta Europa are the University of Gibraltar and the most important mosque in the rock. It has also been one of the areas that hosted the “International Games between Islands” in 2019.

5.The Rock Nature Reserve

A protected area that occupies the upper half of the rock and in which are some of the essential places to see in Gibraltar. There are several ways to access it: by cable car, by taxi, by bus or, why not, by foot, taking advantage of the many hiking trails that are scattered around “La Rocca”.

Once you have accessed there are 5 essential things to see:

  • the Cave of San Miguel, where you can contemplate one of the greatest wonders that Gibraltar has. The first writings that talk about the imposing cave date from 45 a. C. and were made by the Roman traveler Pomponius Melia. Walking between stalactites and millenary stalagmites that have been shaping impossible figures is something magical, as it is also hiring the excursion that allows you to descend to the Low Cave of San Miguel, an adventure that ends with the greatest of surprises: a beautiful underground lake.
  • the skywalk Gibraltar, which years ago was an old lookout, in 2018 was inaugurated, completely renovated, as one of the most innovative and original viewpoints you can imagine. And it is that the Skywalk Gibraltar allows you to enjoy incredible panoramic views of the entire Mediterranean along 360º. The most striking is that it is a platform built entirely of glass located 430 meters high. It is necessary to defeat the vertigo to place the feet on it and get to live, in this way, the feeling that it is floating in the air. Of course, the experience is worth it.
  • The monkeys, of course, we have not forgotten the great protagonists of the rock. Only few are those who, after listening to Gibraltar, do not directly visualize any of the 300 macaques that move freely and with total freedom – in fact, it is the only place in all of Europe where this occurs – by the Natural Reserve of the Crag. Meeting them is usually quite common: normally, they approach some of the points most traveled by tourists such as the Cave of San Miguel or the access to the Gibraltar Skywalk. Of course, it is important to be very clear about something: they are wild animals and you have to treat them with respect. They are in their habitat and it is the visitor who enters a place that does not belong to him. Do not try to touch them, get too close or, of course, feed them – something that is also punishable by 4 thousand pounds fine.
  • The Windsor suspension bridge, with the 360º panorama, and the spectacular views of the western part of the rock, which include the bay, the strait and the city. Crossing this unstable walkway while maintaining balance is an activity that is more than obligatory among the things to do in Gibraltar, especially for those who like adrenaline climbs. With its 71 meters long, this narrow bridge hangs over a 50 meter deep gorge that is part of one of the trails that can be traversed in the rock: the Royal Anglian Way.
  • Gibraltar tunnels, the mythical Tunnels of the Great Siege, one of the key places to understand the history of the rock. This network of passages extends over 52 kilometers and crosses “The Rock” making it the closest thing to a gruyer cheese. Coinciding with the United States War of Independence, French and Spanish took the opportunity to try to recover Gibraltar. It was then that the tunnels were built as a defense strategy. The Gibraltarians worked hand in hand to create this authentic engineering work that would forever transform the rock. It was known as the time of the Great Siege and passed in the middle of the 18th century. Some time later, during World War II, these tunnels were perfected.

6. The Queensway Quay Marina

Built in 1994, the Queensway Quay Marina is one of the most exclusive areas to see in Gibraltar. This marina concentrates some of the most prominent luxury residential buildings in the Rock, as well as a large number of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy some of the most acclaimed Spanish and British dishes.

Many of the businesses offer such typical British plans as brunch or afternoon tea, although it will also be easy to find the restaurant where to eat good ham or a paella. The mixture of Spanish and British cultures is also here.