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The Moorish Castle complex extends from Casemates Square up to the Tower of Homage. The Tower, parts of which were built in the Twelfth Century also has an Arab-style bath and boasts excellent views over the town and isthmus from its summit.
The Upper Rock Nature Reserve with its breathtaking vistas and mix of natural and military heritage is undoubtedly the jewel in Gibraltar’s crown. No experience is complete without getting up close and personal with the Barbary Macaques, the Rock’s most famous residents and Europe’s only wild ape population.
Europa Point is Gibraltar’s southernmost tip and on a clear day, the best place to enjoy stunning views of the Rif Mountain range in northern Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta just 14km away.
The Nature Shop in the Botanical Gardens (the Gardens are also worth a visit!) celebrates nature by selling Fair Trade, sustainable, and handcrafted products, many of which are created by artisans and farmers from developing countries. All profits generated go towards the upkeep of the Gardens
At the Gibraltar Crystal shop on Casemates Square you can watch bespoke works of art be crafted from molten glass before your very eyes. Master blower Paul Alexander and his team produce unique items of glassware ranging from goblets and tumblers to paperweights and jewellery, all of which can be customized to meet your specific tastes.
The House of Sacarello was founded over a century ago by Bartholomew Sacarello, a Genoese immigrant. His descendents still run the business, roasting and packaging their own beans which are imported from all corners of the coffee-producing world. Their blends can be sampled at the attached coffee shop which is also one of Gibraltar’s most popular meeting spots.
A visit to Benzaquen Antiques, located near the Governor’s House, is like a walk through the history of Gibraltar. They have a fascinating range of collectable militaria representing the many ages of Gibraltar’s turbulent past, as well as a selection of locally-themed antique and reproduction prints.
Despite the abundance of artistic talent on the Rock there is sadly no permanent public gallery displaying the work of Gibraltarian artists. The Gibraltar Fine Arts Gallery,also on Casemates Square however showcases purchasable pieces by a wide selection of prominent local artists.
It is testament to Gibraltar’s melting-pot of cultures that you can just as easily find excellent Mediterranean fare such as fried seafood at the beachside restaurants at Catalan Bay; a typical British bar meal in one of the many pubs within the historic City Walls; or a curry at The Maharaja, Gibraltar’s oldest Indian restaurant.
All budgets are similarly catered for. For fine dining, try one of the swanky bistros on the Queensway Quay or Ocean Village marinas or for a less expensive alternative, dine on a raciones (shared plates) basis in the company of locals at Jumpers Wheel restaurant on Jumpers Bastion.
You can grab some excellent food ‘on the go’ for just a few pounds at one of the many ‘takeaway’ restaurants scattered around the Rock. Gilbert’s, located opposite the Public Market is a local favourite despite only being open in the evenings.
Finally, no trip to Gibraltar would be complete without a breakfast of churros a traditional fried-dough snack which is extremely popular with Gibraltarians.
Casemates Square and Irish Town have no shortage of British-style pubs offering the usual selection of traditional ales in carpeted and wood-panelled surroundings.
Bars like O’Reilly’s and Celebrity Wine Barin Ocean Village are the places to see and be seen nowadays, before heading down to Savannah nightclub, also on the marina, for a funky dance floor strut. Gibraltar’s Casino has three bars, a very late license and is also located nearby.
Gibraltar has hotels to suit every pocket and predilection. The big three – the O’Callaghan Eliott, the Rock Hotel and the Caleta Hotel – offer the most luxurious accommodation as well as specialising in bespoke wedding packages, catering to those couples wanting to follow in John and Yoko’s footsteps by ‘tying the knot’ on the Rock.
There are also several slightly less expensive options such as the Bristol, the Cannon and the Queens Hotel. The Bristol is arguably the pick of the bunch boasting as it does the luxury of both a swimming pool and a central town location.
Emile Hostel offers basic accommodation either on a private room or dormitory basis for about £10-15 a night. It is well situated near Casemates Square and is the perfect choice for backpackers or young travellers.
Practically every corner of Gibraltar is accessible on foot. The City Centre is compact and the Upper Rock and beaches can be reached without needing to rely on transport.
A walk up Mediterranean Steps, which wind its way around the Rock’s eastern side, is a great way to enjoy the diversity and natural beauty of the Nature Reserve.
The 50km network of tunnels blasted through the Rock during WWII can be visited on a guided tour which can be arranged, giving a few days’ notice, by contacting the Gibraltar Tourist Board.
Gibraltar is perfectly located to explore the beauty of Andalucía, including its famous pueblos blancos, the nearest being San Roque located just 13 km from Gibraltar. The southern Spanish cities of Malaga, Seville, Granada and Cordoba are all located less than three hours drive from the Rock.
Gibraltar is located just 14km across the Strait from Morocco. You can arrange a day-trip to Tangiers at local agent Sterling Travel.
The Spanish border town of La Linea, just a short walk from Gibraltar offers a snapshot of life in Spain, with an excellent stretch of beaches, its own bull-ring and many fine restaurants and tapas bars.
If the opportunity arises, do not miss the chance to attend a concert at St Michael’s Cave – the acoustics excellent and there can be no more unique a setting for a classical recital than this stunning cave.
The Lord Nelson Pub on Casemates Square has live music every Sunday evening featuring some of the best local musicians.
For a relaxed musical evening, be sure to check out the Jazz night every Thursday at the Veranda Bar of the O’Callaghan Eliot Hotel.
If you wish to dip into Gibraltar’s alternative music scene, check out the Rock on the Rock Club for indie club nights and intimate concerts by local bands.
The frontier queue. The border which separates Gibraltar from Spain is most busy during the summer tourist season or daily during peak commute times. You may be best leaving your car in La Linea and walking across the border – taking a bus to the city centre takes about five minutes or you can walk it in about twenty.