Gibraltar – 20 top things to see and do

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar is filled with historic sights, attractions and activities, more than enough to keep the whole family occupied for an entire week.  Here are my suggestions of the top 20 things to see and do.

Cable Car to the Top of the Rock, Gibraltar
Cable Car to the Top of the Rock

1. Ride the Cable Car – take the cable car up to the top of the Rock, a stunning 6 minute journey then walk around the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.  The bottom cable car station is conveniently located near the southern end of Main Street close to the Botanical Gardens.  Views from the cable car are breathtaking and on reaching the top station you’ll probably be greeted with a troop of Barbary monkeys.  Gibraltar Cable Car

View from the Top of the Rock, GIbraltar
View from the Top of the Rock

The Upper Rock Nature Reserve (entrance £13) includes admission to the following attractions:

2. Look in awe at St. Michael’s Cave – the largest chamber of which has been transformed into a concert hall.  It feels like a magical experience with its glimmering red, white and grey stalactite columns, resembling a cathedral complete with pulpit, chancel and organ pipes.

St. Michael's Cave, Gibraltar
St. Michael’s Cave

3. Be a thrill seeker at the Windsor Suspension Bridge – a 71 metre long bridge suspended over a 50 metre deep gorge with spectacular views over the city and Bay of Gibraltar.

Windsor Suspension Bridge, Gibraltar
Windsor Suspension Bridge

4. Go underground at The Great Siege Tunnels – explore the Great Siege Tunnels, once a secret military base constructed to defend Gibraltar. The Great Siege Tunnels were a secret military base carved out by hand with sledgehammers and gun powder.  Soldiers excavated 36 metres of tunnel in just six weeks to defend Gibraltar.  Between 1779 and 1783 the Rock was under siege with both Spanish and French troops advancing and trying to recapture Gibraltar from the British.

The Great Siege Tunnels, Gibraltar
The Great Siege Tunnels

5. Brave the Skywalk – follow in the steps of Luke Skywalker by daring to step onto the Skywalk – a glass viewing platform 340 metres above sea level where you can enjoy more spectacular views.  It’s not at all scary and is perfectly safe with its floor and side panels made of four layers of laminated glass, strong enough to withstand the weight of 11 Range Rover vehicles.

Skywalk, Gibraltar
On the Skywalk 

In other parts of Gibraltar you can: 

6. Relax in The Alameda Botanical Gardens – The gardens are free to visit and cover an area of 15 acres.  They were established in 1816 when the British Governor General commissioned a park for the soldiers stationed in the territory to enjoy relaxing in whilst off duty.

Alameda Botanical Gardens, Gibraltar
Alameda Botanical Gardens, Gibraltar

7. View animals in the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park – nestled in one corner of the gardens.  Its mission is to care for exotic animals confiscated by Gibraltar customs and unwanted exotic pets.  The park also receives animals on loan from international zoos to raise awareness of endangered species through conservation.  Entrance to the wildlife park is a nominal £5 and a small selection of souvenirs can also be purchased at the kiosk to help fund the project.  Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park

Otter in Alameda Wildlife Park, Gibraltar
Otter in Alameda Wildlife Park

8. Gibraltar National Museum – learn about the territory’s history.  Galleries cover the history of the Rock starting from the Pillars of Hercules, through to The Great Siege and continuing to life as it is today.  Of particular interest is the section dedicated to Neanderthal Man.  Two skulls from Gorham’s Cave were among the first Neanderthal remains to be discovered in Europe giving an unprecedented insight into what their lives might have been like.  Gibraltar National Museum

Neanderthal Man Gibraltar National Museum
Neanderthal Man Gibraltar National Museum

9. Learn about the resident apes with Monkey Talk Gibraltar – the territory is home to around 300 macaques and Brian Gomilla, a Barbary macaque expert is Gibraltar’s only qualified primatologist.  He runs Monkey Talk Gibraltar, taking small groups to observe a particular troop and to describe their interactions.  Tours commence during the two hours prior to sunset and start outside St. Michael’s Cave near the Jew’s Gate entrance to the nature reserve.  Monkey Talk Gibraltar

Monkey Talk Gibraltar
Monkey Talk Gibraltar

10. Tour a Gin Distillery at Spirit of the Rocklocated on George’s Lane this is Gibraltar’s only gin distillery where you can join one of their hour long tours and tastings (£20).  Each tour ends with a generous glass of the Spirit of the Rock’s award winning London Dry Campion Gin.  It’s an opportunity to learn about gin and you also get some to drink too!  Spirit of the Rock

Spirit of the Rock, Gibraltar
Spirit of the Rock, Gibraltar

11. Return to bygone days at The Garrison Library – Founded in 1793 as a military library, it became a reference library and research centre in 2011.  This colonial building has been beautifully preserved and is filled with rare books and manuscripts stored in antique glass fronted cabinets.  Each room is furnished with comfortable armchairs and large fireplaces making it feel as if you’ve just stepped back in time to the days when officers of HM. Forces relaxed beside the fire with one of the leather bound books.  Garrison Library

Garrison Library, Gibraltar
The Garrison Library

12.  Spend a day on the beach at Catalan Bay – a sheltered bay located on the eastern side of the Rock.  This small bay is characterised by its picturesque colourful buildings, a hotel and seafood restaurants.  Sunbathe on the fine golden sand, swim in the clear blue sea and enjoy some freshly cooked fish in one of its restaurants.

Catalan Bay, Gibraltar
Catalan Bay, Gibraltar

13. Watch the weekly Re-enactment Ceremony – Each Saturday at 12.00 noon a group of dedicated volunteers parade down Main Street in period costume re-enacting the Ceremony of the Keys.  This symbolises the possession of the Fortress by Great Britain.

Re-enactment Ceremony, Gibraltar
The Re-enactment Ceremony at Grand Casemates Square

14. Walk across an airport runway – legally walk across the Gibraltar airport runway as Winston Churchill Avenue connecting Gibraltar to Spain cuts straight across it.  When an aircraft is due to take off or come in to land, barriers close for a few minutes to keep the runway clear.

Gibraltar Airport Runway
Winston Churchill Avenue, Gibraltar

15. Go Paddle boarding – on the calm waters of Sandy Bay experience paddle boarding with In2 Adventures.  Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a sort of cross between surfing and canoeing, you take a board into the water, stand up on it and use a single oar to propel yourself along.  Lessons for beginners and paddle board safaris for more experienced boarders.  In2 Adventures

Paddle Boarding in Sandy Bay, Gibraltar
Paddle Boarding in Sandy Bay, Gibraltar

16. E-Bike around the Rock – E-Bike Gibraltar are based at Ocean Village and from there you can take a three hour guided tour around the Upper Rock Nature Reserve or simply hire one of their e-bikes by the hour or half day to go at your own pace.  The e-bikes take the strain out of the steep hills allowing cyclists to exert as much or as little energy as they wish.  E-Bike Gibraltar

E-Bike Gibraltar
E-Biking around the Rock

 17. Go Dolphin Watching – departing from Ocean Village, take a 90 minute boat trip with Dolphin Adventures.  Gibraltar is renowned for its ever present population of wild dolphins and is one of the best places in the world for sightings.  Boats stop their engines approximately 60 metres from the dolphins so as not to disturb the pods but as dolphins are naturally inquisitive they are likely to approach the boat for all to see.  The specially designed viewing boats can cater for up to 70 passengers allowing ample space for everyone to view the marine life from the deck.  Dolphin Adventures

Dolphin Watching, Gibraltar
Dolphin Watching, Gibraltar

18. Climb the Union Jack Steps on Devil’s Gap Road.  These steps were originally painted in 1967 to celebrate Gibraltar’s first sovereignty referendum.  This street is also the quickest route on foot from the centre of town up to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

Union Jack Steps, Gibraltar
Union Jack Steps, Gibraltar

19. Go Shopping – take advantage of tax free shopping along vibrant Main Street which runs for almost 1 km through the heart of the city.  Find fresh produce and local delicacies in Gibraltar Market on the edge of Grand Casemates Square then pop into one of the many bars or restaurants for a relaxing drink or meal.

Main Street, Gibraltar
Shopping along Main Street

20. Take Afternoon Tea at The Rock Hotel – A time honoured tradition at the colonial Rock Hotel is afternoon tea served each day in the lounge bar and out on the connecting Wisteria Terrace overlooking Gibraltar harbour.  Silver cake stands arrive generously filled with double decker finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam plus a mouth-watering selection of cream cakes.  The Rock Hotel

Afternoon Tea, Rock Hotel, Gibraltar
Afternoon tea at the Rock Hotel

For more inspiration on visiting Gibraltar you may also like:

A week in Gibraltar

The Rock Hotel, Gibraltar

If you use Pinterest please consider sharing and pinning the image below:

Gibraltar Travel Guide

76 thoughts on “Gibraltar – 20 top things to see and do

  1. jasonlikestotravel

    Another wonderful read. Think I may well end up returning in the coming months if there isn’t more progress on the green list / travel in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Gibraltar – 20 top things to see and do – Buddhi.net

  3. Pingback: Gibraltar – 20 top things to see and do – Hifi Maddy

  4. Fabulous post and some brilliant photos. Never been but always wanted to get out there for a visit. Looks like there is so much history and so many places to see. A great place to spend a few days. Fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. winteroseca

    What an amazing place! I saw an episode of the television series New Tricks that was shot there and I thought it was a great advertisement for Gibraltar

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Hannah. Have you already made plans to visit Gibraltar? If so, I’m sure you will have a lovely time and there are even more nice things to see and do that I didn’t include such as climbing the Mediterranean Steps, visiting Gorham’s Cave and standing on the south eastern tip of the territory by the Europa Lighthouse. Hope you have a good day. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I know what I’ll be doing when I visit Gibraltar, thanks to your post! St. Michael’s Cave, Catalan Bay, and afternoon tea at the Rock Hotel are at the top of my list! Gibraltar is a small place, but packed with activities to do, all of which are very impressive. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I remember your series on Gilbraltar, I was surprised by the number of attractions in such a small area. This summary confirms that you can spend several days there. Thanks for the guide.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ecellent summary Marion. So much to do and see in such a small space. Not sure if I would be brave enough to stand on the glass skywalk. I had a tough time standing on the glass floor panel in the CN Tower in Toronto. Not sure if your follower subscription list is full, but no matter how many times I follow your site, it seems to kick me out. Thanks for sharing and stay well. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words Allan, Gibraltar is a splendid destination and a taste of Britain in warmer climes. I don’t think that follower limits can ever be full Allan and I’ve not heard of this problem occurring before. Could you please try again and if it doesn’t resolve itself I’ll look into it for you. It seems strange as I am still attracting new followers each day but don’t worry I’m sure we’ll sort it out. I’d hate to,lose your valued support and welcome thoughts. Thanks for letting me know and have a good day. Marion

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Great post and amazing photos, Marion. With sunny days all year round, dramatic cliff-sides with monkeys clinging on, this British Overseas Territory is well worth visiting at any time of year. And I love travelling to places where the airports are just a few kilometres away from the centre. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely evening. Aiva 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow, so many things to do in Gibraltar, it looks a nice place to visit, and I miss so much a salty breeze on my face🙂 A bit jealous for your sweet afternoon, Marion, you’ve got a great selection there! Have a wonderful week ahead! Christie, xx

    Liked by 3 people

  11. A solid overview of Gibraltar’s delights. Should I ever make it back there are a few things I missed, such as Garrison Library and St Michael’s Cave. Afternoon tea at The Rock would be a dream come true for me. Would have to get someone to sneak me into John and Yoko’s suite for a photo. Hope the weather in the UK is better than here in Belgrade, where it’s raining cats and dogs. Happy post-lockdown freedom day in The UK! Long may it continue.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Leighton, Gibraltar is one of my all time favourite places for its warm welcome, ease of getting around and variety of things to see and do. It’s been quite rainy here too but I don’t care today as we are going out for a pub lunch celebrating the first day of ‘eating in’ this year. Fingers crossed, that’s it now! Have a good week. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

  12. So many things to do in Gibraltar … I can see why one must spent at least a week there to enjoy everything!
    I wonder if you can combine some of the adventures … like enjoying a glass of gin in the beautiful library 😉.
    And oh, I would love that afternoon tea at the Rock Hotel – so much yumminess on that cake stand!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, I don’t think the gin and library would be allowed either … but it sounded like a good idea!
        Have a great week as well … and enjoy the pub lunch – that’s probably going to be a highlight this week for you guys in the UK 😁.

        Liked by 2 people

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