Since I was young, I remember hearing about the rock and strait of Gibraltar, and I’ve always been curious to visit. It has been a much-contested area and is a UK overseas territory right at the bottom of Spain. In November 2022, I was looking for a sunny place to visit and decided to travel to Gibraltar. In fact it is quite easy to travel to Gibraltar with a direct flight from LHR that takes just over two hours. However, the landing is not for those afraid of flying. The runway is short and between the water so the landing and braking are very hard!
Unsurprisingly, the Rock was the highlight of my visit. It takes up a lot of the land area of Gibraltar and has a lot to see. There are tunnels, bastions, batteries, monkeys, caves and even a castle. I cheated and took the cable car to the top and then worked my way down (and sometimes up again) to see the various sights. Another nice walk was down to Europa Point to see the lighthouse and the view across to Morocco. The weather was gloriously sunny throughout my visit and I even got sunburnt!
Some people may wonder if it is worth it to travel to Gibraltar for a visit, since it is quite a small area. My recommendation would be that it is worth a visit for the history! Although you can probably see most things there in 1.5 to 2 days, you can literally walk across to Spain. And then from there it is easy to see some other nearby places, and even to take a ferry to Morocco.
- Rock of Gibraltar Nature reserve
- Cable car to the top of the Rock
- Mediterranean steps if you want to walk up
- Saint Michael’s Cave – beautiful walk formations with cool lighting
- Ape’s Den- there are monkeys all around the Rock so not only at the Ape’s Den
- World War 2 and Great Siege tunnels
- Gorham’s Cave Complex – email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the long waiting list
- Moorish Castle
- Tax-free shopping
- Grand Casemates Square
- John Macintosh Square (La Piazza)
- Europa Point – lighthouse and a view across to Morocco
- Gibraltar Distillery Co
- Walk around to see many bastions and defensive walls
Before you go
- Gibraltar is an Overseas territory of the United Kingdom
- The official language is English but many people speak Spanish
- Locals call it Gib (pronounced Jib)
- The phone country code is +350
- The currency is the British pound
- Summers are very hot and the spring and autumn have mild temperatures
- The Spanish border is a few minutes walk from the airport
- The official Gibraltar Tourism Website
- You’ll need to purchase a nature reserve pass to visit most attractions on and near the Rock
- Uber and Uber eats are not available, but Hungry Monkey is a local delivery service
- GoogleMaps is not accurate for city buses
- You can stamp your passport with a Gibraltar stamp at the tourism office
- There are ferries to Morocco from Gib and nearby Algeciras
- The flight from London Heathrow to Gibraltar is about 2.5 hours. The runway is short so the airplane hits the brakes hard. That surprised some people.
- Gibraltar airport is small and located within walking distance of the town centre
- Gibraltar is walkable but slightly hilly
- There is a cable car to the top of the Rock
- Taxis and city buses are also available. City bus 2 is useful to get to Europa Point
- While in Gibraltar I stayed at the Eliott hotel, which I booked using my British airways points. It is an upscale four-star hotel located in the heart of the city.
- The rooms are comfortable, air-conditioned and have a desk, mini bar, and a nice bathroom
- On the rooftop, there is a pool and sun deck, which has a great view in every direction
The official currency of Gibraltar is the Pound Sterling, the same as in the United Kingdom
I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates
Upon arrival at Gibraltar Airport, I had a few hours to wait for the next bus. So, I decided to walk to the north part of the city centre. I found a nice restaurant called Bianca’s by the Marina Bay. The server was super friendly and gave me some hiking tips for the Rock. I had a tasty bacon cheeseburger and fries, and a pink gin and tonic. The food was good and plentiful. It was the first time I had tried Puerto de Indias Spanish pink gin and I loved it!
One eve after a big day of hiking, I didn’t feel like going out for dinner. Instead I got an Indian takeaway from Neha Curry House. The menu was an interesting mix of Indian, Chinese and Moroccan flavours. I had the chili paneer, garlic naan and prawn dansak curry. The two mains were delicious and flavoured well, but the garlic naan was a bit strange. It was like a flat pizza base with garlic. Perhaps that was because they didn’t have a tandoori oven there? The people were friendly and I am definitely glad to have tried Indian food from Gibraltar.
Finally, my last meal was a relaxing lunch at Monique’s Bistro in Queensway Quay. The terrace in the sunshine was lovely before I headed back to rainy London. The menu had so much choice, but I felt like having seafood. For starter, I had a prawn Caesar salad. And for the main I had the house seafood chowder with bread, all washed down with rose wine. Perfect last meal in Gibraltar!
In the short time I was in Gibraltar, I tried four different bakeries. First, Gibraltar Confectionary was okay but the service was poor. They seemed very unhappy to have to make me a sandwich when I ordered it. Therefore, I can’t say I would recommend it though the food was okay. Apparently, they also make falafel and other food, but then I passed by at lunchtime on a Sunday, the place was empty.
Second, Pastel was a very small, friendly café with breads and strudel. By the time I was passing by in the late afternoon, they had sold out of some pastries. I had the cherry strudel and it was light and delicious. It also travelled well as I took it with me on the journey home!
Third, I had a cranberry white chocolate doughnut from chök – Main Street. It was as beautiful as it was delicious, and was decorated with flowers and chocolate balls. The bakery also sold handcrafted chocolate bars, cronuts and muffins.
Finally, I had two cupcakes from A Piece of Cake. The one in the photo is an Aero mint chocolate cupcake. And I also had the apple speculoos one. Both were delicious and fresh!
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, there are plenty of signs to show the sights around the city. And for the rock, a nature reserve pass is needed, and you get a map with that. However, if you don’t like walking a lot up and down hills, then you may want to hire a taxi tour.
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes, everyone speaks English.
Q: Can I travel solo?
A: Yes it is safe and easy to get around
Q: How easy is it to send postcards?
A: It is easy to find postcards at tourist shops and stamps at the Royal Mail Post office. The stamps from Gibraltar are different from the United Kingdom. See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.
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