Gibraltar is a tiny British colony at the tip of the Iberian peninsula. Locals are called Gibraltarians. Like the Scottish and Welsh, they are British but with their own specific identity. Their neighbor, Spain, tries to pretend that Gibraltar doesn’t exist…except when it’s convenient or helpful to them to make a visit.
A daytrip to this fun 3-mile country is worth it if you’re already in southern Spain.
Get to La Linea de la Concepcion
The first part of any day trip to Gibraltar is reaching the border town in Spain called La Linea. Trains, buses, taxis, and rideshares all go to La Linea. The best way to figure out how to get there is to do a search on Rome2Rio.com.
Wherever your rides drops you off in La Linea, just walk toward the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s unmistakable. If you need a bathroom break, stop in at the Tourist Information Center. The bathroom is immaculate. They don’t have much information on Gibraltar, you’ll need to stop at the TI in Casemates Square across the border to get that.
Cross the Border
This border crossing was so easy. Americans don’t need a visa. We handed our passports to the border guards and as soon as they saw we were American they started teasing us and gave us the big, beautiful Gibraltar passport stamps.
We left them chuckling, “Americans love their passport stamps.”
Once outside of customs, we walked across the airstrip that is the Gibraltar border. Cars, bikes, and pedestrians cross the airstrip all day long, stopped only for the occasional airplane to take off or land.
Beyond the airstrip, you can get a bus or taxi or walk to the center of town. We walked to Casemates Square, got a map at the TI, and then we needed to eat.
Breakfast at the Star Bar
The Star Bar claims to be the oldest bar in Gibraltar and that Christopher Columbus stopped in for a steak before he discovered the Americas. Regardless of whether those are tall talls or truths, this place is centrally located and serves a decent English breakfast complete with baked beans and black pudding.
Strolling and Shopping
After breakfast we strolled along the Main Street towards the Rock of Gibraltar. We made stops in a couple of souvenir shops and for some fun new clothes at Marks and Spencer.
If you don’t feel like walking or your short on time, a taxi would take you almost to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar or to the cable car that goes to the top.
Cable Car to the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar
The highlight of our trip was visiting the Rock of Gibraltar itself. The cable car takes you quickly up to the summit. If you’re claustrophobic or afraid of heights (or both!) the cable car ride might challenge you a bit, but it’s totally worth it. I hummed a little song under my breath to distract myself from my nerves and actually ended up enjoying the view.
Views from the Top
Once at the top, we lingered and admired the views for a couple of hours. We ate lunch in the gift shop at the top. I enjoyed a beer made in Gibraltar. And we got some cute pics of the Barbary Apes that live on the Rock. Use caution because the apes are food motivated and do bite. If you purchase food in the cafe you have to eat it inside the cafe.
Coffee at the Base of the Rock
After another thrilling cable car ride, we popped into Trafalgar Bar for a coffee and to evaluate the day. Even though there is more to see in Gibraltar, we were satisfied with our day trip and ready to head back to Spain.
On To The Next Destination
Since we only had one day in Gibraltar, we didn’t want to be married to the bus schedule. There are plenty of buses and you could easily use the bus for a day trip, but we didn’t want to do it this time. We decided to take a taxi from Gibraltar to Tarifa. We had to take two taxis. One to the border, then we walked across the border, then we got a taxi at the stand in La Linea. It was about 50 Euros to go from La Linea to Tarifa. While that’s a steep price it was worth it to us for the flexibility that day. Again, I recommend Rome2Rio to help you choose how you’ll depart Gibraltar.
Essential Information and Recommendations
How to get there
Things To Do
Just in case you want to stay a few more days in Gibraltar, here are some hotels with good ratings.
Or you could always go for an AirBnb.