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Things to do in Gibraltar - For First Time Travellers

Written By Shereen Pizzarello on 22 July 2015 | 21:21

Gibraltar hosts a vast array of historical, cultural and gastronomical wealth of information. It sits at the southern part of Europe and is home to around 30,000 people. If it's your first time travelling to Gibraltar, I suggest you try and experience a bit of all of these aspects that make Gibraltar unique. 


The Rock of Gibraltar - Eastern view 
My top picks are:

1. Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. 

You can spend as much or as little time as you want in the nature reserve depending on how you plan to visit this treasure on the Rock full of flora and fauna features for you to enjoy. At 426 m above sea level, you will enjoy seeing truly breathtaking views of Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco. 


Gibraltar - Europa Point and Morocco in the distance
In my opinion, I suggest you do not miss these places of interest and attractions: 
Great Siege Tunnels - A fantastic network which immerses you into a Gibraltar through the siege 
Apes Den - A tourist favourite, seeing these guys in their natural habitat
St Michael's Cave - This wondrous place will leave you mesmerized. Also used for concerts and special events 
WWII tunnels
Princess Caroline's Battery - For great views of the Rock and beyond  
Moorish Castle - To view the Moorish baths and views of the Old Town


Gibraltar Barbary apes at St Michaels' Cave
There are various routes you can take to visit the nature reserve. Some as follows: 

Walk it - if you love nature treks and have time to wander then try walking the reserve. Some parts are quite challenging  (426m ascent challenging), but it is definitely a great way to visit all the sightseeing spots mentioned above. Entrance ticket to the reserve will cost you £10.00pp and £0.50p entry for walkers. 

Take a bus tour - if you are pressed for time or don't fancy walking, try a Gibraltar Rock Tour. There are various companies in Gibraltar that organises them to include Blands Travel, MH Blands and Parodytur or flag down any standard white taxi you see as they also conduct private tours of the rock (max 8 persons). 

The standard bus rock tour takes about 1.5 hours and visits Europa point, St Michaels Cave and the Apes Den, some can extend it to include the WWII tunnels. I know I also mentioned the Great Siege tunnels and Moorish Castle on my list above, these can only be done trough a private tour of the rock which you need to clarify that that's what you want to the above mentioned companies when you contact them.  The tours are wonderful as you get a great running commentary by the driver guides on the history of Gibraltar. 


Europa Point - Sirkorski's monument 
Hop on the cable car - a 6 min cable car journey will take you to the Top of the Rock station, the highest peak in Gibraltar. At the top station, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea overlooking the sea across Europe and Africa and if lucky, get to see the monkeys too, outside of the Apes Den. A great place for taking in the breathtaking views of Gibraltar and the straits. 

2. Visit Gibraltar's shopping district - Main Street 

From high fashion stores to electronics, perfume and cosmetics, Main Street is home to a series of VAT free stores which millions of tourists enjoy over the year. 

To enjoy some fine cuisine, head to Casemates square (entrance to Main Street) where you will find a range or bars and restaurants to suit your taste. Want to visit Albert Hammond's restaurant here in Gibraltar? Head over to The Little Rock


Main Street, Gibraltar

3. Go on a Dolphin trip 

Capture these awesome mammals in their natural environment, leaping out of the waters in Gibraltar's bay. There are two companies that organise these trips Dolphin Adventure (the Yellow boat) and Dolphin Safari (the Blue boat). 

Enjoy a 1hr trip across the bay to see the dolphins and also beautiful views of the rock from afar. 


Marina Bay - Dolphin Trip collection point

4. Visit the Gibraltar museum 

Located in the heart of Main Street it is home to a vast collection history and natural history artefacts from Gibraltar through the ages, going back to the origins of the Rock through the Jurassic period around 200 million years ago. 

There is the Neanderthal and Great Siege exhibits and a wonderfully put together 15 min video introduction to Gibraltar. It also houses Moorish baths (part of ongoing archeological work in the area). 

The Museum is located right next to the Bristol Hotel and you can get there by walking through Main Street or grabbing a taxi this hotel. Entry is £2 per adult and is closed on Sundays and public holidays.  

Archaeological excavation at entrance to Gibraltar Museum, with night illumination, AquilaGib

Come and visit this fantastic place, great warm weather now in summertime and always something to do! 

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