This British Overseas Territory is a fusion of British, European and Moorish influences. Located at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula and only 14 miles from Africa, this duty-free, strategically placed zone has been under dispute for centuries. Dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar and a runaway cutting across Winston Churchill Avenue, with a landmass of 2.5 square miles, makes it one of the densely populated territories in the world. Read our guide to see Gibraltar for less than £50.
Travel Essentials to see Gibralter for less than £50
Airline: Wizz Air and easyJet from London Luton (LTN) to Gibraltar (GIB). From £70, return.
To the city: 15 minute walk or Bus 5.
Cost: £1.80 Adult single.
Journey time to centre: 25 minutes.
Distance and direction from airport to centre: 2km (1.2 mile) north of the centre.
Need to know
Visa: No visa for British nationals.
Travel: Check HM Government of Gibraltar for further information.
Currency: Gibraltar pound (£1 = 1 GIB).
Tips: 10% is recommended.
Travel Adapter: Type G (UK) and Type C (European).
Language: English and Spanish.
Best time to visit: May until September.
Time: GMT + 1.
Quick facts about Gibraltar
- The Barbary macaques, found here are Europe’s only wild monkey population.
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married in a three-minute ceremony at The Rock Hotel in 1969.
- The Sunbourn Gibraltar is a floating superyacht hotel.
- There are no rivers or streams in Gibraltar.
- Twinned with Chicago (US) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
- The airport runway intersects one of Gibraltar’s busiest roads.
- Gibraltarians speak Llanito, a mix of Spanish, English and Portuguese.
The itinerary to see Gibraltar for less than £50
- Explore the Rock of Gibraltar – Free in sections.
- Ride the Gibraltar Cable Car – £17 (Adult) or £30 with Nature Reserve ticket (NRT)
- Wander around the Upper Rock Nature Reserve – part of NRT.
- Observe the light show at St. Michael’s Cave – part of NRT.
- Walk the Mediterranean Steps – part of NRT.
- Check out the gun at O’Hara’s Battery – part of NRT.
- Walk the Skywalk – part of NRT.
- Cross the dangling Windsor Suspension Bridge – part of NRT.
- Admire the views from the Moorish Castle – part of NRT.
- Walk the WWII Tunnels – part of NRT.
- Explore the Great Siege Tunnels – part of NRT.
- Visit Gorham’s Cave Complex – £8 (Adult) for a combined ticket
- Relax at Ocean Village – Free to look around.
- People watch at Grand Casemates Square – Free to look around.
1. Explore the Rock of Gibraltar
Visible for miles from the air, sea and land, the limestone Rock of Gibraltar stands at 426 metres (1,396 feet) at its tallest point. Under Moorish rule for 800 years, it was then captured by the British in 1704. Gibraltar (or Gib as the locals call it, pronounced ‘jib’) has a heavy military presence with the air and naval base guarding the Strait of Gibraltar, the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Ride the Gibraltar Cable Car
The journey time is six minutes to the top of the Rock. Barbary macaques, which are Europe’s only wild monkey population, roam freely. They attack visitors, so zip up any bags and secure loose items. The views, as far-reaching as Spain and Africa, are dramatic on a clear day.
3. Wander around the Rock Nature Reserve
The Upper Rock Nature Reserve is limited to the upper part of the Rock of Gibraltar. The limestone rock was formed 200 million years ago. From here, there are views across the Bay of Gibraltar towards Spain, and Jebel Musa in Morocco. The views are spectacular and provide a habitat for the Barbary macaques, and a resting point for migrating birds.
4. Witness the light show at St. Michael’s Cave
This natural cave in the heart of the Rock is impressive. An immersive light show, known as The Awakening, takes place every 20 minutes, bringing the rich detail of the stalagmites to life. During WWII, the cave was prepared as an emergency hospital but never used. It now serves as an auditorium with a capacity of 600 for concerts and drama events.
5. Walk the Mediterranean Steps
The 600 or so steps form part of a nature trail built by the British military, which now serves as a pedestrian route linking Jews’ Gate and O’Hara’s Battery. The views stretching across the Mediterranean Sea and the Costa del Sol in Spain make walking the steps worthwhile.
6. Check out the gun at O’Hara’s Battery
Built in 1890 and located near the highest point at the Rock near the southern side of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, the battery features a control room, engine room, observation post and a 9.2 inch Mark X coastal defence gun. The gun range is 29,600 yards (16.8 miles), last fired as part of a training exercise in 1976. The battery is one of four television broadcasting sites in Gibraltar.
7. Walk the Skywalk
The site of a former lookout post now gives way to a clear glass walkway that is 2.5 metres wide with views to the Mediterranean Sea below. The glass floor and panels consist of 4 layers of glass with a total thickness of just 4.2 centimetres designed to withstand winds of up to 150km/h (93.2mph). About 66,138lb (30,000kg) of steel makes up the construction.
8. Cross the dangling Windsor Suspension Bridge
Opened in 2016, at 71m (232ft) long, rising above a gorge 50m (160ft) below offers panoramic views over the Bay of Gibraltar. Situated between two batteries along the Royal Anglian Way in the Upper Nature Reserve, it provides thrill-seekers with an opportunity to cross the swaying bridge, and is one of the best things to do in Gibraltar.
9. Admire the views from the Moorish Castle
The castle built on a site from 1160 comprises of gates, fortified walls and buildings, with the Gate House and Tower of Homage as the main features. On the reverse of the Gibraltar five pound banknote is an image of the castle. Until 2010, a section of the castle formed part of Gibraltar prison.
10. Walk the WWII Tunnels
An extensive network of tunnels exists inside the Rock, totalling 55km (34.1 mile), including a telephone exchange, a makeshift hospital, a water distillation plant, a bakery and various maintenance workshops. Walking through the tunnels feel like being part of an underground city; a garrison of 16,000 could survive with food for 16 months.
11. Explore the Great Seige Tunnels
Found inside the northern end of the Rock, the labyrinth of tunnels are the most impressive defence system designed by man. They were dug by hand, by British forces from solid limestone, during the three-year Great Siege of Gibraltar, commencing in 1779. The British were defending against the Spanish and French forces trying to recapture Gibraltar.
12. Visit Gorham’s Cave Complex
The 28-hecatre site on the eastside of Gibraltar was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. The group of four caves show archeological deposits provide evidence of Neanderthal occupation as their last refuge 32,000 years ago. It shows their complex social behaviour, stylt of clothing and rock engravings.
13. Relax at Ocean Village
The village boasts award-winning marinas, the Sunborn, a luxurious floating 5-star yacht hotel, and numerous eateries. Located next to one of the best runway approaches in Europe, this lively area attracts crowds at all hours. Part-residential area and part shopping area, the marina caters provides facilities for tourists and locals.
14. People watch at Grand Casemates Square
The name of the square comes from the Grand Casemates barracks from 1817. Once the site of public executions and formerly a beach, it is now lined with bars, food outlets and a few pubs. It is also where military parades, open-air concerts and Gibraltar National Day celebrations occur.
With over 300 days of sunshine, Gibraltar has much to offer its visitors, VAT-free shopping and everything within walking distance, its a destination ideal for a last minute weekend break. Plus, Gibraltar’s main attractions can be seen for less than £50.
The approach from the air, with sweeping views of the Rock and the runway sandwiched between residential housing blocks and the marina, makes for one of Europe’s most dramatic landings. The short walk to the centre involves crossing the airport runway, one of one a few places in the world this is legally allowed.
Although a British Overseas territory, they observe Spanish time and drive on the right. Gibraltar has its own political system, however the UK government rules defence and foreign affairs from London. UK currency is accepted in Gibraltar, yet the Gibraltar pound is not legal tender in the UK.
Guided Gibraltar tours from Inside-Out Rock Tours.
Read about our other cheap European city breaks.