Jerez de la Frontera is a small charming city in the South of Spain, in the region known as Andalusia. Although the city is not famous for its architecture, they have a beautiful Alcazar that every tourist should visit, among other things. However the main reason why people visit Jerez de la Frontera is SHERRY. Jerez de la Frontera is one of three cities that create the Sherry triangle, therefore here you will find many great and old bodegas to visit and try their sherry. For those who are planning to spend some time in Jerez de la Frontera, I wrote the complete guide to this city to help you better navigate and arrange your time.
How to get to Jerez de la Frontera depends on where you are coming from. But from almost any city in Spain you can take a train route or bus to Jerez.
Here is a link to a website that is very easy to navigate and helped us a lot with ticket purchasing. There you can find schedules and prices for buses and trains in Spain.
Since 99% of tourists come to Jerez de la Frontera to do sherry tastings at famous bodegas, it really doesn’t matter what weather is outside. However, there are other things that you can do in this city, including a visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art to see their famous horse show as well as exploring the city itself. Therefore I would advise you to come here during shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) when it is the most comfortable to walk around and way less touristy than in summer.
Many tourists that come to Jerez de la Frontera are day trippers from Malaga, Marbella, and Seville, as well as the nearby port city of Cadiz. Therefore there are usually accommodations available. Of course, if you want to find the best combination of quality and price, you still need to book in advance.
During our stay in Jerez de la Frontera we chose a cute “hostel”, which was more like a hotel, since it was all private rooms with bathrooms. This hostel has a great location, decent rooms, and they even have included breakfast. I do recommend Hostal Fenix. The one thing that I must warn you is that they do have an issue with soundproofing. Other than that, the place was totally fine.
Jerez de la Frontera is famous for its tabancos, which are local tavernas that serve delicious tapas and sherry. During our stay we visited quite a few of them and I highlighted three of them for you:
El Pasaje is a place where you can experience classic Spanish tapas and flamenco shows. Usually at 9:30 PM you can enjoy an amazing performance and try all different sherries. I do advise you to book a table, since the bar itself is quite small and it can get overcrowded very fast.
El Trastero Tapas is a place where you won’t see a flamenco show, but nevertheless you will fall in love with this tabanco. Their food is excellent, starting with presentation and ending with delicious taste.
Tabanco las Banderillas is a place with a great atmosphere and traditional taste of Spain. The food and the service here are excellent. Maybe you won’t find fancy dishes here, the food at Tabanco las Banderillas is quite simple, but always fresh and full of taste.
As you probably already guessed, the best souvenir from Jerez is a bottle of a good sherry. You can buy them at the store and directly at bodegas after a tour and sherry tasting, which is the best way to choose which sherry you like the most.
The prices of sherry are very different. You can find a sherry that you like for $8 or it can be a 30 years old sherry for $50 or more. It all depends on your individual taste and on which bodegas you are visiting.
Of course, besides sherries, you can bring from Jerez de la Frontera all standard souvenirs like: magnets, keychains, coasters, and more.
Alcazar de Jerez is definitely a must do thing in Jerez de la Frontera. Although the Alcazar in Jerez de la Frontera is not as grand as the one in Seville or the Alhambra in Granada, it is still quite a nice small palace with landscaped courtyards and gardens inside.
To visit the Alcazar de Jerez, you don’t need to book a visit in advance, just show up and buy a ticket at the site. The ticket costs just 5€ and you can use a card if needed.
When we visited the Alcazar de Jerez (beginning of November) there weren’t many people at all. It took us about half an hour to see the whole place.
Other than the sherry bodegas, Jerez de la Frontera is famous for its horse shows at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. The show usually begins at 12 PM and you can enjoy a wonderful exposition that lasts for about an hour and a half.
To visit the horse show in Jerez de la Frontera you better buy tickets online a few days in advance. There are many tourists that come in big organized groups from other cities specifically to see this show and then have a sherry tasting tour after.
During the show you will see many different performances in groups and solo. My favorite part was the second half of the show after a short (10 minutes) break.
On the grounds of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art you can buy souvenirs, snacks and water if needed.
Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral is another must do. It was built in the 17th century and it combines a variety of different architectural styles.
The inside of the facade is covered in small details. You can visit the cathedral for 6€ or cathedral + tower for 7€. At the entrance you can scan a QR code and enter an audio guide (very convenient since you don’t need to pay additional money for an audio guide).
The visit took around 20 minutes. Of course, if you don’t listen to an audio guide I can’t imagine it will take you more than 10 minutes inside the cathedral plus the time in the tower.
Jerez de la Frontera is famous for its sherry, so the main and most important thing to do in this city is to have a sherry tasting at one of the many bodegas.
Usually you need to prebook your visit to a bodega. To do this you just need to call a bodega, ask them about available times and let them know that you will show up. I really advise you to do that, since sometimes the tour is fully booked and due to Corona restrictions they don’t accept more than a certain number of people in one tour.
A bodega tour usually starts with a bit of history about the place. You will be taken around the grounds to see different storage spaces and to learn how different sherries are made. The tasting usually takes place at the end of your tour.
Almost all bodegas we visited have different tasting options. For example you can choose a tasting of aged sherries or young ones, with tapas or without. The prices for such tastings are different of course, but sometimes it is worth it to pay a bit more and get a better deal.
During our stay in this city I made a list of 5 Bodegas to Visit in Jerez de la Frontera that you can read and decide for yourself which one or ones appeal to you the most. Yes, I really did do 5 different sherry bodega tours during my 4 days in Jerez de la Frontera.
Tabancos is a name for local tavernas. Jerez de la Frontera has many great places to eat, but the best are still traditional tabancos that serve tapas.
You might know a bit about tapas if you have been to Seville or Granada. Tapa is a small plate of food that is served with a drink. In some cities in Spain like Granada, tapas are free, but in most you pay for your tapas like here in Jerez de la Frontera or Seville. The price per tapa usually is between 2 and 4€.
Visiting tabancos in Jerez is a great way to try traditional Spanish dishes/tapas and do your own sherry tasting. The best tabancos that you should visit I’ve already mentioned above, but of course, there are more of them all throughout Jerez de la Frontera.