Gibraltar


Overview

Gibraltar travel guide

Otherwise known as ‘The Rock’ or ‘Gib’ to those in the know, Gibraltar is a melting pot of Spanish, North African and English cultures, where no one will bat an eyelid if you get your languages muddled up.

Home to a large British naval presence, the rock is also favoured by bookmakers, online gaming companies and tourists keen to take advantage of VAT free shopping. Getting married here is easy too – John Lennon and Yoko Ono tied the knot at the registry office in 1969.

To meet the Barbary macaques – Gibraltar’s most famous residents and the only wild primates in Europe – take a cable car up the rock. Legend has it that if the monkeys ever leave so will the British.

 

Wanderlust Recommends

  1. Wave at Africa from Europa Point where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean
  2. See the Siege Tunnels - a system of tunnels dug during the Great Siege which acted as a defence system
  3. Take a boat trip to the Bahía de Algeciras to watch playful dolphins cavort in the surf
  4. Visit the Gibraltar Museum for the low down on the rock’s military and naval history
  5. Take to the shops and have a pint in the sunshine when you’re done

Wanderlust tips

Walk rather than drive over the border, as queues can be obscene in the summer. Know what you can and can’t take through customs too, and never agree to take through cigarettes or other goods for strangers – searches are common.

Gibraltar’s currency is only accepted on the rock, so make sure you spend up before crossing the border.

Further Reading

Travel in Gibraltar: Vital stats

 

  • Capital of Gibraltar: Gibraltar
  • Population of Gibraltar: 28,000
  • Languages in Gibraltar: English
  • Time in Gibraltar: GMT +1
  • International dialling code in Gibraltar: +350
  • Voltage in Gibraltar: 220/240AC 50 Hz
  • Visas for Gibraltar: Visas for Gibraltar
  • Money in Gibraltar: Gibraltar Pound (£) and pound sterling are interchangeable. Avoid using euros as the conversion rates are low. Banks are open from 9am to 3.30pm.
  • Gibraltar travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Gibraltar tourism board: Gibraltar

     

    When to go to Gibraltar

    Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate with mild rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

    International airports

    Gibraltar airport (GIB) has daily flights to the UK. Malaga and Jerez airports in Spain are alternatives with a bus service to Gibraltar.

    Getting around in Gibraltar

    Getting into Gibraltar can be a frustrating business from Spain. Long queues at the border means it’s often easier to park in La Línea and walk across. Once you’re in, you can get the number 9 bus to the centre of Gibraltar or the number 3 to Europa Point.

    Much of Gibraltar can be tackled on foot as it’s less than 7 square kilometres but bear in mind that some roads are steep. Taxis are plentiful. There are no trains. To visit the Apes’ den on the Upper Rock, take the cable car to the middle station.

    Gibraltar accommodation

    Gibraltar isn’t the cheapest place to lay your head but for people on a budget, there are a few small guest houses, budget hotels and a youth hostel. Further up the scale, several hotels offer panoramic sea views, rooftop pools or spa facilities.

    Gibraltar food & drink

    Eating in Gibraltar is similar to eating in England. Although there are plenty of places serving up traditional English breakfasts, hearty stews, fish and chips and meaty pies, Gibraltar isn’t short of restaurants serving more international fare. For something truly Gibraltarian, try Calentita, a baked bread-like dish made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil and seasoning.

    Health & safety in Gibraltar

    If you are a British national resident in the UK you can obtain emergency treatment in Gibraltar by presenting your UK passport as proof of residence. However, as some emergency treatment may require transfer to Spain or the UK, you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

     

    Watch out for the monkeys. They may look cute but they’ve been known to bite and can be light-fingered. Hold onto your valuables and don’t feed them – it’s dangerous and against the law.