BadajozCopyright: Juan Aunion / Shutterstock.com
BadajozA gateway between the two nations of the Iberian peninsula, Badajoz lies as close to Lisbon as it does to Madrid or Seville, and the city draws on influences from both sides of the border, as well as from centuries of tumultuous history, to form its distinctive character. Winding medieval alleys and a skyline dotted with palace towers make the historic town a sight to behold, while the remnants of the majestic Alcazaba watch over the city as they have for centuries, once an impenetrable fortress that protected the area from countless invasions.
The CityWith its historically strategic location, so close to the Portuguese border, Badajoz was an important line of defence for Spain for centuries. Battled over by the Spanish, Portuguese, Moorish, and even the French and Spanish, the city is the result of the meeting of different peoples, cultures and eras. Badajoz and its surroundings hide numerous archaeological treasures dating back centuries, from Roman ruins to Moorish palaces to empire era forts. The river Guadiana crosses the city, dividing the more modern northern area from the historic centre to the south, which emanates from the impressive Plaza Alta square and is surrounded by remnants of the old city walls (as well as towers and the Alcazaba, an ancient palace and fort). To the west, Badajoz reaches all the way to Portugal, making it an ideal home base for those who wish to explore both sides of the border.
Do & See
Badajoz proud history is evident throughout its centuries-old buildings and monuments. The Alcazaba, Espantaperros Tower and Plaza Alta (the old town's main square) all showcase the city's Moorish influences, and great museums exhibit the prodigious contemporary artistic output of the region. The city also boasts fantastic modern attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
Badajoz boasts an impressive variety of restaurants that offer traditional and regional specialities with modern twists, as well as a choice of international cuisines. Though it may be most convenient to eat in the old town, many of the Badajoz's best eateries are located outside of the city centre, which gives visitors a great excuse to venture a bit further out and explore more of the city.
Take a load off after a day of walking and sightseeing, and kick back with a hot coffee and do some people-watching. The streets and squares of Badajoz hide lovely cafes, ice cream shops, and bakeries at every corner.
Bars & Nightlife
Nights in Badajoz are well spent surrounded by delicious food, refreshing drinks, and a crowd of lively locals. Visit a tapería for an authentic experience, or check out some of the city's cultural offerings at a theatre.
Shopping in Badajoz really shines when it comes to local food and drink specialities. Regional wines, cheeses, hams and oils are all well worth taking home, while pastries and traditional sweets are best enjoyed right away. Additionally, a few shopping centres provide for all of the modern shoppers and travelers needs.