Traversed by the Guadiana River, Badajoz lies just a stone’s throw from Spain’s border with Portugal. It centres around a Moorish historic quarter with a fortified citadel and is renowned for its Romanesque-Gothic cathedral and outstanding art museums.
Things to do in Badajoz
In the heart of Badajoz is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, a fortress-like church that dates back to the 13th century. Admire its 14-metre-high tower and the marble portal on its main facade, which is flanked by two Ionic columns. The interior boasts a highly decorated altar, Baroque organ and Plateresque stalls while the adjacent cloister is designed in a Manueline Portuguese style.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Ibero-American Museum of Contemporary Art, which is renowned for its collection of works by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American artists. It occupies a building designed by Jose Antonio Galea on the site of a former prison. Also of note is the Museo de Bellas Artes de Badajoz, which exhibits paintings by Goya and Picasso.
No visit to Badajoz is complete without exploring the Alcazaba, which was built by the Almohads in the 12th century and is now designated as a National Monument. Take note of the octagonal Torre de Espantaperros and the Renaissance-style Palace of the Dukes of Feria, which is home to the Provincial Archaeological Museum. Originally built as a mosque is the now-ruined Church of Santa María de Calatrava.
Getting around Badajoz
Badajoz Airport is around 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre and has regular flights to Barcelona and Madrid. The much larger Seville Airport is 2.5 hours away. Regular trains connect from Madrid to the Badajoz railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The historic centre of Badajoz is best explored on foot.