Gibraltar is well known for having an incredibly tumultuous history behind it. That’s why it attracts such a diverse tourist crowd, with many coming from across the world to see the significance of its geological and manmade sights. This has led to a wide range of stories about the city streets, all spanning across the centuries to create a hodgepodge of intrigue and culture. Whether you’re visiting Gibraltar for the day or staying at the Caleta Gibraltar, one of the main streets you’ll come across will almost definitely be Main Street itself. Like its name suggests, Main Street acts almost as a backbone for the city, bringing together history, retail and amazing events for the curious traveller.
History of Main Street
Main Street was established back in the 14th century, having been one of the busiest streets in the area. The street has seen some of the most significant events in Gibraltar’s history, the Great Siege of 1779 to 1783 left the street in ruins from bombing, due to its close proximity to the Gibraltar harbour. The street itself has houses built from a range of influences, including Portuguese, Andalusian, Genoese and British Regency styles, bringing together culture not only in its shops but in its architecture as well.
What to do on Main Street
Main Street is home to a wide range of shops and restaurants, stretching all the way down to the harbour. Below are some of our top picks from the shopping potential on Main street.
Marks and Spencers
Anyone looking for a classic british department store could do a lot worse than the British staple of Marks and Spencers. Whether you’re looking for homeware, clothes or food, M & S has it all, and at a brilliant price as well. The M & S department store is especially popular with tourists looking for a taste of England, and with Gibraltar’s heritage being mainly British, you can be sure to find echoes of the UK whilst shopping in M&S.
Antonio’s Diamond Boutique
Antonio’s diamond boutique is another example of Gibraltar’s extensive shopping experiences. Here you can find a diverse selection of fine cut diamonds at cut throat prices. With the legendary establishment selling a range of other jewellery as well, this is the perfect place to find a bargain for your loved ones.
Off of Main Street, you will find a great range of sub-districts, none more alluring for the budding Gibraltar explorer than Irish Town. Here you will find ancient buildings lining the streets alongside a great range of shops and independent boutiques. Irish Town holds many market stalls as well as some of Gibraltar’s important council buildings and organisations. The street was originally named Calle de Santa Ana and became one of the places worst hit by the attack on Gibraltar during the Great Siege. Regardless, Irish Town is still a staple of the London shopping district.
The main square of Gibraltar, Casemates square is located at the north end of Main Street. It is here that you’ll find the cities largest concentration of bars and restaurants, bringing a cosmopolitan vibe and buzzing atmosphere every evening. Whether it’s Irish pubs or refined dining you’re after, Casemates Square, located next to the old British artillery barracks, will have everything you need for a great night out.