It doesn't have much to recommend it as a tourist destination, but as you will have to at least pass through it if you're entering Gibraltar by land, its many atmospheric bars and restaurants might warrant a visit.
As you can walk from the centre of La Línea to the centre of Gibraltar in less than half an hour, it also provides alternatives for accommodation if you find yourself balking at the Gibraltan prices.
The town derives its name firstly from the línea or boundary line separating Spain from Gibraltar, and secondly from the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Its people are called in Spanish linenses.
The people of La Línea have traditionally found work in Gibraltar, from the days in the 18th century when Gibraltar was an important naval port.
La Línea is a major supplier of fruit and vegetables to Gibraltar; other industries include the manufacture of cork, liquor, and fish paste. It also had an important military garrison with substantial fortifications and a port.
La Línea de la Concepción has moderately warm winters and very warm summers. The summer is the driest season, while the winter is the wettest season, followed closely by the autumn. The high temperatures during winter range normally from 15 to 21 °C (59 to 70 °F), while the lows from 9 to 15 °C (48 to 59 °F). During summer, the high temperatures range normally from 26 to 30 °C (79 to 86 °F), while the lows from 18 to 22 °C (64 to 72 °F). The city lies directly on the coast so humidity is normally between 60-70% and the influence of the cool sea currents is very noticeable so the temperatures are always mild, extreme temperatures are rare. Very hot days are rare, and temperatures under the freezing line or snow are unknown.
Estación de Autobuses de La Linea. From Algeciras, with line 120 or San Roque, there the line M-230 (or M-121) runs every half hour on weekdays, every hour on weekends, from shortly before 08:00 to 22:00. Estepona serves M-240 eight times a day. The buses are handicapped accessible. Few lockers, the token can be bought from the toilet attendant (€5) if you can find it. Open: 06:30-22:30.
The bus station is a few minutes walk from the border and town centre.
- Autovía A-383 belonging to the Mediterranean motorway (Autovía A-7)
- Autovía CA-34
- Gibraltar Airport, accessible from the frontier.
- Jerez Airport, 118 km.
- Málaga Airport, 121 km.
- Sevilla Airport, 203 km.
San Roque station is the nearest station.
There is a small tourist office on the Av Principe de Asturias, just opposite the Gibraltar border, or a bigger one towards the town centre (another 5 minutes walk as you continue walking directly away from the border down Av 20 de Abril), where you can get maps and lists of accommodation.
The parking spaces in the border area can quickly become full in the high season.
There are three city bus routes (single journey €1; 2018), all of which run on Plaza de la Constitución have their beginning:
- Atunara to the hospital via Las Dunas, every half hour on weekdays, every hour on Sundays.
- Junquillos to the hospital via Rocamar, every half hour on weekdays, every hour on Sundays.
- Margarita Centre via Hospital, Round Line, every 60 or 90 minutes.
- Strongholds of San Carlos, Santa Bárbara and San Felipe: these 18th-century military buildings were built during the siege of Gibraltar as part of the so-called Contravalación Line of Gibraltar, a group of fortifications whose goal was to besiege Gibraltar checking on any UK further expansionist ideas. During the Peninsular War, these fortifications were blown up by the British.
- The Military Command: it hosts the Museum of the Isthmus but was once the military command associated to the Halls Head Officers garrison. It is the oldest building in town that exists, whose Officers' pavilions date from 1863 to 1865.
- Torre Nueva: one of 44 towers of the same characteristics that built along the coast from the river Guadiaro to the border with Portugal. All of them were built during the reign of Felipe III, with others located on the Mediterranean coast, from Málaga to Catalonia. These were built to warn the coastal population to the presence of the Berber pirate ships. Smoke signals and bonfires were used to warn of the presence of the pirate ships. At the top of the building, there was always a bundle of dry wood to be burned immediately in case of danger, transmitting the alarm signal to the towers nearby.
- The Bullring was built on the old Plaza del Arenal in 1883 with capacity for 6000 people. It is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in La Línea along with the former Military Command, which are good examples of architecture in Andalusia in the late 19th century. Bullfights mark the beginning of the Feria de la Línea which is celebrated in mid-July. This is the only time that a bullfight occurs.
- Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: the main parish church was built in the 19th-century colonial style. Notable features are the 17th-century reredos and the image of St. Mary made by the Andalusian sculptor Luis Ortega Bru. The church became a shrine at the end of 2005. The Church of the Immaculate Conception has three naves. The exterior of the building echoes the interior layout, with a remarkable simplicity and beauty. Inside the parish church of the Immaculate Conception there are images of Jesús del Gran Poder, and others belonging to four religious guilds.
- The Three Graces is a monument at the Plaza de la Iglesia that is based on the Greek mythology of the three Charities, which represent charm, beauty, and creativity. This work by Nacho Falgueras is based on that by the local painter José Cruz Herrera. The monument is a tribute to the linense women.
- Monument Camarón de la Isla, a monument to the Spanish workers in Gibraltar, is a work of Nacho Falgueras. It is a tribute to the thousands of "linenses" and "campogibraltareños" who spent their lives working in Gibraltar.
- Museo Taurino—Bullfighting Museum stores a large collection of bullfighting posters, costumes, herds, stamps, photographs of bullfighters, and so on. With over 50 years of history, it can be considered one of the most important ones in the country. M-F 11:30-14:00. Price: €3 (Nov 2018).
- Cruz Herrera Museum, Av. de España, 7. Mainly oil portraits of women, but also “exotic” things like Playmobil castles or figures welded together from forks and spoons.
La Línea has 14 km (9 miles) of beaches, named Playa de Levante, Playa de La Atunara, La Alcaidesa, Playa de La Hacienda, Playa de Poniente, Playa de Santa Bárbara, El Burgo Sobrevela, Portichuelos, Playa de Torrenueva, some of which are awarded each year a Blue Flag beach award by the Coastal European Authorities.
- Mercado Municipal, Calle Álvarez Quintero, 56. Typical Spanish small town market hall. A colourful and bustling central market off Calle de Isabel La Católica is worth a wander. Open: M-Sa 08:00-14:00.
- 1 Tornasol, Calle del Sol 66 (At the junction of Calle del Sol and Calle López de Ayala). 10:00-00:00. A very friendly and relaxed bar run by two English-speaking guys (one of whom is an opera singer) with free wifi and computers providing internet access. They have a good range of drinks and food, and claim their hamburger has the pedigree of being the direct descendant of the second ever to appear in Spain!
- Betty Blues, Calle López de Ayala (On corner of Calle Sol and Calle López de Ayala, next to Tornasol). A bar with pool and poker tables popular with the Brits working in Gibraltar. The bar staff all speak English.
- Parque Municipal Reina Sofía: A place where hundreds of young people congregate every Friday and Saturday is winter or summer, in the mythical stands, which allows Botellón in the city.
- There are pubs in Calle Lopez de Ayala y Herrera Cruz in the Plaza. They stay open until p4:30.
- In winter the city has two discos for young people: "Portobello" and "Metro", and an adult audience "Las Palmeras", which stays open until 07:00 or 08:00.
- La Campana, Calle Carboneras 3, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. Rooms with bath and TV
- Carlos, Calle Carboneras (opposite La Campana), ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. Rooms with bath and TV
- Pension La Esteponera, Calle Carteya 10, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. No frills, but clean, friendly and very cheap, with rooms with shared bathroom or en-suite.
Car rental, exchange office, laundromat, souvenir shops, two American hamburger roasters, etc. can be found with your back to the border clearance in the alley-shaped stalls if you look towards the old town. The post office and tourist information office are at Plaza Constitution next.
You're probably heading to Gibraltar, but if not you can go west around the bay to Algeciras; there's not a lot to see, apart from the Rock from a different angle, but you could always catch a ferry to Morocco or to Ceuta, a slice of Spain in Africa.
If you're definitely staying in Europe, then the Costa del Sol beckons to the east.