Tarragona is a historic port city, located in Spain’s Catalonia region. The city has many ancient ruins dating back to its Roman past, when it was known as Tarraco. These include the Roman Amphitheater, parts of the city’s Old Town as well as the fascinating Passeig Arqueològic, an archaeological walk through the city with magnificent views across Tarragona. Fascinating Modernist buildings also line the streets where a variety of excellent restaurants offer the taste of Catalonia, as well as international cuisine. The city also offers beautiful beaches, leafy and restful parks and many more attractions. The following are a small taste of things to do and see during a visit to Tarragona, Spain.
1. Go-karting in Tarragona
Go-karting is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. Tarraco Karting offers a fun range of team building activities for adults, including karting and paint ball, as well as indoor and outdoor circuits to be enjoyed by kids. There is also a bar restaurant on site.
Address: Poligono Francoli, Parcela 12, 43006 Tarragona, Spain
Website: Tarraco Karting (in Spanish)
2. Balcony of the Mediterranean
The Balcony of the Mediterranean is a scenic and beautiful place to stroll, overlooking the beach and way out over the Mediterranean Sea. First installed in Tarragona back in 1863, today it is the ultimate seaside promenade. For people living in Tarragona, walking along the balcony and touching the railings is a tradition known as “touching iron.” The balcony runs from Miracle Point all the way to the end of the city’s port.
Balcony of the Mediterranean
Address: Rambla Nova - Passeig de les Palmeres
Website: Balcony of the Mediterranean
3. Walking Routes in Tarragona
Tarragona contains so much in the way of historic monuments and buildings, whether from Roman days or medieval times. One of the best ways of seeing these monuments is to stroll along the preset routes that have been set up in the city. The Medieval Route takes visitors to the cathedral and other buildings dating from medieval times. The Roman Route reveals what remains of the Roman city of Tarraco – a World Heritage Site – while the Modernist Route explores the beautiful and fascinating architecture of that period.
Website: Tarragona Tourism
4. Tarragona Roman Amphitheater
Part of the Roman Route in the city, the Roman Amphitheater has a brutal past. While it was used for entertainment by the Romans, such entertainment also included fights between gladiators and wild beasts, as well as public executions. The amphitheater of what was then known as Tarraco was built around the turn of the 2nd-century AD. Today a section of the seating stands remains, carved directly into the rock and backing the beach and the sea. The city holds festivals where modern day men dress as gladiators to entertain locals and visitors.
Tarragona Roman Amphitheater
Address: Parc de l'Amfiteatre Romà, Tarragona
Website: Tarragona Roman Amphitheater
5. Les Ferreres Aqueduct
Another stop along the Roman Route is the “Les Ferreres” Aqueduct, also popularly known as the Pont del Diable or Devil’s Bridge. This is the surviving section of two aqueducts built to supply the Roman City of Tarraco with water from the Gaià River. This section stands 26 m (85 ft) tall and spans a ravine. The area is perfect for a stroll and a picnic out in the fresh air, while marveling at the architecture.
Les Ferreres Aqueduct
Address: N-240 a Lleida (4 km), Tarragona, Spain
Website: Les Ferreres Aqueduct
6. Tarragona Cathedral
Tarragona Cathedral was built on the site of an original Roman temple and was dedicated to Saint Tecla. Portions of the original Roman Square can still be seen in the cloister of the Cathedral. Construction on the Cathedral started in the 12th-century in the Romanesque style, but continued during the Gothic period. The Rose Window in the building’s façade, as well as the beautifully soaring entrance, is among some of Tarragona’s most emblematic sites. Of interest to visit is the Diocesan Museum, located at the entrance to the cloister, as well as the Saint Tecla altarpiece. The beautiful sculpture work in the cloister dates back to the 13th-century. The museum displays a collection of fascinating modern and medieval religious art.
Address: Pla de la Seu, 43003, Tarragona
Website: Tarragona Cathedral
7. Casco Antiguo de Tarragona
The Casco Antiguo or Old Town of Tarragona is a fascinating place to spend some quality time, exploring the Roman remains and the Cathedral as well as the medieval buildings of the city. There is a never-ending fascination in walking the narrow, winding streets or relaxing in the squares of the medieval town. Experience a sense of history, while enjoying a snack or traditional gastronomy in a tapas or restaurant along the way. There are also several museums of interest in the area, including the Museum of Modern Art as well as the Museum of History and the Casa-Museo Castellarnau, an early 15th-century house that has been home to some of the most influential families in the city.
Museum of History
Address: Carrer dels Cavallers, 14, 43003 Tarragona
Website: Museum of History (in Spanish)
8. Murallas de Tarragona
The Murallas de Tarragona, or the city walls, were built in the 2nd-century BC to surround what was then the Roman City of Tarraco. Only a portion of the walls remains today and lie on the border of the Casco Antiguo or Old Town of the city. The walls are considered to be the oldest still standing Roman construction to be seen outside of Italy.
Murallas de Tarragona
Address: Av. Catalunya, s/n 43003 Tarragona
Website: Murallas de Tarragona
9. National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona
The National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona contains many objects and furnishings from Roman times and discovered in the Tarragona area, including sculptures, ceramics, mosaics and coins. The Paleo-christian Museum and Necropolis also forms part of the museum, as do the Roman villas of Els Munts and Centcelles. A variety of well laid-out exhibits are on offer including a video display and a library.
National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona
Address: Pl. del Rei, 5, 43003 Tarragona
8. PortAventura World
If you’re looking for a fun-filled activity for the whole family while in Spain, consider including PortAventura World in your itinerary. As one of the most-visited theme parks in Europe, this resort boasts of a water park, golf courses and exciting rides for different ages. Plus, little kids will surely enjoy the Sesame Street zone. For the most relaxing getaway, visitors can opt to stay at swanky 4 and 5-star hotels in the property. A number of restaurants will also let you discover delicious Mediterranean dishes. PortAventura World is just a ten-minute train ride from Tarragona’s Renfe station.
Address: Avinguda del Batlle Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca, Tarragona
Website: PortAventura World
Fill your taste buds with flavors of dishes that are rich in lean proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Mare Nostrum Restaurant at the Hotel SB Ciutat de Tarragona serves Mediterranean cuisine prepared with the best and freshest local products. You can also consider booking a stay at the hotel itself, with modern rooms that reflect the cosmopolitan Mediterranean living. Centrally located in the Imperial Tarraco Square, Hotel SB Ciutat de Tarragona has rooms for couples, but there are also family rooms suitable for up to four adults. It also has a rooftop pool and a hot tub to make your staycation extra relaxing.
Soak in history and culture in Tarragona
Enjoy exploring the cultural and historical past of this fascinating city in Catalonia, Spain. You’re sure to get tired after trying everything on our list.
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