Tarragona travel guide

Tarragona Tourism | Tarragona Guide

You're Going to Love Tarragona

The ancient Spanish port of Tarragona has it all: Roman ruins, superb seafood, world-class beach resorts, museums and festivals. It's a fantastic Mediterranean destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Tarragona

1. The Ruins of Roman Tarraco

In Roman times, Tarragona was a key seaport and a mighty city. These days, you can visit the UNESCO-protected site of Tarraco, with a well-preseved gladiatorial colosseum.

2. One of Spain's Most Beautiful Cathedrals

The Cathedral is Tarragona's jewel. Gothic and Romanesque at the same time, it has some quirky medieval sculptures and a magical collection of devotional wood carvings.

3. Excellent Museums

Tarragona has mined its past to great effect, with fabulous museums like the Museu Nacional Arqueològic, which has a stunning Roman mosaic collection.

4. A Huge Range of Special Events

Tarragona is a fun-loving party city. Head to the vibrant Dixieland Festival (yes, Dixieland), check out the International Fireworks Displays in July or attend the Santa Tecla Festival in September.

5. Superb Seafood

Tarragona is famous for its grilled seafood, with first-rate eateries like El Llagut, Can Bonachi and Xaloc vying for your attention.

What to do in Tarragona

1. Cathedral: Symbol of the City

Built to honor Saint Tecla, the Cathedral of Tarragona occupies the site of a former Roman temple, which was part of the provincial forum, the seat of the Tarragona government in the first century A.D. Constructed around two terraced squares, the temple was surrounded by a portico, which is now housed in the cathedral's cloister. The present cathedral, which bears Romanesque and Gothic features, was designed in the twelfth century. The spectacular entrance and rose window of the façade have come to symbolize the city. Visitors will find the Diocesan Museum and the Saint Tecla altarpiece within the walls of the church, as well as collections of Romanesque, medieval and modern religious art, including stone sculptures, wood carvings, gold and wrought-iron work, textiles, and ceramics.

2. Balcó del Mediterran: Soak in the Seascape

Standing atop the Rambla Nova along the Passeig de les Palmeres, 40 metres above the sea, the Balcó del Mediterran, is considered one of the best lookouts in all of Spain. Offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, the port of Tarragona, the Platja del Miracle, and the early Roman amphitheater, the balcony is popular spot among locals and tourists alike, drawing visitors to its unique railing, which is said to bring good luck.

3. Roman Amphitheater: A Tribute to Gladiators

The oval Roman Amphitheater, which was built in the second century, overlooks the Mediterranean. Carved into the bedrock, the arena can hold up to 14,000 spectators. Back in its day, it hosted gladiator fights and public executions. In 259 A.D., Fructuoso, a Bishop, and Augurio and Eulogio, his deacons, were burned at the stake in the amphitheater. A Visigoth basilica was built on the site in the early sixth century, though it was ultimately INSERT IGNOREd by the medieval Santa Maria del Miracle church.

4. Platja del Miracle: Steps from the Sea

The Platja del Miracle, which is ten minutes from downtown, can be accessed from the upper part of the Rambla Nova, as well as the steps on both sides of the Balcón del Mediterráneo, which offers striking aerial views of the beach. The sandy beach itself extends to the port of Tarragona and affords visitors a stimulating walk through the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater and a lush park lined with pines and junipers. The beach hosts several events each year, including the Tarragona fireworks, the Fiestas de Santa Tecla and the Revetlla de Sant Joan, which commemorates the summer solstice with bonfires.

5. National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona: Roman Treasures

Established in 1848 by Hernández Sanahuja, the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona relocated to its current site at Plaça del Rei in 1960. Featuring a wealth of Roman artifacts found in Tarragona, including sculptures, ceramics, mosaics, and coins, the museum also features a library on Carrer Ramón y Cajal. Visitors can enjoy exhibits, guided tours, video displays, children's workshops and a variety of other activities. The museum overlooks the Paleochristian Museum and the Necropolis, as well as the Els Munts and Roman villas of Centcelles.

1. Cathedral: Symbol of the City

Built to honor Saint Tecla, the Cathedral of Tarragona occupies the site of a former Roman temple, which was part of the provincial forum, the seat of the Tarragona government in the first century A.D. Constructed around two terraced squares, the temple was surrounded by a portico, which is now housed in the cathedral's cloister. The present cathedral, which bears Romanesque and Gothic features, was designed in the twelfth century. The spectacular entrance and rose window of the façade have come to symbolize the city. Visitors will find the Diocesan Museum and the Saint Tecla altarpiece within the walls of the church, as well as collections of Romanesque, medieval and modern religious art, including stone sculptures, wood carvings, gold and wrought-iron work, textiles, and ceramics.

2. Balcó del Mediterran: Soak in the Seascape

Standing atop the Rambla Nova along the Passeig de les Palmeres, 40 metres above the sea, the Balcó del Mediterran, is considered one of the best lookouts in all of Spain. Offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, the port of Tarragona, the Platja del Miracle, and the early Roman amphitheater, the balcony is popular spot among locals and tourists alike, drawing visitors to its unique railing, which is said to bring good luck.

3. Roman Amphitheater: A Tribute to Gladiators

The oval Roman Amphitheater, which was built in the second century, overlooks the Mediterranean. Carved into the bedrock, the arena can hold up to 14,000 spectators. Back in its day, it hosted gladiator fights and public executions. In 259 A.D., Fructuoso, a Bishop, and Augurio and Eulogio, his deacons, were burned at the stake in the amphitheater. A Visigoth basilica was built on the site in the early sixth century, though it was ultimately INSERT IGNOREd by the medieval Santa Maria del Miracle church.

4. Platja del Miracle: Steps from the Sea

The Platja del Miracle, which is ten minutes from downtown, can be accessed from the upper part of the Rambla Nova, as well as the steps on both sides of the Balcón del Mediterráneo, which offers striking aerial views of the beach. The sandy beach itself extends to the port of Tarragona and affords visitors a stimulating walk through the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater and a lush park lined with pines and junipers. The beach hosts several events each year, including the Tarragona fireworks, the Fiestas de Santa Tecla and the Revetlla de Sant Joan, which commemorates the summer solstice with bonfires.

5. National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona: Roman Treasures

Established in 1848 by Hernández Sanahuja, the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona relocated to its current site at Plaça del Rei in 1960. Featuring a wealth of Roman artifacts found in Tarragona, including sculptures, ceramics, mosaics, and coins, the museum also features a library on Carrer Ramón y Cajal. Visitors can enjoy exhibits, guided tours, video displays, children's workshops and a variety of other activities. The museum overlooks the Paleochristian Museum and the Necropolis, as well as the Els Munts and Roman villas of Centcelles.

Where to Eat in Tarragona

Food is one of the greatest draws in Tarragona. Check out superb seafood eateries like la Llugat or dive into the Old Town to discover places like La Fàbrica, La Cocotte or El Complet, all of which serve up traditional Catalonian specialties. Meals should cost between EUR15-25, but single tapas portions can be as little as EUR3.

When to visit Tarragona

Tarragona in November
Estimated hotel price
$110
1 night at 3-star hotel
Tarragona in November
Estimated hotel price
$110
1 night at 3-star hotel

Spring and fall are perfect times to visit the sights of Tarragona, as you can expect thinner crowds. But if you intend to hit the beach, visiting between June and early September delivers constant sun and high temperatures.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Tarragona

Plane

Reus Airport is a few miles from Tarragona and offers domestic connections to Madrid as well as European budget flights. Buses from the airport cost EUR3, while a taxi will charge around EUR30.

Train

Tarragona has a direct Renfe train connection to Barcelona and Alicante. It's about an hour from Barcelona and tickets start at EUR8.

Car

From Barcelona, take the AP-7 highway. From Madrid, the best route is the E-90, then the AP-2, followed by the AP-7.

Bus

Buses from Barcelona and Madrid to Tarragona are operated by Alsa and there should be plenty of journeys every day.

Airports near Tarragona

REUReus

Airlines serving Tarragona

United Airlines
Good (2,985 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,406 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,534 reviews)
KLM
Good (364 reviews)
Air France
Good (447 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,609 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,408 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,193 reviews)
SWISS
Good (498 reviews)
Iberia
Good (972 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,330 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,713 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,113 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (295 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (606 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (124 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (399 reviews)
Finnair
Good (742 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (461 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (355 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Tarragona

Part Alta - Three thousand years old, Part Alta oozes atmosphere and is home to the famous amphitheater, the Roman walls as well as fine restaurants like La Llagut.

Popular Neighborhoods in Tarragona

Salou - Just down the coast from Tarragona, Salou is a famous beach resort, with great sands, fine hotels and the attraction of PortAventura, a massive family amusement complex.

El Serallo - An old fishing neighborhood by the sea, el Serallo is home to some of the city's best restaurants, like Ca l'Eulàlia and Donosti.

Where to stay in popular areas of Tarragona

Most booked hotels in Tarragona

AC Hotel Tarragona by Marriott
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$141+
Hotel Sb Express Tarragona
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$101+
Regente Aragon
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$107+
Sol Costa Daurada
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
$84+
Medplaya Hotel Calypso
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
$95+
Hotel SB Ciutat de Tarragona
Good (7.6, Good reviews)
$104+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Tarragona

Public Transportation

Local buses are provided by EMT and single tickets cost EUR1.50 (EUR3.50 for a day's travel).

Taxi

Taxis should cost around EUR5 for the first mile, then EUR2 for every subsequent mile.

Car

Car rental options in Tarragona include Hertz and Budget, and you should be able to rent a vehicle for around EUR15-20 per day.

The Cost of Living in Tarragona

Shopping Streets

Rambla Nova is Tarragona's premier shopping neighborhood and is home to boutiques like Coretfiel and Oysho as well as major brands like Calzedonia. It's also a regular location for street markets, which could be perfect for gift shopping.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in the city include Mercadona, Carrefour and Spar. Expect to pay around EUR1.70 for 12 eggs.

Cheap meal
$17.27
A pair of jeans
$129.56
Single public transport ticket
$2.59
Cappuccino
$2.59
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