HomeSpainCities in SpainUncover the Hidden Gems of Tarragona, Spain

Uncover the Hidden Gems of Tarragona, Spain

Are you ready to embark on a journey to a city with a rich Roman history, charming Old Town, and stunning Mediterranean coastline? Tarragona, Spain, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Get ready to immerse yourself in ancient ruins, explore narrow streets, and experience unforgettable adventures.

  • Uncover the hidden gems of Tarragona, Spain and explore its incredible Roman history!
  • Experience grandeur at the UNESCO World Heritage Site 2nd century Roman Amphitheatre & thrilling chariot races in the Circus.
  • Discover magical charm with captivating squares & lively atmosphere in Old Town, plus awe-inspiring Cathedral from 12th century!

Tarragona: A City Steeped in Roman History

Tarragona, previously the capital of Roman Tarraco, is rich with ancient Roman ruins. As you stroll through the city, you’ll come across remarkable sites such as the Roman Amphitheatre, Roman Circus, and Roman Walls. These awe-inspiring relics will transport you back in time and provide a glimpse into the past of this magnificent port city on the Mediterranean coast.

Roman Amphitheatre

Imagine standing in a colossal amphitheater where gladiators once battled for glory. The Roman Amphitheatre in Tarragona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers just that experience. Nestled between the Old Town and the beachfront, this ancient ruin dates back to the 2nd century CE and provides a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Roman amphitheatre in Tarragona, Spain
Roman amphitheatre in Tarragona, Spain

It’s truly a testament to the city’s majestic Roman history, showcasing its origins as a Roman city within the Roman Empire.

Roman Circus

When exploring Tarragona, don’t miss the ancient Roman Circus, another key historical site that bears witness to the city’s importance during the Roman era. Located up the hill from the amphitheater, the Circus once housed exhilarating chariot races and medieval events.

The Pretori Tower, part of the complex, offers a unique perspective of the Circus and breathtaking 360° vistas of the surrounding area.

Roman Walls

Walking through Tarragona, you’ll encounter the well-preserved Roman Walls from the 2nd century BC, which are also the city walls. The Paseo Arqueológico, a green-lined walking path along the base of the walls, takes you past remnants of ancient fortifications, including the Cabiscol Tower, Minerva Tower, and Arzobispo Tower.

Meandering through the path, you’ll be captivated by the beautiful gardens and lovely views of the city.

Exploring Tarragona’s Old Town

If you’re looking for a charming, timeless escape, Tarragona’s Old Town is the perfect destination. Filled with narrow streets, historic buildings, and beautiful squares, you’ll find yourself lost in the enchanting atmosphere of this ancient city.

Tarragona Cathedral, Spain
Tarragona Cathedral, Spain

Experience the lively Plaça de la Font, the striking Tarragona Cathedral, and the intriguing Part Alta as you traverse this enchanting area.

Plaça de la Font

Plaça de la Font, a lively square in Tarragona’s Old Town, is a must-visit spot. With its beautiful central fountain and historic buildings, the square offers a delightful ambiance to relax and enjoy the city. Just a short walk away, you’ll find Pla de la Seu, another charming location to explore, as well as the captivating Plaça del Rei.

The area, located in the city centre, is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and cafes, offering delectable local cuisine and refreshing beverages, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Tarragona Cathedral

Standing proudly in the heart of Tarragona’s Old Town, the Tarragona Cathedral is an architectural marvel. This Romanesque-Gothic structure, also known as the Cathedral de Santa Maria, dates back to the 12th century.

As you explore the cathedral, you’ll be captivated by its intricate stained-glass windows, impressive altarpiece, and breathtaking architecture, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich religious history.

Part Alta

Venturing into the oldest and highest peak of Tarragona, Part Alta, is akin to stepping into a time capsule. The area’s labyrinthine alleys and ancient walls evoke an Old World ambience that is both enchanting and captivating.

As you wander through Part Alta, be sure to indulge in authentic Catalan cuisine at one of the many charming restaurants tucked away in the narrow streets.

Museums and Cultural Attractions

Tarragona is not only a city of ancient ruins but also a hub for museums and cultural attractions. As you explore the city, be sure to visit the National Archaeological Museum, the Diocesan Museum of Tarragona, and El Serrallo, the Old Fishing Village. These fascinating sites offer an insight into the city’s diverse history, from its Roman past to its maritime heritage.

National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona, Spain
National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona, Spain

National Archaeological Museum

If you’re an avid history buff, the National Archaeological Museum in Tarragona is a must-visit. This incredible museum showcases an extensive collection of Roman artifacts, including:

  • sculptures
  • ceramics
  • mosaics
  • jewelry
  • coins

It offers a fascinating look into the city’s ancient history.

Highlights of the museum’s collection include the mesmerizing Medusa Mosaic and the intricately detailed Mosaic of the Fish, showcasing the rich artistic heritage of Roman Tarraco.

Diocesan Museum of Tarragona

For art enthusiasts, the Diocesan Museum of Tarragona boasts over 11,000 pieces of art, encompassing:

  • Roman artifacts
  • Renaissance-style tapestries
  • stunning paintings
  • carvings
  • gold and silverwork from the Gothic period

The museum, housed in the Tarragona Cathedral complex, offers a unique glimpse into the city’s artistic and religious history.

El Serrallo: The Old Fishing Village

A visit to Tarragona would not be complete without exploring El Serrallo, a charming old fishing village nestled along the city’s waterfront. As you stroll through the village, you’ll be transported back in time to a bygone era, with its narrow streets, colorful houses, and old-world atmosphere.

Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at one of the village’s many seafood restaurants, where you can savor traditional dishes made from the freshest catch of the day.

Outdoor Activities and Adventures

Once you’ve explored Tarragona’s historical sites, the city presents a wide array of outdoor activities and adventures. Whether you prefer:

Beaches of Tarragona, Spain
Beaches of Tarragona, Spain
  • Basking in the sun on the golden sands of the city’s beautiful beaches
  • Soaring high above the picturesque Mussara Mountains on a paragliding adventure
  • Exploring the lush Tamarit-Punta de la Móra Natural Park

Tarragona Spain has something for everyone.

Beaches of Tarragona

Cala Penya Tallada, Tarragona
Cala Penya Tallada, Tarragona

If sun, sand, and sea are what you seek, Tarragona’s stunning beaches, such as Playa El Miracle and Llarga Beach, provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With their soft golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and beachside cafes and eateries, these idyllic spots offer a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Paragliding over Mussara Mountains

For thrill-seekers, paragliding over the Mussara Mountains promises an exhilarating experience like no other. As you glide through the air, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Tarragona and its surrounding landscape.

Paragliding over Mussara Mountains
Paragliding over Mussara Mountains

With the wind in your hair and the world at your feet, this heart-pounding adventure is sure to be a highlight of your visit.

Tamarit-Punta de la Móra Natural Park

Nature lovers will be delighted by the pristine beauty of Tamarit-Punta de la Móra Natural Park. This coastal haven features golden sands, lush forests, and serene coves waiting to be discovered.

Be sure to visit local favorites such as Cala Fonda and Cala Becs, where you can swim in crystal-clear waters, sunbathe on the soft sand, and soak in the natural beauty of the park.

Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Tarragona buzzes with a variety of festivals and events that showcase the city’s vibrant culture and rich history. From the awe-inspiring Human Towers (Castells) to the colorful Santa Tecla Festival, these lively celebrations offer a unique glimpse into the traditions and customs that make Tarragona such a captivating destination.

Human Towers (Castells)

Witness the incredible feat of human strength and teamwork as teams of people build towering structures up to ten levels high during the Human Towers (Castells) event in Tarragona. Held at the town hall during the Concurs de Castells, this awe-inspiring spectacle at the Plaza de Toros is a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

As you stroll along the Rambla Nova walkway, you’ll also find a monument dedicated to this fascinating tradition.

Santa Tecla Festival

Santa Tecla Festival in Tarragona, Spain
Santa Tecla Festival in Tarragona, Spain

Held in mid to late September, the Santa Tecla Festival is a vibrant celebration featuring remarkable parades, traditional performances, and stunning sculptures honoring Tarragona’s Roman history. From captivating processions featuring carnival figures to the mesmerizing Descent of the Pillars, a unique human tower event, the Santa Tecla Festival is a captivating display of Tarragona’s rich cultural heritage.

Practical Information and Tips

To fully enjoy your visit to Tarragona, having some practical information and advice is beneficial. This segment will provide guidance on traveling to Tarragona from Barcelona and assist in identifying the optimal time to visit this charming city.

Getting to Tarragona from Barcelona

Tarragona is easily accessible from Barcelona via regional train, with a journey time of approximately one hour. Trains run regularly between the two cities, making it a convenient and affordable option for travelers.

Mediterranean Balcony on La Rambla Nova Street
Mediterranean Balcony on La Rambla Nova Street

With two main train stations in Tarragona, you’ll arrive either in the city center or at Camp de Tarragona, just a short distance from the heart of the city.

Best Time to Visit Tarragona

Tarragona has different attractions at different times, and the timing of your visit depends on what you’re looking for. Planning your trip in advance can make sure you experience the most rewarding time to visit Tarragona. Spring is ideal for sightseeing, as the weather is mild and the city’s attractions are less crowded.

The city of Tarragona is one of the most popular cities in Eastern Spain
The city of Tarragona is one of the most popular cities in Eastern Spain

Summer offers the perfect opportunity for beach activities and attending festivals, while autumn is a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.

Finally, winter in Tarragona provides a tranquil atmosphere for those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


In conclusion, Tarragona is a captivating city that offers a unique blend of ancient history, charming Old Town, beautiful beaches, and vibrant festivals. Whether you’re exploring its Roman ruins, strolling through its narrow streets, or indulging in authentic Catalan cuisine, Tarragona promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave you longing for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth visiting Tarragona Spain?

Tarragona in Spain is a fantastic Mediterranean port to explore! Its rich cultural influence from figures like Dali, Gaudi and Messi still linger – plus its beaches are just perfect! Visit Tarragona and discover the best of what Catalunya has to offer.

Why is Tarragona famous?

Explore Tarragona’s beautiful Roman architecture, intermingled with picturesque beaches and amazing cuisine – an undiscovered gem compared to the nearby iconic Barcelona. Let this charming port city captivate you!

What language is spoken in Tarragona Spain?

Tarragona, Spain is predominantly a Catalan-speaking area, although Spanish is widely understood and English is often spoken in tourist spots. Tourists can manage with some basic Spanish or even prefer to use English in some places.

What is Tarragona Spain known for?

Tarragona is known for its rich Roman history, port, agricultural market, tourism and beautiful beaches. It also stands out with its historical re-enactments, bringing the Roman Empire to life, as well as a fascinating culinary scene and architectural marvels.

What are some must-see Roman ruins in Tarragona?

Visit Tarragona and explore the spectacular Roman Amphitheatre, Roman Circus, and Roman Walls – a must-see for any traveler!

Discover Catalonia

Each region of Spain is divided into provinces. Their names often coincide with the names of their main cities. Catalonia is divided into four provinces, each of which has different tourist attractions and interesting places to offer:
ProvinceTourist attractions and interesting places
BarcelonaGothic Quarter Barri Gòtic, La Rambla, Montjuïc, cable railway Telefèric de Montjuïc, Magic Fountains (Font Màgica), La Boqueria, Laberint d’Horta Park, Poble EspanyolCamp Nou, Torre Agbar, oceanarium in Barcelona, Barcelona Zoo, Tibidabo Amusement Park, Palace of Catalan Music, National Art Museum of Catalonia, Picasso Museum, Catalan Museum of Archaeology, Miniature Park - Catalunya en Miniatura, MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, Generalitat Palace, Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy (La Mercé), Cathedral of Barcelona, remains of the temple of Augustus, Els Quatre Gats Cafe, Erotic Museum, Santa María del Mar Church, Port Vell, Plaça de Catalunya, Parc de la Ciutadella, Parc de Collserola, Casa Amatller, Palau Güell, Passeig de Gràcia - luxury street in Barcelona, Montserrat Monastery. Barcelona's neighborhoods and districts (El Raval, El Born, Sant Pere, Les Corts). Gaudi's Monuments: Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Pabellones Güell, Bellesguard, Casa Vicens, Casa Calvet. Popular cities: Barcelona, Torrelles de Llobregat, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Tarrasa, Badalona, Sabadell, Mataró, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, San Cugat del Vallés, Cornellá de Llobregat, San Baudilio de Llobregat, Rubí, Manresa, Villanueva y Geltrú, Viladecans, Casteldefels, El Prat de Llobregat, Granollers, Sardañola del Vallés, Mollet del Vallès, Gavá, Sant Antoni de Vilamajor
GironaSalvador Dali Museum, Museum of Miniatures and Microminiatures Micro Mundi, Sausage Museum. Popular cities: Girona, Figueres, Besalú, Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Olot, Salt, Palafrugell, San Felíu de Guixols, Rosas, Bañolas, Palamós, Santa Coloma de Farnés, Castellón de Ampurias Torroella de Montgrí, La Bisbal del Ampurdán, Ripoll, Castillo de Aro, Calonge, La Escala, Cassá de la Selva, Castellfollit de la Roca
LleidaPopular cities: Lleida, Tárrega, Balaguer, Mollerusa, La Seo de Urgel, Cervera, Solsona, Alcarrás, Guisona, Almacellas
TarragonaAmusement and theme parks: PortAventura. Popular cities: Tarragona, Reus, Vendrell, Tortosa, Cambrils, Salou, Valls, Calafell, Amposta, Vilaseca

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Jessica Alvaro
Jessica Alvaro
Travel has always been close to me. For me, it's the air I can't breathe without. The sun, without which I forget what a smile is.