"Why Cartagena ?" Top 5 Page for this destination Cartagena by JLBG

Cartagena Travel Guide: 120 reviews and 450 photos

Between the highly touristic provinces of Andalusia (Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Cadiz, Marbella, Malaga, etc…) and of Valencia (Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Benidorm […!], the province of Murcia is very quiet and neither Murcia nor Cartagena figure among the main touristic spots of Spain.

What about Cartagena ? If you are looking for a place where you will find mostly people like you, speaking your own language, don't go there but go to Benidorm for example. In Cartagena, you will meet spaniards, living spanish. It's up to you !

Cartagena, as you can guess, was created by the Carthaginian. It was founded by Asdrúbal Janto 223 b.c. and soon became a flourishing port, the chief Carthaginian base in Spain. Captured (209 b.c.) by Scipio Africanus Major, the city and the port continued to flourish under the Romans as Carthago Nova. It has been for centuries one of the main naval bases of Spain as it has a secure natural harbor, protected by forts, with a naval arsenal and important shipbuilding and metallurgical industries. It has been for the last hundred years an industrial town : lead, iron, and zinc are mined and processed nearby, but the rich silver mines exploited in ancient times by Carthaginians and Romans are now almost exhausted. It was a wealthy town and there remains luxurious mansions with typical bow-windows, not often found in Spain. In the past 20 years, a large part of the old insalubrious city center has been restored. It is now a very pleasant city to live in and to visit.

  • Last visit to Cartagena: Jul 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Travelogues (1)

Comments (34)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Wow, that is a lot of ham..yum! Although, the ancient arena and cathedral of Santa Maria la vieja are in ruins, they are still beautiful and a treasure. Excellent page!

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Very interesting page! It is posible to visit Cartagena this year, so your tips and photos are realy useful!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Interesting Cartagena travel page. Cartagena certainly looks wonderful to visit and explore especially the Arena, Ancient Cathedral and the regional assembly building. Iberic hams certainly look tempting! ~ho & pang

  • Aitana's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2009 at 2:37 AM

    Hi Jean Louis, thanks for visiting and rating my page. It is interesting to see the aspect of the Roman Theater and the old cathedral before the restoration works. Nice tips on markets and food!

  • tere1's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    I live close but never been there, in Cartagena. What I love most in your tips are the delicious food photos and tips...:). Isn't eating well one of the best things in life? lol. Humm, jamon iberico de bolota...

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2007 at 7:35 AM

    Now I am even more eager to see Cartagena. We will visit there in January when we go to Spain. The ancient cathedral looks amazing. And how I wish I could bring one of those Jamon hams on the plane with us. MMMM!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    Currently reading The Middle Sea, just finished a chapter on Cartegna and the Carthaginians, so interesting to see the modern city. Fully agree about those Spanish hams! leyle

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    another great place full of history-definitely worth visiting;i like it that is not so touristy!thanks for the tips:)

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2007 at 8:19 AM

    The ruined cathedral look interesting - loved the charm of a non touristy place

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2006 at 3:42 PM

    Yes, you never know when a large frying pan might come in handy! I once cycled through Murcia and Lorca, but didn't take the detour to Cartagena. Maybe I should have.


“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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