"Extranero en Tarragona (+2 years)" Top 5 Page for this destination Tarragona by DSwede

Tarragona Travel Guide: 356 reviews and 884 photos


The first time I worked in Tarragona, I stayed in Barcelona for the first few weeks and made the commute to Tarragona each day. I ultimately worked and lived in Tarragona for about a year, but made several return visits to see friends in the area and also for other work assignments.

The most recent time I worked here, I stayed again for nearly a year. And similar to last time, lived in Barcelona for a few months in order to simplify my multiple commutes depending on the day, some north some south. But as always, I've visited again, even after my last assignment there.

Tarragona's ancient name was Tarraco, which was the Roman capital of Spain, so when you walk around the old part of town, you are really walking around the OLD part of town.

My first time here (2003) was supposedly the hottest summer in the last couple of decades. OK, Spain gets hot, but it has been above 100F (38C) at my job site for over 7 weeks straight and no rain in ~80 days. I'd say that on average only 1/3 of the people here have A/C, and this area is known for its heat. But one thing is nice, your laundry dries in less than 10 minutes.

Living Here

Living in Tarragona, I used this as a base camp to visit Prades, the nearby Cambrils and Salou, Sitges; and even a train journey to Granada and Sevilla. I even got out to run with the bulls in Pamplona. On one assignment in '03 I also made it to the mountains to see Le Tour de France as it came through the Spanish town of Bosost. Also toured many places of Catalunia, from nearby Monastery de Poblet to Andorra. For all places within easy reach of Tarragona and some of my general thoughts of Spain, check here.

For more general comments on Spain, visit my Spain page.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Spain Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)

Santa Tecla & Castellers

Third week in September (~9/14 ~ 9/24) - This week in Tarragona is filled with festivities to honor Santa Tecla, the local saint. Not that they need any other excuses to stay up late with loud music or fireworks, but now they add the extras of road closures, parades and street performances. Most of it was pretty good, but after 10 days you just want the 6am concerts to stop. Regardless, this is the time when they have the contest of the Castellers, or the human tours, which is famous in Tarragona.

But other times of the year, Tarragona makes room for the Castellers. It is a unique event in Catalunia, centered in Tarragona, to watch the gangs construct towers of people.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Easily accessible from Barcelona by a train/bus in about an hour.
  • Cons:You may have to speak twice before people change from Catalan to Spanish.
  • In a nutshell:Tarragona is much more deserving of a stop than its given credit for, it has a wonderful coastal location and ancient roots.
  • Intro Updated Jul 23, 2011
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Reviews (28)

Comments (20)

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    nice, the ruins integrated in the city buildings create an interesting atmospheare for a walk.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    This looks like a very nice town to see old Roman influence and monuments. YOur working trip there and around the area must have been a super experience. Good job of presenting this.

  • Rima_Z's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    hi DAVE ! its Rima, i havent been on here in a while but i was trying to remember the name of that bar in Tarragona and googled it and got ur page :) Hey u dont have any pics of me as a VTer u met :) , find one ! talk soon xxx

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    Would like to be there to see the Castellar's in the Plaza, amazing they go so high! The fireworks sounds good too!

  • Anjutka's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    Interesting town, which i missed while staying in Catalunya..well this is a reason to come back. Hm...I still havent got time to create my turkish page, thanks for reminding:)

  • Belsaita's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Como va Dave?? Hope life is treating you well! a guy who is willing to study in Tarragona may be contacting you... hope you don't mind I told him. I'm only familiar with Tarragona as daytrip destination! Keep in touch. Besos, Isa

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    I was starting with Cambrils and I finished reading your Salou, Sitges and Tarragona pages. Nice pictures and very interesting tips ! Especially when you are thinking of a holiday there:)

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    Gheeee, we have been to Tarragona last year and are wrtiting about it right now. Great to learn from your experiences! Thanx for sharing.

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2007 at 11:13 AM

    Thank you for your visit to my Italy page. I am struck by the similarities between my Italy and your Spain....It seems that I will have to up Tarragona on my priorities list thanks to your wonderful page. Carole.

  • Alikatt's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2006 at 12:10 PM

    You told me about Tarragona when we met up in July in Barcelona. Now I am seeing it via your VT pages. Seems like an amazing town indeed. See you Dave...

DSwede Used To Live Here!


“What I lack in experience, I make up for in curiosity”

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