"Viva Tarragona !" Top 5 Page for this destination Tarragona by Ekaterinburg

Tarragona Travel Guide: 356 reviews and 884 photos

Some Local Colour

This vivid splash of colour against a crumbling white wall is a real eye-catcher and the kind of charming detail you stumble upon everywhere in Tarragona. Just 100 km south of Barcelona, this Catalonian city sits proudly on a hill fringed by golden sand and a paintbox blue Mediterranean. I visited on a Sunday in mid-Setptember when the sunshine and light were as as bright and intense as in high summer but all the tourists seemed to have gone home. During siesta time in the old city the streets were totally deserted and I felt that I had finally found the romantic, mysterious Spain I had dreamt of before the reality check of the 'Costa' culture. This place seems to have escaped the wall to wall visitors plague that afflicts most Spanish cities. Discovering it was an unexpected and delightful gift and I would absolutely recommend it as a destination.

Location, Location, Location

Tarragona reveals itself in stages as you meander upwards to the old town high above the Mediteranean. The strategic benefits of this location were not lost on the Romans, who appropriated it as their own during the Punic Wars. Nearest the sea is the Amphitheatre which you can see in this photo and then higher up near the Placa Del Rei, are the Roman circus, the praetorium and the forum.

Spanish and Special

At the very top of the hill is the cathedral, not towering but rather hovering benevolently over the warren of small, mysteriously shadowed streets which surround it. By the time you arrive here, Roman Tarragona, spectacular as it is , definitely takes a back seat to the traditional atmosphere of this truly beautiful Spanish city. This page, completely and unapologetically ignores the newer parts of the city and the port. What I fell in love with was the old town, so walk through it with me and hopefully I can show you what it was about this place that completely bewitched me. The Roman remains I have described in the general tips section and the rest of the medieval city in things to do.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Atmosphere, Architecture, Location, Few Tourists
  • Cons:None that I noticed
  • In a nutshell:As Spanish as you could hope for
  • Last visit to Tarragona: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (23)

Comments (26)

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Very interesting and helpful pages! Thanks. I will use these tips when I visit in a few weeks.

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2011 at 5:26 AM

    Tarragona looks like a perfect Spanish destination. Not too touristy and full of charm. Thanks for the insights and tips!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    We are to be in BArcelona in October and if time permits, want to get down here. Thanks for the tips. They are very helpful

  • lomi's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    I absolutely love your main picture. Would you object if I used it as the starting point of an abstract painting? Great tips by the way, I really liked Tarragona, much more relaxed than Barcelona

  • Freebeacher's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    Thanks Katherine, Tarragona looks like a naturist paradise.

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Well-written tips. I used to live near here. Above all, I remember the magnificent Roman amphitheatre.

  • LauraWest's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Katherine, How are you my friend?I enjoyed visiting Tarragona with you again. I'm doing just fine but travel is all virtual lately! I will go to Massachusetts in September to visit dear friends.

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2008 at 5:30 AM

    Much enjoyed your sunny page. Especially looking for remains of the circus (theatre?) was interesting.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    A great look at all the things I missed when I went through Terragona on my bicycle 46 years ago. Stayed one night at the youth hostel, but pressed on the next morning, thinking I would come back someday to look at all the Roman ruins. Well, maybe I will.

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Excellent page, with interesting tips! We liked it very much!


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