Tarragona is a city, located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in the autonomous region of Catalonia. It is the administrative center of the Tarragona province. Distance from Tarragona to Barcelona is about 100 kilometers. Tarragona is the largest city on the “Costa Dorada” resort coast (about 130,000 inhabitants). The city has many historical monuments. Tarragona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the north-east of Spain.
It is believed that the city was founded by the Romans in the third century BC. Long before the arrival of the Romans a settlement was here called Kesse (the exact location of this settlement is unknown). The Romans made the Tarraco city an important center of Roman Empire. Many buildings and military fortifications were built in the city. Part of built by the Romans structures are still preserved. Some architectural monuments of the Tarragona were included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.
Mediterranean coast near the city of Tarragona is a popular place for summer holidays for inhabitants of many European countries. There are many nice beaches, comfortable hotels and campsites on the coast. Bus service connects the city with other settlements. The railway connects Tarragona with the Valencia and Barcelona cities. The nearest airports are located in Reus and Barcelona.
Tarragona city center is located on the hill, which is up to 69 meters tall above sea level. Most of attractions are located in the central part of the city. “Imperial Tarraco” square (Plaça de la Imperial Tàrraco) can be considered as city central square. Tarragona bus station is located near the square. There are also two shopping centers nearby. Rambla Nova is the most famous street of the city. It is laid from the square to the sea shore. Most of the Tarragona attractions are located to east of the street. At the end of “Rambla Nova”, on a high sea bank, is a small square named “Mediterranean balcony”.
Sights of Tarragona
- Roman amphitheater. The amphitheater was built about two thousand years ago, for gladiators fighting, theater and public executions. Amphitheater has places for more than 12,000 spectators. The amphitheater is located next to the sea shore.
- Roman aqueduct (Aqüeducte de les Ferreres, Pont del Diable). The aqueduct was built around 2000 years ago, to supply the city with water. The preserved part is 249 meters long and 27 high. Aqueduct is located at a distance about 4 kilometers to north of the city center, close to the motorway. Aqueduct can be reached by bus.
- Roman walls. Construction of the fortress walls in Tarragona was begun in 218 BC. The town has saved much of the fortress walls.
- Cathedral of Tarragona. Construction of the cathedral begun in the late 12th century and lasted more than 100 years.
- “Mediterranean Balcony”. It is a small square on a hill near the sea, with an observation desk overlooking the sea, the city and the remains of a Roman amphitheater.
- Rambla Nova. “Rambla Nova” street lay from “Imperial Tarraco” square to “Mediterranean Balcony”. It is popular place for walking by tourists and locals.
- Remains of ancient buildings. There are a large number of residues of different buildings, dating from the period of ancient Rome to the Middle Ages in the old city. For example: Circus (Las Voltas del Circ), Palace of the Roman governor (Pretori Roma), Roman Forum, the medieval market.
Location of many attractions and other interesting places marked on the map of Tarragona.
Events in Tarragona
- Carnival. Carnival in the city of Tarragona is held for a week in the winter or early spring. Carnival dates depend on this year date of Easter (as well as in many European countries, such as Carnival of Venice). The festival starts in the so-called Fat Thursday.
- International Dixieland Festival. One week before Easter. The festival is dedicated to the traditional jazz music.
- Festival Tarraco Viva. In the old town history places reproduce ancient Roman city life. It is usually held from 10 to 20 May.
- International Fireworks Festival. International Fireworks Festival in Tarragona held since 1990. The festival is held over five evenings in the first full week of July.
- “Santa Tecla festival. “Santa Tecla Festival” is held annually from September 15 to 24. Culmination of the festival on 22 and 23 September. These days on the Rambla Nova and the Old Town are lots of fun activities.
Reus Airport. Reus Airport (Aeropuerto de Reus) is located at a distance about 7.5 kilometers from the city of Tarragona. Airport serves a large number of tourists. The airport served more than 700 thousand passengers in 2015. Address: Autovía Tarragona-Reus, Reus, Tarragona, Spain. The airport has a bus service to Barcelona and the Salou resort.
Bus station. The bus station is located in the city center, next to the Plaza Imperial (Plaça de la Imperial Tàrraco). Tarragona can be reached by bus from many resort towns on the coast, as well as from Barcelona. Address: Calle Pere Martell, 1, Tarragona (Catalonia).
Port of Tarragona. Port of Tarragona is located near the city center, just west of the old town. The port is serving transport ships and fishing boats. The port has a marina.
Camp de Tarragona train station. Camp de Tarragona train station is located at a distance approximately 8 kilometers to north of the city center. The railway station serves the high-speed trains between Barcelona and cities of Madrid, Malaga and Seville.
Train Station. The train station of Tarragona is located in the central part of the city, near the port. The station is located on the railway line, which connects Barcelona and Alicante. Also, the station serves the night train to Granada and Madrid.
The city of Tarragona has a large number of hotels. There are comfortable Four-Star hotels for wealthy tourists as well as cheap hotels and hostels in the city and next to it. You will be able to find the right hotel for yourselves.
For example, hotels are located in the city center:
- SB Ciutat de Tarragona Hotel (4 stars). The hotel is located next to the bus station. Address: Plaza Imperial Tarraco, 5, Tarragona, Spain.
- Placa De La Font Hotel (1 star). It is located in the old city. Address: Placa De La Font, 26, Tarragona, Spain.
- Apartment Tarragona Anfiteatro. Apartments are located on the seafront, close to the beach. Address: Plaza Cardenal Arce Ochotorena 1 3-5, Tarragona, Spain.
Here you can find a tour from Barcelona to Tarragona and tickets to an amusement park.