View Map

Overview

Take one part Mediterranean beach city, add a dose of medieval city streets, a smattering of Roman ruins and some fab restaurants and the result is Tarragona — one of the least known, but most enjoyable cities in Spain. Tarragona is almost as old as European civilization and this distinguished past shows in a spectacular collection of Roman ruins including everyone’s favorite, a well preserved amphitheater where gladiators and criminals fought for their lives against lions and other wild creatures. Moving forward in time the cathedral shows some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic features and there are a number of brilliant museums ...

Take one part Mediterranean beach city, add a dose of medieval city streets, a smattering of Roman ruins and some fab restaurants and the result is Tarragona — one of the least known, but most enjoyable cities in Spain. Tarragona is almost as old as European civilization and this distinguished past shows in a spectacular collection of Roman ruins including everyone’s favorite, a well preserved amphitheater where gladiators and criminals fought for their lives against lions and other wild creatures. Moving forward in time the cathedral shows some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic features and there are a number of brilliant museums illustrating the city’s long history. And when all this history gets too much for you, splash about in the Med off one of the towns sandy beaches and enjoy fine seafood and Grade A Catalan cooking in one of Tarragona’s excellent restaurants. Out of town you can enjoy one of Spain’s largest theme parks or, for something altogether quieter, the marshlands of the Ebro delta offer some of the best bird watching in Spain. This city might be physically close to Barcelona but it by no means lives in Barca’s shadow.

Stuart Butler
About the Expert

Based in the French Basque Country, Stuart Butler writes guidebooks for Lonely Planet and Bradt on France, Spain, Norway and large parts of Africa and South Asia. He also works with numerous international surf magazines exploring the remoter coastlines of the world.

view full overview

Stuart Butler for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and autumn, or summer for the beaches