Tarragona is the southernmost province in Catalonia, Spain; represents one of the future cultural and tourist capitals of that area, with a grand diversity of offerings. One of its main advantages is its privileged geographic situation on the Mediterranean, located down the coast, only 90 km from Barcelona. It therefore enjoys one to the smoothest climates of the Mediterranean. It is also known for its ancient vestiges standing testament to Spain’s glorious past, the diverse archaeological complexes and museums spread about the Tarragona province and its capital.
Tarragona is very a well connected city with two freeways and three state highways crossing its territory. It also has various railway connections, buses, a large marine port, and an airport that is only 80km from the international airport of Barcelona.
Sightseeing in Tarragona
Like Barcelona, Tarragona has a tradition of conserving the inheritance of its Roman history, which nowadays is considered World Heritage. This does not go unnoticed by thousands of people visiting the city annually. The walls, Pretorio, the Circus, the Roman Amphitheater, the forum, the Theater, the Necrópolis Paleocristiana, the quarry of the Médol, the Tower of the Escipiones, the Aqueduct of the Bridge of the Devil, the Arc of Bará, the Mausoleo de Cantcelles, Villa dels Munt and the Archaeological Museum are some primary examples of the historical treasures found here. In fact, the entire city is like a great museum! Like in Barcelona, you can discover clues to the city’s past by walking down streets, and by entering bars or restaurants located in one of the many buildings that have conserved their historic roots.
Of all the civilizations that have inhabited the region, it was the Romans that marked their presence most, although during any visit to Tarragona, it is also essential to discover its other two monumental jewels: that of its medieval past, and its array of modern architecture. Just walk around towns like the picturesque Reus or the hectic Salou and discover its important heritage, along with the lifestyle of its hospitable dwellers.
The cultural offerings of Tarragona are not limited to its Roman architectural heritage. The town also hosts events that have received international recognition, such as, the fiesta of Santa Tecla in September, the processions of Saint´s Week or the International Fireworks Championship in July.
Also nature lovers are welcome, since the chances offered by Tarragona’s natural parks and gardens are immense. The area surrounding Tarragona offers a myriad of possibilities to visitors! Only 9 km away we find the grand theme park – Universal Studios’ Port Adventura – a very popular destination for the people of Barcelona. Slightly further, perfect for family excursions, we find an abundance of nature such as the Ebro Delta Natural Park, the caves of Benifallet, and the Montsant Mountain range. Other visits of great interest are the route of the Cistercienses Monasteries of Poblet, Santes Creus and Vallbona de les Monges, the medieval village of Montblanc, and the region Vinícola del Oriorat, recognized world-wide for their fine quality wines. The city also has great beaches with extremely fine sand that are perfect for relaxing.
Shopping and Eating
The major advantage Tarragona offers is that shoppers can find all they need within walking distance by strolling along Rambla Nova, a bustling strip that runs from the busy Plaça Imperial Tàrraco, the city’s main traffic hub, to the famous Balcó del Mediterrani overlook. Along the length of Rambla Nova and on the adjacent streets, you will find everything from banks to jewellers’ and all sorts of traditional shops selling clothing, shoes, accessories and more.
In the Old District, an almost whimsically perfect setting, ancient ruins can still be seen inside some of the shops. As to which, many of them sell antiques. Nonetheless, you will also find high-end designer jewelers and renowned masters of the art of working precious materials. If you are looking to buy fresh food in a picturesque setting, be sure to visit Tarragona’s municipal markets. The main market, Mercat Central is located just off Rambla Nova.
Highlights of the province’s gastronomic attractions are particularly a range of wine-related activities, especially along the Penedés Wine and Cava Route. There are also numerous gastronomic festivals where visitors can enjoy specialities such as the calçotada (grilled spring onions) and xató (cod and escarole salad).
How To Get There?
Wherever your stay in Barcelona, a daytrip to Tarragona is always a good idea, since it’s not far away! You can catch the train which will take approximately an hour or drive there yourself which will take roughly the same time.
Address: Tarragona, Spain.
Train: Up to 50 regional and long-distance trains per day run to/from Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia station via Sants.
Bus: Buses run to Tarragona from Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Madrid, Alicante, Pamplona, the main Andalucian cities, Andorra and the north coast.
For more information, check the city’s travel website.
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