10 best things to see in Tarragona
Make the most of your next Tarragona visit with these 10 best things to see in Tarragona to enjoy yourself for a day. Tarragona is a port city which is less than an hour away from Barcelona. Not a lot further you find La Pineda and Salou. The city is easy reachable by BusPlana. A ticket from Barcelona would be around 15 euro and a ticket from La Pineda would be 2,05 euro. While escaping rainy weather in Belgium we decided to have a stroll through the city under an enjoyable early spring sun. We experienced a pleasant atmosphere where almost all terraces on the squares were filled up. During our city walk we had several breaks to rest and enjoy some local specialties. The Spanish prices are a blast compared by Belgian prices. You can for example find a great bottle of Cava for 15 euro. Food is also way more reasonable priced so it’s
1. Amphitheatre de Tarragona
Tarragona Amphitheatre is a Roman amphitheatre built in 2nd century AD. Wikipedia states it could host 15.000 spectators and it measured 130 by 102 metres. There are guided tours but as we are not that cultural minded we were satisfied with the view from above from the lookout point. It gives you a very good impression about the amphitheatre and probably 95% of the pictures you see online are taken from that spot.
2. Part Alta
Part Alta is a maze of narrow, atmospheric streets and squares where you can find old Roman ruins. There are plenty of tapas bars, al fresco cafes and restaurants with local specialties. When you wander around you’ll come a cross Via Romana, old walls and many more. There are also several musea but we skipped those.
3. Port of Tarragona
I can image that many people skip the port of Tarragona but it’s really worth a visit if you are interested to see huge yachts. Ever since we have explored some yachts during our trip to Malta, we pay more attention to this. Admiring their gracefully and peaceful presence, dreaming of the luxury.
One huge yacht caught our attention because they did everything to obscure the name of the yacht. Also on vessel tracking websites the spot was supposed to be empty. We were able to figure out the name via Google Image Search. It was CRESCENT, a stunning $600 million yacht of 135 meters. Seems it’s the 19th biggest yacht in the world and the owner is an unknown billionaire.
Don’t worry if this yacht is not present during your next trip. There are normally plenty of other yachts you can go and admire.
4. Mercado Central
This indoor market hosts several butchers, bakers and other vendors with local specialties. It’s not the largest one, but there is always a pleasant atmosphere in such markets. When you have the time, or want to buy something, it can be worth a little detour from La Rambla Nova. Outside on the square there are several terraces where you can drink and eat.
5. Rambla Nova
From Placa Imperial Tarraco you can take the Rambla Nova which ends at the Mediterranean Balcony (see later). It’s a typical Ramble with bars and restaurants a longside. You’ll cross a fountain and also the Los Castellers monument. It’s nice to have a walk without being disturbed by any cars or motorcycles.
Like many old cities also Tarragona has a Cathedral. It’s own website states it’s the largest one of Catalonia. It’s lying against a hill so when you want to walk around the Cathedral you’ll have to walk up. There are narrow streets and in front you have a nice square with a restaurant. Take some time to sit on the stairs and overlook the crowd.
7. Ancient Roman ruins
Spread through the city you can find several Roman ruins. You find some Via Roma, walls and many more. Stroll through this Part Alta and explore little squares and narrow streets. You’ll have plenty of restaurants or pubs where you can drink something.
8. Mediterranean Balcony and beach
At the end of the Rambla Nova you reach the Mediterranen Balcony viewpoint. You can overlook the beach, train track and the port. Take a moment to enjoy this moment. The different colours of blue of the ocean, people passing by, the wind through your hair. From here you can either go to the port and admire some yachts (see above) or towards the old city (Part Alta).
9. Los Castellers monument
Castells or human towers are built during festivals in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian community. It are constructions between six and ten people high that were introduced during 18th Century. The top levels of the tower are often formed by young kids wearing a helmet and only have the age of 5. We were visiting the city at the wrong moment, but the monument of Los Castellers already gives a great impression of how incredible it must be to experience this in real life.
10. El Terrat Restaurant
More doing than seeing however it stays a pleasure for the eye. El Terrat is Tarragona is a great experience for foodies. The staff are friendly and attentive. The details of the different dishes are incredible. Every course, over and over again, is full a details which makes the dishes like a painting. I try to avoid taking pictures of the food, but this time I couldn’t resist!
We took the amazing and deliciously sea and land tasting menu (75€ in 2023). The sommelier suggested us great local matching wines which were priced around 42 euro per bottle. According to the Vivino app they were 31 euro in shops so a great deal.