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Spain Travel Guide > Spanish Costas > Costa Dorada > Tarragona

The World Heritage City of Tarragona, Spain


Tarragona in the south of Catalonia and on the north east of Spain, Costa Dorada, is a beautiful city worthy of its history, beaches, museums, Reus and Salou towns and architecture. Being the first Roman city on Span mainland that was founded in the 3rd century B.C., Tarragona is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Spain. It is situated on a small hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea by the Francolí river.

Tarragona is a lively city with a busy port which is second in Spain by means of the volume of commercial traffic.
Tarragona offers great attractions to its visitors with its rich heritage, museums, shops, bars and restaurants.

Passeig Arqueològic around the outside of the massive Roman walls is worth a visit and see. The 2nd century A.D. amphitheater is one of the best spots of the town. The impressive arches of the Roman circus, the remains of the Roman forum and a Christian necropolis are the most important ones on the Iberian peninsula. The Cathedral of Santa Maria (12-14th centuries) is
the most important monument on the Gothic quarter.

Carrer Major is the street of interest for the visitors with its beautiful narrow streets. The modern Rambla Nova in the heart of the city comes next where visitors relax at the outdoor cafes on the Balcó del Mediterrani (Mediterranean Balcony) while enjoying the attractive views of the sea or stroll down the Passeig de les Palmeres to El Miracle beach.

Things to Do and See in Tarragona
The places of interest in Tarragona include;

  • Passeig Arqueològic

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria

  • Town Hall

  • The Ferrán Castle

  • House-Museum Castellarnau

  • Roman Walls

  • Roman Amphitheatre

  • Roman Circus

  • Roman Forum

  • Early Christian Necropolis

  • Archeological Museum

  • Museum of Modern Art

  • Museum of History of Tarragona

  • The beaches of Costa Dorada

Cuisine ~ What to Eat
The Costa Dorada's tasty cuisine includes variety of great sea food, the inland specialties, sweets and nice wine. Popular seafood dishes include suquet (soup-stew with assorted fish and seafood) or caldero (a soupy rice and fish dish), octopus cooked with potatoes and garlic, omelettes with chanquetes (tiny fish). In Tarragona, culinary customs are popular with the famous calçotades spring feasts. The coast of Tarragona is famous with its romesco sauce made with almonds, hazlenuts, sweet dried red pepper, tomato, garlic, olive oil and salt. The wines from the province of Tarragona are excellent. Champagne-like sparkling wine called cava, liqueurs, and dessert wines are also popular and produced in the region.

Getting There
Access to Tarragona is easy. It is located 80 km. from Barcelona. By air, the closest airport for Tarragona is the Reus Airport (REU) that is located 13 km. from the city center. There are several low cost carriers and cheap flights to Tarragona. Another option is to fly to Barcelona and then travel to Tarragona. By car from Barcelona the visitors may take the A-2 highway southwest that connects with the A-7 and then the N-340. It is also possible to travel to Tarragona by rail with the railway lines that runs between Barcelona and Alicante, and also Barcelona and Madrid.
Plaza Pedrera is the train station of Tarragona located near the port. There are numerous trains operate between Tarragona and Barcelona with an hour trip as well the trains from Madrid (4 hours) and Valencia (3 hours). By bus, the major bus company of Plana has buses running between Barcelona and Tarragona from the Maria Cristina underground station. Plaa Imperial Tarraco is the bus station.


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