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37 Photos To Inspire A Visit To Tarragona

About an hour from Barcelona, the city of Tarragona is well worth a visit for those looking for a city with the perfect mix of history, beach and delicious food. Sitting comfortably on the Mediterranean coast, the views of the sea can be seen from many points across the hilly city.

History buffs will love the city, with old Roman city walls to explore, a seafront amphitheatre to admire and the remnants of the old chariot racing track that ran through the city to tour.

View of the sea from Circ Roma
Tarragona old city walls

Sitting comfortably on the Costa Dorada means Tarragona is treated to a stunning sunrise over the coast. It’s definitely worth the early start, but it’s an extra bonus that the prime sunrise viewing spot is just a few minutes’ walk from Plaça de la Font.

Tarragona sunset
Passeig de les Palmeres at sunrise
Tarragona sunset over Placa de la Font
Sunset over Plaça de la Font
Tarragona street
Tarragona street 2
Tarragona residential homes
Tarragona house
Tarragona fountain
Tarragona city hall

Tarragona Cathedral sits high in the city, on a site previously occupied by a Roman Temple. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century, but has been developed since that time to what stands today. As well as as interesting interior, the cloister is spacious, serene and a lovely space to wander on a sunny day. You might even spot the resident turtles in the ponds!

Tarragona Cathedral entrance
Tarragona Cathedral from the gardens
Tarragona cathedral courtyard
Tarragona amphitheatre
Sunbathing cat
Romulus and Remus statue, Tarragona
Sea and city view, Tarragona
Remains in wall
Postcard from Tarragona
Porta del Forum
Part of track of Tarragona Roman Circus
Old Roman city walls

Castellers and the human towers originated in a town close to Tarragona, and spread throughout the Catalonian communities. The towers range in height, width and number of people, but it’s an amazing sight to see at the festivals in the regions. The tradition of castells has been present in Tarragona for such a long time – since the 1700s – only spreading to the rest of Catalonia in the last 50 years.

Castellers monument
Cannons on Tarragona city walls
Buildings around Circ Roma
Beach view over trainlines

There’s plenty in Tarragona to explore and fill a weekend in the city. Aside from the numerous sights, the beach is a short walk from the city centre, and the cafe culture is strong with plenty of places to stop and enjoy some tapas and a coffee. To get a real feel for the city and the culture, try to time your visit to coincide with one of the festivals that take place there. One of the biggest and best celebrations is for Santa Tecla in September, but there are plenty taking place throughout the year, and you can find more details of them here.

I visited Tarragona in September 2019 for my birthday, which coincided with Santa Tecla – pure luck! You can see what I got up in the city here. Spoiler alert: I loved it!

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  • Reply
    September 27, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Tarragona looks lovely! I wish that I’d done a few day trips when I was in Barcelona, but the city itself kept me busy the entire time…Tarragona looks like a quieter version of Barcelona, but offering all the sights and sounds, too!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      It’s so easy to spend ages in Barcelona, there’s so much there to do! I think Tarragona is definitely like a quieter Barcelona, but it was the Roman ruins that drew me there and I loved it!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    These pictures are beautiful! I hope to make it here one day.

    • Reply
      October 15, 2020 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you! I am definitely a fan, it’s great for a day trip from Barcelona if you’re limited on time ☺️

  • Reply
    100 Country Trek
    October 21, 2020 at 10:44 am

    A great place to visit..should have gone there while we were in Barcelona

    • Reply
      October 21, 2020 at 11:19 am

      It’s definitely a good day trip, but also worth a weekend on its own if you have the time ☺️

  • Reply
    Mimi's Travel File
    October 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    You tell Tarragona’s story so well through your beautiful photos. And your writing provides substantive travel tips, which are helpful. Now I want to go there! What are castellers?

    • Reply
      October 25, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! And I would definitely recommend a visit, it’s such an interesting place. Castellers are the people who make the human towers, it’s a big part of Catalan celebrations and is fascinating to see 🙂

      • Reply
        Mimi's Travel File
        October 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm

        I love learning new things, like castellers. One of the joys of travel!

      • Reply
        Mimi's Travel File
        October 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm

        PS—I tried to follow your blog but could only find a link to following you on Instagram. Did I miss something?

        • Reply
          October 25, 2020 at 3:45 pm

          Oh no sorry, that’s my mistake! New layout and I must have missed it off…oops! Thanks for letting me know, it should be there now, either on the sidebar or at the bottom if you’re on your phone 🙂

  • Reply
    Toma Ruh
    October 28, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Such beautiful pictures! 😍

    • Reply
      October 29, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you! Easy to do when it’s such a beautiful city 🙂

  • Reply
    Markus + Micah
    October 29, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Okay, I am definitely inspired to visit Tarragona. That cathedral is so mighty and I love your photo of that cat. It is too cute!

    • Reply
      October 29, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      It’s definitely worth a visit…either a weekend when they have celebrations on or a day trip from Barcelona for a taster 🙂

  • Reply
    March 9, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Looks like such a wonderful place to enjoy a birthday! Adding it to my list to visit! 🙂

    • Reply
      March 9, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      It was perfect for me because they just happen to have a festival at the same time as my birthday! Super fun way to celebrate ☺️

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