Tarragona in Spain is a city that leaves no one indifferent.
Majestic cathedrals and ancient Roman ruins, golden beaches of the Costa Dorada and noisy nightclubs, exquisite boutiques and colorful bazaars – Tarragona has something to surprise and delight tourists.
If you are going to visit this wonderful corner of Catalonia, you will certainly be interested in the history and general description.
History of Tarragona
The history of Tarragona is more than two thousand years old. Initially, the owners of these lands were the Iberians, who in the 5th century BC. founded a settlement called Kesse on them.
During the Second Punic War, Kesse was captured by the Roman army led by Scipio. The commander ordered to build a fortified fortress on the site of the settlement.
Over time, the defensive fortification expanded to a whole city, which became the capital of the Roman province. The Romans gave it the name Tarracon.
For a long time Tarracon was the residence of the emperors Hadrian and Octavian Augustus. Under the Romans, an amphitheater, a circus appeared in the city, and many administrative buildings were built.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the territory passed to the Visigoths, then to the Moors who invaded the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa.
When the Reconquista, which liberated the region from the Arabs, ended, the city received the status of the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon.
But Tarragona still had to endure many difficult trials: the destruction caused by the constant wars of King Juan of Aragon, the invasion of Napoleon, the terrible epidemic of the bubonic plague.
Relative calm and peace in the town was established only at the end of the 19th century.
Today Tarragona is a large seaport, resort and industrial center with industrial enterprises, financial, educational and scientific institutions.
Due to the abundance of well-preserved historical and architectural monuments, the city has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.
The official currency, as in other regions of Spain, is the euro.
The total area of the city, according to Wikipedia, is 60 sq. km.
Time in Catalonia is Central European, UTC +1, in summer +2.
There are two languages in Tarragona: along with Spanish, Catalan is the official language and is used quite often.
Geography and where it is located
Tarragona is located in the northeastern part of Spain, on the coast of the Balearic Sea.
Barcelona, where most of the city’s guests usually arrive, is 97 km away, and 550 km from Madrid.
Modern Tarragona is the second largest city in the autonomous region of Catalonia, the capital of the province of the same name and is fully consistent with its high status.
Despite its rather small size, it is not alien to the metropolitan gloss, and, historically, in terms of its position, Tarragona was higher than Barcelona.
The population of Tarragona reaches 135,000 people. Most of the population is Spanish.
Citizens of European countries like Sweden, Norway and Germany like life in a cozy southern town.
With a steady demand for housing, the city is steadily growing in breadth and sky: the middle class from Europe is determined to turn it into an endless holiday home.
Thanks to tourists, the population of the city, especially in the summer season, increases significantly. According to statistics, more than 2 million people visit Tarragona a year.
(Source – segam photography).
Symbols: flag, coat of arms
Tarragona is a city with its own flag and coat of arms. Made in traditional Catalan colors – red and gold.
The coat of arms of one of the most beautiful cities in Spain is framed with oak and laurel branches, and at the bottom is tied with a purple ribbon. Outwardly, it resembles the coat of arms of Catalonia, only the stripes are not straight, but they look wave-like.
Tarragona is located in a Mediterranean climate zone characterized by dry, hot summers and mild winters. Weather and climate
It is almost always warm here, strong winds and sudden temperature changes are rare. Due to the refreshing sea breeze, even the summer heat is tolerated quite easily.
Early spring in Tarragona begins in February, when the air warms up to + 18 °.
From May to October , summer reigns in the town and the official beach season lasts. During the day, the average temperature is + 30 °, and even at night it rarely drops below + 25 °. There are also days when the air heats up to + 37 °: the proximity of North Africa affects. Swimming is very comfortable: the water temperature reaches + 25 °, and near the coast the water is a couple of degrees warmer.
Winter temperatures range from +10 to + 14 °. There are short rainy seasons in winter, spring and autumn. But for excursions, the off-season is quite suitable: at this time you can comfortably walk and see the sights, without hiding from the heat and crowds of tourists.
December and January are especially good for travel. Do not be afraid of cloudy cool weather. It is during these months that Tarragona plunges into the abyss of festivals and holidays, which the townspeople celebrate on an incredible scale.
Tarragona Monthly Weather
|Day air temperature, ° С||Air temperature at night, ° С||Precipitation, mm||Air humidity, %||Water temperature, ° С|
How to get to Tarragona
Thanks to its convenient location and developed transport system, it is quite convenient to get to Tarragona.
You can get to the city in the following ways:
- From Reus airport- by regular bus for 2-3 euros, by taxi (about 30 euros) or by the REFNE EXPRESS train. Since the distance between cities is 10 km, the journey will take only 20 minutes.
- From Barcelona El Prat Airport . It is a large international airport, ranking second in the country in terms of passenger traffic. You do not even have to leave the airport: from the first terminal in the direction of Tarragona, buses of the Plana company run. The second option is to take the RENFE train to the Estacio Sants station (this is the center of Barcelona), and then change to a train or train to Tarragona. The third way is to take a taxi, but you will have to fork out for 150-200 euros.
- In addition, trains run to Tarragona from Madrid, Granada, Seville, Bilbao. The train station is in the city center, so you can easily reach the hotel.
Rambla Nova street divides the city into two parts: the Upper and Lower Quarters.
The Old Town (called “Part Alta”) is of particular interest to tourists.
Here are just a few of its attractions:
- The majestic Cathedral.
- Remains of an amphitheater, Roman circus and other structures reminiscent of the once mighty Roman Empire.
- The Jewish Quarter, located near the Royal Square. It was founded in the XII century by order of the king and was separated from the main part of the city by a large wall. In the 15th century, most of the Jews left these places, and now they are predominantly Christians.
If the business part of Tarragona is relatively deserted during the day (locals enjoy a siesta), then life in the Old City is always in full swing.
Numerous tourists with maps and guidebooks look at ancient monuments and smart modern houses, admire the sea, which was also watched by Roman legionnaires from here.
Walking along the streets of the historic center, you will feel the atmosphere and spirit of the “Old Tarraco”. It was here that the life of ordinary inhabitants of the ancient city proceeded, and the rulers decided their destinies.
After your walk, stop by one of the local restaurants and sample the local delicacies. Freshly caught seafood, roast in nut sauce, grilled vegetables with cheese are especially good. Menu del dia, or set menu of the day, costs about 15 euros.
If you come to Tarragona for one or two days or you just do not want to draw up a program on your own, take the Tarraco Trenet Turistic tourist train.
The train route begins and ends at Old Rambla.
On the way, he makes stops at Miracle Beach, at the Moll de Llevant promenade, as well as in the most picturesque part of the old port – in the El Serrallo area.
You will see the historical center of the city, drive along the tourist street Rambla Nova, admire the city from the observation deck “Mediterranean Balcony”.
Tourist information is given in 8 languages.
The duration of the excursion by steam train is one hour.
A ticket for an adult costs 7 euros, for children under 12 years old – 4 euros. Babies under 2 years old (of course, accompanied by adults) are admitted free of charge.
If you come with children or just want to relax your soul – do not bypass amusement parks.
There are four wonderful parks within a short drive from the town:
- Port Aventura . This largest complex, together with two other parks ( Ferrari Land and the Port Aventura Caribe water park ), is located 13 km from the center of Tarragona, in the resort of Salou . Extreme and calm rides, water slides, pools with jacuzzis, racing cars, almost the same as those of the Formula 1 racers, are waiting for you – there will be no time to get bored. During the summer months, PortAventura hosts impressive multimedia shows with fireworks and parades. More information on how to buy a ticket to PortAventura Park online HERE ⇒ .
- Aquapolis with dolphinarium “Aquapolis”. 10 km to the west, in the town of La Pineda. This is an amusement park with many slides and a water arena that hosts dolphin and fur seal performances. Online ticket HERE ⇒ .
- Aqualeon (30 km east of the historic city) is a great opportunity to combine a visit to the water park and safari zoo. Online ticket HERE ⇒ .
- Children will certainly be interested in visiting the Jungle Trek Park in Tarragona. This is a rope town with 6 routes of varying difficulty, laid between trees. Here the children will test their dexterity, train their balance and have fun in the company of their peers.
Holidays, entertainment and nightlife
Tarragona is famous not only for its historical monuments and delicious food, but also for the abundance of various entertainments. The inhabitants of the town organize holidays and festivals for every taste almost every month.
Here are the most famous ones:
- City Carnival , held annually from February 26 to March 8. This is the largest holiday with folk festivities and the traditional burning of the figure of the King of Carnival.
- The International Fireworks and Fireworks Festival is a breathtaking celebration of fire and fun.
- Dixieland Jazz Festival. For a week, city markets, bars and ordinary streets are transformed into concert venues for jazz performers from around the world.
- Feast of Saint Majis is an August festival that features celebrity concerts and foam parties.
- St. George’s Day , held on April 23rd. On this date, it is customary to give each other books and roses – a symbol of love.
- Tarraco a Taula is a gourmet festival with master classes in the preparation of national dishes.
Tarragona will not disappoint nightlife lovers. You will find the largest number of bars, discos and nightclubs in the Upper Quarter.
If you want to try your luck in gambling entertainment, go to the casino in the four-star Husa Imperial Tarraco hotel, 200 meters from the coast.
Guests are offered to play roulette, blackjack, slot machines, and professionals will take part in poker tournaments. The hotel also organizes dance evenings for those who love to dance salsa and bachata.
Where to watch flamenco
While vacationing in Tarragona, do not forget to watch the main Spanish dance. Incendiary performances by artists, accompanied by the beating of tap dance and the clatter of castanets, take place in many cafes and bars.
One of the best places to enjoy the show is the L’Orangerie wine estate.
The ballet group of Kiko Moreno, a professional in his field and the founder of his own flamenco school in Tarragona, which is very difficult to get into, performs in it.
It is better to watch the show over a delicious dinner consisting of the most tender lamb with vegetables, salad with hot goat cheese and other delicacies.
The ticket is purchased on the website of our official partner Tezeks ⇒ (official representative of Tez Tour).
Where to stay
Hotels, hostels and mini-apartments in Tarragona are presented for every budget. Depending on what type of holiday you want to devote more time to, stay in the center or in the coastal area.
Since there are no particularly dangerous areas in the town, choose an accommodation facility that is preferable in terms of price and convenience of location.
Here are three vacation options:
- Hotel Nuria 3 * ⇒ – a hotel built 200 meters from the beach of Arrabassad. It offers tourists comfortable rooms, free parking and a good Mediterranean restaurant. The cathedral and Roman ruins are 1 km away. A day’s stay starts from 50 euros.
- AC Hotel Tarragona 4 * ⇒ – a chain hotel located in the center with excellent food and its own SPA center. Room rates start at 80 euros.
- Hotel Monument Mas Passamaner 5 * ⇒ – a luxury hotel for discerning tourists with a large garden, swimming pool, tennis court and helipad. A day’s stay for two will cost 300 euros.
If you want to feel at home, rent a cozy apartment. Depending on the area and design, the price ranges from 25 to 100 euros per day.
Free internet access for tourists is provided at Reus and Barcelona airports.
Most of Tarragona’s hotels, cafes, restaurants and shopping centers also have free Wi-Fi.
For international calls from a mobile phone, dial “00”, the country code and the phone number.
To save on calls, buy SIM cards from local operators Llamaya Movil, Lebara or Yoigo, which are sold in almost all city stores.
The cost depends on the number and volume of services included in the package. Top up your account easily at any department store, supermarket or Cepsa gas station.
Also, many hotels have booths for phone calls. Negotiations are paid with coins or cards. Purchase payment cards at the post office, in shops and tobacco kiosks.
Another way to get in touch with loved ones is to use the services of the small call centers “Locutorio”. Of these, connect to the internet, make a call, check your email, and even send a fax.
For recreation, Tarragona is a completely safe city. The locals are friendly, helpful and always ready to help guests. Please contact the multilingual tourist police if necessary.
The only threat to tourists (as in many popular resorts) is pickpockets. Therefore, on the beach, on public transport and other crowded places, keep an eye on things.
Care should be taken on the water as well. While swimming in unfamiliar places, beware of strong coastal currents.
It is undesirable to swim in the waters intended for training yachtsmen and surfers.
If you go for a ride on a boat, yacht or catamaran – wear a life jacket for the entire duration of the trip.
Although lifeguards are on duty on the beaches of Tarragona, caution does not hurt.
Tarragona is incredibly good and varied. This ancient majestic city survived several eras, but remained young and beautiful. And the trip to Tarragona will surely be one of the best memories.