Are you visiting the Costa Daurada during your next holiday? You’ve certainly picked a charming destination! Here is our guide to the best areas to stay in Tarragona!
Located between Barcelona and Valencia, in the south of Catalonia, the charming city of Tarragona boasts numerous historical landmarks for visitors to enjoy while wandering through its age-old, quaint narrow streets. Founded at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, Tarragona has a population of 131,507 inhabitants (2017). Today, the city’s superb beaches and leisure centers seamlessly blend in with Tarragona’s prodigious architectural and cultural heritage, making it a leading touristic hub in Mediterranean Spain. Accommodation in Tarragona can be expensive: there are few hotels considering the city’s actual size. If there are no hotel rooms available, your best bet is to look for homestay accommodation, an excellent alternative to stay in Tarragona.
Tarragona offers a unique blend of tradition, history, and modernity. The city is divided into two main parts: the historic city center on the one side, and the modern town on the other, featuring broad streets filled with department stores and restaurants. Before you leave for Tarragona, find out about the best neighborhoods to stay in Tarragona.
Barcelona is only one hour away, read about the best things to do in Barcelona
The Historical Center
The remains that can be dated with certainty date back to the Roman Empire, but it is known that the Phoenicians established trading posts there as early as 1500 BC. Boasting an incredibly rich collection of Roman remains, the city of Tarragona is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can enter the old town through the gate of the Via de l’Imperi Romà. Wander through the city’s colorful alleyways, and have a drink on a shaded terrace or look for handicrafts in the small designer boutiques.
Take a detour to St. Mary’s Cathedral, built between 1170 and 1331 on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Augustus, a Visigothic cathedral, and a Moorish mosque. In the old town, don’t miss the Roman archaeological complex, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the amphitheater, the ruins of the Roman circus, the archaeological passage, the praetorium tower and the tower of the walls surrounding the ancient town. Finally, take the time to explore the age-old treasures of the National Museum of Archaeology. History lovers, this is your best place to stay in Tarragona.
The Modern City
In the modern part of Tarragona, you’ll find a very typical feature of Spanish and Latin American cities: the “Rambla.” Stroll along the tree-lined Rambla Nova, a broad avenue bustling with activity all day long and throughout the evening. Lined with small kiosks, a market, shops, bars, and restaurants, the Rambla is decorated with giant sculptures typical of Catalan culture: the castelles.
On the western side of the Roman amphitheater, you will find the Balcón del Mediterraneo and El Milagro Beach: swimming in the city, a luxurious experience! To the north of Rambla Nova, the public park called Parc de la Ciutat is the city’s widest green setting. If you enjoy shopping, savoring local snacks – tapas and bocadillos are a must-try in Spain – and going out at night, the modern city center is the best place to stay in Tarragona.
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