Tarraco, the Roman jewel of Catalonia

Tarragona, the only Catalan city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, preserves an impressive Roman legacy surrounded by a rich medieval and natural heritage.

At the mouth of the Francolí River and with a playful orography, Tarragona has emerged as the metropolitan city of southern Catalonia. Ancient Tarraco offers much more than an immersion in history. The current Tarragona has all the services and possibilities offered by a 21st century city: a dynamic cultural life, a rich and diverse gastronomic offer, a unique shopping offer and many recreational and leisure proposals.

Tarragona is a polycentric city with different neuralgic points that preserve a very differentiated identity. First of all, at the top of the city, we find the Part Alta, a historic core of medieval origin where a large part of the city’s Roman heritage is also found. Beyond the Rambla Nova, the true artery of the city, we find the Part Baixa where a large part of the commercial activity takes place. Near the sea we find the Serrallo, the maritime neighborhood that preserves the character of a fishing village. On the other side of the Port, on the other hand, we find a series of beaches and coves guarded by pine forests.

What to visit

The first recommendation for locating in Tarragona is to go to “tocar ferro” ( “to touch iron”). This local custom consists of walking up the Rambla to what is known as the “Balcó del Mediterrani”, a viewpoint protected by a beautiful iron railing. Leaving the “Balcó del Mediterrani” towards the Passeig de les Palmeres we will find the impressive Roman circus and one of the sections of the Roman wall that delimits the Part Alta, the Upper Part.

In the Upper Part of Tarragona, a completely pedestrianized area, an overwhelming Roman and medieval heritage is concentrated. To see it in all its splendor, it is highly recommended to download the Tarraco Arqueo Tours app, which, thanks to geolocation, will provide us with information and audio guides for almost 500 points in the city, many of them unknown to the people of Tarragona themselves. The app will also enrich a highly recommended visit to the Torre del Pretori, home to the city’s History Museum. Also in Plaça del Rei, we will find the National Museum of History, which is currently undergoing renovations.

Continuing through narrow streets and in the middle of charming squares where you can have a vermouth, such as the Plaza del Fòrum, we will find a wide gastronomic offer and charming historic shops. At the top of the main street and crowning the city, we will find the Santa Tecla Cathedral. An essential visit not only for the beauty of the Gothic-style building, but also for the cloister, the numerous chapels, the gardens and the diocesan museum.

Beyond the historical heritage, in Tarragona we will also find a good commercial and entertainment offer. In front of the Roman circus, we can enjoy the Tarragona Casino, the only one in the province, which, beyond fun and games, offers live shows. Closer to the area of ​​the Central Market of Neoclassical origin, the commercial offer and unique proposals in the demarcation are concentrated, such as the Get Unreal virtual reality room.

Already close to the sea, we can enjoy the atmosphere of a little fishing village in the Serrallo and delight ourselves with the best fish and the best rice dishes in the city. From the same port, we can also follow the coast on foot thanks to the Camí de Ronda, which will reveal different beaches and coves that are very well preserved and surrounded by pine trees. Platja Llarga is especially recommended. Around the city, we will also find different natural spaces forming the Green Ring. Among them, the Park of the Pont del Diable stands out, where we will find the remains of an ancient Roman aqueduct.

Experiencies in Tarragona

The experiences recommended by Mapilife in Tarragona are these:

La Catedral de Santa Tecla

Tarraco Arqueo Tours App

Get Unreal – VR Escape Room

Casino de Tarragona

Ol’ Dirty Burger Boat Party

Restaurants in Tarragona

Gastronomic experiences of the capital:

  • Els Arcs Historic restaurant a few meters from the Cathedral of Santa Tecla with an impressive stone dining room and Gothic arches. It offers seasonal and market cuisine that blends tradition and innovation. Executive menu for 25 euros and tasting menu for 47 euros. Closed on Mondays. Bookings at 977 218 040
  • El Pòsit del Serrallo Authentic gastronomic institution of the maritime district and the city. Located in the emblematic building of the Fishermen’s Association with unparalleled views of the Port. It also stands out for its environmental commitment. Bookings at 977 436 912
  • Quattros Located next to the Town Hall and with an excellent terrace in the emblematic Plaza de la Font. Specialized in tapas. Closed Monday. Lunch menu for 14.90 euros. Bookings at 977 225 941
  • Ol’ Dirty Burger by la Cantonada Cozy restaurant with an informal and tavern atmosphere where you can enjoy the best hamburgers in the city. Hand made & Home made burgers. Closed on Mondays. During the week it opens the vespers and the weekend also at lunch time. Bookings by whatsapp at 665 455 691



977 250 795

Tarragona Municipal Tourist Office Schedule: Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. / 4-7 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.