Tarragona Cathedral (Catalonia)


History comes to life on the Mediterranean


In Tarragona, history comes to life and surrounds you everywhere you go. 

The city specialises in historical re-enactments which bring the Roman Empire back to life with shows in essential sights like the Amphitheatre and the Roman Circus. Add its exceptional location on the Mediterranean Sea, its delicious local cuisine and its fiestas and popular traditions, and you have the capital of the Costa Dorada: Tarragona.

The living past of the city

Tarragona is Roman history, the medieval past and Catalan tradition. It has one of the greatest densities of Roman remains, and many of the sites can be visited. For example, the Roman amphitheatre, the circus, the praetorium, the theatre and the aqueduct of Les Ferreres. In spring you have a fantastic opportunity to see them in a different way with the Tarraco Viva festival. The city will be full of elaborate historical reenactments, guided tours and activities relating to the Roman past. In summer there are night tours and shows like Amfiteatrum, which recreates the gladiator fights. The wide range of historical reenactments in Tarragona also includes the festival Tarragona 1800 (in October) on the city at the start of the 19th century.The Middle Ages were also an important era for Tarragona. You can see for yourself with a tour of medieval sites like the Cathedral, the city walls, the arches of the old Jewish quarter and the castles of Paborde, Tamarit and Del Rey. Opposite the Cathedral you can often enjoy one of the most popular traditions of Catalonia: castells or human towers. They perform as part of the city’s various fiestas on many summer afternoons. Tarragona also hosts the international castells competition at the start of autumn in every even-numbered year.

A place to enjoy the Mediterranean

Tarragona is open to the Mediterranean, and the beach is an easy walk from the old quarter. It has 15 kilometres of coastline with fine sand beaches and the sea is shallow a long way out. Its temperate climate is almost always perfect for bathing from June to September.The city conserves the seaside atmosphere of the fishermen’s district, Serrallo. This is a good place to enjoy the local fish and seafood. You can even see the fish auction every afternoon in the market.Tarragona, especially its historic quarter, is a pleasant city with many pavement cafés where you can enjoy views of heritage sites in places like Plaça de la Font, Plaça del Fòrum and Plaça del Rei. You can complete the day with a walk along the Rambla Nova where most of the modern shops are located, and enjoy a dinner of traditional local cuisine.

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What to visit

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What to do

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Practical information

How to get there - transport information

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How to get to aeroplane

  • Barcelona Airport  Located 80 kilometres from Tarragona, about an hour’s drive.To get to Tarragona by public transport, the quickest way is to go to Sants Station in Barcelona (a direct Barcelona Cercanías commuter train from the airport takes about 20 minutes) and catch the regional train (Renfe) which connects the two cities in a journey of around an hour. More information

  • Reus Airport  About 12 kilometres from Tarragona, less than 15 minutes by car. By public transport you need to get to the city of Reus (just under 30 minutes by bus) and catch the regional train (Renfe) which connects to Tarragona in just over an hour. Reus airport has direct connections with the United Kingdom and operates charter flights. More information

How to get to train

  • Tarragona railway station is located in the city centre. Long-distance connections (Valencia, Andalusia, Madrid and France) and close destinations (Barcelona, Tortosa, Reus and Lleida)

  • Camp de Tarragona high-speed train station is located about 10 kilometres from Tarragona, 15 minutes by car or taxi and around 20-25 minutes by special bus. Direct AVE high-speed train connections with Barcelona, Lleida, Figueres, Valladolid, Zaragoza, Madrid, Málaga, Córdoba , Irún and Seville.

  • Book tickets

How to get to bus

  • Tarragona bus station is located very close to the city centre, just 1.5 kilometres from the cathedral (a 20-minute walk).

  • National, inter-provincial and provincial buses all arrive and depart from the bus station, as well as the Tarragona city buses, making it possible to reach other parts of the city from here.

How to get there by road

  • From Barcelona, via the AP-7 and the N-340.

  • From Madrid, via the N-240 and the AP-2.

  • Check here where you can park in Tarragona.

How to get to boat

  • The cruise ship terminal, Tarragona Cruise Port, is located in the centre, about a 20-minute walk from Tarragona cathedral. 

  • There is a free shuttle bus from the Port’s Welcome Centre to the quay. There are also taxi ranks and bus stops nearby.  More information

  • In Tarragona you can also find Port Tarraco (a modern marina) and the Nautic Tarragona marina.

How to get around in bus

How to get around in other means of transport