Capital of Hispania Tarraconensis
During the Roman Empire, Tarragona was one of the most important cities of Hispania, then known as Tarraco. The city of Tarraco established an important base of supplying and stay for the winter and summer season during the Roman Republic. In the year 2000 the city of Tarragona was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We highly recommend visiting the city of Tarragona and pay tribute to the amphitheater, the Roman circus and the Roman walls, where the old town is located. In other parts of the city you will find other Roman ruins, as well as the Provincial Forum, the Necropolis, the Arc de Triomphe (in Roda de Barà)… Ask for the Roman route. In the summer months you can not miss the Tarraco Viva, where various functions and shows are performed, such as the gladiatorial fights in the Amphitheater.
Museums and monuments
Tarragona was not only strongly represented during the Roman Empire, even the centuries that followed, they continued to provide even more sights that can still be visited today. We can highlight the Cathedral of Santa Tecla of Tarragona, located in the old town and the starting point for other places, such as the old Christian hospital, or follow the route of the first Christians of Tarraco. Of course, the city has several museums dedicated to Roman times, the Middle Ages and modernist art, of which there is also a route.
‘Castellers’ (Human Towers)
In Tarragona are many associations dedicated to the ‘Castellers’, where the different teams compete to form the best human tower. Since 2013, the “Tarragona, City of Castells” initiative has been carried out to bring this Catalan tradition closer to the rest of the world. You can find a tribute of the statue “de Castellers” on the Rambla Nova.
The Rambla Nova and the Balcony of the Mediterranean
Precisely speaking of the RamblaNova, you can enjoy a quiet walk on this avenue that starts from the square Imperial Tárraco, until the ‘Balcón del Mediterráneo’ (Balcony of the Mediterranean), where you can enjoy a marvelous view of our sea while you “Toqueu ferro” (Touch iron, a tradition in Tarragona that means it will bring you luck), and where you can reach the beach if you go downstairs. On the Rambla Nova and the adjacent streets you will find many shops of top brands, restaurants and cafes, the theater and other interesting sights, such as the new market.
Santa Tecla and Sant Magí
The main festivity of Tarragona. Santa Tecla is “the big festivity” of the city, between 15th and 24th of September, of national tourist interest and with more than 500 activities for its population and tourists who come to the city, such as the competitions between the best ‘Collas of Castellers’, or the ‘Baixada de l’Àliga’ (decent of the Eagle) that takes place at sunrise on the 21st to the 22nd of September. They also emphasize the “Correfocs”, the giant puppets … all accompanied by different music bands. You can not miss the “mamadeta”, the typical drink of the Santa Tecla parties!
From the 16th to the 19th of August are celebrated the festivities of Saint Magínus, the small city festival. It is a tradition that wooden carriages are transported with barrels of water, blessed by the patron of the town, Saint Magínus, accompanied by the Bigheads (Cabezones) and other regional folkloric personalities, as well as the urban guard on horse. Many concerts, festivals and competitions are held during the festivities.
The Harbor and its gastronomy
The gastronomy of Tarragona is a reflection of its historical and cultural personality: as a port of the Mediterranean, an important part of its wealth comes from the sea, which is combined with rich agriculture. Highlights are seafood and blue fish, which are transported to the harbor in the Serrallo district, where you will find several restaurants that use these products. On the other hand, tuna loin with snails are very famous, combining tuna loin with snails and a sauce of vegetables. There are also plenty of bars and taverns known as “llesquerías”, where you can enjoy a good rice dish (paella), romesco sauce or fried fish. We must not forget, of course, that wines originating in the region are mentioned.
Shopping centers and recreational activities
But if you are looking for a store with the product you need and you can not find it here in Tarragona, or a cinema where you can watch the latest movie during your holiday, then you must visit the ‘Parc Central’ shopping center (in the city) or the ‘Gavarres’ (in the suburbs in an open complex). You will also find the famous Spanish warehous, the Corte Inglés in the town. To round off the evening you can visit the Puerto Deportivo on the seaside, location of the nightlife of the city, with several bars and clubs together in one place. Or if you prefer more elegance, try your luck at the Casino de Tarragona, next to the Amphitheater.