Are you planning your holidays and wondering what to see in Tarragona? Don’t worry — we (will) can tell you everything you need to know in this post. Once you have read it, you will already feel like you have been there.
At Catalan Ways, (everything)what we want is to make you feel at home in this beautiful region of Catalonia — Tarragona, Spain. We offer you the best priced accommodation to enjoy your stay in (our country) this part of Spain to the maximum. We have a (lot) huge number of houses and villas for rent in L’Ampolla— but, if you fall in love with Tarragona, you can also (take a) look at our properties on sale. We try to offer you everything you are looking for!
But apart from all of (that),this we want (like to tell) to inform you of the many (all the) activities and the best things to do in Tarragona. So that is the reason why (today) we are (going to write) writing this post about what to see in Tarragona, Spain. So Off we go!
What to see in Tarragona?
When people think about Catalonia, Barcelona is the city that comes to their minds most of the times. Nevertheless, that’s a mistake. There is no doubt that Barcelona is a marvellous place and definitely a must see — but Tarragona has nothing to envy to any other city.
From Tarragona to Barcelona there is only an hour by train, at the south. We could say that Tarragona is in many ways is a little version of Barcelona in terms of culture, but without the enormous crowds and the rushes of tourists.
Tarragona is the home of some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Spain. Among the things to see in Tarragona, you will find a charming old town full of Gothic Architecture and the best beaches of Costa Dorada with their golden sand and their water. But these are just some of the many attractions that you can find. Here you are what to see in Tarragona!
The Roman Amphitheatre
What to see in Tarragona? The Roman Amphitheatre is one of the chief highlights of a trip to Tarragona. It is set beside the sea, and this fact makes it impressive. It is just an hour of train ride at the south of Barcelona. This Amphitheatre was built in the 2nd Century AD — and it is a stunning legacy of a time when Tarragona, or Tarraco as it was called at that time, was one of the capitals of Hispania, which was ruled by the Romans.
Walking around this Roman amphitheatre, it is easy to imagine the beloved spectacles that Roman citizens used to enjoy — the Gladiatorial contests, the executions, the exotic animals… all of them together in the sand.
But the Roman civilization is not the only one fallen civilization that used to be set on this site. In the centre of the stadium, there are still remains of a Visigoth church. This church was built in honour of the martyred Christian St Fructuous, who was murdered in 259 AD.
You have the chance to get a combined ticket for visiting all the historic sites and monuments of Tarragona, except the Archaeological Museum which ticket has to be bought apart. The combined ticked includes the Roman Amphitheatre, and you can buy it at the tourist office located on Carrer Major.
The Roman Amphitheatre of Tarragona is open to the public from 9 in the morning to 9 in the night from Tuesday to Saturday. On Sundays, it opens until 3 in the afternoon. So don’t miss the chance to visit this historic place!
The National Archaeological Museum
If you are interested in what to see in Tarragona, the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona (MNAT) is one of the best options. It is found in the old quarter of Tarragona (as well known as the Casc Antic), situated in the Plaça del Rei. The museum hosts an impressive store of ancient artifacts, including the greatest trove of remains from the Roman period of Catalonia, when Tarragona was the capital of an important Roman province in Hispania.
The National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona is very famous for its classical treasures, and it is located in a neoclassical building from 1960s wedged into the city walls. In this Museum, you will find Roman mosaics — including the head of Medusa and hunting scenes. On the top floor, there is a room full of statues and busts — including the Roman emperors Trajan, Claudius and Hadrian. There is also a pantheon of mythical deities and beasts.
Another very interesting section of the MNAT’s collection is the one dedicated to Roman domestic life. In this section you will have the chance to see domestic objects such as keys, bells, belt buckles, and other fittings typical from daily life in antiquity.
The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening, from Tuesday to Saturday. On Sundays, it opens until 2 in the afternoon. There are plenty of educational activities, like an audiovisual room showing different educational videos about the history of the Roman Tarragona. It is perfect for adults and kids — so don’t keep wondering what to see in Tarragona!
The Cathedral of Santa María
The Cathedral of Santa María is part of the cultural heritage of Tarragona — so if you are still wondering what to see in Tarragona, there is no doubt that this Cathedral is a must see. The Cathedral of Santa María was built between the 12th and 14th century on the highest point of the city, which is a place full of history.
In this place, there were previously a 10th century mosque, a Christian Visigoth basilica and, even earlier, a Roman temple. The Cathedral of Tarragona hides an ancient temple dedicated to Augustus within its foundation.
The Cathedral is a transitional work between two periods — Romanesque and Gothic. The former was then still current, and spread in the 12th century to many parts of the New Catalonia. In Tarragona later styles, we can appreciate that the Gothic coexisted with the Renaissance and the Baroque.
These are just some of the things to see in Tarragona. If you have (enjoyed) found this (our) post useful about (what to see) things of interest in Tarragona, please don’t hesitate to contact us and of course if you have any (other doubt) questions or queries or you need more information, we are just an email away.