Destinations Europe Travel

Tarragona – Where the Romans left their mark

Roman Catalonia

As the streets of Barcelona are getting more and more packed with tourists during these summer months it is good to keep in mind some alternatives to escape the crowds. Tarragona is only an hour away from Barcelona and is a great option for people, who are spending more than just a long weekend in the capital of Catalonia and want to venture out to see more of this diverse and beautiful region.

I visited Tarragona on a very sunny and equally windy Sunday in March with my friends, Aleksandra and Dora. They also come from Poznań but lived in a number of European cities so it was interesting to compare the notes, find out few new things and have a laugh! In fact, Aleksandra used to study in Tarragona so she was glad to show us her favourite spots and walk us through the small streets of the city center.

The Amphitheatre in Tarragona

The Amphitheatre in Tarragona

In Roman times, the city was known as Tarraco and the ruins scattered around remind of this ancient heritage. For a brief time it was even the capital of the Roman Empire. I was especially impressed with the amphitheatre that benefits from an incredible backdrop – the Mediterranean Sea. Plaça del Fòrum on the other hand has the ruins as well as lively bars where the locals enjoy their vermouth.

Tarragona is also famous for its annual castells competition when a group of castellers builds the human tower. When walking down the Rambla Nova from the seafront it is possible to see a statue dedicated to this Catalan tradition.

La Rambla Nova in Tarragona

La Rambla Nova in Tarragona

The neighbourhood of El Serrallo, situated by the port, has a lot of restaurants that specialise in seafood and regional cuisine so I would recommend visiting it if you want to taste great quality food at much lower prices than in Barcelona.

I have not had a chance to see the Pont de les Ferreres, a part of the Roman aqueduct so a prospect of a delicious lunch would not be my only reason why I want to go back to Tarragona.

You can view a full set of my pictures on Flickr.

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