What to visit in Tarragona in one day. The splendor of the ancient Roman city

In few places can we find a city where you can better appreciate the power that Roman civilization had in the world.

And it is that in Tarragona we can find a large number of Roman remains, very well preserved, which are perfectly complemented by a spectacular old town that you should not miss out on visiting.

With everything there is to see in Tarragona, we recommend spending several days in this city, complementing your stay with a visit to Port Aventura and the province’s beaches.

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Walk with the best things to see in Tarragona in one day

1. The Balcony of the Mediterranean

What to see in Tarragona in one day - Mediterranean Balcony - AmphitheaterThe best place to start visiting Tarragona is the Balcón del Mediterráneo.

It is located very close to the train station and from which you can admire the immense sea and one of the most famous monuments of the city, the Roman Amphitheatre, located by the sea which gives it a unique character.

From here we begin to walk through the main places of interest to see in Tarragona in one day.

2. The Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco

The Roman Amphitheater is one of the monuments of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, declared a World Heritage Site, and of which the Roman Praetorium and the Roman Circus are also part, which can be visited before starting to walk through the alleys of the old town of Tarraco. Tarragona and enjoy its environment and its heritage.

Before, we found two highly recommended museums that are very close to each other, the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona and the Museum of Modern Art.

If you want to get to know this area of ​​Tarragona, we recommend that you take this guided tour of Roman Tarragona that will not leave you indifferent.

3. The Old Town and the Cathedral of Tarragona

Visit Tarragona in one day - Cathedral - CloisterOur visit to Tarragona should continue through its old town, where the largest gastronomic and leisure offer in the city is concentrated and where some of the most important monuments of the city are located.

It corresponds to what was the Roman Forum of ancient Tarraco and is surrounded by a Roman wall of which a good part is preserved. We must highlight the Portal de San Antonio, a gate in the wall built as a triumphal arch.

Strolling through these beautiful streets in the center of Tarragona, we come across some stately homes that are well worth a visit, such as Casa Canals, before coming across the famous Mercería Street, well known for its vaults with Gothic arches.

A medieval vegetable market used to be held there and today there is a flea market on Sundays.

4. Tarragona Cathedral

What to do in Tarragona - Cathedral - ExteriorIn the same street we find a staircase flanked by 2 fountains that takes us to the Cathedral of Tarragona, a beautiful temple that began in Romanesque style and finished in Gothic, although with later elements, and which is a must-see.

Of the Cathedral of Tarragona you should not miss its main façade, with an impressive Gothic door, nor its interior, of which the choir, the main altarpiece and the cloister should be highlighted.

In the street behind the Cathedral you should not miss the Chapel of Sant Pau, located in one of the cloisters of the Seminary that is located in the highest part of the city.

Returning to the newest part of Tarragona, but still in the Old Town, we find the Old Court, inside which there is a large model of Tarraco that will help you understand what the ancient Roman city was like.

5. Rambla Nova and other monuments to visit in Tarragona

The Plaza de la Font, where the Town Hall is located, welcomes the modern city whose main avenue is Rambla Nova.

The life of the people of Tarragona is concentrated there thanks to its shops, restaurants and terraces, surrounded by beautiful buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

In Rambla Nova, which takes us to the Balcón del Mediterráneo, we can find different monuments scattered along its almost 2 km length, among which the Monument to the Sardana, the Statue of Lluis Companys and, above all, the Monument to the Castellers, the most famous of all.

In a perpendicular street of Rambla Nova, at the height of the Centennial Fountain, we find the Central Market, an essential visit for its modernist design, in the style of the great Barcelona Markets.

6. The Colonial Forum

See TarragonaFurther away from the city center there are also other places that are worth a visit.

Such as the Colonial Forum, which was the religious and social center of Tarraco and of which only a few remains of the basilica are preserved, the Roman Theatre, of which not much is preserved but which was an important place in the ancient Roman city, or the Francolí Paleo-Christian Ensemble, where the most important Paleo-Christian cemetery in the Mediterranean is located.

On the outskirts, we find the Torre de los Escipiones, a funerary monument that is also part of the Tarraco Archaeological Ensemble, which also includes the Ferreres Aqueduct, another of the city’s most famous monuments, an icon, and that supplied water from the Francolí River to the city.

You can find more information on the official Tarragona tourism page.

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