The City of Tarragona

Tarragona is a port city located in the north-east of Spain on the Mediterranean Coast not far from Barcelona.

Tarragona was such an exciting city to wander around especially the charming alleys of the historic quarter. We were advised to get off the bus at the bottom of the Rambla Nova as from there we could walk into the Old Town and see the many ancient ruins and remains from its time as Tarraco under the Romans.

Tarragona Cathedral

We headed off to the Cathedral in the Old Town first before exploring the many other sights this town had to offer.

Tarragona Roman Amphitheatre

There are many Roman ruins in Tarragona, old columns part of the walls etc. but the Roman Amphitheatre is the most exciting and impressive among them. It was built in the second century and excavated in 1952. It’s a well-preserved example of Tarragona’s remarkable Roman heritage. Many of the seating areas are still intact. Its capacity was from twelve and up to thirteen thousand spectators. The ruins of the Roman amphitheatre are located between the sea and the old town of Tarragona. It really did look impressive with the backdrop of the sea.

In old times different kinds of shows were held here – gladiator fights, wild animal hunts (it was built near the beach where the animals disembarked at the end). It’s hard to believe that this beautiful site was also a place of public executions, something that people enjoyed watching back then.

Near to the Amphitheatre is the Praetorium and Roman Circus.
The Roman circus is 300 metres long and was built in the 1st century.
Some of the vaults of the circus are well preserved, and other parts of the structure have been incorporated in buildings constructed later.

Chariot races were held here between different teams although these could be quite dangerous and sometimes the competitors died.

The Praetorium is a tower, first constructed by the Romans and later added to. It has been used as a feudal castle and then as the King’s castle. It has also been used as barracks and a prison. The view over Tarragona from the top is stunning.

La Rambla Nova

La Rambla Nova is the main avenue of Tarragona. It is 45 metres wide with a beautiful tree-lined walkway in the middle. Walking along La Rambla, we passed fountains, sculptures (The Monument of the Human Tower is one of them), shops and cafes. We took our time in this area as we had done a lot of walking so kept sitting down on the many benches to rest and just take in our surroundings and the lovely detail in some of the buildings also to watch people stroll by.

Every second year there is a big Human Tower Contest in Tarragona. The human castles built are called Castellers, and they can be over six metres high. The person on top is usually a child. There is a life-size sculpture of a human tower made by the artist Francesc Angles in 1999 on the Rambla Nova.

Tarragona Human Tower

What to See

Another place to see is the Diocesan Museum which was founded in 1844 and had an impressive collection of Roman artefacts, paintings, tapestries, woodcarvings etc. There is also a lovely garden in the middle of the cloister.

We preferred to walk around Tarragona just taking breaks when we were tired, but there is a small tourist train that goes around the main attractions situated at the bottom of La Rambla.

Tarragona Photo Gallery

Click to see larger images.

Further Information

How to get here

Nearest Airports

The nearest major airport to Tarragona is Reus Airport (REU/LERS).

The distance between the airport and Tarragona is 12 miles via A-7 or T-11

Another major airport is Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN/LEBL) and is 92 km from Tarragona

Cheap Flights

Car Hire

There are so many amazing places to visit which sometimes we can’t get to with our motorhome, so we often hire a car for a few days to explore more.

We take out an annual car hire excess insurance with insure4carhire. is the company we use if hiring from a campsite but if we are flying into an airport we use Zest Car Hire which usually has the best deals but can only be picked up from an airport or hotel.


Where we stayed:

We have used 2 campsites in the Tarragona area

Camping Park Playa Bara,
Passeig Tarragona, Roda de Bera,
Mas de Marti,
Tarragona 43883 ES

GPS:   N41º10’12.5″ E1º28’10.1″ / 41.170124, 1.469465

Camping Playa Bara feels more like a 5-star hotel resort than a campsite as it is maintained to a very high standard. It is beautifully landscaped and designed with an ancient Roman theme in mind (in honour of nearby Tarragona).  Read more...

Camping Torre de la Mora S.A. Cat 1
Tarragona, Spain

GPS:  N41° 7’44”  E1° 20’39”

This Site is listed in the ACSI Discount Camping Book available here. This book is definitely worth getting for its discount card that you can use for out of season camping.

Torre de la Mare is a large terraced campsite set amongst pine trees with lots of shady pitches. The considerable benefit of this site is the stunning location overlooking two bays and built out on a headland with terraced pitches to the upper levels providing staggering views. Read more...

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