You have probably never heard of this incredible little town only a one-hour train ride from Barcelona. Well, I am glad that you have come here to find out more about it! If you are looking for the perfect side trip on your Barcelona vacation, look no further! Tarragona is a small port town that was once an ancient Roman colony. Many of these ancient ruins are preserved and run throughout the historic center of the town. It's a unique mix of Spanish architecture and Roman ruins and the result is simply magical.
Distance from Barcelona
Tarragona is located 80 km (approx. 50 miles) southwest of Barcelona along its coastline. There are two economical options for solo travelers or smaller groups, and if you have a larger group to split the fair, you could also take a taxi or hire a private shuttle.
by bus, it takes about 1.5 hours
costs about €8.75 one way
book it here
by train, it takes about 1 hour
costs about €8 one way
book it here
by taxi, it takes about 1 hour
costs about €120 one way get the app Cabify here
what to say
official language: Catalan & Spanish
goodbye: adéu, adios, ciao
please: Por favor
Thank you: gracias, merci
where is the bathroom?: ¿Donde esta el aseo?
are you serving food now?: ¿Estás sirviendo comida ahora?
I would like this one: Me gustaría este
it's okay: está bien
okay or alright: vale
What to do
Because Tarragona is also a coastal city, it does have a nice stretch of beach to enjoy. My first stop after I arrived at the train station was to enjoy the beach and take a dip in the water. It was only March when I went, so the beach was relatively empty, but I am sure it's a bit busier during the hot summer months. So when going to Tarragona, don't forget to pack your swimsuit and your beach towel! You can see some of the lovely beach photos I was able to capture below.
ancient roman ruins:
Tarragona is known for its Roman ruins scattered throughout the city, especially its colosseum looking over the Mediterranean (talk about a good photo op!) Aside from the photos, Tarragona does have a fascinating history that dates all the way back to 281 BC when it was founded as the Roman colony of Tarraco. It was actually the very first Roman city beyond the Italian peninsula and was the capital of the province of Hispania Citerior in the first century BC.
*pro tip! Bring your student ID to get a HUGE discount on entry to all of the ruins! it only cost me about €3.60 to enter all of them because I brought a student ID with me. learn more about the ruins HERE