Tarragona 48 hours... with friends
With a coat or sandals, Tarragona is always a good place to visit with friends. Walk through History, taste the gastronomy that fills the senses, not only your stomach, and celebrating friendship is one of the greatest gifts of life.
The Part Alta, the historic quarter, and the Palmeres and the Rambla, the city that overlooks the sea. Who has not touched iron on the Balcó (balcony), has not been to Tarragona (it is one of the city's traditions: a stroll along the Rambla Nova that ends with touching the iron railing on the spectacular balcony). The city's must-see sights are all close to each other and invite one to take a walk with more or less stops, in more or less depth, in line with our interest and pace.
The use of rented electric bicycles or segways enables easily overcoming the constant slopes and expanding the scope of the visit down to El Serrallo, the Port and the beaches, in a short time. The thematic tours of Segway Tarragona are always with a guide. If you choose Tarragona e-bike tours, you can visit the area at your leisure, or accompanied by a guide.
In the month of March, the human tower groups Xiquets de Tarragona and Jove Xiquets de Tarragona start their training sessions and allow the public to attend (adults and children practise on Tuesdays and Fridays).
Also, every summer, Tarragona has implemented the activities programme Ciutat de Castells (City of Human Towers), with the aim of bringing the human tower culture to visitors and residents. Within the framework of this initiative, visits to the training sessions are organised on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays when there are performances.
If you want to have dinner without rushing, in the Part Alta there is an unusual concentration of establishments where you can do so. Take a walk and look around. When the weather is good, the interior terraces of establishments such as Degvsta or Quim Quima are very popular for groups of friends.
If, when you have finished your meal, you want to stay chatting and having a drink, the atmosphere of the Part Alta is especially propitious with terraces and monumental areas, the good atmosphere of Mvseum and bars such as Pachito and Tòtem Cafè.
Tarragona is a voluptuously Mediterranean city that cultivates the pleasures of life and, for many people, having a hot breakfast on a Saturday is like going to Mass. The city has true sanctuaries to enjoy 'ranxo' (communal meal) and conversation - El Cortijo, Tasca Boada, Petit Tarraco, Racó de’n Mario and la Cuineta-, that pursue a strong immersion in the most hedonistic side of Tarragona.
If you are not in for big meals, you can also visit the most spontaneous side of Tarragona by walking to the Central Market. You will find a colourful and busy atmosphere, with the fish unloaded the day before at El Serrallo, the city's fishermen's quarter, as the main protagonist. Another market worth visiting, even just for the atmosphere around it at the time of the Vermouth, is the Saturday morning fruit and vegetable market at the Plaça del Fòrum square.
From the inner parts to the roof of the city, the monumental Tarragona has spectacular spaces. Beyond the Amphitheatre and the Roman Circus – which allows covering part of the city beneath the stands, today beneath the buildings- another highly recommended visit is the Cathedral's belfry that offers splendid 360-degree views of the city (guided visit).
In the summer, you will inevitably feel the call of the sea and the beaches. Tarragona has a dozen extremely beautiful beaches, and they are of the less crowded ones in an area where it is often difficult to lay your towel down. Most of the beaches can be accessed by car and bus –check the timetables and lines with the Municipal Transport Company-, and they have showers, beach bars and lifeguards. Others, such as Roca Plana and Cala Fonda –also known as Waikiki- form part of the protected area known as Bosc de la Marquesa, and they have preserved their natural features. You can only access them on foot going through La Móra urbanisation .
There are other and very diverse ways of enjoying such a spectacular coastline. At TGNautica Kayak, they offer group outings from the beach of La Móra. The Club de Vela de la Platja Llarga organises educational outings with light sails boats. The Sirenas Mediterranean Academy proposes a unique experience: learning how to swim and breath as mermaids and tritons do. And if you fancy emulating professor Jacques Cousteau, in Tarragona you will find good professionals to practice diving: Rikysub and SES.
If you had a light breakfast, and you are ready for lunch, a good option for groups is Barquet, a large and bright space, as bright as the traditional and creative rice made in its kitchen.
Summer afternoons are long, sunny... and very productive to go shopping. Those who love shopping will find Tarragona a display case that combines exclusive products, local crafts and food, and the seasonal fashion of the international franchises. Beyond the Corte Inglés department store, near the Francolí river, most of the clothes, accessories and household shops are located between the Part Alta and the Rambla Nova.
Tarragona is the capital of a region with up to five wine designations of origin and all of a great personality and international projection. Some establishments in the city centre (Devins, Negresco, Cap & Cua, Viníssim, Denominació d’Origen, Espai Vi, Pa i Oli...) have specialised and allow tasting a large variety of local product, from the powerful 'garnatxa' varieties from the Priorat and the Terra Alta, to 'cabernets' and 'muscats' of the area of Tarragona, including the best cava in the region and other specialities from around the world.
Many cellars in the surrounding area offer wine tourism activities. It is the case of Vinícola de Nulles, only 20 Km away, that makes cava of great quality, and organises these types of experiences in the best possible scenario, a spectacular modernist cellar, or as these buildings of this period are known is Catalonia, a Cathedral of Wine. And Mas Vicenç, in Cabra del Camp, where, in addition to guided visits, you can book a wine tasting introductory course.
At this point, you will have noticed that Tarragona, apart from wine, is the land of Vermouth, an alcoholic aperitif that was the favourite drink of our grandparents in the second half of the previous century, and that has gained ground to beer in most of the city's terraces. Vermouth Yzaguirre, a brand from Tarragona, keeps its recipe for success in its cellar, which you can also visit. You can purchase this and other wines and liquors from the area in most of the local wine shops.
For dinner, we suggest a different experience, between historic reconstruction and cooking workshop. Domus Apicius has recovered and adapted several recipes of the Roman cuisine and offers the possibility of taking part, while having fun, in preparing the dishes that we will later eat. Authentic Roman cuisines to take you on a trip through time.
If we haven't left the centre, the extensive menu of delicacies at El Peix que es Mossega la Cua or the open-air terrace of El Terrat are good options to start the evening. Nearby are Tarragona's most popular night-life establishments: Groove, Sala Zero, El Cau, Les Golfes, and for those who like to stay up late, Sala Golfus in the Marina. All without moving your car.
Sunday is an official lazy day in Tarragona. At around lunchtime, the terraces at the Plaça de la Font, the Plaça del Rei and the Plaça del Fòrum fill with people having an aperitif, time to go home for lunch, with the family or in one of the establishments at the Part Alta. Sit down, have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere. Also highly recommended is to take a look at the lively antiques and collectors street market in Mercería St. You will find very unusual objects and people.
You will also find a similar atmosphere as from midday, near the sea, in El Serrallo, the city's fishermen's quarter. It is worth stretching your legs and taking a walk along the Moll de Costa dock and Els Tinglados, the ancient port storage facilities. El Serrallo is one of those neighbourhoods that traps you, like its finishing nets, and if you stay for lunch, you will have the opportunity to say farewell to Tarragona with a fisherman's 'Ranxo' meal. You have many good options for lunch in the neighbourhood, among which is the Restaurant Balandra, where they serve excellent rice dishes.
Tarragona e-bike tours
Baixada del Roser, 8 (Portal del Roser) | ebiketours.cat | 659 83 84 80
Colla Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona (Human towers group)
Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona (Human towers group)
Tarragona Ciutat de Castells (Tarragona City of Human Towers)
Tuesdays at 8 pm guided visits to the training sessions; Wednesdays, performances.
Consult the full programme and purchase your tickets: http://www.tarragonaturisme.cat/en/tarragona-city-human-towers
Carrer Sant Llorenç, 5 | +34 977 22 25 87 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrer August, 50 | +34 636 03 47 06 | email@example.com
Rambla Vella, 15 | www.totemcafe.com | +34 653 79 88 08
Carrer Rebolledo, 27 | +34 977 22 48 67
Carrer Rovira i Virgili, 23
Carrer Baró de les IV Torres, 1 | +34 977 22 81 98 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Racó d’en Mario
Carrer Merceria, 18
Carrer Nou del Patriarca, 2 bis | +34 977 22 61 01
Mercat central (central market)
Plaça de Corsini, s/n | Timetable: From 8:30 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturdays
Municipal Transport Company
Check timetables and lines: http://emtanemambtu.cat/
www.tgnautica.com/kayak | +34 618 21 80 70
Club de Vela de la Platja Llarga (sailing club)
Sirenas Mediterranean Academy
Societat d’Exploracions Submarines de Tarragona (SES Tarragona)
"Anella Verda" de Tarragona
+34 607 56 88 15
Carrer Méndez Núñez, 10 | www.devins.es | +34 977 23 00 20
Carrer Fortuny, 7 | www.negresco.es | +34 977 23 98 32
Cap & Cua Tapes
Carrer Lleida, 6 | +34 977 21 61 98
Carrer Santa Anna, 12 | +34 977 94 30 31
Plaça del Fòrum, 5 | +34 645 41 77 76
Pa i Oli
Plaça del Fòrum, 5
Plaça del Fòrum, 13 | +34 618 06 01 71
Vinícola de Nulles
Celler Sort del Castell. Carretera de Reus, km 7,8 – EL MORELL | www.vermutyzaguirre.com | +34 977 84 06 55
Plaça Garcia Lorca, 1 baixos | +34 655 31 93 80
El Peix que es Mossega la Cua
Carrer Governador González, 8 | +34 977 59 10 55
Carrer del Cardenal Cervantes, 4
Carrer de Sant Magí, 12 | www.salazero.com
Carrer del Trinquet Vell, 2 | www.salaelcau.com
Carrer Pau del Protectorat, 5
Port Esportiu (Marina)
Carrer d’Espinach, 18 | www.balandra.cat | +34 977 22 12 38
Dixie Music Festival, spring
In bars, streets, theatres...even in the civic centres. There is not a corner in Tarragona that does dance along to the Dixieland music festival.
Tarraco Viva, May
The largest event of the Mediterranean intended to disseminate the Roman culture. Exhibitions, historical reconstruction, fairs, gastronomy, cinema, music and much more to discover of the Roman culture where we come from.
Sant Magí, August
The summer and water festival: A refreshing celebration for all ages. “The Entrance of the Sant Magí water” and the “Sindriada”, a music and watermelon festival, are both outstanding events.
Santa Tecla, September
The city festival in capital letters. Constantly reinventing itself, its highlight is the procession of the Arm of Santa Tecla, preceded by one of the most impressive retinues of Catalonia.
City of human towers, summer
What is the secret of verticality? In Tarragona, we like making human towers and sharing our values. Take part in the training sessions, come and see the shows and feel like one of us.
REC, International Film Festival, end of the year
The REC festival offers a selection of the best youth cinema made in Catalonia, Spain and the world. A chance to enjoy good independent films and discover the future talents.
SCAN photograph Festival, biennial
The SCAN Festival, which is held every two years, is a meeting point for young creators of the photography world. Institutions, entities, museums and all kinds of cultural areas open spaces for the show.