Itineraries for Your Trip to Tarragona

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1 Day in Tarragona for First Timers

Curated by Claire BullenClaire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

One of Catalonia’s major cities, Tarragona was once an ancient Roman colony, and the city is still littered with archaeological UNESCO World Heritage sites today. The port city is also known for its proximity to pretty beaches, its perfectly fresh seafood, and its youthful energy. Here’s how to make the most of your 1-day stay in Tarragona.


Tarragona is a city with serious historical and cultural acumen; whether you’re staying in town or zipping down from Barcelona for the day, begin your excursions with a wide-ranging sightseeing tour. Embark on a walking tour to stroll the Rambla Nova (the city’s main thoroughfare) and glimpse its UNESCO-listed Roman amphitheater, or set off on a hop-on-hop-off-trolley tour to see such attractions as Tarragona Cathedral and the Roman circus (Circ Roma). 


Pause for a vermouth aperitivo and tapas snacks before heading to the water’s edge. Tarragona is blessed with sultry temperatures and proximity to a number of Blue Flag–rated beaches. Depending on your aquatic preferences, you can enjoy a private sailing excursion, go on a fast-paced motorboat adventure, or simply enjoy a relaxing swim and some sunbathing. Popular hubs such as nearby Cambrils and Salou are just a quick taxi or train trip away.


Wine has been produced in and around Tarragona since ancient times, and no day trip is complete without indulging in the city’s vinous highlights. Grenache is frequently grown in the region, while cava is also produced nearby. Enjoy an early evening tasting session and learn about Tarragona’s viticultural traditions when you venture to an area winery or wine bar. Once the sun has set, finish off your day with a dinner to remember: The city boasts Michelin-starred and -recommended eateries, so you’ll have no shortage of choice.

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