Tarragona Thrills on a Tight Budget

Experience Catalonia's history and beaches on a shoestring budget in Tarragona.

21 June 2023

Tarragona, Spain is a beautiful coastal city that offers a unique blend of ancient Roman history and modern-day attractions. While visiting on a limited budget, budget-friendly options such as hostels and local street food can help keep costs down. Must-see attractions include the Roman amphitheater, the beachfront boardwalk, and the historic city center.

Day trip plan

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Tarragona on a Budget

  • Morning: Start your day at the Cathedral of Tarragona, a stunning Gothic structure that dates back to the 12th century.
  • Afternoon: Head to the Roman Amphitheatre, which was once used for gladiatorial contests and can be explored for free.
  • Lunch: Stop by Bar Nou, a cozy café that serves affordable tapas and sandwiches.
  • Evening: Take a stroll along the Passeig Arqueològic, a picturesque trail that offers magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Dinner: For a tasty and wallet-friendly meal, head to El Llagut, a seafood restaurant that specializes in paella.
  • Night: Catch a movie at the Cinema Imperial Tàrraco, a charming cinema that screens international films in their original language.

How to get there


The best way to get to Tarragona by plane is to fly into Barcelona-El Prat Airport and take a transfer to Tarragona. Flights from all over the world land here, and the airport is only a 45-minute drive or train ride from Tarragona.


If you are driving from Barcelona, take the AP-7 highway south to Tarragona. The journey takes about 1 hour without traffic, and the roads are generally in good condition. Parking in the city center can be challenging, so it's best to look for a parking lot outside the city center if possible.


There are several high-speed trains that depart from Madrid to Tarragona, and the journey usually takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can also take a train from Barcelona Sants train station if you are coming from other parts of Spain. The train station in Tarragona is a short walk from the city center.


There are no direct ferries that go to Tarragona, but you can take a ferry to Barcelona and then travel overland to Tarragona. The closest port to Tarragona is Port Tarraco, which is a 20-minute drive from the city center. From there, you can take a taxi or rental car to your destination.


Taking a bus is the cheapest way to get to Tarragona from Barcelona. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes and buses leave frequently from Barcelona Nord bus station. Once you arrive at Tarragona Bus station, you can walk or take a taxi to your destination.

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