We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

new york
8 posts
Save Topic
Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

Is Tarragona a good place to visit? Looking for more of a cultural stay. Any suggestions for places to stay, upscale hostals or inns? Any other smaller towns along the Mediterranean that are definitely worth a visit?

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9,278 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

Too touristy? In regards to what? Barcelona? Not hardly. It's interesting, but not someplace where one would spend a lot of time or use as a base.

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
Level Contributor
60,592 posts
3,653 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

Tarragona is a good place to visit. The Cathedral and the Archaeological Museum are very good to visit. Nearby is the town of Salou, a very touristy place, but with good beaches.

I am afraid that the beautiful places on the Mediterranean are all touristy, but that should not keep you away. Benidorm is one of my favorites. Peñiscola is beautiful and not too many tourists go there. I was there last December and had a great time there. The town has wonderful beaches. The Peñiscola Plaza Hotel is the best hotel there and the food is very good.

Level Contributor
766 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

I was in Tarragona for a weekend in January and stayed in Hotel Plaça de la Font which was a decent centraly located place place and would fit into the decent hostal type of catagory (I think it cost €60 for a double). A good place to spend a couple of days, as mentioned Cathedral, old walls and Roman amphitheatre. I wouldn't consider it too touristy !

Like the previous poster I'd also recomend Peñiscola but if you're going in the summer it'll be pretty busy , as will anywhere else on the Med really.

Sitges is a nice place to visit too.

If you like historical village type places you might be interested in Morella or Albarracin which are both a short drive from the Med coast and therefore less touristy . More info about the above places here:


Enjoy your tip

Northampton, MA
Level Contributor
3,927 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

Tarragona is great for one night. The ancient Roman neighborhood is fascinating. I don't think most Americans go there at all, mostly European and Asian tourists. I wouldn't say it's too touristy at all. I also liked the Hotel Placa la Font but it is not luxury, perfect location though.

Hermosa Beach...
Level Contributor
2,665 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

I spent 2 nights in Tarragona in September 2007 and loved it. I didn't think it was very touristy at all. The few visitors I saw were Spanish or French. In fact, I had most of the sites to myself for visits - maybe I missed the high summer season. It's a great mid-size city to visit. I also took advantage of the Alsa bus that left Tarragona and went directly to the Barcelona airport, avoiding having to return for a final night in Barcelona (I had already stayed there for 4 nights earlier in the trip).

Hotel Placa de la Font was relatively new when I stayed there - nice accomodations, clean, reasonable prices, excellent location (my room overlooking the lively Placa) but not 4* luxury. I'd definately stay there again.


Tarragona, Spain
Level Contributor
379 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

Although not evryone´s cup of tea, as the Brits say, an interesting little known cultural trail accessible from Tarragona is La Ruta del Cister. Try


which is the website for the 3 local Cistercian monasteries of

Santes Creus ("empty")

Poblet (with a male monastic community)


Vallbona de les Monges (with a female community.)

Website has an English option near the top.

Not mainstream but might be of interest to you. It is not feasible to visit by public transport but could well occupy 2 days visiting both the 3 locations and a number of smaller towns nearby of which I guess that Montblanc is the most interesting. There you will find in early September, I think, a large fair of ceramic pottery produced by a very wide variety of potters from all over western Europe. There was even a fellow from California there a few years ago but they don´t usually spread the net so wide.

Because I know Tarragona City so well I find it hard to assess as a tourist spot. But not to be dismissed out of hand certainly. The old quarter around the Cathedral (itself in a pretty deplorable condition inside I opine) has certainly been gentrified in recent years and there are many interesting dining options around there. The amphitheatre close to the shore is pretty well preseved but the town authorities have been very remiss in allowing modern buildings to encroach far too close to it and thus detract considerbaly from the impact which it should have. In broad terms the authorities have begun belatedly to make some amends for their general lack of care for their Roman heritage.

The aqueduct just outside town is impressive though the last time I visted several years ago it was frankly very dangerous in so much as they allowed tourists to wander out along it despite the massive sheer drops on either side. I "presume" this is no longer true! Though anyone who visits there would certainly be well advised to be very wary of the speeding traffic on the main road outside the site.

(You might get more opinions of you repost on the Catalonia forum.)

7. Re: Tarragona, Spain too touristy?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 30 October 2010, 05:16