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Tarragona: Day Trips and Tours from Barcelona
As a former Roman capital of the Iberian Peninsula, Tarragona is blessed with numerous landmarks from this era, as well as medieval Moorish relics.
The port city has beautiful beaches and a fascinating culinary culture, with charming towns such as Sitges and Roc de Sant Gaieta nearby. You can experience all of this on a variety of guided tours to Tarragona from Barcelona.
Tarragona lies about 97 kilometers west of Barcelona on the coast and is easily accessible by car and public transportation.
By car, the drive along the N340 takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. A Barcelona to Tarragona by taxi will cost €130 - €160.
The bus from Barcelona to Tarragona takes 1 hour 50 minutes and the average ticket costs around €10. Trains from Sants station in Barcelona to Tarragona take about 1 hour 20 minutes and cost about €10.
What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Tarragona from Barcelona?
Meet your guide in central Barcelona, from where your tour continues to Tarragona with a 90-minute drive. Here you’ll admire the Roman aqueduct, and explore the city’s Old Quarter with its impressive Cathedral. Go along the archaeological walkway and admire the remaining old stone walls.
Continue through the old town to see the Roman Forum and the nearby Roman Circus. You’ll come to one of the old town’s most popular squares, the Placa de la Font, inside the Roman Circus.
Later you’ll stop in the small coastal town of Roc de Sant Gaieta, before continuing on to Sitges. Once a quiet fishing village, it today has fancy boutiques and some interesting sights. Enjoy its Mediterranean atmosphere with the old whitewashed fisherman's houses. Stop in one of the cosmopolitan restaurants on the seafront, and have a leisurely lunch.
You will leave Sitges around late afternoon. The day ends in Plaça Catalunya, a lively square in the heart of Barcelona and favorite meeting place for locals and visitors.
What kinds of tours are available to go to Tarragona?
Roman Tarragona and glamorous Sitges small group tour from Barcelona
Explore Tarragona and its region’s rich history on this small group, 10.5-hour guided tour from Barcelona. Marvel at the antiquity of Tarragona’s Roman Old Quarter and the charm of Roc de Sant Gaieta and historical Sitges. End your fascinating tour in Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona's bustling square.
Meet outside the café area of Palau de la Musica, and continue by minivan to Tarragona. Listen to your guide’s brief history of Barcelona, and enjoy the coastal drive to Tarragona. Here you’ll admire the famous old Roman aqueduct, and explore the Old Quarter with its impressive Cathedral. Walk along old stone walls, browse the antique market and explore the Roman Forum and Roman Circus. Inside the Roman Circus, you’ll come to the popular square, the Placa de la Font.
You’ll make a brief stop in Roc de Sant Gaieta, with its variety of different architectural styles and tree-lined streets. Browse the shops before traveling on to Sitges. Once a fishing village, it today boasts trendy boutiques and is known for its LGBT culture. Enjoy its Mediterranean atmosphere, old whitewashed fishermen's houses and seafront restaurants.
From Sitges you’ll return to Barcelona, your tour ending in Plaça Catalunya, a bustling historical square and favorite meeting place for both Barcelonians and visitors. Enjoy some of its wonderful atmosphere before returning to your hotel by metro or taxi.
Ancient winery of vermouth, Tarragona and Reus private roundtrip
Visit Tarragona, the former ancient Roman capital, Reus, the home of Antoni Gaudí, and an ancient vermouth winery on this private round-trip from Barcelona. See the old Roman monuments, explore the Modernism Route and visit a unique winery that has produced vermouth since 1886.
After pickup from your hotel or private residence in Barcelona, you'll be driven to a winery to discover the secrets of vermouth. The winery visit includes eight types of vermouth, and smell and taste the ingredients of this apéritif.
Continue to Reus, the homeland of Antoni Gaudí, where you’ll find the large Gaudí Center. Purchase tickets in advance on the museum's website. Also visit the modernist buildings on the city’s Modernism Route.
After about 2 hours’ wandering around Reus, the next stop is the Old Quarter to see ancient Roman landmarks. These include the Roman Arch of Bera, the Aqueduct (Devil’s Bridge) and Roman Amphitheater. At an agreed time, the driver will drive you back to your hotel in Barcelona.
How much does a tour to Tarragona from Barcelona cost?
Tarragona tours from Barcelona cost from about €100 per person. Private tours to Tarragona from Barcelona with hotel pickup cost from about €230 to €270 per person. These tours mostly include visits to the town of Sitges.
The cost of the Roman Tarragona and glamorous Sitges tour from Barcelona is about €100 per person, but excludes pickup and drop-off. The ancient winery of vermouth, Tarragona and Reus private round-trip costs €430 per person. The price of the winery visit is €20 per person.
What will you see and do on a Tarragona day trip from Barcelona?
Pont del Diable (Devil’s Bridge)
The aqueduct is actually a portion of a much larger conduit that supplied Tarragona with water from the Francolí River. The structure’s lower part has 11 arches, with 25 in the upper part, and each about six meters wide. It was built in the 1st century AD from big cut stones without mortar.
It's one of the most striking and well-conserved landmarks of the Roman Tarraco. An Eco-historical Park has been created around it, and the guided tour inside the site will inform you on the Roman period. It will explain the aqueduct’s construction, its purpose and where the builders acquired these big stones.
Roc de Sant Gaietà
The lovely village of Roc de Sant Gaietà in the town of Roda de Berà is one of Tarragona’s real jewels. Its buildings show a variety of different architectural styles and the village is characterized by tree-lined streets with shops and restaurants, and sandy beaches.
It also houses Museu de la Ràdio Luis del Olmo, with ancient Roman history on display at the Arc de Berà. The village’s history dates back to 1964, when it was decided to build a housing development on the rocks, similar to a small fishing village. Its construction started in 1972 and was completed in 1976.
The popular coastal town liesabout 35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona. It is especially known for its Film Festival and LGBT culture, beaches, nightspots and historical quarters. The original town was constructed in the 11th century around the Sitges Castle.
Around the 17th and 18th centuries, Sitges became known for the so-called “Americans” who traded with the Americas. They would return and use their wealth to build lavish summer houses. Today you can enjoy exploring the old town’s cobbled streets, the old fishing village’s whitewashed dwellings and pretentious colonial-style villas of the “Americans”.
When is the best time to visit Tarragona?
The best time to visit Tarragona is from mid-April to the end of June and September to November. Tarragona’s climate fluctuates a lot but is suitable to visit all year round. The peak tourist months are April, October and February.
In September, Tarragona celebrates Santa Tecla — the patron saint of the city and the church you see above. This is a Spanish-style festival, so be sure to visit during this time if you enjoy partying with bustling crowds on the streets.
September is also when Tarragona hosts processions and competitions of the peculiar Catalan tradition of castells, or human towers, where dozens of people will form a pyramid to see who can reach the highest.
Beware that Tarragona celebrates Santa Tecla for two weeks in September. This is an intense festival and the streets will be crowded and lively. Only visit during this time if you're ready for a serious Spanish-style street party.
Wear comfortable shoes, as you'll likely be doing a lot of exploring on foot, especially to walk down to the end of the Gran Vía for a magnificent sea view.
Tarragona is known for its seafood, so be sure to try some of the local dishes, such as arroz caldoso (rice soup), fideuà (similar to paella) and suquet de peix (fish stew).