Tarragona city is home to many stunning natural and urban landscapes for you to admire. To give you a glimpse, we’ve picked out 6+1 of the capital’s top spots where you can enjoy a visual experience that your eyes will not soon forget. We’ll be taking you up to the balconies, terraces, rooftops and observatories that make Tarragona a special Mediterranean nook.
1. The Cathedral bell tower
They say that Tarragona was built from the top down, starting with the city’s Part Alta (the upper part or old town). Naturally, visitors will encounter several streets that are more like towering upward hills than anything else. This is not reflected in their names, though, which usually contain the Catalan word baixada, meaning descent: Baixada de la Pescateria, Baixada de la Misericòrdia, Baixada del Roser, etc. The reason for this becomes perfectly clear atop the cathedral bell tower, the highest viewpoint in the city of Tarragona.
2. The Roman Praetorium
The Praetorium served as the palace of the Roman emperor’s guard, meaning we’re in one of the watchtowers of Tarraco that housed a stairway for passage from the lower city to the Provincial Forum, which were connected by underground corridors. In the twelfth century it became the palace of the kings of the Crown of Aragon and, later on, a prison. It forms one of the corners of the great rectangle that is the Provincial Forum square, and therefore provides a full 360-degree view. The panorama allows visitors to take privileged, high-angle shots of the upper part of the city and the wall surrounding it, the spectacular cathedral, the centre of present-day Tarragona and the Tarragona History Museum. It also offers an extensive view of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, visitors can enter from Plaça del Rei or from Rambla Vella, through the Roman Circus.
3. The Sant Antoni viewpoint
Let’s continue our journey through the upper part of Tarragona. The Part Alta neighbourhood is home to several privileged viewpoints. One of them, which stands out for its ease of access, is the Sant Antoni (or Saint Anthony) viewpoint. This saint also inspired the name of the avenue on which the viewpoint is located, the gardens next to it, where we find the Creu de Sant Antoni (a cross standing nine metres tall and made of local stone; the oldest free-standing sculpture in Tarragona) and the gateway that leads to Passeig de Sant Antoni, one of the many providing passage through the city wall. From up here we can see a portion of the eastern part of the city and Miracle beach, neighbourhood and point.
4. The Mediterranean Balcony
Tourists either stop by deliberately or wander on by chance while discovering the sites located along the Rambla Nova. This 23-metre-high cliff is located at the seaside end of the street and is the most important pedestrian area in the city. The people of Tarragona visit to keep up the tradition of “knocking on iron” as they walk by. The railing that keeps people from falling is symbolic for the natives. It is made of iron (hence the expression) and is installed along the more than 500 metres of cliff between Passeig de les Palmeres and Baixada del Toro. It offers a panoramic view of more than 180 degrees, meaning we can watch the sun rise in the east and set in the west, behind the city port. From here we can see Miracle beach and its point, the amphitheatre, the train station and the port.
5. Hotel H10 Imperial Tarraco
As we approach the end of our route, we’re going to make a stop at one of the most recently added viewpoints in Tarragona. We’re of course referring to the new H10 Imperial Tarraco hotel, which has just opened this summer and is a real hidden gem for lovers of good views. Perched atop this stunning building, which is located at the foot of Passeig de les Palmeres, is a spectacular rooftop terrace with a pool, bar service and awe-inspiring views of the sea, the upper part of the city and the Roman amphitheatre. The terrace is open to hotel guests as well as other visitors, so you can enjoy the views even if you have not chosen the hotel for your stay
6. Passeig de la Escullera
Let’s switch perspectives now and move over to the port neighbourhood of Serrallo. Here, in the heart of the Port of Tarragona, is Passeig de l’Escullera, an avenue stretching roughly four kilometres along the wharf and providing solid ground to emblematic sites like the La Banya lighthouse. From here, not only do we have a privileged view of the port and the sea-bathed horizon, but also one of the most beautiful views of the city, allowing our eyes to wander the wavy scene all the way from Serrallo to Part Alta.
This is the surprise we were saving for you, the “+1” mentioned in the title. Us locals know all the city’s secrets: if you head down from the Sant Pere i Sant Pau neighbourhood to the city centre via Carretera del Pont d’Armentera, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the mountains, with the wall, the cathedral and the sea providing the perfect backdrop. To ramp up your photos’ awe-inspiring power, try taking them at night when all the city’s monuments are lit up. You can enjoy these views at your leisure thanks to the peaceful environment the viewpoint offers.