The ancient Spanish port of Tarragona has it all: Roman ruins, superb seafood, world-class beach resorts, museums and festivals. It's a fantastic Mediterranean destination.
In Roman times, Tarragona was a key seaport and a mighty city. These days, you can visit the UNESCO-protected site of Tarraco, with a well-preseved gladiatorial colosseum.
The Cathedral is Tarragona's jewel. Gothic and Romanesque at the same time, it has some quirky medieval sculptures and a magical collection of devotional wood carvings.
Tarragona has mined its past to great effect, with fabulous museums like the Museu Nacional Arqueològic, which has a stunning Roman mosaic collection.
Tarragona is a fun-loving party city. Head to the vibrant Dixieland Festival (yes, Dixieland), check out the International Fireworks Displays in July or attend the Santa Tecla Festival in September.
Tarragona is famous for its grilled seafood, with first-rate eateries like El Llagut, Can Bonachi and Xaloc vying for your attention.
Spring and fall are perfect times to visit the sights of Tarragona, as you can expect thinner crowds. But if you intend to hit the beach, visiting between June and early September delivers constant sun and high temperatures.
Reus Airport is a few miles from Tarragona and offers domestic connections to Madrid as well as European budget flights. Buses from the airport cost EUR3, while a taxi will charge around EUR30.
Tarragona has a direct Renfe train connection to Barcelona and Alicante. It's about an hour from Barcelona and tickets start at EUR8.
From Barcelona, take the AP-7 highway. From Madrid, the best route is the E-90, then the AP-2, followed by the AP-7.
Buses from Barcelona and Madrid to Tarragona are operated by Alsa and there should be plenty of journeys every day.
Two of the city's outstanding hotels are the modern Hotel Husa Imperial Tárraco and the slightly out-of-town Hotel Tarraco Park Tarragona.
Part Alta - Three thousand years old, Part Alta oozes atmosphere and is home to the famous amphitheater, the Roman walls as well as fine restaurants like La Llagut.
Salou - Just down the coast from Tarragona, Salou is a famous beach resort, with great sands, fine hotels and the attraction of PortAventura, a massive family amusement complex.
El Serallo - An old fishing neighborhood by the sea, el Serallo is home to some of the city's best restaurants, like Ca l'Eulàlia and Donosti.
Local buses are provided by EMT and single tickets cost EUR1.50 (EUR3.50 for a day's travel).
Taxis should cost around EUR5 for the first mile, then EUR2 for every subsequent mile.
Car rental options in Tarragona include Hertz and Budget, and you should be able to rent a vehicle for around EUR15-20 per day.
Rambla Nova is Tarragona's premier shopping neighborhood and is home to boutiques like Coretfiel and Oysho as well as major brands like Calzedonia. It's also a regular location for street markets, which could be perfect for gift shopping.
Supermarkets in the city include Mercadona, Carrefour and Spar. Expect to pay around EUR1.70 for 12 eggs.
Food is one of the greatest draws in Tarragona. Check out superb seafood eateries like la Llugat or dive into the Old Town to discover places like La Fàbrica, La Cocotte or El Complet, all of which serve up traditional Catalonian specialties. Meals should cost between EUR15-25, but single tapas portions can be as little as EUR3.