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Cartagena Travel Guide


Located in the southeastern region of Spain, Cartagena is a historic port city that has played an important role in the country's history since its founding by the Carthaginians in 227 BC. Today, the city is a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's ancient ruins, soaking up the sun on the beaches, or experiencing the local cuisine, there's something for everyone in Cartagena. Here's what you need to know to make the most of your visit.

Getting There

The most convenient way to reach Cartagena is by air, with Murcia-San Javier Airport being the nearest airport to the city. However, it is also possible to fly into Alicante Airport, which is about 100 km away, and then take a bus or train to Cartagena. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from Madrid or Barcelona, both of which offer direct connections to Cartagena.

Getting Around

Cartagena is a small city that is easy to explore on foot, but if you prefer to use public transportation, there are buses and taxis available. The bus system in Cartagena is efficient and reliable, with several lines that cover the city and its surroundings. Taxis are also readily available and can be hailed on the street or reserved in advance.

Sights and Activities

Cartagena has plenty to offer visitors, with a rich history and culture that is reflected in its architecture, museums, and festivals. Some of the must-see sights and activities include:

  1. Roman Theater - this ancient amphitheater dates back to the first century BC and is one of the most well-preserved Roman theaters in Spain.

  2. Cartagena Naval Museum - this museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the city's maritime history, including the Cartagena Naval Base and the Spanish Navy.

  3. Castillo de la Concepcion - this hilltop fortress offers stunning views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, and also houses a museum of local history.

  4. The Modernist Route - this route takes you through the city's modernist architecture, including the Gran Hotel, the Palace Hall, and the Casino.

  5. Semana Santa Festival - this is the biggest festival in Cartagena, and it takes place in the week leading up to Easter. The festival includes parades, music, and traditional food.


Cartagena is also known for its beautiful beaches, with crystal-clear waters and golden sand. Some of the best beaches to visit include:

  1. Playa de Cala Cortina - this is a popular beach that is easily accessible from the city center, with many restaurants and bars nearby.

  2. Playa de Calblanque - this is a more secluded beach that is part of a natural park, with a more untouched feel.

  3. Playa de La Manga - this is a long strip of sand that stretches for over 21 km, with several resorts and beach bars.

Food and Drink

Cartagena is a gastronomic paradise, with a wide variety of local dishes that are sure to satisfy any palate. Some of the must-try dishes include:

  1. Caldero - a rice dish that is cooked with fish stock, paprika, and saffron, and typically served with seafood.

  2. Arroz al horno - a hearty dish made with rice, beans, and pork, baked in a clay pot in the oven.

  3. Ensalada murciana - a refreshing salad made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and salt-cured tuna.

  4. Murcia wine - a sweet dessert wine made from the Monastrell grape, grown in the region.


Cartagena has a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. The nightlife is centered around the historic center of the city, with many bars and pubs located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the Calle Mayor. Some of the best bars and clubs include:

  1. El Soldadito de Plomo - a popular bar that serves a wide variety of cocktails and has a relaxed atmosphere.

  2. Mandala Disco Pub - a large nightclub that plays a mix of Latin, pop, and dance music, and features live performances and DJs.

  3. Barrio de la Concepcion - a neighborhood with several bars and clubs, known for its vibrant and bohemian atmosphere.


Cartagena is generally a safe city, but like any other urban area, it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Avoid walking alone at night in secluded areas, keep your valuables close, and be aware of your surroundings. If you need assistance, the local police and emergency services are available 24/7.

In conclusion, Cartagena is a beautiful and fascinating city that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's ancient ruins, soaking up the sun on the beaches, or experiencing the local cuisine and nightlife, there's something for everyone in Cartagena. With its friendly people, delicious food, and stunning scenery, it's a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


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