Located in south-eastern Spain, Cartagena is a small city with a long history. It was founded more than 3,000 years ago and since then it has been an important spot for trade and the navy due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean.
Thanks to its rich history, Cartagena has quite many monuments worth seeing, including the Roman Theatre and other Roman remains such as the House of Fortune, the Decumanus and the Augusteum. It’s also nice walking around the city centre and its narrow streets full of shops and cafés. Taking a break from the sightseeing, one can have lunch for less than ten euros in a tapas restaurant, where I would recommend ordering a marinera or patatas bravas with tinto de verano (red wine with lemon soda).
The best season for visiting Cartagena is spring, when you can enjoy its warm weather – which may feel like a hot summer to northern tourists – and relax on the beaches near the city. During this time of the year you can also experience the Semana Santa, a religious festival that turns the usual tranquillity of the city into a vibrant and colourful event that everyone would love.
When walking through the streets of the city centre, visitors can find the modernist buildings that make Cartagena one the few Spanish cities that exemplify this kind of architecture. Some of these stunning buildings are the Old City Hall, the Casino, the Gran Hotel and the Palacio de Maestre, among others.
For those who enjoy nature, there are several mountains that should be included in their visit. For instance, you can go hiking to the Batería de Castillitos (the little castles fort), a military building that was built in the early 1900s, which has a resemblance of a group of small castles, as its name says. From the peak you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea and the surrounding mountains.
In regards to food, besides enjoying different tapas, you should try fresh seafood on offer at some of the restaurants located in Santa Lucía, a lively fishermen neighbourhood which is a few minutes walk from the city centre.
So, if you are looking for a place where you can relax on the beach, go hiking, discover the Roman history and relish Mediterranean food… Cartagena is waiting for you!