Cartagena is often overlooked by travelers visiting Spain. Although it does not have the photogenic quality of other offbeat Spanish destinations like Girona and Ronda, Cartagena has enough historical importance to deserve a few hours. To begin with, this Spanish city was Hannibal’s capital city on the Iberian peninsula. It was named after his Carthage in North Africa, and the city´s magnificent natural harbour had been used for thousands of years. It was here where Phoenician traders docked their ships and Romans used it as a strategic port and administrative center. The best views of the city can be seen from the battlements of the castle. Here are some of the things you should see in Cartagena:

  • Roman Theatre
  • Cala Cortina Beach
  • Palacio Consistorial in Cartagena
  • Playa de Calblanque
  • Calle Mayor
  • Bateria de Castillitos

Don´t miss the Old Town of Cartagena. It dates back to 223 BC and has plenty of memorials of the Spanish Civil War and stunning architecture from the Belle Epoque era. The best way to explore the city’s rich past is to stroll the streets: you’ll see a large number of modernista buildings.

A beautiful sunrise at the harbour

A stunning old building in the old town of Cartagena

A traditional Spanish tavern

Cartagena Roman Theatre Museum
PC – Unsplash

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