What to see in Cartagena: history and innovation


On the shores of the Mediterranean and protected by the five hills that mark out the perimeter of the ancient city, Cartagena is a port of cultures that has been home to various civilisations over the centuries. Intrigued about what Cartagena has to offer? What are you waiting for?

Historic Cartagena

Its valuable archaeological heritage demonstrates this, from the ruins of its Punic wall to its spectacular Roman theatre, one of the most beautiful and ancient in our country.

With this historical background, it is not surprising that one of its most important events is its Carthaginians and Romans festival: ten days in the second half of September when more than 4,000 Carthaginians act out the Second Punic War, from the landing to the activities at the festival site. Greco-Roman wrestling and slave auctions, of course; but also monologues and concerts. Fun assured!

If you are passionate about military history, Cartagena is a destination you simply can't miss. Its coastal barracks, strategically distributed between the capes Cabo Tiñoso and Cabo Negrete, protected the city from attacks from the sea, although they currently serve a very different function: that of providing some of the most extraordinary coastal views you will see.

The must-sees during your visit to Cartagena

  • "Peral" submarine

Did you know the electric submarine was invented by a man from Cartagena? That's right. It was the pioneer Isaac Peral and his invention revolutionised military navigation. To see his famous torpedo submarine, just take a stroll along the Paseo de Alfonso XII and you can see it in all its splendour right there, looking out to sea.

  • Casa de la Fortuna

This Roman domus dated back to the 1st century BC and its interior is well worth a visit. A visit here is like travelling back through time on account of the original objects and rooms and mosaics dating back centuries.

  • Roman Theatre

The city's Roman is perfectly evident at this impressive theatre, constructed between 5 and 1 BC. Parque de la Cornisa is the perfect place to get impressive views over the ruins.

  • Castillo de la Concepción

This small defensive construction is currently one of the best viewpoints to take in panoramic views over Cartagena and the city's bay.

  • Roman Forum

At the foot of the Cerro del Molinete hill stands the Roman Forum, one of the most important Roman sites in Spain. The complex is home to the ancient Carthage roads, the ancient Roman baths and the atrium.

The multicultural and Mediterranean essence of the city is reflected at La Mar de Músicas festival: a don't-miss event for world-music fans that brings together major performers from the five continents every July. And also exhibitions, workshops, colloquiums... The best cultural leisure with incredible views of the Mediterranean. You couldn't ask for more.

Looking beyond the city

Cartagena is mountains and sea (it has some of the best beaches on the Spanish coast), good weather and lots of history.

And, although it's true that it's hard to leave this city behind, before we board the train, Cartagena gives us the best send-off possible: with a modernist station full of exquisite details, such as the distinguished steel and glass canopy at the entrance. We recommend arriving at the station early. It's really worth a look.

Cartagena and its festivities

Each year, the Carthaginians and Romans festival returns to Cartagena in September. Declared an International Tourist Attraction, the festivities commemorate the capture of the city by the Roman troops of Scipio in 209 BC. For 10 days, more than four thousand locals participate in the re-enactment of the Second Punic War.

The official programme includes different daily theatrical performances offering an insight into the history of different scenarios in the city, such as the Session of the Roman Senate, the Wedding of Hannibal and Imilce , the Landing of the Roman Navy or the Parade of the troops and legions. The city is home to the Campamento Festero fairground, where different recreational activities are organised for the whole family and where the party continues into the night.

The occasion is undoubtedly an opportunity to get to know the city and its history first hand and in a unique way.

How to travel there by train

Suddenly feel like discovering Cartagena? Then let Renfe take you there and travel to Cartagena in the fastest, most comfortable and sustainable way possible.