Cartagena Train Station Mini Guide
I want to See the True Spain, Where Should I go?
Cartagena is your place, it’s so Spanish, explorers and discoverers named other places in the world after it to remind them of Spain. The city and its surroundings have everything, beaches, history, architecture, great food, art and music. Nowhere is thought to sum up Spain as much as Cartagena.
Why is it so Special?
It’s been around for nearly three thousand years and was an important city in every civilisation that has invaded Iberia. The name means ‘new city’ but the Romans named it Carthago Nova, meaning ‘new, new city’! It developed as a port and later as a gateway to one of the most exclusive holiday destinations in Europe; La Manga
whilst relying on it’s heritage for non beach lovers.
I’m Interested, so How do I Get There?
Airports are close by but for an exciting journey that will enhance your view of Spain, take the high speed train from Madrid
, arriving at Cartagena railway station. The station is remarkable for its architecture – it looks like a stately home, especially with the small park opposite, and deposits you right in the centre of the city. A quick stop for a newspaper or a snack at the cafeteria and then it’s out into city.
What are The Main Things I Should See?
Choose your period of history for Cartagena has it all. There’s the Roman Amphitheatre which has recently been restored and at which concerts and plays are performed. There are also Punic, Moorish and Byzantine ruins too. Some of Gaudi’s students were active here and many buildings bear his signature. City Hall is a stunning building like a huge iced cake and the theme is repeated in other buildings around the city such as the Grand Hotel.
And if I’ve Hired a Car?
Once you’ve seen everything in the city, head off to the Mar Menor, a beautiful lagoon near the city which is a favourite spot for sports enthusiasts. It’s great for windsurfing, swimming and waterskiing and on land, it’s popular with top football teams that use the world class facilities here. The lagoon is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves with wild coastlines and expanses of marshland.
What Should I Buy to Take Home?
The city, especially the promenade, is popular with artists and you’ll pick up some beautiful unique pieces here accompanied by a conversation with the artist. Then when you look at it mounted on your wall at home, you’ll be reminded of the city.
And if all This Makes me Hungry?
The city is in a fabulous agricultural area where fresh fruit and vegetables are available all year round. The restaurants of the city base their menus on the local produce and you’ll find a large proportion of the food is vibrant, healthy and light in summer and rich and heart warming in winter.
I Want to Party!
In Holy Week, Cartagena’s celebrations are internationally recognised for their size and exuberance. The city also celebrates its heritage with Roman and Carthaginian festivals often re-enacting scenes from the Punic Wars. It even celebrates the day it became a city.
Cartagena is the main Spanish naval port for the Mediterranean and has been so since the 18th century. For millennia though, the importance of its easily defended harbour has attracted different empires including the Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine.
Today, ships of a different kind ply the waters of the harbour depositing tourists from cruise ships, eager to see the remains left behind by the great civilisations. There are also the attractive art nouveau houses built in the early 20th century that add colour and a different dimension to the architecture of the ages.