Tarragona is a port city of Catalonia and northeastern Spain which dates back millennia and has a rich history. It was once one of the most important port cities of Roman Spain, making it one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona. It is located 100km away from Barcelona along the beautiful coast and is home to rich archaeological and religious sites. There are five ways to visit Tarragona from Barcelona, including a Welcome Pickups day trip, an organised coach trip, the national train, a public bus or by your own private car hire.
Set out on a Tarragona day trip from Barcelona with Welcome Pickups. You will meet your driver at a central location of your choice and after a brief introduction, you will be on your way along the gorgeous Mediterranean coastline. Welcome drivers are hand-picked English speaking locals who are enthusiastic ambassadors of their city and country. Traveling with Welcome is like being with your own local friend. Welcome drivers are knowledgeable about the area and share historical information and personal insights to immerse you into the Spanish lifestyle.
Recommended Tour Stops
Balco del Mediterrani
The Ferreres Aqueduct
The total journey time of a Welcome Pickups tour to Tarragona is 7 hours. Within that time frame, you have the opportunity to include any extra stops if you wish to, just inform your driver before you set off. If the weather permits it, Tarragona beach is an ideal location for tourists. The tour can accommodate from 1 to 13 passengers.
Welcome Pickups Tour Photos from Tarragona
How Much Will It Cost?
The Tarragona day trip with Welcome Pickups starts at €380 and this price is for a group of 1-4 passengers. A larger group of 5-8 people costs €480 and a 9-13 passenger size group costs €600. This price doesn’t include entrance fees to any of the main attractions.
Where Do I Get It From?
Your Welcome driver will be able to pick you up from wherever you wish in the centre of the city. This is a door-to-door trip, meaning that travelers are picked up from their accommodation or any other spot of their choice. Similarly, on their way back, the driver may drop them off at your chosen drop-off point.
A day trip with Welcome Pickups is tailored to be the most convenient possible way of exploring the amazing sights and locations of special interest around major city destinations. You are picked up from your chosen location at your chosen time of the day in a comfortable vehicle with all the necessary facilities on board. Your driver is both your friend and your guide, giving you information about the area, as well as taking you to some of the best spots for experiencing the local culture. You are in full control of your trip with the options to customise the experience according to your preference, and you will be returned to the location you choose in the city centre at the end of the tour.
Tarragona is like an open-air museum with lots of relics and monuments from both ancient and modern history. There is no way to explore such an exciting place than with a local guide who knows it well and Welcome drivers are perfect for this job.
Organised Coach Trip from Barcelona to Tarragona
A popular way to explore Tarragona and the nearby coastal town of Sitges is to take an organised coach tour with an excursion company. These typically involve daily outings from the early morning in a large group of around 50 people in total. They are very common and there are many companies offering a day trip from Barcelona to Tarragona, with availability in a variety of languages. Tours like this usually include a licensed tour guide as part of the package, as well as skip the line entrance to attractions. Tours usually depart from a central location in Barcelona at 08:30 and last 10 or 11 hours.
How Much Does It Cost?
Prices vary according to company and how far in advance the ticket is booked before the date of the tour. That being said, prices typically cost around €89 for an adult and a small reduction on that for a child, to about €66.
How Often Do They Run?
Tarragona tours are taken as full-day trips and so they depart once per day. The various companies providing the tours offer different days for the excursion, although they rarely operate throughout the week. Days which are typical for operating are Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, although there is some variability. Some tour companies also operate throughout the week, although you will need to book your places with them early.
Taking a coach is a comfortable way to get from the centre of Barcelona to the city of Tarragona and Sitges. The package includes a licensed guide who may be available to lead the group in multiple languages and you will be shown around the sites, as well be given time to yourself. On the other hand, you have to stick to the schedule of the tour, and there is no flexibility to choose your own time and route. You will also be part of a large group of around 50 people.
These tours will involve a lot of walking around with your guide so make sure you bring comfortable clothing and footwear.
Public Bus from Barcelona to Tarragona
An easy option if you wish to take public transport is taking the bus from Barcelona to Tarragona. This option is also a low-cost option but takes a little longer than the train. The provider of the public bus is Alsa and the bus departs from the Barcelona Estacio Nord. There are a few buses departing both to Tarragona and returning from there.
Bus Station in Spain
How Often Do the Buses Run?
Buses run from Barcelona to Tarragona seven times per week, however, most of these are in the evening, which isn’t helpful for a day trip. There are just two in the morning, 09:00 and 12:00. There are also seven buses from Tarragona to Barcelona, although most run in the morning. There are two later buses, at either 16:30 or 21:10. The overall time of the journey is between 1 and a half hours to 2 hours. The Barcelona to Tarragona bus timetable can be found online, as well as online ticket bookings.
Where Can I Find the Buses?
The departure station for the buses is the Barcelona Estacio Nord, close to the Arch of Triumph. The nearest metro stations are either the Arc de Triomf or Marina, both of which are served by multiple metro lines.
The buses are also a direct way to reach Tarragona. However, limiting yourself to this option will make it difficult to explore anywhere, particularly if you wished to see Sitges as well. The overall journey with the bus is fairly long and the number of journeys per day is also limited.
There is a very small difference between the cost of the trains and buses. However, buses run far less frequently and take longer to reach Tarragona, so this option should be a last choice.
National RENFE Train
There is a large train system throughout Barcelona that is well connected to the other cities of Catalonia, as well as the rest of the country. The train is a cost-effective way to get from Barcelona to Tarragona and it is a fairly straightforward method. The train goes from the central Barcelona Sants station, as well as the Passeig de Gracia station on the way to Tarragona. There are trains running throughout the day. There are also plenty of trains between Tarragona and Sitges throughout the day, although these may require a change.
Train Station in Spain
How Much Does It Cost?
There are two services which run from Barcelona to Tarragona: the Regional Express and the Talgo. As these are separate companies, there are different prices for the train. The Regional is €8.05 for a one-way ticket and the Talgo is €15.30. The return fare is the same. From Tarragona to Sitges a ticket is about €5.00 and Sitges to Barcelona is €4.10. Train tickets can be bought online or from the train station. As well as paying for the tickets, you will also have to pay for entrance fees to all attractions.
How Often Do Trains Run?
Trains run from Barcelona to Tarragona every half an hour from 06:03 until 21:33 and the journey time is around an hour. The return from Tarragona to Barcelona also runs twice per hour until after 21:00 with one train per hour until the last at 23:07. The schedule can be found online.
Taking the train from Barcelona to Tarragona is a very cheap and easy option since you can explore the city on your own steam. There are many trains leaving throughout the day so you are not pushed to a tight schedule. Fitting a visit to Sitges as well is a little less easy as you have to make a change on the way, but it is still doable. The downside is that this option does not include a tour guide and so you may miss some historical information about the city. The train is also a fairly direct mode of transport, limiting your options for exploring other locations along the way.
Private Car Hire from Barcelona to Tarragona
Having your own hired car means you can visit Tarragona and Sitges at your own time and explore the Catalan countryside and the way there at your own pace. There are a number of places to hire your car from Barcelona, around the city centre or the airport. It takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive from the centre of Barcelona to Tarragona.
Cost of Hiring a Car
There are many offers and companies that offer many types of cars, which means there is a lot of difference in the cost of cars. The time of year you wish to hire one and how far in advance can also affect the cost. However, booking well in advance means you can hire a car from as little as €50 per day. On top of this, you will have to pay fuel costs and any tolls to use the national motorways. There are often large security deposit costs when hiring a car to be aware of as well. Best deals are made from renting online in advance.
Hiring a car in Barcelona is fairly easy as it is a very common process. If you are from within the EU and over 21 years you should have no problems. Younger drivers and those from outside the EU may need additional paperwork. The journey down from Barcelona to Tarragona via Sitges is along the coast and is very beautiful. If you are not used to driving in big cities it may be a bit stressful getting into and out of Barcelona.
Tarragona is also a fairly large town with lots of busy traffic, so check out parking options before heading off to make things easier when you arrive. Having Google maps as a backup will also take any pressure off so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Frequently asked questions
How far is Tarragona from Barcelona?
The distance from Barcelona to Tarragona is approximately 100 kilometres and it will take around 1.5 hour to get there by car.
How to get from Barcelona to Tarragona?
There are five ways to visit Tarragona from Barcelona, including: a Welcome Pickups day trip, an organised coach trip, the national train, a public bus or by your own private car hire.
How far is Tarragona from Barcelona airport?
From Barcelona El-Prat airport it is 87km to Tarragona. A far closer airport to Tarragona is Reus airport, which is just 6km outside the town.
How much does the train from Barcelona to Tarragona cost?
There are two services which run from Barcelona to Tarragona: the Regional Express and the Talgo. As these are separate companies, there are different prices for the train. The Regional is €8.05 for a one-way ticket and the Talgo is €15.30.
How do I get from Barcelona to Sitges?
You can get to Sitges from Barcelona by taking a train, a bus, driving your own hire car or as part of a Welcome Pickups day tour.
Save the article for later or share it with friends