A Walking Tour of Ancient Sites in Cartagena, Spain

The Roman Theatre in Cartagena, Spain. Photo flickr/pavelcab
The Roman Theatre in Cartagena, Spain. Photo flickr/pavelcab

The small coastal city of Cartagena is famously packed with historic monuments, with its many layers of ancient and maritime history dating all the way back to its Carthaginian founding in 227 BC. It’s been a naval port since the 16th century, and today – as well as being a base for warships and a shipyard – the port is now a major stop for many Mediterranean cruise ships. The harbor area is defended by forts, while the town itself is walled, and dotted with Roman ruins. There’s a lot to take in – especially if you’ve only got a one-day stop on your cruise – but still, the only way to really experience it all is on foot.

A good starting point for your walking tour of Cartagena is the Punic Wall. Built to protect the city during the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage in the third century BC, these walls are one of very few remains of Cartheginian civilization in Spain. Today, the Muralla Punica (“sacred wall”) is built around a protected section of these ancient walls.

Part of the Old City of Cartagena.

Then it’s a short stroll through winding, cobbled streets to Torres Park, which is atop the highest hill in Cartagena. Here you’ll also find the Plaza de Toros (Bullring), and in its shadow, you can climb the marble steps of the impressively restored ruins of the Roman Ampitheater. Discovered by chance in 1987, the theater is now one of the city’s most impressive sights. This site remained hidden for centuries because of its location in a part of the city that had been constantly inhabited since its founding. There are two parts to this museum; the ampitheater itself and an exhibition room which describes the theater’s history and contains many of the items found during the excavation.

Archaeological sites are abundant in Cartagena; you can find the remnants of Roman, Cartheginian and Muslim civilizations almost on top of one another. The Municipal Archaeology Museum is where you’ll find all the information you could possibly need about every site in the city. The museum itself is situated on the Roman remains of the San Anton Necropolis, and includes an underground passage with the remains of Roman walls.

The Roman Theater in Cartagena, Spain

Head down the main road and past the tourist office to seek out La Casa de Fortuna, the remains of the former home of a prosperous Roman merchant, where artifacts hint at the luxurious lives of its former inhabitants. The house dates from the first century BC but you can still admire the fresco painted on the dining room walls and fragments of brightly-painted glass which were once the windows of the house. It’s not easy to imagine the house in its former glory, as today it’s situated below ground level, making up part of the enchanting underground city. Still, it’s a unique and fascinating place.

El Zulo, one of the statues at the port of Cartagena, Spain

After this, continue past the university towards Concepción Hill, where you can explore tunnels dug into the hillside during the Spanish Civil War and explore the Civil War Air Raid Shelter Museum.

The hill is topped by the unmissable Concepción Castle. Most of what you can see of the castle today was built in the 14th century from the remains of nearby Roman ruins. The walk uphill is strenuous, but you have the option of taking the glass-sided Panoramic Lift from Calle Gisbert, which connects the city center to the sea. The lift takes you almost 150 feet up towards the castle. From the top of the hill, the views over the town and harbor out over the Mediterranean are nothing short of spectacular.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.