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Cartagena (Spain)

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Travel Guide Europe Spain Murcia Cartagena

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Introduction

Cartagena, historical centre

Cartagena, historical centre

© All Rights Reserved amanecer

Cartagena is a city in the Murcia Region in the southeast of Spain and has around 212,000 inhabitants, making the 24th largest city in the country, though the second in the region. Cartagena concentrates an artistic legacy that summarizes almost three millennia of Spanish History, being inhabited by most great Mediterranean Empires that have conquered the Iberian Peninsula sometime. Cartagena is a city full of monuments, with many archaeological sites and outstanding buildings of historical interest, together with the charm of the sea and the typical bustle of a port city. Dirty and very polluted in the past (due to the nearby Refinery), the new redevelopments (like the initiative "Cartagena, Port of Culture") and restorations have turned it into a major tourist destination, and is a frequent disembarkation point for numerous cruises. Its wide municipal territory also include part of the famous holiday resort La Manga del Mar Menor, part of the Mar Menor coast and several protected areas of natural beauty near the coast.

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Sights and Activities

  • Roman remains, including the brand-new Roman theatre, recently restored. Also of interest is its Museum.
  • Modernist houses, made by the pupils of the famous architect Gaudi. Including the former Town Hall, the Gran Hotel, the Casino and the Casa Maestre, among others.
  • Military fortresses and facilities.
  • The Promenade and the harbour, including the famous Peral Submarine and the ARQUA (National Museum of Subacquatic Archaeology).
  • Other ancient remains (of punic, byzantine or arabic origin).
  • Several churches throughout the city.

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Weather

Cartagena has a typical Meditarranean climate with warm, sunny and dry summers and mild but wetter winters. Average summer temperatures from June to early September are typically around 30 °C though can hit 40 °C or more sometimes. Nights are warm, mostly around or just above 20 °C. Winters from December to February are mostly around 15 °C during the day and nights can be chilly but rarely really cold.

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Getting There

By Plane

The airport of Cartagena (and Murcia) is Murcia-San Javier Airport (IATA: MJV / ICAO: LELC) and is located about 25 kilometres south of the city. It has connections with Air Berlin to Palma de Mallorca, Bmibaby to Birmingham and Cardiff, Easyjet to Bristol, London-Gatwick and Newcastle. Iberia (Air Nostrum) offers connections to Barcelona and Madrid, Jetairfly flies to Charleroi in Belgium (Brussels South Charleroi Airport). Norwegian Air Shuttle flies to Bergen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stavanger and Trondheim, and Ryanair to Birmingham, Bournemouth, Dublin, East Midlands, Glasgow-Prestwick, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Luton, London-Stansted. There are also some seasonal flights with the following companies: Jet2.com to Belfast, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle. and Monarch Airlines has flights to Birmingham, London-Gatwick, and Manchester.

Another option is to fly into Alicante International Airport, about 80 kilometres to the north in the Valencian Community.

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Eat

  • La Tartana, (Puertas de Murcia) - Mediterranean food.
  • La Tagliatella (near of the Roman Theater) - Italian Restaurant.
  • La Mejillonera, (Calle Mayor) - Seafood and good fish.
  • Mare Nostrum, (in the port) - Mediterranean food.
  • Mesón Jamaica (Calle Canales) -Mediterranean food.
  • La Marquesita (Plaza de Alcolea nº6) - Mediterranean food, too expensive but excellent food.
  • Maricastaña - affordable tapas bar.

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Drink

The most popular bars in Cartagena are on Calle Aire, just a street over from Calle Mayor. Popular sites include The Chaplin Meeting Club, Baronesa Music Room, and La Chämpa. A more tranquil option is Mister Witt Café on Calle San Roque. But if you're into dancing, El Telar is nearby on Calle Villamartin and 600m farther is Teatro on the corner of Calle Jabonerías and Calle Lic. Cascales. A popular Latino club outside of the city center is Tributo on Calle Jorge Juan (near El Corte Inglés).

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 9:31 on Jun 14, 17 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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