Cartagena Cruise Port


Welcome to our latest Spanish cruise port guide where we discover Cartagena cruise port! In this article, we will take you on a journey to explore the fascinating attractions, rich history, and vibrant culture that make Cartagena a must-visit destination for cruise travellers. In this things to do in Cartagena Cruise Port guide, we will explore the ancient ruins and the enchanting old town with its picturesque coastline.

Cartagena is easily accessible from your cruise ship and you can explore it in just one day. Join us as we delve into the wonders of this Mediterranean gem and discover why Cartagena cruise port is a treasure trove and definitely worth a visit.

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Guide on Things To Do in Cartagena Cruise Port When Your Ship Docks

Where is the port in Cartagena Spain?

The port in Cartagena, Southern Spain is situated in the city of Cartagena, which is part of the Region of Murcia. The port is positioned on the Mediterranean Sea, providing access to shipping routes and serving as a significant maritime gateway for the region. The exact location of the port can be found near the city centre, with its boundaries extending along the waterfront area.

The Address of Cartagena Cruise ship dock is: P.º Alfonso XII, 8, 30202 Cartagena, Murcia

Can you walk into the port in Cartagena?

Yes, you can walk from the port of Cartagena to the city centre. The distance between the port and the city centre is relatively short and it will only take you a matter of minutes along pedestrian-friendly routes that connect the two areas. As you leave the port area, you can follow the main road or take a scenic walk along the waterfront promenade. The city centre of Cartagena is easily accessible on foot, allowing you to explore its historic sites, shops, and restaurants.

If you are a cruise ship passenger, you can typically disembark at the designated cruise terminal and explore the port area on foot. The port may also offer organised walking tours or transportation options to nearby attractions and points of interest.

What’s in port in Cartagena?

The port of Cartagena, Spain, is a bustling and diverse hub that offers a range of facilities and attractions. It serves as a gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and provides a host of services and amenities for both maritime and leisure purposes. The port features dedicated cruise terminals, accommodating the arrival and departure of cruise ships and offering a seamless experience for passengers. It also offers ferry services, connecting Cartagena with neighbouring destinations and providing convenient transportation options. Commercial and cargo operations are prominent within the port, with facilities for handling containerized goods and bulk cargo.

The presence of marinas and yacht facilities caters to private boat owners and enthusiasts, offering berthing and docking services. Along the port promenade, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the harbour, take leisurely walks, and explore shops, restaurants, and recreational areas.

The port of Cartagena also includes a naval base, contributing to the maritime activities in the area. With its diverse offerings, the port of Cartagena provides a vibrant and dynamic environment that welcomes visitors and maritime industry players.

Things to do in Cartagena Spain cruise port 

If you’re visiting Cartagena, Spain, as a cruise port stop, here are some top things you can do to make the most of your time:

  1. Roman Theatre Museum: Explore the well-preserved Roman Theatre and its museum, which provides insights into the city’s Roman past and showcases archaeological artefacts.
  2. Cartagena Old Town: Take a walk through the charming streets of Cartagena’s Old Town, admiring the historic architecture, vibrant squares, and lively atmosphere.
  3. Castillo de la Concepción: Visit Concepción Castle, perched on a hilltop overlooking the city. Enjoy panoramic views and explore the castle’s grounds, including its gardens and archaeological displays.
  4. Naval Museum: Discover the maritime history of Cartagena at the Naval Museum, which houses a collection of naval artefacts, models, and historical documents.
  5. Modernist Architecture: Cartagena features impressive modernist buildings influenced by Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Take a stroll to admire notable structures such as the Casino of Cartagena and the Grand Hotel.
  6. Tapas and Cuisine: Indulge in the local gastronomy by sampling delicious tapas and traditional Spanish dishes at the numerous bars and restaurants in the city.
  7. Shopping: Explore the shopping options in Cartagena, ranging from local crafts and souvenirs to high-end fashion boutiques.
  8. Port of Cartagena: If time permits, take a walk along the port area to see the modern infrastructure, cruise terminals, and enjoy the coastal views. 

Remember to plan your time accordingly and consider the duration of your port stop. It’s advisable to check the opening hours and availability of attractions in advance, especially if you have limited time ashore.

Things to do in Cartagena a short walk from the port

Visit Cartagena Old Town and walk along Calle Mayor

The Old Town of Cartagena, or Casco Antiguo, is a captivating neighbourhood that transports visitors back in time with its rich history and well-preserved architecture. As you wander through the city’s heart, and through its narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter picturesque squares, charming plazas, and beautifully restored buildings. The old city is a treasure trove of architectural gems, including ancient ruins, medieval walls, ornate palaces, and grand churches. Each corner reveals a story, and the area exudes a distinct ambience that reflects its centuries-old past. There are many modernist and eclectic buildings here some worth looking for are:

  • The City Hall
  • Clares House
  • The Grand Hotel
  • The Casino
  • Dorda House
  • Zapata House
  • Cervantes House
Cartagena Calle Mar Mayor shopping street
Cartagena Calle Mar Mayor shopping street

Explore the Roman Theatre of Cartagena. 

The Roman Theatre of Cartagena, also known as Teatro Romano de Cartagena, is a significant archaeological site and tourist attraction in Cartagena, Spain. It is one of the most important Roman ruins in the country and showcases the city’s ancient Roman past.

The theatre dates back to the 1st century BC and was constructed during the Roman times. It was rediscovered in the 1980s and has since undergone extensive excavation and restoration. The theatre was originally built to accommodate around 6,000 spectators. It would been used for various forms of entertainment, including theatrical performances and gladiatorial contests.

Today, visitors to the Roman Theater of Cartagena can explore the well-preserved ruins. There is a seating area, stage, and architectural elements such as columns and arches. The site also includes a visitor centre that provides further information about the theatre’s history and its significance in the Roman period.

The Roman Theatre of Cartagena is not only an archaeological site but also serves as a venue for events and performances. It offers a captivating glimpse into the ancient Roman civilisation and its architectural achievements.

Cartagena Roman Theatre view from above over the City
Cartagena Roman Theatre

Marine Archaeology Museum

The National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática), also known as ARQUA. It is a prominent museum located in Cartagena, Spain. It is dedicated to the preservation, research, and exhibition of Spain’s underwater archaeological heritage.

ARQUA showcases a wide range of artefacts and exhibits related to underwater archaeology. The museum presents the history of maritime trade, shipbuilding, and naval warfare through the centuries. Visitors can explore archaeological finds from shipwrecks, including ancient pottery, sculptures, navigational instruments, and even preserved sections of ships.

The museum also highlights the techniques and technologies used in underwater archaeology. This provides insights into how archaeologists excavate and preserve submerged cultural heritage.

ARQUA is a fascinating destination for those interested in maritime history, archaeology, and underwater exploration. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about Spain’s rich underwater heritage and the ongoing efforts to uncover and study submerged archaeological sites.

Visit the military museum of Cartagena.

The military museum in Cartagena, known as the Museo Naval de Cartagena (Naval Museum of Cartagena), is a captivating institution that showcases the rich maritime heritage of the city. It is located within the historic Arsenal of Cartagena. The museum offers a comprehensive collection of exhibits that highlight the naval traditions and contributions of the Spanish Navy. Visitors can explore displays of ship models, navigational instruments, naval weaponry, uniforms, historical documents, and more.

The museum provides valuable historical context, detailing Cartagena’s strategic importance as a naval base and its involvement in naval battles. Housed in a remarkable architectural setting, the Arsenal building adds to the museum’s charm and authenticity. Educational programs and guided tours are available, offering in-depth insights into naval history and exploration. Additionally, the museum features temporary exhibitions that delve into specific themes and provide fresh perspectives on maritime topics. A visit to the Museo Naval de Cartagena offers a captivating journey through the city’s naval legacy. This is appealing to both history enthusiasts and those with an interest in maritime heritage.

Walk up to the Castillo de la Concepción

The Castillo de la Concepción, also known as the Castle of Concepción, sits atop the Concepción Hill, providing panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. 

Walking up to Castillo de la Concepción is a great way to appreciate the city’s architecture and enjoy panoramic views along the way. Here’s a suggested route to reach the castle:

  1. Start from the city centre: Begin your walk from the heart of Cartagena, such as the Town Hall or the Roman Theatre. Both are centrally located and easily accessible on foot.
  2. Make your way to Calle Mayor: Walk along Calle Mayor, one of the main streets in Cartagena’s historic centre. Admire the buildings with their ornate façades and architectural details as you head towards the hill where the castle is situated.
  3. Ascend Calle San Diego: Look for Calle San Diego, a charming street that leads uphill towards Castillo de la Concepción. The street is known for its picturesque houses and beautiful views over the city.
  4. Follow the signs or GPS directions: As you ascend Calle San Diego, you’ll find signs or can follow GPS directions directing you towards the castle. The route may include some staircases or winding paths as you approach the hilltop.
  5. Enjoy the panoramic views: Once you reach the castle, take some time to explore its grounds and enjoy the panoramic views it offers. You’ll have a breathtaking vantage point overlooking Cartagena, its port harbour, and the surrounding landscapes.

Remember to wear comfortable shoes as the ascent to the castle can be steep in some sections. Also, keep in mind that opening hours and access to the castle may vary. It is a good idea to check the current information before your visit.

Cartagena Castillo de la Concepción gates and tunnel view
Cartagena Castillo de la Concepción gates

Explore the architecture of Cartagena.

Cartagena, Spain, boasts a rich architectural heritage that reflects its long history and cultural influences. Here are some notable architectural highlights worth exploring in Cartagena:

Modernist Buildings: Cartagena features several striking examples of modernist architecture, influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. The Casino of Cartagena, the Grand Hotel, and the City Hall are noteworthy examples of beautiful art nouveau buildings. Intricate façades, ornate details, and elegant designs characterize many.

Cartagena Spain, The Grand Hotel facade with statues outside
Cartagena The Grand Hotel facade

Concepción Castle: Sitting atop a hill overlooking the city, Concepción Castle offers panoramic views of Cartagena and its surroundings. The medieval castle is a fortress with origins dating back to the 13th century. It features a mix of architectural styles due to various expansions and renovations over the centuries.

Artillery Battery of Cartagena: This military fortification, known as Batería de Castillitos, is situated on the headland of Cabo Tiñoso, a few kilometres from Cartagena. Built between 1933 and 1936, it showcases an impressive mix of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, with its imposing towers and intricate details.

Modern Port Architecture: Cartagena’s modern port area is notable for its contemporary architecture. It has eye-catching structures such as the Isaac Peral Auditorium and the Cartagena Cruise Terminal. These buildings showcase innovative designs and serve as symbols of the city’s maritime significance.

Playa de Calblanque

Playa de Calblanque is one of the most beautiful beaches located in the region of Murcia, near Cartagena, Spain. It is part of the Calblanque Natural Park, which is known for its pristine coastline and natural landscapes.

Playa de Calblanque is a perfect place to visit, renowned for its untouched beauty. It has crystal-clear turquoise waters and golden sand. The beach is surrounded by dunes, cliffs, and Mediterranean vegetation, creating a picturesque and tranquil environment.

As part of a protected natural area, Playa de Calblanque offers a more secluded and unspoiled beach experience. It’s a great place for nature lovers, hikers, and those seeking a peaceful escape. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, and taking leisurely walks along the shore.

It’s important to note that as a natural park, Playa de Calblanque has limited facilities. Visitors are advised to bring their own supplies, such as food, water, and sunscreen. It is advised to respect and preserve the natural environment while visiting the beach.

Cartagena street art
Cartagena street art

Punic wall museum 

The Punic Wall Museum, also known as Museo de la Muralla Púnica is dedicated to showcasing and preserving the remains of the Punic Wall. It is an ancient defensive wall that dates back to the Carthaginian period in the 3rd century BC.

The museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the archaeological site and learn about the history of the Punic Wall. It features a series of underground galleries that showcase the original wall. The museum also shares various artefacts and exhibits related to the Carthaginian and Roman periods of Cartagena’s history.

It is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in delving into the city’s rich archaeological heritage.

Find the Jardin Roman

Cartagena Jardin Romano is located in the lower part of Cerro de la Concepción, formerly known as Mons Aesculapt. Here stands the well-preserved facade wall of the portico that once framed the Roman Theater of Carthago Nova. Adjacent to it, a network of streets and ramps provided convenient access to different sections of the theatre’s seating area, constructed during the Augustan era.

The garden has been recreated, reminiscent of the natural spaces that were an integral part of Roman houses. This garden served as a gathering place, featuring a central outdoor space with a pond and fountain. The sides were adorned with collonaded porticoes and embellished with flower beds, pots, and planters. The walls of the portico were often adorned with paintings to recreate a desired natural landscape, as seen in the peristyles of houses like the House of the Vetil, the House of Loreio Tiburtino, and the House of Sallustio in Pompeii.

Cartagena Jardin romano
Cartagena Jardin romano

Bateria de las Cenizas

The “Bateria de las Cenizas” refers to a historic coastal battery located in Cartagena, Spain. The battery, also known as the “Battery of the Ashes” in English, was constructed in the late 19th century as part of the city’s coastal defence system. It is situated on a hill overlooking the entrance to the Cartagena harbour.

The battery, also known as the “Battery of the Ashes” in English, played a significant role in the defence of Cartagena during its heyday. It consisted of large cannons that were used to protect the city and its naval base from potential naval attacks. Today, the battery is considered an important historical site and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the battery’s well-preserved structures, walk along its ramparts, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the port and the Mediterranean coast.

Castillo de la Concepción peacock and king statue
Castillo de la Concepción peacocks

Try the Cuisine in Cartagena

The cuisine in Cartagena, Spain, reflects the region’s rich culinary heritage and Mediterranean influences. With its coastal location, seafood plays a prominent role in the local dishes. Fresh fish, prawns, clams, and octopus are often featured in traditional seafood stews, grilled preparations, and rice dishes like paella. Another speciality of the region is Caldero, a hearty fisherman’s stew made with fish, rice, and various spices.

Cartagena is also known for its delicious tapas culture. Visitors can indulge in an array of small plates that showcase the flavours of the region, such as cured meats like jamón ibérico, local cheeses, marinated olives, and fried seafood. Traditional Spanish dishes like tortilla española (potato omelette) and gazpacho (chilled tomato soup) can also be found in the local cuisine.


  • Donna Vallance

    Donna loves cruising with her husband and two teenage boys. Having cruised with the children from a young age she feels it is the perfect way to experience the world safely. Her boys are social butterfly’s and love meeting other children their own age whilst onboard some of the most extraordinary floating ships. She also writes over at Like Love Do, a travel memoir of her trips, from London to far off beaches. She has an eye for the unusual and like to go off of the beaten track just to find the perfect photo. With a passion for photography and exploring cruising has become the perfect holiday choice.

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