Interesting facts and ideas for your own excursion in Murcia on the Costa Càlida
- Regular berth: Pier Alfonso XII
- Regular berth: Muelle de la Curra
- Port shuttle: not necessary/available at Pier Alfonso
- Taxis: usually available on the quay
- Buses: well developed bus line network
- Rental car*: Europcar, at the bus terminal
- Rental car*: Avis, at the train station
- Post office: Plaza San Francisco 1, Stamps are also available in tobacco shops
- Tourist Information: In the town hall at the Plaza Ayuntamiento
- Banks and ATMs: in Calle Mayor and adjacent streets
- Berths of the cruise liners
Cartagena has two berths, each of which can accommodate two larger cruise ships. The Alfonso XII pier is located at the local marina and therefore right next to the city. Usually, mooring is also done here. The harbour promenade is very beautiful and invitingly designed, offers large open spaces as well as various bars and restaurants. It is only a short walk to the centre. A shuttle service is therefore not necessary. The situation is different at the Muelle de la Curra, which is sometimes used as an alternative berth. This landing stage is about 3 kilometres away from the city centre. It takes 35-45 minutes on foot for one direction. The tourist information points at the moorings are usually open after the arrival of a cruise ship. Taxis are usually available and offer transfers and round trips.
- Bus transport
Even if you are a cruise passenger in Cartagena and do not necessarily have to rely on the bus, the city still has a well developed bus network which is operated by ALSA. Many lines meet on the street Paseo de Alfonso XIII, located north of the berth, as well as at the Plaza de España and Plaza de Bastarreche. In addition to the city buses, the bus operator also maintains long-distance buses for intercity transport. These depart from the central bus station and go further into the surrounding area. Even more remote destinations, such as Madrid, are served from there. The bus station is located just below the Plaza Bastarreche square. A little further to the northeast is the main train station of Cartagena.
- Narrow gauge railway and Los Nietos Beach
The station of the FEVE narrow-gauge railway is located directly at the Plaza Bastarreche square. The railcars operated by the Spanish railway company Renfe connect Cartagena with the beach of Los Nietos. During the day, the trains usually run every 30-40 minutes and take about 30 minutes for one direction. From the last two stations it is only a few meters to the fine sandy beach. Playa Los Nietos stretches for about 2.8 kilometres and is located on the inland lake Mar Menor. The seawater lagoon is popular with water sports enthusiasts and families alike due to its calm waters and shallow depth. The average depth is only about two metres and the deepest points reach up to seven metres. The water temperatures and salinity are much higher than in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea. Bars and small restaurants can be found in the contemplative little place, but the number is quite clear.
- Mines and Mining Museum
About halfway between Cartagena and Los Nietos, the FEVE narrow-gauge railway stops in La Unión. Not far from the local railway station is the La Unión Mine, Parque Minero de La Unión. The former underground mine is now used for tourism after it was turned into a museum park. It is quite spacious and has not much to offer except for the two mines. From the railway station it is about 900 metres to the mine Mina Las Matildes. It is a 15-20 minute walk. To the mine Mina Agrupa Vicenta it is about twice as far and you can plan a 30-35 minutes walk for one direction. Alternatively, there is a "road train" that takes visitors to their destination more quickly and comfortably. Admission for adults costs 11 Euros per person and for children and young people aged 5-16 years 8.25 Euros. The opening hours are unusually short. Every day except Mondays, the museum is open from 10:00-12:00 and from 18:00-20:00. The mining museum Museo Minero in the small town is closed on Sunday. On the remaining days of the week it is open from 10:00-13:30. The regular entrance fee there is 3 euros per person.
- Submarine and Naval Museum
In the Naval Museum Museo Naval de Cartagena is the prototype of the first submarine, which is purely electrically powered and equipped with a torpedo tube. For a long time it was exhibited in the harbour area directly at the berth of pier Alfonso XII. Constantly exposed to the weather, it has now found a better place. Isaac Peral, inventor and son of the city of Cartagena, completed the plans as early as 1885 and, with the support of the former government, initiated the construction of his ambitious project. After an actually successful practical test, which was made more difficult by sabotage, the Spanish Navy lost interest and stomped the project. The Naval Museum focuses intensively and vividly on the history of the Spanish naval forces. It is located to the east on the harbour promenade and not far from the berth of Pier Alfonso XII. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-13:30 and from 17:00-20:30. During the summer months it is open Monday to Friday from 09:00-14:00. The entrance fee is 3 euros per person.
- Town hall and tourist information
It is a short walk to the nearby city hall of Cartagena at Plaza Ayuntamiento. In the mighty building with triangular floor plan is the tourist information office. Here, one gets a lot of information about the city and its sightseeings for free. There are also helpful city maps available. The Tourist Information Office is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-13:30 and Sundays from 10:30-13:30. Afternoons are open in May and until September from 17:00-19:00 and from October until April from 16:00-18:00. Access is barrier-free and is located at the southern point / corner of the house facing the harbour.
- Pedestrian zone
To the north of the square begins the street Calle Mayor. Declared a pedestrian zone, it marks the commercial center of Cartagena and offers a lot of shops, boutiques and small shops for shopping enthusiasts. But the impressively designed buildings with partly great facades also invite to walk through. You can take a break in one of the numerous and nice restaurants. Away from the Calle Mayor there are also many shops, cafés and restaurants in the adjacent streets.
- Archaeological site and museum
Opposite the Town Hall, in the terracotta-coloured building, is the entrance to the Museo del Teatro Romano. The large exhibition of historical findings is not only limited to the rather inconspicuous building. Rather, there are underground connections to the ruins of the neighboured historical cathedral Catedral Antigua de Cartagena from the 13th century and to the adjacent theatre Teatro Romano. The latter was rediscovered in 1988, purely by chance during construction work, and has since been elaborately exposed and restored. The exhibition rooms and the outdoor area are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00-18:00. In the summer months, from May to September, the museum does not close until 20:00. In addition, Sundays are open from 10:00-14:00 and Mondays are generally closed. The regular entrance fee is 6 Euro per person.
- Molinete Hill
Another historical excavation site is the Parque Arqueológico Cerro del Molinete. Opened to the public in 2012, it is located on the hill of the same name, Molinete. The park-like design stylishly emphasizes the excavations. Due to the height, one gets a good view of Cartagena, for children some playground equipment for climbing was installed and the benches are good for a break. The access is open daily from 08:00-24:00 and costs zero euros. In order to get up more easily, one can use the escalator at the street Calle San Fernando.
- Antique Excavations
At the foot of the Molinete hill, under the imposing roof construction, other finds from ancient times have come to light. Excavations in 2008 and 2009 brought to light the remains of an entire block of houses consisting of two buildings, which in their turn housed a thermal bath and an atrium. Access to the Roman Forum / Barrio del Foro Romano is via Calle Honda and costs 5 euros per person. During the winter months November up to the middle of March, it is opened from Tuesday up to Sunday from 10:00-17:30 o'clock. From mid-March to the end of June and from mid-September to the end of October, the shop closes one hour later. In July and until mid-September is then open daily from 10:00-20:00.
- National Museum
The National Museum of Underwater Archaeology, located at the port, houses a large treasure of gold and silver, in addition to many interesting exhibits. These are cargo items from the frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank in 1804. The value of this find, mainly consisting of coins, is in the three-digit million range. The museum is open from tuesday to saturday from 10:00-20:00 o'clock. In the summer half year one hour longer. On Sundays and holidays the access is granted to the visitors from 10:00-15:00 o'clock. Mondays are closed and the regular entrance fee is 3 euros per person. Free entry is available on Saturday from 15:00 and on Sundays. In addition, children and young people under 18 years of age generally enter the exhibition rooms free of charge.
- Castle complex with view
Above the mighty city walls there is the Castillo de la Concepción in the area of the Torres Park. The castle dates back to the 11th century and offers excellent views of Cartagena and the surrounding area. Very good is the view to the harbour and therefore to the berth with the cruise ship. Inside the walls there is also the Museo Castillo Concepción. In this museum, the history and development of the city Cartagena is introduced to the visitor. In the low season from mid September to mid March, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-17:30. In addition to this, the museum is open until 19:00 from mid March to the end of June. In the high season, from July to mid-September, is also open on Mondays, from 10:00-20:00 every day. The regular entrance fee is 3,75 Euro per person. At the Plaza Ayuntamiento, at the right of the restaurant of the Museo del Teatro Romano, a path to the Castillo begins where one can calculate with 15-20 minutes of walking time.
- Panoramic lift
In order to get up to the Castillo de la Concepción, one has to overcome a gradient that is not necessarily everybody's cup of tea and that can be a strain, specially at high air temperatures. A reason why the use of the existing panorama lift Ascensor Panorámico is recommended. It can accommodate up to 8 people. The lower access to the lift is located on Calle Gisbert. The small kiosk house, where one can buy the tickets, also serves as a tourist information. The use of the panorama lift costs 2 euros per person. But by paying 4,25 euro, the entrance fee to the castle complex is included. From the mooring place and on foot, it takes less than 10 minutes up to the lift.
- Museum of Civil War
At the foot of the lift and thus in the slope of the Concepción there is an access to a former air-raid shelter that could accommodate approximately 5500 people. Today, the civil war museum Museo de la Guerra Civil is accommodated in it. The museum gives the visitor an understanding of the events of the times of the Spanish civil war. In the low season from mid-September to mid-March, is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-17:30. It is also open until 19:00 from mid March to the end of June. In the high season, from July to mid-September, is also open on Mondays and is therefore daily from 10:00-20:00. The regular entrance fee is 3,75 Euro per person.
- Harbour tour
In the western part of the harbour promenade one can start for a harbour tour. This lasts a good hour and leads among other things past the fortifications in front of the city. By this way, the area of the fortification Fuerte de Navidad is also accessible where one stops. In the main season, the boat trip starts daily at 11:00 am. The further departures take place at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30, 18:30 and 19:30. In the low season the last trip starts at 17:30 and on Mondays the boat remains unused in the harbour. The cost is 5.75 per person. In combination with a visit to the Fuerte de Navidad and the harbour tour, you pay 8 euros for both. Thereby, one should notice that the fortification is not opened to every round trip. A visit to the outside is possible at any time.
- Fort Navidad
The Fuerte de Navidad fortress, located at the entrance to the port, was once built and used for the defence of Cartagena. Its origins date back to the 16th century. Over the years, the fortress has unfortunately become increasingly dilapidated. After extensive restoration and renovation work, it now functions as a museum and is easily accessible by rental car, taxi or tourist boat, as part of a tour of the port. From mid-March to 30 June, the complex can be visited daily except Mondays from 11:00-15:00. From July to mid-September, it is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00-15:00, 16:30-19:30 and Sundays from 11:00-15:00. In the second half of September and in October is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00-17:00 and Sundays until 15:00. From November and until mid-March, Tuesday to Friday from 11:00-14:00, Saturday and Sunday until 16:00. Monday is generally closed. A guided tour costs 3.50 per person.
- Sightseeing tours
The local sightseeing bus runs daily except Mondays, from mid-March to early December. Explanations are given over headphones in various languages, including German and English. The starting and finishing point is located at the harbour promenade in the street Paseo Alfonso XII. Coming from the berth on the opposite side of the street at the zebra crossing / pedestrian crossing. One round takes about 45 minutes and costs 7 Euro per person. The trips start at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00. In the low season the last two times are omitted. The regular fare is 7 euros and tickets are available in a small pavilion.
- Punic Wall
Not far from the Plaza Bastarreche and located on Calle San Diego 25, there is a striking building with wooden and glass facades. The Interpretation Center of the Punic Wall (Centro de Interpretación de la Muralla Púnica) houses the remains of a Punic wall. Around 30 exposed metres are presented to the visitor together with the crypt that lies below. From mid-March to 30 June, the site can be visited daily except Mondays from 10:00-19:00. From July to mid-September is open daily from 10:00-20:00 and in the second half of September and in October is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-19:00. From November and until mid-March, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-17:30. The entrance fee is 3.50 euros per person.
- Roman villa
One also comes across to the rests of an old roman villa in the calle San Diego, in direction to the city centre. Casa de la Fortuna is the name of the house after the Latin inscription "Fortuna propita" at the rear entrance, which was associated with "Good luck". After the discovery in the traditional residential and commercial building, impressive murals and mosaics were gradually uncovered. The visitor gets an impression of the everyday life of the original Roman inhabitants. Access is via the back of the building and costs 2.50 euros per person. Open from mid-March daily except Mondays, from 10:30-15:30. From 9 December to mid-March the week is closed and only open on weekends at identical times. Visitor WCs are available.
Due to the rocky coast, Cartagena and its surroundings are not blessed with beach sections. A smaller city beach can be found south of the landing stages. The beach Cala Cortina, which is about 250 meters long, is coarse sandy/gravelly and has a beach bar. The distance to the moorings at the marina is about 3.4 kilometres and can be covered in 8 minutes by taxi or rental car*. Parking spaces are available on site. It takes 45-55 minutes on foot for one direction.
- Excursion portals and excursion providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge*, rent-a-guide* and Viator* you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Cartagena, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book in time, you can realize a variety of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators
for, in and around Cartagena,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and special offers
If you have not yet booked a Mediterranean cruise, but would like to get to know Cartagena personally and make excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 08:30-14:00. Saturday from 08:30-13:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 08:00-14:30
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-13:30 and Sundays from 10:30-13:30. Afternoons are from 17:00-19:00 in May and until September and from 16:00-18:00 from October until April
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Saturday from 09:30-13:30 and from 16:30-20:00 Larger shops are open all day.
- Country code: +34
- Taxi Cartagena: Tel. 968 311 515 (Radiotaxi Cartagena)
- Taxi Cartagena: Tel. 660 212 100
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Fire department: Tel. 085
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Spain
- Safety information: Federal Foreign Office Spain
- Buses: ALSA
- Bus timetables: ALSA bus routes
- Network of routes: ALSA Cartagena
- Climate table: Cartagena Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Cartagena
- National currency: Euro, 1 Euro = 100 Cent
More port information on popular cruise destinations in the Mediterranean