15 December 2022

Discover the museums in and around Cartagena

When planning your summer holidays, it never hurts to reserve a space for learning and culture. When choosing a destination of sun, relaxation and beach, we will have the option of enjoying different activities in nature that will occupy most of our time. Just as gastronomic tourism is gaining more and more followers every year, tourist and cultural visits should have a small territory in our summer agenda. From La Manga Club we made a selection of places to visit in La Manga and now we would like to invite our clients to discover the museums of Cartagena and its surroundings.

The history of Cartagena is very rich in nuances that reveal the importance and splendour of the city. Today we can learn about the history of Cartagena and the history of the people who passed through it by visiting the different museums of the city. Whether you are looking for plans with children for a family summer holiday, or if you are looking for a weekend or long weekend getaway for two, we invite you to visit some of the most attractive museums in Cartagena.

National Museum of Underwater Archaeology ARQUA

The National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (ARQUA) is located on the Paseo del Muelle Alfonso XI and is a public institution responsible for researching, conserving and disseminating Spanish underwater cultural heritage. Its heritage includes the so-called Odyssey Treasure, which consists of nearly 600,000 gold and silver coins (more than 570,000 pieces) that belonged to the frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank in the early 19th century. The Spanish State managed to recover this valuable legacy after a legal process before the US courts in 2012. Other pieces of interest are the Roman lead ingots, the Mano Sabazia (1st century BC) and the replica of a Phoenician ship found off the coast of Mazarrón.

General admission costs 3 euros, while reduced admission is 1.5 euros. Furthermore, visits to the museum are free on Saturdays from 2 p.m. onwards, as well as on certain Sundays and public holidays. Admission is also free for children under 18 and over 65, students up to the age of 25, the disabled, the unemployed and pensioners. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm (8 pm in the winter season) and on Sundays and public holidays from 10 am to 3 pm. It is closed on Mondays.

Museum of the Roman Theatre of Cartagena

The Roman imprint in Cartagena is evident and one of the jewels of its heritage. The legacy that the Romans left in Cartagena is one of the greatest treasures of this beautiful Mediterranean city. Among the Roman remains in Cartagena, the Roman Theatre stands out, discovered by accident in 1988 and which a few years ago completed restoration work. In parallel to the reconstruction of the theatre, the architect Rafael Moneo was commissioned to construct a building to house the Museum and to serve as the entrance to the Roman Theatre of Cartagena.

Moneo proposed a space with two buildings linked by a corridor, where a large number of pieces recovered from the various excavations are displayed. On their tour of the museum halls, visitors will reach the interior of the monument as part of the tour. The Roman Theatre is the most striking and remarkable piece in the museum. The museum is closed on Mondays and has uninterrupted opening hours from 10 am to 8 pm. In the winter months the opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm. On Sundays the museum is open from 10 am to 2 pm. The entrance fee is 6 euros for the general public and there are reduced rates of 5 and 3 euros for the unemployed, retired persons and students.

Cartagena Naval Museum

The Cartagena Naval Museum is located in the former Prisoners' and Slaves' Barracks, a unique building erected in the 18th century. The most sought-after piece in the museum is Isaac Peral's famous submarine, which until a few years ago was in the middle of the seafront promenade but when it was refurbished it was decided to bring it into the museum. In addition to the Isaac Peral room dedicated to the legacy of the famous inventor and military man from Cartagena, which completes and contextualises the history of the submarine as the central piece, the museum has a collection of 3,000 pieces with a wide variety of naval disciplines.

The model of the training ship Juan Sebastián Elcano and the remains of the ships Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, together with the flags and uniforms room are some of the favourite pieces for visitors to the museum.

Although admission to the museum is free, a small voluntary contribution of 3 euros is requested for the maintenance and conservation of the museum's pieces. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and is open from Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 14:00 hours and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00 hours.

Municipal Archaeological Museum

The Municipal Archaeological Museum was inaugurated in its current location in 1982 and is the main point of interest for archaeological activities in the city. The main feature of the museum is that it was built in what was an ancient late Roman necropolis, which has now become one of the large sections of the museum. The section dedicated to Roman mining and the collection of funerary epigraphy are also some of the most popular sections for visitors to the museum. You can also enjoy some examples of Roman sculpture, the most outstanding of which is the representation of a child wearing a crown.

The museum is located at Calle Santiago Ramón y Cajal 45 and the visit lasts approximately one hour. The museum organises various educational programmes and activities for children. Admission to the museum is free and it is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 in the morning and from 17:00 to 20:00 in the afternoon. It is closed on Mondays and public holidays, while at weekends it is only open in the morning from 11am to 2pm.

These are just some of the museums in and around Cartagena, but the beautiful port city has plenty to visit as a family or as a couple. The Regional Museum of Modern Art (MURAM), next to the striking Palacio de Aguirre or the Museum-Refuge of the Civil War in Gisbert Street are two other important visits to get to know the art and history of our country. Enjoy discovering Cartagena and the surrounding area during your next stay at La Manga Club, the starting point for endless plans.