To soak in the essence of Cartagena, plan to take a stroll down its Calle Mayor, or Main Street. The pedestrian-only avenue is the place to go to appreciate the city’s architecture, go shopping, or even to sit at a restaurant’s outdoor terrace as you watch the world go by.
Just steps away from the port and sea, the street begins at the grand, palm tree-lined Plaza de Ayuntamiento, or Town Hall Square, home to none other than the giant palace that is Town Hall itself. From there, travel past (or stop at) the Roman Theater Museum and onto Calle Mayor with its marble-tiled promenade. Along the way, you’ll walk by noteworthy architecture such as Art Nouveau masterpieces Casino de Cartagena, a fancy 19th-century social club, and Cervantes House (not to be confused by the famous author; this building was named after a wealthy businessman).
Calle Mayor can easily be reached by foot from the harbor and anywhere in the old quarter. Note that there is a tourism office located in Town Hall, just prior to the start of Calle Mayor. To better understand the architecture and history of this part of town, you may want to join a walking tour.