Carthaginians and Romans Festival: ¿How to get there and what to do?

The Carthaginians and Romans Festival is the highlight event of Cartagena and is celebrated every year for ten days starting from the first Friday after September 15th. This commemoration, which revives the heroic events of the Second Punic War that occurred over 2,200 years ago, has been a tradition since 1990 and attracts history enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world. During the festival, participants can immerse themselves in a series of performances and activities that reflect Cartagena’s rich culture and past. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need and give you some tips to make the most of the Carthaginians and Romans Festival.

When is the Carthaginians and Romans Festival 2023?

The Carthaginians and Romans Festival will take place from Friday 15th to Sunday 24th of September 2023. These festivities usually start from the first Friday after September 15th, lasting ten days.

How to get to the Carthaginians and Romans Festival?

There are several transport options to get to the Carthaginians and Romans Festival, but the quickest and most comfortable way is with You can book a Taxi, VIP Transfer, or even a Minivan (for larger groups) in Cartagena to get to these festivities swiftly. You can also travel from another point of Spain.

What to do at the Carthaginians and Romans Festival?

The Carthaginians and Romans Festival in Cartagena is an exciting commemoration that evokes the city’s history and traditions. These events, spanning several days, offer a variety of acts that transport attendees back to a bygone era, filled with heroism, passion, and culture. Below, we outline the main events of these festivities:

Friday 15th

Pregonillo: A town crier dressed in period attire roams the streets and squares of central Cartagena announcing the imminent start of the festivities.

Transfer of the Sacred Fire: This symbolic act tours emblematic places in Cartagena, such as the Roman Theatre and the Temple of Isis, culminating at the Mons Arx Asdrubalis. Each year, the route may vary, incorporating new stories and locations.

Lighting of the Sacred Fire: This act marks the official start of the festivities. With ritual dances in the background, priests and priestesses invoke the Punic and Roman gods to light the Sacred Fire, which will protect the festivities.

Festival Proclamation: At the Cartagena City Hall, the title of “Festero Honoris Causa” is awarded, and generals Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio motivate their troops. Then, a prominent figure delivers the inaugural speech. After the proclamation, a march to the festival campsite takes place, marking the official opening of the venue.

Saturday 16th

Children’s Foundation: Carthaginian children represent the foundation of the city, serving as a prelude to the historical act of the Foundation of Qart-Hadast that takes place at night.

Foundation of Qart-Hadast: This act narrates the story of the Barca family and the foundation of Qart-Hadast by Hasdrubal the Fair in 227 BC, showcasing family intrigues, fears of conquest, and moments of bravery.

Sunday 17th

Dies Lustricus: A Roman children’s celebration where the new members of the Troops and Legions born that year are presented.

Destruction of Sagunto: Represents the capture and destruction of Sagunto by the Carthaginians, a pivotal event that triggered the Second Punic War.

Plenary Session of the Senate: With a humorous tone, a session of the Roman Senate is depicted, culminating in the declaration of war against Carthage.

Monday 18th

Wedding of Hannibal and Himilce: This act dramatises the marriage between the Carthaginian general Hannibal and the Iberian princess Himilce. It’s a majestic representation involving all the Carthaginian troops and takes place at the Port of Cartagena.

Tuesday 19th

Oracle of the Goddess Tanit: On a magical night, Princess Himilce consults the goddess Tanit about the future of her family and the city. The oracle reveals mysterious and significant predictions.

Wednesday 20th

Trials of Aspar and Ludi Romano: The streets of the festival campsite transform into a stage for competitions and games for children. They recreate trials that Prince Aspar, son of Hannibal and Himilce, would have undertaken in his youth.

Feriae Latino: At the Roman campsite, games and activities take place, and Roman culinary delights are offered to visitors.

Centuriate Assembly: Roman generals gather to discuss military strategies and plan the defeat of the Carthaginian troops.

Thursday 21st

Landing of the Carthaginian Navy: Troops land at the port of Cartagena to join Hannibal’s army before marching towards Rome.

Hiring of Mercenaries: Hannibal seeks allies for his war against Rome, offering tributes to mercenary troops.

Hannibal’s March to Rome: This act symbolises Hannibal’s audacious strategy of crossing the Pyrenees and the Alps to attack Rome from the north.

Friday 22nd

Landing of the Roman Navy: Roman naval forces arrive in Cartagena, preparing for the showdown against the Carthaginians.

Battle for the Conquest of Qart Hadasht: This emblematic act represents the struggle between Carthaginians and Romans for control of the city.

Victory Parade: Roman legions march triumphantly through the streets of Cartagena, celebrating their victory.

Saturday 23rd

Tribute to the Fallen: Organised by the Legio IV Quinto Trebelio, this act pays tribute to the Roman soldiers who fell in battle. A laurel wreath is placed at the funerary monument of the Torre Ciega, an architectural testimony of the Roman funerary era. Additionally, the festeros who passed away during the year are remembered.

Hostage Release and Awarding of the Double Mural Crown: Following the surrender of the Carthaginian general Mago, Rome’s victory is celebrated with the release of hostages. In a unique historical event, two Mural Crowns are awarded, symbols of recognition for being the first to enter Qart-Hadast during the siege.

General Parade of Troops and Legions: This is one of the most anticipated moments of the festivities. Festeros from both sides, Carthaginians and Romans, dress in their finest attire and parade together through the city’s streets. It’s a spectacle where music, drums, floats, and war machines take centre stage, culminating at the festival venue.

Sunday 24th

Roman Circus: A grand spectacle featuring gladiator fights, dances, and daring fire stunts.

Extinguishing of the Sacred Fire: The fire lit at the beginning of the festivities is extinguished, marking the end of the celebrations. The closing is marked by a Fireworks Display.

Concerts of the Carthaginians and Romans Festival 2023

The Estrella de Levante Fest Carthaginians and Romans returns in 2023 with a three-day programme, from the 21st to the 23rd of September. Tickets are available at and are priced at €10, €15, and €28 for each day, respectively, plus booking fees. The performances will take place at the Explanada of the La Rambla Shopping Centre, close to the Carthaginians and Romans festival venue. The festival line-up includes artists such as La M.O.D.A., Chimo Bayo, and SFDK.

Estrella de Levante Fest Carthaginians and Romans 2023 lineup