Entertainment plays a large part in most peoples holiday plans, and a visit to Cartagena offers a good variety of fun things to do. The city's bars and restaurants are quite varied, and besides food and refreshments, offer a friendly social scene, family nights and musical entertainment. Two of the most popular things to do for families are catching a movie or playing a game of 10 pin bowling. These venues usually have their own on-site cafes, however, throughout the city you will find many other cafes and takeaways for a late night snack. Then you have all the excellent shops, boutiques, shopping centres and various markets where you can pick up holiday bargains.
The best place to catch a movie is in the Espacio Mediterraneo Shopping Complex. Aside from all its superb shops and boutiques you will find the Neocine movie theatre. It boasts multi-screens showing the latest movies on top of the range audiovisual systems. There is a further Neocine movie theatre in the smaller Mandarache Shopping Complex. Head for Puerto de Mazarrón where during summer evenings you can enjoy a double feature at the outdoor Cine Bahía.
Espacio Mediterraneo Shopping Complex is also home to Ilusiona Bowling. This has multiple bowling lanes and digital scoring screens. Bowling Carthag is a dedicated 10 pin bowling venue on the outskirts of the city. It offers visitors 10 professional standard bowling alleys. A big hit at Bowling Carthag with the young ones is the large and well equipped games arcade area. This has all sorts of table and arcade games, and the cafe bar offers a good selection of drinks and snacks.
Wining & Dining
Tapas bars are popular in the city and at times offer live entertainment. These are best to just explore at random where you will sometimes be served a free tapa with your drink. It's also possible to take a tapas tour around some of the city's more popular bars. Visitors with a less adventurous palate can try the tasty tapas and pinchos at the popular chain restaurants called 100 Montaditos or Lizarrán. There is a good choice of music bars in Cartagena. Some feature guest and resident DJ's and others offer nights with various live entertainment. If fun beach bars are more your scene, head for nearby La Manga that boasts numerous venues right on the beach.
The city's restaurants offer a wide selection of Mediterranean cuisine, many featuring fresh fish and seafood on their menus. There is also a choice of restaurants serving popular international fare such as Italian, Chinese and Indian. Some of the Indian restaurants have daily set menus as well as ‘early bird' specials. Chinese ‘all you can eat' buffets are popular for those with a large appetite. Aside from delicious pasta dishes, all Italian restaurants serve a choice of pizza. The city is home to numerous takeaways, pizza seeming to be the favourite among locals. You will also find kebab shops for that meaty fix, rotisserie chicken, and churros vans for tasty sweet treats.
Cartagena has several shopping complexes where you can enjoy a bit of retail therapy, as well as a variety of entertainment. The largest of these is Espacio Mediterraneo. This is a wonderful shopping centre to explore with many popular high street brands among its boutiques and shops. Young children will enjoy the large Drillo Park playground, and there is also cinema and 10 pin bowling. Throughout the city are numerous national and international supermarkets, mini marts and small 24 hour supermarkets (more late night than 24 hour). Then you have all sorts of small specialist shops such as greengrocers, butcheries, delicatessens, bakeries and confectioneries.
High on the agenda for many visitors is browsing street markets. Depending on how far and wide you want to travel, you could practically visit a different market every day of the week. These are always good fun and the place to pick up bargain Spanish products to take home. Night markets usually feature a lot of local arts & crafts, and the city has an excellent daily produce market.