This sun-drenched Mediterranean metropolis won the National Geographic title of “World’s Best Beach City” and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re looking for wide open spaces where your family can run free or want to let loose with thrilling watersports followed by tapas feasts and chic cocktails, you’re sure to find the perfect spot at one of the glorious golden beaches that line Barcelona’s 4 kilometre coastline. Barcelona residents and apartment experts Waytostay have have put their heads together to help you find your perfect seaside spot.
Barceloneta: The Ultimate City Beach Fiesta
Take a stroll through the charming old fisherman’s quarter and find yourself at the city’s most popular beach. Barceloneta beach is a cosmopolitan melting pot, a vibrant and funky all-day fiesta that attracts both locals and sun-seeking visitors. It’s all about people watching and relaxing with cold cocktails and live music at one of the idyllic chiringuito beach bars. And if the sun gets to be too much, you can head to one of the many watersports providers and try your hand at surfing, stand-up-paddle-boarding or sailing in the refreshing Mediterranean Sea. No wetsuits necessary.
Barceloneta is also one of the city’s best spots for tapas touring and bar hopping, with rustic seafood bars such as La Cova Formuda – which is famed for inventing the city’s iconic “Bombas” (spicy potato meatballs) – as well as Jai-Ca Bar and Cal Papi, where you can enjoy fresh seafood tapas and practise your Spanish/Catalan with the locals. And for an extravagant paella lunch, simply skip across the hot sand from the beach to the renowned seafood restaurants of Can Solé and Can Majó.
Barceloneta after dark… Hang around at Barceloneta long enough and you’ll start to hear the low rumble of house and dance music pulsating out of the ultra-chic clubs of Opium, Carpe Diem, Shoko and Pacha, which line the beachfront (just beneath the giant gold fish statue).
Nearest metro: Barceloneta (yellow line)
Nova Icaria – Beach Sports Heaven
Situated at the foot of the iconic “twin towers” (the five star Hotel Arts and the Mapfre building) Nova Icaria is a little bit quieter than Barceloneta and its wide stretches of sand make it ideal for beach sports. Here you’ll see bronzed bodies running around playing football, frisbee and ping pong, although it’s volleyball that’s taken most seriously. The neighbouring Olympic Port area is also a great place to find all sorts of beach-friendly food, including sandwiches, pizzas and burgers, making it a great place to take hungry kids and teenagers. And if you’ve had a little bit too much sun, take a quick stroll to the nearby Icaria-Cinema Cineplex, where you’ll find the latest blockbusters shown in English.
Nearest metro: Ciutadella / Vila Olímpica (yellow line)
Bogatell – Chilled Vibes and Excellent Facilities
This beautiful blue flag beach is a firm favourite with the locals and boasts an ultra chilled out atmosphere. As one of the widest of the city beaches it’s another sporty hotspot, as well as being a popular launching area for kitesurfers and windsurfers. There are also a number of excellent chiringuito beach bars on and around Bogatell. Head to Xiringuito Escriba for some of Barcelona’s finest paella and be sure to try their renowned fideuà, which is a sort of Catalan take on the iconic Spanish rice dish.
Nearest metro: Llacuna (yellow line)
Mar Bella & Nova Mar Bella – Space to Breathe
Mar Bella and Nova Mar Bella are beautiful stretches of sand that are primarily frequented by locals and in-the-know-tourists, making them perfect for escaping the hordes of party-goers that flock to the beaches closer to the city centre. Generally quiet and peaceful, Mar Bella and Nova Mar Bella are also well-known for their designated nudist areas. And you’ll also find the ever popular Chiringuito BeGay here.
Nearest metro: Poblenou (yellow line)
Llevant: – Zen-like Tranquility
For those seeking peace and harmony, Llevant is the perfect option. It’s the farthest city beach away from Barceloneta and, therefore, the quietest. Not even many of the locals venture this far! It’s the perfect spot for quiet lazy days in the sun, reading, snoozing and generally just lounging around. It’s also home to the Bambú Beach Bar, the last, but by no means least, of the chiringuitos.
Nearest metro: Selva de Mar (yellow line)
Montgat Nord – Beauty Beyond the City
Take the 20-minute train ride from Placa Catalunya to Montgat Nord and escape the hustle and bustle of the city beaches altogether. At 2.5 kilometres long and 30 metres wide, Montgat beach is a tranquil haven that boasts vast expanses of open space, stunning sports facilities, crystal clear waters and utterly charming chiringuitos where you can buy drinks and snacks. And because it’s in zone one, your train ticket will cost you little more than a euro. Paradise found.
Nearest train: Montgat Nord
So pack your beach bag and get ready for some serious fun in the sun. The Catalan capital of cool has it all.
Michael Salverda is very passionate about traveling and all that comes with it, music, good and honest food, local places, people and their culture. He started Waytostay to take care of travellers whilst offering a quality experience.