Harbouring thoughts of a seaside bolthole? Consider Barceloneta.

Vibe on the street: congenial, Mediterranean chill-out, recreational, sunny disposition.
Famous for: sand and surf, seafood restaurants along the main street Joan de Borbó, all-night beach bars (‘chiringuitos’).
Harbouring thoughts of a seaside bolthole? Consider Barceloneta.
  • You’ll probably want to waste no time in hitting the beach. This is definitely the main appeal of Barceloneta, but if you fancy stretching your legs a bit, there are other highlights within walking distance.

    Nearby sights

    Port Vell (the ‘old port’) is right beside Barceloneta, and nowadays is used as a harbour for some very fancy yachts. Right beside it is the Museu d’Historia de Catalunya, which tends to be a hit with kids and adults alike. (The museum is also a good spot to have some lunch, offering an economic set menu in its ‘La Miranda’ top-floor restaurant, together with some brilliant views of the harbour.) Just along from here is the Moll d’Espanya, the broad wharf that will take you to Barcelona’s Aquarium and Maremagnum shopping centre (the only such centre in the city that opens regularly on a Sunday). If you fancy a change of scenery, from sand to turf, you could head up to Ciutadella Park, just north of Barceloneta. With its zoo, boating lake and resident mammoth, it’s a great place to relax.

    Eating out

    Restaurants in Barceloneta, as you’d probably guess, do a mean turn in fish and seafood dishes. If you’re after some premium paella (with a price tag to match) head to Can Majó, right on the waterfront. A few blocks north is the great-value tapas restaurant La Bombeta, which is famous for its house croquettes and quick-fire service. For a totally different taste, head to the upmarket Indian restaurant Rangoli, which benefits from a prime location down on the Passeig de Joan de Borbó. The place has been garnering some rave reviews, and is praised particularly for its tasting menu (‘menu de degustación’), lamb dishes and decent range of veggie options.

    Beers by the beach

    Bars-wise, local, traditional haunts tend to dominate. Worth mentioning is Bar Jai Ca, a raucous but sociable place, which serves excellent tapas. It’s a favourite with the locals, so try to get there early if you want a seat. Meanwhile, Italian-run El Filferro is a small but intoxicating space that offers cheap bites along with its house wines. Then there’s Bar Leo, which is run by a formidable Andalucian señora with a penchant for flamenco music. This bar brims with character, and serves up particularly cheap beers. Or, for an entirely different sort of experience, you could take the lift up to the 26th floor of the W Hotel (locally nicknamed ‘the sail’). Sip stylish cocktails in the Eclipse bar against a stunning backdrop of coastal views. Afterwards, you could take a stroll along the promenade to Port Olympic (Vila Olímpica) if you fancy trying out one of the well-known waterfront nightclubs.

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