Your full guide to Barcelona’s beaches

    Barcelona is one of the most diverse holiday destinations you can choose – mountains on one side, sea on the other, and everything else imaginable in-between. This diversity is a big part of what brings millions of tourists here every year. During the warmer months the chance to cool off in the Mediterranean Sea is a welcome way to take a break from a hard day’s summer sightseeing.

    So you’ve bought the sun cream, packed your swimsuit and dusted down the sunglasses. You’re all set to go…till you discover that the city actually has seven beaches along its 4.5km coastline. Which one to head to? Whether you’re after a quiet area to relax or a lively spot to bask in, read on to find out how to find the beach that suits you best.

    Some general pointers

    Cleanliness: Inevitably, there are more pristine beaches along the quieter parts of the Catalonian coastline. However, the beaches in Barcelona have a good level of cleanliness, and local authorities make a huge effort to maintain this. Almost all have the EU Blue Flag, which is awarded to beaches with high environmental standards and water quality.

    Safety: Barcelona’s city beaches have calm waters and happily there are no dangerous currents close to the shore. But as with any time you’re swimming in the sea, you need to take precautions. Look out for the coloured flags on the beaches which indicate the swimming conditions:

    • Green flag – you can swim without danger
    • Yellow flag – caution should be taken when swimming
    • Red flag (rare in Barcelona) – refrain from swimming

    Facilities: All of Barcelona’s beaches have the essential facilities, and most of them have more. However their availability will depend on the time of the year. Some facilities are only available during high season, which usually runs from the middle of April until September.

    If you’re planning to soak up the sun during your stay in Barcelona, then what could be better than staying in one of our beach side apartments?

    Other beach activities

    Sant Sebastià – our choice for LOCATION

    Sant Sebastià If you want a beach close to the action of the city, this is a perfect spot. Sant Sebastià is the most southern beach you will find along the 4.5km stretch of sand, and one of the closest to the centre of the city. Given its handy location, it’s a popular destination for beach goers, particularly tourists, and often gets very crowded when the weather gets warm. Many locals also pitch up here as it’s a traditional part of the city that houses the old swimming and water sport clubs.

    From this beach you have a great view all the way up the coastline and across to the mountains. Some of the city’s biggest attractions are located close by, such as the aquarium and Maremagnum shopping centre, giving you the perfect opportunity to get out the sun for a few hours if it gets too hot. There are also plenty of restaurants if you get peckish.

    How to get there

    Bus: 14, 17, 19, 36, 39, 40, 45, D20, 59, 64, 120
    Metro: metro – Barceloneta station

    Barceloneta – our choice for a LIVELY ATMOSPHERE

    Barceloneta This is probably the most well-known and popular beach in Barcelona. It’s easy to get to from the city centre and is one of the oldest beaches in the city. Just like Sant Sebastià, it’s a great place to go if you want to have many of the city´s attractions close by. There are also loads of activities available right on the beach, so you’re guaranteed not to get bored.

    For any water sports enthusiasts, you’ll find a few shops close by where you can rent out surfing equipment or hire a bike.

    Barcelona beach is also well known for its chiringuitos – beach bars – which line its sands. Follow the coast along and you’ll reach the famous nightclubs of Opium Mar, Catwalk, Shoko and Sotovento, together with the famous Ice Bar. This place attracts a lot of tourists, especially a younger crowd, giving it a particularly cool (sorry) vibe. If you want to find somewhere with a lively atmosphere day or night, we recommend it.

    How to get there

    Bus: 14, 17, 19, 36, 39, 40, 45, 59, D20, 120
    Metro: metro – Barceloneta or Ciutadella
    Tram: tram Ciutadella – Vila Olímpica
    Cycle track

    Nova Icària – our choice for FOODIES

    Nova Icària On the other side of Port Olympic lies the beach of Nova Icària. It’s a popular place for families, giving it a very different atmosphere than the neighbouring Barceloneta beach. It does still get busy during the warmer months, but the calmer atmosphere makes it better suited to those of you who want to relax.

    And if you feel the call of a rumbling stomach, this is the beach for you. Port Olympic has a wide range of restaurants to choose from, all set against the pretty backdrop of the yachting marina. If you’re feeling energetic, there are also several places here that offer water sports activities.

    How to get there

    Bus: 14, V21, 36, 38, 41, 45, 59, 71, 92
    Metro: metro – Ciutadella y Bogatell
    Tram: tram – Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica
    Cycle track

    Bogatell – our TOP PICK

    Bogatell This pretty beach is more tranquil than the ones closer to the city, although it does take a bit more effort to get to. On the upside, Port Olympic is within easy reach and there are some particularly good restaurants on the raised promenade which runs behind the beach. All in all, it’s a happy medium between the livelier and quieter beaches of the city.

    Bogatell has some very good facilities here that will keep you entertained throughout the day and even some gym apparatus if you fancy a bit of exercise while you are there. Alternatively, if all you want is to relax and enjoy the views, you can sit on sand which is some of the softest of Barcelona’s beaches.

    How to get there

    Bus: 6, 14, 26, 36, 41, 92, 141
    Metro: metro– Poble Nou and Llacuna
    Cycle track

    Mar Bella – our choice for BEAUTY

    Mar Bella The name of this beach (‘beautiful sea’) describes it perfectly. Green gardens with benches dotted around it are the backdrop of a beach which has some of the best sand you will find in Barcelona. In July and August a beach library opens, making it an ideal place to unwind.

    For those of you who can’t sit still, Mar Bella is the starting point of a 1.5km running path which goes all the way to the end of Nova Icària beach. Staying in the vicinity, there are other recreational facilities to keep you active and, for the real adrenaline junkies, the Base Nautica Municipal de la Mar Bella is located here. This offers water sport lessons such as windsurfing, kayaking and sailing.

    Probably the most unique feature about this beach is that it has the only designated nudist area in the city. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

    How to get there

    Bus: 7, 26, 36, 41, 71, 141
    Metro: metro – Selva de Mar
    Tram: tram – Selva de Mar
    Cycle track

    Nova Mar Bella – our choice for TRANQUILITY

    Nova Mar Bella This beach is a lot quieter than the ones further down the coastline nearer the centre of the city. Its peacefulness is probably the main attraction of this beach. Although it doesn’t have quite as many facilities on hand, it does have all the essential amenities such as public toilets and places to get refreshments. There’s also a beach club at the end of the beach where you can sip on cocktails, dine with spectacular panoramic views of the sea and party late into the night.

    Behind the beach high-rise buildings start to appear, so it’s not the most picturesque spot in Barcelona. That said, if you’re looking for a quiet, no-frills stretch of sand near the water, this is ideal.

    How to get there

    Bus: 7, 26, 36, 41, 141
    Metro: metro – Selva de Mar and El Maresme
    Tram: tram – Selva de Mar and El Maresme
    Cycle track

    Llevant – our choice for getting OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

    Llevant The last of Barcelona’s beaches, this one is the furthest away from the centre. It’s not the prettiest beach you will find in the city, but it is one of the most peaceful. For those of you who are searching for some peace and relaxation away from the crowds, this would be a good choice.

    Although there are not a lot of activities on offer, Llevant has all the essential facilities and is also right by the Fòrum, where many large-scale events such as concerts are held. In addition, the large shopping centre of Diagonal Mar is located very close by – perfect if you need to escape the heat of the sun for a few hours.

    How to get there

    Bus: 26, 41, 99
    Metro: metro – Selva de Mar
    Tram: tram – Selva de Mar and El Maresme
    Cycle track

    2 COMMENTS

    1. I really like the Barcelona beaches which look really peaceful..it seems these are very quite and people enjoy these a lot.

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