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Beaches in Barcelona

The great thing about Barcelona is that this city also has a long sandy beach where you can fully enjoy the sun and beautiful weather. The beach in Barcelona is a popular spot, especially in the summer months. It is also a favorite place for locals to relax, take a walk, or engage in sports. With nearly five kilometers of beach and ten different beach areas, Barcelona’s beach is a versatile place where there’s plenty to do and experience: from quietly reading a book to eating paella at a real fish restaurant or enjoying a pleasant bike ride along the beach promenade.

Barcelona Beach in Short

  • 4.5 km of golden sand beach, considered one of the best in the world by National Geographic.
  • The sea near Barcelona is generally calm and child-friendly.
  • In the high season, there are lifeguards watching over the bathers.
  • All necessary facilities are available: showers, lockers, public toilets, volleyball courts, ping pong tables, playgrounds… and even free wifi!
  • You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, but you can also lie comfortably on a towel.
  • The Passeig Marítim, the long beach promenade that runs parallel to the beach, is a pleasant promenade that shows you all the beaches.
  • The cozy beach bars, chiringuitos, enhance the beach and are perfect for lunch or a refreshing snack.
  • Locals always go to the restaurants at La Barceloneta and Port Olímpic for the best fish dishes.
  • The most remote beaches, far from the center, are often the quietest.
  • All beaches are adapted for people with disabilities and offer various facilities for the disabled.
Beaches in Barcelona
Beaches in Barcelona

The Beaches of Barcelona

Barcelona has 4.5 km of beach, divided into different beach areas and stretching from the old fishing district of La Barceloneta to the north, all the way to Badalona. Below you will find a map showing the different bathing places in Barcelona. Most tourists usually stay near the section adjacent to La Barceloneta; this is within walking distance of the center and easily accessible by metro. But Barcelona has much more to offer in terms of beaches! If you’re curious about which beach suits you best or which beach to visit, read on.

1. Sant Sebastià

The beach of Platja de Sant Sebastià starts at the end of Passeig Joan de Borbó near the famous Hotel W and transitions halfway into Platja de la Barceloneta. This is a somewhat narrow strip of sand that is quite popular with tourists, making it sometimes difficult to find a spot on busy days. It used to be a nudist beach, but that changed with the arrival of Hotel W. The Passeig Marítim or beach promenade starts here.

Metro: Barceloneta (L4)

Platja de Sant Sebastià Barcelona
Platja de Sant Sebastià

2. Sant Miquel

Located between the beaches of Sant Sebastià and La Barceloneta, opposite Plaça del Mar, Platja de Sant Miquel is one of the busiest beach areas in Barcelona and is the first beach you encounter when coming from Barceloneta metro station (L4). This beach is named after the church of Sant Miquel del Port, built in 1755, which you can find at the nearby Plaça de la Barceloneta. Don’t forget to stop by the chiringuito La Deliciosa for a bite by the sea or enjoy a delicious focaccia at Buenas Migas.

Metro: Barceloneta (L4)

3. Barceloneta

Platja de la Barceloneta is the most famous stretch of beach in Barcelona. Due to its location, close to the center and opposite the old fishing district of La Barceloneta, it is always busy here, and many tourists flock to it. One of the icons of La Barceloneta beach, Rebecca Horn’s ‘Homage to Barceloneta’, can be found here. This cubic sculpture represents the houses of La Barceloneta and has become the symbol of Platja de la Barceloneta. The beach is ideal for sports enthusiasts, with three volleyball courts, ping pong tables, a skateboarding area, and a gymnastics area. La Barceloneta has also been made accessible for wheelchair users and disabled persons, offering adapted toilets and showers, wooden walkways to the water, amphibious chairs, and a parking lot for disabled people. In addition, you can dine at one of the many fish restaurants, authentic tapas bars, and chiringuitos.

Metro: Barceloneta (L4)

4. Somorrostro

Before reaching the Olympic Port, Port Olímpic, you’ll find Platja de Somorrostro. The name of this beach comes from a former shanty town that housed about 15,000 residents under precarious living conditions. Now a popular beach spot, it is especially recommended for people with disabilities. Around the beach, for example, there are reserved parking spaces for disabled persons with accessible routes to the beach, wooden walkways leading to the water, adapted signage, adapted showers, and toilets. Additionally, under the arcades of the beach, in front of Hospital del Mar, is the ‘Centre de la Platja’, a municipal office with various information about the beach. In the evenings, this area of the beach becomes a lively spot due to the many clubs located around the sculpture of the Golden Fish by Frank O. Gehry.

Metro: Ciutadella | Villa Olímpica (L4)

5. Nova Icària

Right after the two skyscrapers and the Olympic Port, Port Olímpic, is the small but busy Platja de la Nova Icària. This beach offers plenty of opportunities for sports activities with two volleyball fields, ping pong tables, and a children’s playground. It attracts many day visitors, families, and groups of young people. Platja de la Nova Icària also has a part of the beach adapted for people with disabilities or limited mobility who need support when bathing. The entrance and exit to the water have been made easier with wooden walkways that come as close to the water as possible and an amphibious chair. Volunteers are always available to help, and there are adapted toilets, showers, and a parking area for disabled persons. All these facilities make it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy a day at the beach.

Metro: Ciutat Vella | Vila Olímpica (L4)

6. Bogatell

Located just outside the tourist area near Poblenou, Platja de Bogatell is praised by many as one of the best beach areas in Barcelona. Prepared for visitors in the 1990s when Barcelona wanted to expand its beaches, Bogatell attracts relatively few tourists but many locals. It usually offers ample space for groups of friends to relax. Bogatell is also equipped with ping pong tables and volleyball courts. The famous Xiringuito Escribà, known for its renowned paella, can be found here. Opposite the beach, the Parc del Poblenou, a pleasant green area, provides a shady spot to sit.

Metro: Llacuna (L4)

7. Mar Bella

Rediscovered and revamped for the 1992 Olympic Games, Platja de la Mar Bella is mainly known as a naturist and gay beach. However, many locals and neighborhood residents visit, and only a part of this beach is reserved for nudists. At the western end of Mar Bella, there is a sailing school that organizes water activities. Mar Bella beach also offers basketball, ping pong, and volleyball. If you get hungry, you can visit one of the chiringuitos or the trendy Boo Restaurant & Beach Club. Opposite the beach is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful skate parks, Skate Park Mar Bella.

Metro: Poblenou (L4)

8. Nova Mar Bella

Platja de la Nova Mar Bella, also created for the 1992 Olympic Games, is known for its tranquility and attracts many neighborhood residents and people from outside the city (you can park very close by for free on Avinguda del Litoral). It includes a volleyball court and a few chiringuitos.

Metro: Poblenou (L4) of Selva de Mar (L4)

9. Llevant

Platja de Llevant is the newest and youngest beach along the coast of Barcelona, opened in the summer of 2006. The area around Llevant is also quite new, featuring many tall buildings with luxury apartments. The Diagonal Mar shopping center and Parc del Fòrum are also nearby. This beach is arguably the quietest of all Barcelona’s beaches, making it ideal for avoiding beach vendors and for those who enjoy silence and privacy. A portion of this beach has been designated as a dog beach by the municipality, meaning dogs are allowed here from June to September. This beach is also easily accessible by car, thanks to the large adjacent vacant lot used for parking.

Metro: Selva de Mar (L4)

10. Banys del Fòrum

Banys del Fòrum is an ideal place for swimming or sunbathing outside the busy beaches of Barcelona. Located on the border between Barcelona and Sant Adrià de Besòs, next to the photovoltaic plate of El Fòrum, this unique beach area is better described as a natural swimming pool. Here, instead of sand, you’ll find a tiled terrace for relaxation. Access to the water is direct from the paved surfaces via stairs. It resembles a swimming pool, but the water is indeed seawater. For those who prefer swimming pools, this swimming area in Barcelona is highly recommended. Young people often come here to jump into the water. It’s also popular among cyclists who follow the bike path from Barcelona to Sant Adrià del Besòs. Be aware that there is a colony of sea urchins in the area, so it’s advised to bathe with appropriate footwear.

Metro: El Maresme | Forum (L4)

What to See and Do at the Beach in Barcelona

A day at the beach is a must-do during your city trip to Barcelona. If you’re there in the summer, you can lounge on the beach, take a dip in the sea, practice your favorite water sports (such as windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, or sailing), or enjoy an evening stroll along the boulevard and join one of the many parties at the chiringuitos. During the rest of the year, Barcelona’s beach is much quieter. You can visit to enjoy the beautiful weather, take a bike ride or walk along the beach promenade, experience the authenticity of the fishing district La Barceloneta, and savor delicious fish dishes at one of the many seafood restaurants.

If you’re visiting the beach with children: let them play on the sand, but keep an eye on them when they go into the water. Remember to apply sunscreen, and bring an umbrella and some toys. Outside the beach season, you can rent a bike or have a picnic on the beach. Seek shade if necessary at one of the many beach bars and nearby parks. To end a fun day, grab a tasty ice cream and go sit by the sea.

Going to the beach in Barcelona
Going to the beach in Barcelona

Passeig Marítim

The beach promenade in Barcelona is called Passeig Marítim and connects all the beaches. It’s a beautiful, car-free road where locals and tourists enjoy walking, running, biking, and savoring the sea breeze and views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Passeig Marítim is a lively place, both during the day and in the evening. There are many terraces and cafes along the promenade where you can have a delicious lunch or a sandwich in the afternoon. In the evening, you can enjoy the finest fish dishes at one of the many restaurants. There are also several large clubs along the beach promenade.

The northernmost part of Passeig Marítim, like its beaches, is quieter than the boulevard at La Barceloneta and Vila Olímpica.

Fishermen’s District La Barceloneta

The traditional fishing district of Barcelona, La Barceloneta, is one of the must-sees on Barcelona’s beach. Here, you can walk through a district planned in 1753, with straight streets and islands of houses painted in warm colors. The authentic tapas bars in the district, the hyper-modern market, or the relatively unknown Parc de la Barceloneta are some of the highlights of this area.

Fishermen's District La Barceloneta
Fishermen’s District La Barceloneta

Vila Olímpica

At the forefront of the Olympic Port, Port Olímpic, stands Vila Olímpica, a small shopping center with shops, a casino, many restaurants, and clubs for enjoyable evenings out. The two skyscrapers housing the insurance company Mapfre and the Hotel Arts are the two icons of Vila Olímpica, along with the shimmering Golden Fish sculpture by Frank O. Gehry. At Moll de Mestral, there are many bars and terraces, especially popular among locals in the summer, though most have now been transformed into shisha bars. At Moll de Gregal, you’ll find a pleasant promenade with views of the Olympic Port and Nova Icària Beach, filled with excellent seafood restaurants. The most famous here are the restaurants El Cangrejo Loco and La Barca del Salamanca.

Poblenou, Among the Locals

El Poble Nou or Poblenou, a neighborhood with a strong industrial past, gained several beautiful beaches in the 1990s and has since undergone a true transformation. Various young startups and creative minds have now settled here, breathing new life into the district with trendy restaurants, art galleries, and eco-shops. If you want to be among the locals, this is the place to be! Stroll along the Rambla del Poblenou to discover the neighborhood and bathe at the beaches of Bogatell or Nova Mar Bella.

El Poblenou - Sant Martí Barcelona
El Poblenou

W Hotel, a New Icon

One of the newest icons that beautifully represents Barcelona’s beach is the W Hotel, located at the beginning of Platja de Sant Sebastià. This luxurious hotel, shaped like a sail, is designed by Ricardo Bofill. You don’t need to stay overnight to enjoy the splendor of this hotel: instead, hang out at its beautiful beach bar Salt, grab a bite at the Wet Bar and restaurant Bravo24, or dance in the evening at Bar Eclipse.

W Hotel Barcelona
W Hotel Barcelona

Celebrating on the Beach

The beach often serves as the backdrop for New Year’s Eve and the night of Sant Joan celebrations. But other events also take place here throughout the year. For example, there’s always a free movie night at Platja de Sant Sebastià in the summer. There are also often parties at the beach bars during the summer.

Beach bar in Barcelona
Beach bar in Barcelona

Beaches Near Barcelona

The city beaches of Barcelona are perfect for a quick dip or a brief beach visit. Yet, most Barcelonians prefer to head elsewhere for a relaxing day at the beach. Using either a car or the regional Rodalies Renfe train, locals visit other beaches towards the north (Costa Brava) or south (Costa Dorada).

Some popular beaches on the Rodalies train route to the north include Vilassar de Mar, Arenys de Mar, Canet de Mar, and Malgrat de Mar. Heading south, you’ll find Castelldefels Platja, the popular fishing town of Sitges, and Vilanova i la Geltrú.

By car, the popular resorts of the Costa Brava are easily accessible: Blanes, Tossa de Mar, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Platja d’Aro, Palamós, and Calella de Palafrugell.

Beaches Near Barcelona: Sitges
Beaches Near Barcelona: Sitges

History of the Beach in Barcelona

Barcelona has always been a port city, best observed in the old fishing district of La Barceloneta and Moll de Pescadors. However, the beach of Barcelona as we know it today is a relatively recent development.

It was before the 1992 Olympic Games that the city transformed its maritime front to its current state. Sand from Egypt was brought to Barcelona, modern harbor areas replaced slums and old warehouses, and new recreational areas like Moll d’Espanya, Moll de la Fusta, and Vila Olímpica were established.

Now, Barcelona’s beach has become a tourist attraction and a summer recreation area for both tourists and locals.

Getting to the Beach in Barcelona

To get to the beach, the best option is to take the yellow L4 metro line, which runs parallel to the beach. The nearest metro stations are Barceloneta (L4) and Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica (L4). From these stations, it’s just a 5-10 minute walk to the beach.

From the city center, you can also walk to the harbor and beach. Take the Ramblas or Via Laietana towards the sea, and in just about half an hour, you’ll be at the beach.

There are also plenty of buses, and of course, the hop-on-hop-off bus, which have stops here.

Useful information

Price: Free.

Opening Hours: Not applicable.

Address: La Barceloneta 08003 Barcelona

Public Transportation:

Metro: Barceloneta (L4), Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica (L4)

Bus: 47, 59, 136, D20, N0, N6, N8, N28, V21

Train: Estació de França (R2S, Euromed, Regional Express, Talgo)