You know what they say. If you can’t make it, fake it… and when it comes to beaches very few places have “faked it” as well as Barcelona. Man-made they may be, but Barcelona’s beaches offer a welcome retreat from a city full of hustle and bustle. From beach bars to beach volleyball, children’s play areas to locals favourite chiringuitos, there is something for everyone along Barcelona’s coastline and the best news is that all of the below beaches have lifeguards, shower and toilet facilities and at least a handful of ice cream shops nearby.
Sant Sebastia and Sant Miquel
– yo DADA
Starting south, close to the Ciutat Vella (old city) is the relatively quiet and expansive beaches of Sant Sebastia and Sant Miquel. Here’s where you’ll find locals running along the promenade and a small naturist area. Ideal for playing games on the sand or getting away from it all – you can easily hop off the Montjuic Cable Car and stroll away from the city for a few minutes to reach it – there is also a massive municipal swimming pool and sports club here should you want to avoid saltwater but still enjoy a swim.
The most obvious and most accessible beach, Barceloneta offers the easiest and quickest opportunity to soak up some sun and stroll along the sand. It’s also, therefore, most likely to be the busiest. However, this does mean great people-watching opportunities and an abundance of seafront bars and restaurants to choose from. That said, it’s widely considered to not have the cleanest stretch of sea so save your swimming for another of Barcelona’s beaches.
Enjoy being in the thick of it all in your own Barceloneta Beach Apartment.
Nestled between Barceloneta and Port Olimpico marina, Somorrosto sees the crowds disperse a little but this doesn’t dilute the atmosphere on offer. Bars and restaurants line the seafront road and sunbathers can enjoy a view of the luxury yachts tucked away inside the marina. . It’s hard to believe that this stretch of coastline was once home to a shantytown built by gypsy settlers, but that’s what Somorrosto takes its name from.
An easy walk from the city, the stroll will take you past some of the iconic modern art and architecture that characterises Barcelona. It may also be worth noting that Somorrosto is where you’ll find an information point for further help about the beaches and maritime activities on offer in Barcelona.
It pays to walk a little further away from the city as Nova Icaria quickly demonstrates. Not only will the beach appear quieter, but the quality of nearby seafood restaurants goes up while their prices go down. A couple of volleyball courts can be found close to the Port Olimpico and there is also disabled access and additional assistance for less mobile beach goers. Arguably Barcelona’s most family-friendly beach, here is where you’ll find families pitching up for the day, so why not do the same?
Enjoy city living and beach access.
One of the newer beaches in Barcelona – it was one of the handful created for the 1992 Olympic Games – Bogatell is surrounded more by suburbs than Barcelona’s city sprawl. This therefore means that the beach is quieter and calmer and close to lots of other amenities like a children’s’ playground, some public table tennis tables and local gardens and parks. Bogatell is accessible by bus from Barcelona centre and it is commonly considered to be the safest beach in Barcelona.
La Mar Bella
The beautiful sea, is how La Mar Bella translates and finally, yes, it’s true. This and neighbouring La Nova Mar Bella are regarded as the best beaches to swim in with warm, clean waters. La Mar Bella is a favourite spot for young professionals who head up here on their bikes to relax and enjoy a swim or a few seafront drinks away from the tourists. But we’re sure they won’t mind if you gatecrash their favourite beach, just don’t tell everyone else. There is a popular nudist area in the most southern corner of the beach.
La Nova Mar Bella
Like La Mar Bella, this is a great beach to swim in and is likely to be hosting even fewer people than its neighbour. Great for both families and young couples, this is a great spot to be based if you want your Barcelona city break to be as much about the beach as culture and Gaudi. If you have the cash to flash you could spend the day (or night) at Boo Beach Club which offers a little luxury, sun loungers you won’t want to leave and long-reaching views of the other beaches stretching out to the south.
Watch over the city and the sea in this luxury apartment.
Tourists rarely enjoy the most northern beach along Barcelona’s main seafront, Llevant, as they just don’t bother to go that far, despite regular buses and an easy cycling route. In actual fact, they may not even know about the beach as it was only opened in 2007. Take full advantage of this by escaping to Llevant’s rarely crowded golden sand and blue waters for the afternoon. Overlooked by Barcelona’s more recent – though equally impressive – architectural offerings in the Diagonal Mar area, Llevant is also home to locals’ favourite “chiringuito” (beach bar) Nueva Ola.
With HouseTrip apartments lining the full length of all of Barcelona’s Beaches, you can pick your favourite and start planning which days will be for the city and which will be spent lying on the beach. Decisions, decisions.
Featured image by Paco CT.