Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for seekers of sun, sea and sand along with many of Barcelona’s famous attractions. The gorgeous blue skies and pleasant climate make it a perfect beach holiday destination. However, with so much choice on offer it can be a real challenge to decide on which beach to lay your towel.
After an exhausting visit to the many historic sites and attractions in the city, you might want to enjoy your sun and beach time in the city itself. Or, even venture outwards on a day trip to any of the many seaside gems along the Catalan coast. Either way, here is a definitive guide to those beaches – both in Barcelona and within easy travel distance – so you can capitalize on getting that quality beach time with a vibe that suits you.
With over 4.5 kilometres of coastline around Barcelona, you’ll have your pick of these amazing beaches to enjoy and an easy drive or ride to the beach areas along the waterfront areas of the city. Here’s some of our favorite places to hang out around Barcelona’s best beaches below.
When hitting the beach inside Barcelona city you have two real choices: the northern or southern side of Port Olympia. The most popular beach on the southern side is Barceloneta because it’s the easiest to reach – just follow the flow of tourists from Barceloneta metro. Barceloneta is but one part of several beaches which connect to form one long sandy stretch from San Sebastian to Somorrostro.
This entire row of beaches comes with that authentic Barcelona feel, as rollerbladers cruise past street performers along the coastal sidewalk. You can grab a cocktail – or three – from a “chiringuito” (beach bar) or enjoy the view of the Mediterranean over a meal in one of the beaches´ many restaurants. Sant Sebastia is the furthest beach and sits under the iconic visage of the W hotel. It is here you should turn around for an amazing view looking back towards the city.
It’s worth noting that, by being the most central, these beaches get packed quickly and a rocky shore punctuated by a steep drop in depth takes the expression ´taking a dip´ way too literally and doesn’t make it an ideal swimming location.
Amenities on site
You’ll find plenty of amenities in the beach area to include: Bathrooms, accessible showers, lifeguard, volleyball court, playground, lockers, beverage vendors, restaurants, information point, Barcelona WiFi, bicycle rental, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
How to get there by public transport: take bus V17, V19, 47, 59, D20; By Metro L4 (Barceloneta & Ciutadella)
Amenities available at Sant Sebastia: Bathrooms, accessible showers, police station, lifeguard, beverage & ice cream vendors, information point, Barcelona WiFi, and lounge chair and beach umbrella rental.
How to get there by public transport: take bus V15 & V19; By Metro L4 (Barceloneta)
The beaches on the other side of the Port Olympia still offer that city beach vibe without the sometimes overwhelming tourist crowds. They´re also all wonderful locations to swim with a gentle declining slope into the ocean. Any of the beaches are easily reachable by a pleasant stroll along the sidewalk past the port and upwards, or via the line 4 yellow metro line to either Bogatell, Llacuna, Poblenou or Selva de Mar and a shorter walk. Nova Icaria and Bogatell are the first beaches along the coast and are known for their volleyball courts and flanking parks. Further along the coast is Mar Bella beach – an LGBT+ hotspot.
Here you´ll find one of Barcelona´s most lively chiringuitos ´Be Gay´ fronted by beds to recline on whilst you enjoy a mojito to pumping dance music or reggaeton. If you feel like letting it all hang out, then this is where you´ll also find Barcelona’s official nudist beach. Further along still, the coastline ends with La Nova Mar Bella and Llevant beaches that have less busy beach bars and more space both on the sand and in the sea – should you fancy a leisurely swim away from the crowds.
How to get there by public transport: Take bus H16, V29, V31; By Metro L4 (Selva de Mar & El Maresme|Fòrum)
Amenities at Llevant Beach
Parking, accessible bathrooms and showers, police station, lifeguard, information point, Barcelona WiFi, volleyball court, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
Amenities on site: Accessible bathrooms and showers, lifeguard, police station, information point, Barcelona WiFi, volleyball court, workout area, basketball court, playground, lockers, beverage vendors, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
Get there by public transport: Take bus V25, V27, V31, H16, 59; By Metro L4 (Poblenou & Llacuna)
Amenities on site: Off street parking, accessible bathrooms and showers, support for the disabled, water fountains, lifeguard, police station, information point, volleyball courts, lockers, Barcelona WiFi, beverage vendors, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
Get there by pubic transport: Take bus V21, V23, V27, H16, 59, 136; By Metro L4 (Ciutadella & Bogatell)
Amenities on site: Accessible bathrooms and showers, lifeguard, police station, information point, volleyball court, ice cream and beverage vendors, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
Get there by public transport: Take bus V27, V29, V31 & H16; By Metro L4 (Selva de Mar & El Maresme|Fòrum)
A popular nudist beach and gay beach area of Barcelona
Amenities on site: Parking, accessible bathrooms and showers, lifeguard, police station, information point, Barcelona WiFi, volleyball court, basketball court, playground, workout area, lockers, beverage vendors, and beach umbrella and lounge chair rental.
How to get there by public transport: Take bus H16, V25, V27, V31; By Metro L4 (Selva de Mar)
When the city gets too much the locals take a short train journey south out of the city to Castelldefels and so should you. The beach here rests in front of the affluent town of Castelldefels and the castle which gives it its namesake. The area is so beautiful that even the wealthy Spanish footballers Lionel Messi and Luis Suraz have chosen to call it home.
This clean beach isn’t too busy with soft golden sand and shallow warm waters to paddle in. Children’s playgrounds are abundant making it ideal for families and Castelldefels has some of the finest restaurants with more affordable prices than those found within the city.
Outside of the city, you can get there from the city in just about an hour and 10 minutes on the train or by bus to the main station. Check the best routes here to get to Castelldefels
Check out the top rated accommodations here for a fun beach day and stay at the Castelldefels area.
There are stunning beaches the entire length of the coast around Barcelona but none have as much personality as the ones surrounding Sitges. This charismatic seaside town is easily accessible by a 40-minute train journey and makes for an excellent day trip. Arriving by train you can enjoy the walk down to the beach through the old town and its winding streets lined with tapas bars, shops and restaurants.
When you reach the coast you´ll find a diverse selection of beaches all within walking distance of each other. The longest beaches being Playa de La Riera and Fragata offering calm waters, plenty of space and any sports facilities you could want. Whereas, on the other side of the picturesque church you can find two more beaches in the family beach San Sebastian and the more secluded Balmins beach, which sports two lively beach bars and an optional nudity section.
Outside of the city, you can get there from the city in just about 40 minutes on the train or by bus to the main station. Check the best routes here to get to Sitges
Check out the top rated accommodations here for a fun beach day and stay at the Sitges area.
If you are really seeking paradise and tranquility, then the north coast past Barcelona also has a lot to offer. The popular opinion of locals and tourists alike is that the best of the best beaches of the region is Sant Pol De Mar. The fisherman´s town is just over an hour on the train from Barcelona but well-worth the effort to visit.
The main reason for the town´s popularity is as clear as the turquoise waters of the breath-takingly beautiful beaches you’ll find there. Whilst the main beach has fine white sand and is calm enough, a smaller beach just to the north of the town has the interesting feature of not being made of sand but fine pebbles grains instead – which is great if you don’t like sand sticking to your bits after exiting the ocean. Sant Pol De Mar is a welcome respite from the city and you’ll soon find yourself completely refreshed and ready to dive back into the action-packed nightlife of Barcelona after your visit.
Outside of the city, you can get there from the city in just about an hour on the train or by bus. Check the best routes here to get to Sant Pol De Mar
Check out the top rated accommodations here for a fun beach day and stay at the Sant Pol De Mar area.
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Montjuic parks and gardens
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