From the bustling and often crowded Barceloneta to the trendy shores of Bogatell and Mar Bella, we explore the top beaches near Barcelona.
Barceloneta Beach: A Gem Hidden in Plain Sight Once a neglected and undesirable area, Barceloneta underwent a transformation after the 1992 Olympics and has since become a top attraction in Barcelona. Whether you’re a beach person or not, a visit to Barceloneta is a must-see spectacle of human diversity.
Nova Icària Beach:
Nova Icària Beach is one of the calmest beaches in the city and is often frequented by families with children and groups of friends. Thanks to its central location near the Olympic Port, many visitors reach it by walking or using public transportation. The beach has extensive sports facilities, including volleyball courts, a play area, and a ping-pong table.
You’ll find plenty to see and do beyond the typical beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, and strolling along the Passeig Maritim. Check out the quirky monument “Homenatge a la Barceloneta” by Rebecca Horn and Frank Gehry’s golden “Pescado/Peix/Fish.” On the sand, you’ll be entertained by a variety of activities, from volleyball and sumo wrestling to bongo playing and massages from hawkers.
Barceloneta attracts a diverse crowd, from families with kids to dreadlocked beach-goers, and the beach itself is full of character and entertainment. Although the water can be chilly and not always clean, surfers and windsurfers brave the waves year-round.
Along the Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, you’ll find people rollerblading, biking, and skateboarding in the sun. During summer, beach bars serve cold drinks and host ad-hoc beach parties in the evenings. Exclusive venues like Carpe Diem Lounge Club, Shoko, and Opium transform into nightclubs after dark.
For food, try a paella restaurant along Passeig de Joan de Borbò / Comte de Barcelona, overlooking the Moll d’Espanya harbour. To reach Barceloneta, take the metro to Barceloneta or Port Olimpic or walk from the Old Town, about 15 minutes away.
Bogatell Beach: For a more laid-back and local vibe, check out Bogatell Beach. Located just north of Barceloneta, this stretch of sand is a popular spot for young professionals and families. It’s not as crowded as its southern counterpart, and the atmosphere is more relaxed. You’ll still find plenty of activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball and paddleball, but the vibe is more low-key.
The beach bar scene is also more subdued, but no less enjoyable. Stop by one of the many beachside bars for a refreshing drink or light snack, or take advantage of the ample space to spread out and enjoy a picnic with friends. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to read, sunbathe, or take a dip in the sea, Bogatell is the perfect choice.
To reach Bogatell, take the metro to Llacuna or Poblenou station and follow the signs to the beach. It’s a bit of a walk from the station, but well worth it for the peaceful vibe and beautiful scenery.
Sant Sebastià Beach is located in the Ciutat Vella district and is the westernmost beach in Barcelona. It is one of the oldest and most traditional beaches in the city, with prominent sports clubs known for their maritime activities. It is also one of the largest beaches, stretching approximately 660 meters in length.
Sant Sebastià is a popular beach among locals, with nearly 70% of its visitors being from Barcelona, particularly from the Ciutat Vella district. However, it also attracts many foreign visitors.
The beach is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for everyone, especially those with mobility limitations. There are designated accessible parking spots with clear signage and accessible pathways to the beach, adapted restrooms and showers, and wooden walkways that lead as close to the water as possible (without touching it to prevent damage from currents). Adapted public transportation is also available to make accessing the beach easy.
Mar Bella Beach: For a more alternative and bohemian experience, check out Mar Bella Beach. This LGBTQ-friendly beach is located in the trendy Poblenou neighborhood and attracts a diverse crowd of young creatives, beach bums, and sun seekers. It’s a bit more remote than the other beaches, but that just adds to its appeal.
At Mar Bella, you’ll find a lively atmosphere and plenty of activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball, yoga classes, and live music events. The beach bar scene is also more eclectic, with funky vibes and unusual drinks on offer. If you’re looking for a unique beach experience, Mar Bella is the place to be.
To reach Mar Bella, take the metro to Selva de Mar or Bogatell station and follow the signs to the beach. The walk from the station is a bit longer, but the scenic route is worth it for the amazing views and hip vibes.
Platja del Somorrostro is a lesser-known beach located in Barcelona, but it is a true gem for those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. This sandy cove is tucked away in the Poblenou district, and it’s known for its clear waters and gorgeous views of the city. The area was once home to the notorious Somorrostro shantytown, where many immigrants lived in poverty during the 20th century. However, today, it’s a bustling urban beach that attracts locals and tourists alike.
There’s a great mix of activities to keep you entertained, from soaking up the sun on the sand, to playing beach volleyball, or trying your hand at paddleboarding. The beach is surrounded by a lively promenade, with plenty of beach bars and restaurants serving up refreshing drinks and delicious local cuisine.
If you’re looking for a quieter, more secluded spot, then head to the eastern end of the beach, where you’ll find a small fishing port and a more peaceful atmosphere. With plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance, Platja del Somorrostro is a great destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. To reach the beach, you can take the metro to Poblenou station, and from there it’s a short walk to the sand.
Other Beaches For even more beach options, consider taking a short trip out of the city by bus or train. Castelldefels, Sitges, and Calella are just a few of the popular beaches within reach. Each offers its own unique vibe and atmosphere, so whether you’re looking for a quiet escape, a lively party scene, or something in between, there’s a beach to suit your needs.