The easiest of the Barcelona beaches to get to, Barceloneta Beach is located alongside the neighbourhood of the same name, on the doorstep of the Gothic Quarter and El Born neighbourhoods. This also makes it the city’s busiest beach and is especially popular with tourists owing to its proximity to the city centre. However, it’s ideal if you have just a few hours to spare and want to enjoy the sea breeze before getting back to some sightseeing.
To get there: a five-minute walk from the Barceloneta metro station or two-minute walk from the Pg Joan de Borbó – Pl del Mar bus stop (buses V15 and 39)
Once part of the Barceloneta beach, Somorrostro Beach was renamed by the local council in remembrance of the shanty town that used to stand in its place. Today, the beach is surrounded by glitzy nightclubs, trendy bars and luxury hotels overlooking the Port Olympic. The beach can be busy and relatively noisy in the summer but if you like the idea of being able to go straight from the beach to the bar to the club then Somorrostro offers just that.
To get there: a ten-minute walk from metro Barceloneta (L4) or metro Ciutadella | Villa Olimpica (L4)
This is one of the most popular beaches for locals looking to escape the crowds in the summer. Located on the edges of the city, near the Poblenou neighbourhood, Bogatell Beach has a more laid-back atmosphere and is popular with those in their twenties and thirties as well as solo bathers. In the summer, there are beach bars along the beach offering refreshments, and there are beach volley nets open to the public.
To get there: a 15-minute walk from the Llacuna metro (L4) or five-minute walk from bus stop Pg Calvell – Rambla del Poblenou (buses V27 and H16)
Located south of the city, Castelldefels Beach is just a 15-minute train ride from Barcelona with regular train services from Plaça Catalunya and the Sants Train Station. The beach in Castelldefels is a lot wider than the beaches in Barcelona and has some pleasant vistas of the surrounding hillside and coastline. Popular with Barcelona locals, the beach can get busy in the summertime, but it has a fun atmosphere with plenty of room for ball games and picnics.
To get there: a five-minute walk from Platja de Castelldefels train station or 20-minute walk from Castelldefels train station
Mar Bella Beach
Not a fan of tanning lines? Mar Bella Beach is a nudist beach located not far from the centre and the Poblenou neighbourhood. The beach is also very popular with the LGBT community and there a number of lively gay-friendly beach bars along the waterfront. During the summer, the weekends are particularly fun with late-night parties taking place on Sundays.
To get there: a ten-minute walk from Poblenou metro or five-minute walk from Pg Calvell – Rambla del Poblenou bus stop (buses V27 and H16)
Situated south of Barcelona along the coast, Sitges is a vibrant seaside town with a charming historic town centre and a proud LGBT community. Getting to Sitges by train is easy, and the station is located about ten minutes from the nearest beaches. A popular weekend destination with wealthy Barcelona residents, the town has many restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It also has some great beaches for small children, and there are a number of water-sports centres offering jet skis, paddle-boats and more.
To get there: a ten-minute walk from Sitges train station
If you want peace and quiet, Ocata Beach located north of Barcelona in the town of El Masnou offers some respite from the crowds of the Barcelona beaches in summer. Long, wide beaches are great for big groups as well as those with children, who will appreciate the family-friendly atmosphere. There are beach bars on the waterfront, while in El Masnou you’ll find traditional restaurants and bars at reasonable prices. The train ride there is also a scenic half-hour journey along the coast with views of the city and surrounding countryside.
To get there: a five-minute walk from El Masnou train station