Located on the coast of the popular neighborhood which shares its name, La Barceloneta beach is Barcelona’s most bustling and touristy stretch of sand and sea. This inevitably makes it one of the most crowded beaches in Barcelona, but it compensates for this with its surplus of entertainment and seafood eateries. A popular place to feast on some fresh seafood, even for locals, are a range of different chiringuitos, or seaside huts. On the entertainment side of things, visitors to the beach can not only swim, but get stuck into a variety of extreme water sports – windsurfing and kite-surfing being the most popular options. Lively and easily accessible, this beach is perfect if you still want to be close to the city’s main attractions.
Nova Icaria Beach
With 400km of sandy beaches and sea, Nova Icaria beach is considered the most peaceful in Barcelona, and thus a perfect choice for families or those looking to relax. Although quiet, this beach still has fantastic access to a range of great restaurants and bars, making it a popular destination for the foodies as well as holidaymakers. One of Barcelona’s most diversely equipped beaches, Nova Icaria boasts a game area complete with ping-pong table, as well as volleyball courts, paying homage to its proximity to the Olympic Park.
North of Barcelona and just a half hour train ride out of the city, Ocata beach is pristine, flat, and tranquil, complete with beautiful golden white sand. Much less busy than the other beaches, this is more of a peaceful getaway and less of an entertainment area. Long, and wide, this beach is spacious, and attracts less tourists than the beaches next to the city center, making it the perfect place for a bit more privacy – somewhat of a luxury in summertime when visitors usually have to compete for a towel space on some of the more popular beaches. Much like any Barcelona beach, Ocata has its share of chringuitos featuring refreshing drinks and fresh seafood.
Bogatell beach is one of the most appreciated in Barcelona, probably thanks to its safety. Attracting slightly older visitors, it offers a more relaxing experience, but still with the chance to play ping pong or volleyball. At 600m long, it is much smaller than the main touristy beaches, but still beautiful in itself. This beach is one of a number which were created as part of the urban planning scheme with the aim of rejuvenating the area. It has certainly lived up to its aim – incorporating beaches into green spaces, gardens, and also neighboring districts, and culminating in a clean, safe and fresh beach for locals and tourists.
Praised for its peacefulness, Mar Bella is another of the beaches created during the restoration of the seafront as part of the urban development for the Olympic games. Much more tranquil than La Barceloneta and Sant Sebastia, and lacking slightly in bars and restaurants, Mar Bella is still bursting with opportunities for water sports, offering the chance to windsurf, kayak and even try out some new sports. Twice the size of Nova Icaria, there’s plenty of space to sunbathe, do sports, or even roller blade on the beautiful promenade. Head to Mar Bella to rent a sunbed or even a yacht, and relax in the clean and calm beach side location.
This beach is the closest to the eastern end of Barcelona and stretches for over a kilometer, making it one of the longest beaches in Barcelona. Attracting not only tourists, but also many regulars from Barcelona itself, Sant Sebastia beach, much like La Barceloneta, boasts a busy and lively atmosphere throughout much of the year, and in particular during the summer. With fantastic sporting facilities, visitors can play volleyball, or, if they’re daring, take part in extreme sports. Its popularity also means there are a wide range of dining facilities, making it a perfect place to spend the whole day.