The Most Beautiful Beaches in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona's beaches, including La Barceloneta, are a great place to chill – with plenty of water sports on offer for the more adventurous
Barcelona's beaches, including La Barceloneta, are a great place to chill – with plenty of water sports on offer for the more adventurous | © Marc Soler / Alamy Stock Photo

Barcelona, in Spain, boasts a number of beautiful beach locations to suit everyone, whether you’re simply looking for a place to relax or you want to indulge in water sports like kitesurfing or windsurfing at Barceloneta. Here, we explore the best beaches in the Catalan capital.

Barceloneta Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Beach of Barceloneta in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
© carlos sanchez pereyra / Alamy Stock Photo
Barceloneta Beach is Barcelona’s most bustling and touristy stretch of sand and sea, which inevitably makes it one of the most crowded, but it is compensated by a surplus of entertainment and seafood options. The most popular places to feast on fresh seafood, even for locals, are at chiringuitos, or seaside huts. On the entertainment side of things, you can not only swim, but also try water sports – with windsurfing and kitesurfing 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 Icària Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Spain, Catalonia, Barcelona, Nova Icaria Beach in the morning
© Artur Bogacki / Alamy

With more than 400m (1,300ft) of sandy beaches and sea, Nova Icària is considered the most peaceful beach in Barcelona, so it’s a perfect choice for families or if you’re just looking to relax. Although quiet, the beach still has a range of great restaurants and bars, making it a popular destination for foodies as well as holidaymakers. One of Barcelona’s most diversely equipped beaches, Nova Icaria boasts a game area complete with a ping-pong table as well as volleyball courts, paying homage to its proximity to the Olympic Park.

Ocata Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
El Masnou; playa d´Ocata.
© Album / Alamy Stock Photo
North of Barcelona and just a half-hour by train out of the city, Ocata Beach is a pristine, tranquil stretch of beautiful golden sand. Much quieter than other beaches, Ocata is more of a peaceful getaway and less of an entertainment area. Long and wide, the beach is spacious and attracts fewer tourists than those nearer to the city, making it nice and private – somewhat of a luxury in summertime when you have to compete for towel space elsewhere. Much like any Barcelona beach, it also has its share of chiringuitos selling drinks and fresh seafood.

Bogatell Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Playing volleyball in Bogatell beach, Barcelona, Spain
© Xavier Fores – Joana Roncero / Alamy

Bogatell Beach, created as part of an urban planning scheme to rejuvenate the area, attracts slightly older beachgoers seeking a more relaxed experience, but still provides the opportunity to play ping-pong or volleyball. At 600m (2,000ft) long, it is smaller than the main touristy spots, but it’s clean and safe – and part of the scheme to incorporate beaches into green spaces, gardens and neighbouring districts.

Sant Sebastià

Natural Feature
Map View
Platja de Sant Sebastia, Sitges, Catalonia, Spain
© Peter Forsberg / Alamy

This beach is the closest to the southwestern end of Barcelona and stretches for more than 1km (0.6mi), making it one of the longest beaches in Barcelona. Much like La Barceloneta, there’s a busy and lively vibe here for much of the year, and particularly in summer. You can play volleyball or, if you’re daring, take part in extreme sports. Its popularity also means there are lots of dining options, making it a perfect place to spend the whole day.

Mar Bella Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Mar Bella beach and Barcelona Club Beach, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
© Josep Curto / Alamy Stock Photo
Mar Bella is another of those beaches created as part of the urban development for the Olympic Games. Much more tranquil than La Barceloneta and Sant Sebastià, 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 something new. Twice the size of Nova Icària, it offers plenty of space to sunbathe, do sports or even rollerblade on the beautiful promenade. Head here to rent a sunbed or even a yacht, and relax in this clean, calm spot.
These recommendations were updated on July 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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