If the end of Summer spells post-holiday blues for some, for many in Barcelona it signals the arrival of the city’s most hotly anticipated sporting events of the year: the Barcelona Triathlon. This gruelling challenge sees athletes compete in swimming, cycling, and running events requiring them to display great skills of endurance. Although the competition is televised, one of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere is to witness the event live – here’s our guide to the best spots for watching the Barcelona triathlon.
Mar Bella Beach
This year the focal point for the race will be around the Mar Bella beach, located between Port Olimpic and the Poblenou district to the north of the city. All three competitions will be taking place or starting from around there and if you’re planning on setting up camp for the day then the Mar Bella beach is probably the best place to be. The podiums and organizer tents will be set up around the area and there will be plenty of people on hand to provide route details and more information. There are also a number of restaurants, bars, and chiringuitos in the area if you’re not in the mood for bringing your own picnic.
The first of the three events, the swimming race, will take place around the Nova Mar Bella, just past the Port Olimpic. While one option is obviously to bring a towel and picnic, if you prefer the comfort of a chair you may want to book a table at Boo Restaurant & Beach Club. Located on the pier, the restaurant will offer a splendid view of what is taking place in the water which you can enjoy from the comfort of one of the luxury outside dining tables. The kitchen offers a selection of gourmet tapas as well as traditional rice dishes and plenty of choice for little ones too. Be sure to book well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Xiringuito Escribà, Barcelona | Image courtesy of Xiringuito Escribà
Despite the name, this is not your average xiringuito – a pop-up beach bar which appears for the summer months – Xiringuito Escribà is one of the most famous seaside restaurants in Barcelona, famed for its rice dishes or Catalan-style fideuà. Located on the walk-way up from the Bogatell Beach, Escribà will be at the heart of the action during the cycling event, which sees athletes race down near the beach-front by Port Olimpic on the final stretch of the race. When lunch is over, stroll down the beach to the finishing line near Mar Bella beach to soak up the atmosphere as the athletes prepare to enter the running competition.
Located near the Mapfre Tower and Arts Hotel — two of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings — the space nearby the Plaça dels Voluntaris Olimpics is a perfect spot from which to watch both the cycling and running events. A back and forth loop around that takes place a few hundred meters from there means that you get the chance to cheer athletes on more than once as they take part in the race. From the square, walk north away from the city center and head to the green space located between the Avenida del Littoral and the Carrer de Salvador Espriu — both of which will be competed on.
This urban jungle is the perfect place to enjoy to enjoy the end of the competition and cheer athletes on as they approach the finishing line. Located just behind the Avenida del Littoral down which the race takes place, the park will be home to a number of supporters on the day and the atmosphere is likely to be one of the liveliest in town. The park is also a refreshing alternative to the nearby beach for those who prefer a little shade and greenery, and there are usually stalls on hand to sell refreshments on the day as well as the regular ambulant drink sellers.