If you’re looking for the best beaches in Barcelona we’ve got you covered!
Beautiful Barcelona is home to some great beaches where sun worshipers can top up their tan, play volleyball and cool off in the sea on a hot summer day. Unlike most other European city break destinations Barcelona has a selection of beaches literally on its doorstep.
In our opinion, the fact that there are beaches in the city gives Barcelona a totally different vibe than somewhere like Madrid, for example.
It’s hard to put a finger on it, but in general, the atmosphere feels much more laid back and we think that’s down to knowing you’re only ever a short distance away from a beach.
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Five of the Best Beaches in Barcelona
Beaches just seem to wash away stress. The beaches in Barcelona have that effect. You’ll find everyone hanging out with friends and enjoying the wonderful life this city provides.
When it comes to the best beaches in Barcelona there are five main contenders:
- Nova Icaria
- Mar Bella
Each beach is great for different reasons so keep reading for our explanation as to why exactly each made the cut.
So, without further ado, let us get you guys on the best beaches in Barcelona!
We might as well start with what most tourists who visit the city might consider to be one of the best beaches in Barcelona.
Often referred to simply as ‘Barcelona beach’, it’s the one most people come across first since it is found in the popular neighborhood of, you guessed it, Barceloneta.
There are a number of volleyball nets set up for people to use freely, which is a really nice feature of this beach. Just be prepared to either wait your turn or join in on a game with other people since it’s one of the more popular beaches in Barcelona.
It’s easily walkable from anywhere in the city center and is well connected with its own metro station. You’ll need to catch the yellow line (L4) and get off at Barceloneta if you are traveling by metro. From the station, it takes about 5-10 minutes to walk to the beach.
Platja de la Nova Icaria is about a 15-minute walk north of Barceloneta Beach and, for us, is one of the best beaches in Barcelona.
Nova Icaria Beach is a favorite among locals. You’ll be able to get away from the crowds of tourists at Barceloneta beach and you never know who you will bump into there. One time, we were sitting with friends and none other than Ronaldinho (a Barcelona footballing legend) showed up to play a Brazilian version of volleyball where you use your feet instead of your hands to hit the ball.
Needless to say, it attracted quite a crowd.
To get to Nova Icaria you can walk from the center or take a metro to the Ciutadella – Vila Olímpica station (L4 yellow line).
The Mar Bella beach is just two beaches down from Nova Icaria but is very different for two main reasons.
The first thing that sets this beach apart from the rest is something that is in very short supply in Barcelona, free parking. There is a huge area between the main road and the beach where you can park your car for free all day, every day. A quick side note, it’s also the best place to park if you drive into the city and don’t want to pay for parking. Simply park next to Mar Bella Beach and hop on the metro to get back into the center.
The second thing is the fact that Mar Bella Beach is a clothing-optional beach. That doesn’t mean however that it’s mandatory to strip off. The beach is actually very family friendly with children’s play areas and great chiringuitos. While the majority of people will be covered up, don’t be surprised if you see a few people strutting their stuff in their birthday suits.
To get to Mar Bella Beach you can take advantage of the free parking by driving if you have a car. Alternatively, take the metro (L4 yellow line) to the Poblenou metro station and from there, it’s about 10 minutes walking distance away.
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At one point Somorrostro and Barceloneta beaches were considered to be just one beach. That changed when the northern end of the beach was renamed to Somorrostro after an old shanty town that used to be in the area. Spain’s most famous flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya, was born there which brought about the name change in her honor.
While the beach itself is beautiful, like most of the beaches in Barcelona, it made this list for another reason.
People who want to do more than just lay around have the chance to hit an open-air gym at the southern end of Somorrostro. It’s totally free and there is a huge range of equipment to use.
As with most of the beaches near Barcelona center, it’s pretty easy to get to. You can either walk or take the metro (L4 yellow line) to the Barceloneta or Ciutadella – Vila Olímpica stations, they’re both more or less equidistant from the beach.
The last beach on this list is a bit of a bonus one as it’s not in the city itself. In comparison to the beaches near Barcelona centre that we’ve talked about, it’s absolutely huge. It’s also one of the most beautiful beaches near Barcelona.
The beach stretches along the coast for more than 5kms and is roughly 100 meters wide. The town is small with most buildings being only a few stories high which gives it a distinct ‘small town’ feel.
A complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona.
Castelldefels is about 20 km from Barcelona but is really easy to reach. There are a few different options but the easiest way is to take the R2 train from Sants Estació direct to Platja de Castelldefels. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
If you do take the train you need to get off at the Platja de Castelldefels stop, not the Castelldefels stop. If you get off at the wrong stop you’ll then have to take a bus to get to the beach.
Another great thing about getting to Castelldefels via the R2 train is that you can use the T-10 ticket which means the journey will only cost €1. For anyone who doesn’t know, the T-10 ticket is a ticket that costs a little over €10 and gives you 10 rides on most of the city’s public transportation. It’s the most cost-effective way of using the metro, city buses and some other regional trains.
If you’re looking for great beaches near Barcelona that are awesome day trip locations, then Castelldefels is the place.
Best Beachfront Hotels Barcelona
The best beachfront hotels in Barcelona are only a stone’s throw away from the water’s edge. Some offer ultimate luxury which you pay for and some are easier on the bank account, but charming nonetheless.
W Hotel – Barceloneta
The W hotel is the most recognizable beachfront hotel in Barcelona. You see it in all the promotional pictures and videos. Its striking design, top-quality service and priceless views are what make it so special.
The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows which makes getting out of bed in the morning even harder than usual.
It’s located at the end of the beach in the Barceloneta neighborhood.
The Hotel Arts is known for being the most expensive hotel in the city, but not without good reason.
Everything about this hotel is top-notch and it’s location, sandwiched between Somorrostro and Nova Icaria, makes it perfect for beach lovers.
It’s technically in the Barceloneta neighborhood as well, but another few meters to the north and it would be in the Vila Olímpica del Poblenou neighborhood where most people would actually consider it to be.
Durlet Beach Apartments
A more budget-friendly option, the Durlet Beach Apartments, are just in front of Mar Bella Beach. They’re a self-catering option that’s great for families.
Found in the Poblenou neighborhood and only a few hundred meters from the Poblenou metro station, they are also well connected to the rest of the city.
Pullman Barcelona Skipper
Lastly, we have the Pullman Skipper. On the edge of Barceloneta, and next to the Hotel Arts, it’s our choice when it comes to the best beachfront hotels in Barcelona.
It has two rooftop pools and bar areas.
While the pools are reserved only for guests, the bars are open to the public. So even if you’re not staying in the Pullman, we highly recommend you stop for a drink to watch the sun go down one evening.
Which Barcelona Beach Are You Going To Hit This Summer?
If you’re planning to visit the city, or are already here, which beach are you going to visit?
We’ve talked about five of the best beaches in Barcelona but there are plenty more. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to embrace city and beach life at the same time, but here it is possible.
Rent bicycles, buy a T-10 transport card or simply walk along the paseo maritimo (promenade) and discover Barcelona’s beaches.
Let us know in the comments below what you think of the beaches we’ve mentioned or if you have any other suggestions we could add to the list!
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