Source: Curtis MacNewton
One of the most popular coastal cities in the world, Barcelona has an incredible choice of beaches. From the popular and sometimes crowded beaches amid the urban pulse of the city to more secluded stretches of sand a little further away. The best thing about beaches in and near Barcelona is their reputation for cleanliness having been awarded the EU blue flag of excellence several times.
1. La Barceloneta
La Barceloneta is probably the most crowded in the city as it’s so easy to get to and right in the heart of everything. Located at the Barceloneta metro stop you can also walk there in about half an hour from the center of the city. It’s a good beach to go to for a quick respite from wandering the sunny streets of Barcelona as it’s so convenient, it also come alive at night with many bars and restaurants along the sand. It’s traditionally the old fishermen’s district and therefore considered one of the best areas of Barcelona to get paella or fresh fish.
- Name: La Barceloneta
- Address: Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 16, 08003
- Access: Metro Yellow Line (4)
2. Icaria Beach
Right at the foot of the two towers this beach is also very convenient, just a ten minute walk from metro stop “Cuitadella Vila Olimpica” and beside the Olympic marina and observatory. A good place to go for a game of volleyball and people watching, the crowd here tends to be young. There’s a variety of bars and restaurants as well as some slightly more touristy clubs at night. Frank Gehry’s famous Peix sculpture marks the border between Barceloneta and Icaria beach.
- Name: Icaria Beach
- Address: Passeig Maritim de la Nova Icaria 60, 08005
- Access: Metro Yellow Line 4 Ciutadella and Bogatell
3. Playa de Mar Bella
This is the official nudist beach in town although you do not have to strip off if you prefer not to. The vibe is friendly with an eclectic crowd and the water clean. The beach is popular with the gay and lesbian community. To access the beach you have to walk about 15 minutes from the Llacuna metro stop. It’s a bit more tranquil here with less people selling their wares as on the other city beaches.
- Name: Playa Mar Bella
- Address: Av. del Litoral, 104, 08005
- Access:Metro Yellow Line 4 (Selva de Mar and El Maresme)
4. Playa Nova Mar
If you really want peace and quiet choose Nova Mar beach. You have to travel a little further for it, of course but that means it’s much quieter and the sea is very clean. Take the metro to Selva de Mar on the yellow line and walk for 15 minutes. If you want to combine a beach trip with some shopping this is also perfect as just ten minutes away you can browse the boutiques of the Diagonal Mar shopping center.
- Name: Playa Nova Mar
- Address: Between Mar Bella and Playa Levant
- Access: Metro Yellow Line 4 Selva de mar and El Maresme
5. Playa Bogatell
Just north east of the city center, Bogatell does not have it’s own metro station, you will need to walk along from either Ciutadella/Vila Olimpica, Bogatell, Llacuna or Poble Nou metro stations. The beach is a lovely golden stretch of sand a little calmer than Barceloneta and located opposite the Parc de Poble Nou.
- Name: Playa Bogatell
- Address: Between Playa Icaria and Playa Mar Bella
- Access: Metro Yellow Line 4 Poblenou and Llacuna
6. Ocata Beach
Ocata beach is lovely and quiet with clean flat sands and lots of space. It’s about 30 minutes by train outside of Barcelona and begins just after the marina at Port Masnou. There are lots of chiringuitos (beach bars) in summer for a nice cool drink and snacks.
- Name: Ocata
- Address: Carrer Xile 2, El Masnou, Barcelona 08320
- Access: Train to Ocata and El Masnou
7. St. Pol de Mar
Further afield you will find St Pol de Mar, an hour by train from Barcelona but worth the trip for its beautiful cove and clear, calm waters. With a backdrop of pretty hills you can also see the gothic church of Sant Jaume perched on a hilltop and old fishermeOn’s cottages. A good chill-out beach with less tourists and 2 star Michelin restaurant Restaurant Sant Pau.
- Name: St Pol de Mar
- Address: Avinguda de Doctor Furest
- Access:Trains from Santa, Placa CAtalunya and Clot
A very peaceful and spacious option is Caldetes Beach. Perfect for those just seeking peace, quiet. Surfing and kayaking are popular here and there is also a great children’s playground, good for families coming to spend a few hours away from the big city.
- Name: Caldetes
- Access: Line 1 of the Cercanias to Caldes d’ Estrac
Garraf is a small and sleepy town a 30-minute train joureny outside of Barcelona. It has a pretty bay with warm and clear water and a small marina. You can also find old beach huts here to rent in summer. Once you arrive at Garraf station you are just a few short steps down some stairs to the sand. Gaudi fans take note, Garraf is also home to the Bodegas Guell, the wine cellar of Guell’s family.
- Name: Garraf
- Access: Line 2 of the Cercanias train to Garraf
10. Playa Castelldefels
The only downside of this beach is that it can get as crowded as the city beaches. However it’s close by (fiftenn minutes by train) and boasts 5km of soft golden sand. It’s very popular with kite surfers and wind surfers with April and May being the best months for these sports.
- Name: Castelldefels
- Access: Line 2 of the Cercanias train to Platja de Castelldefels
11. Caldes D’Estrach
Caldes D’Estrach stands out for several modernist villas lining the beach road “Passeig dels Anglesos.” Built during the late 19th century in what was Barcelona’s modernist heyday when it was very fashionable as a beach destination and spa town. The charming village of Caldes D’Estrach is a pleasant place to stroll during a break from sunbathing and swimming. It’s home to a thermal baths (drop in for a massage!) and also the Palau Foundation art museum with an interesting collection of Picasso notes and sketches aswell as other works by Catalan painters. The actual beach is lovely.
- Name: Caldes d’ Estrach
- Address: Caldes d’ Estrach, Catalonia
- Access: Line 1 of Cercanias to Caldes d’ Estrach
12. Playa Montgat
Just 25 minutes by train from Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona, this is the first beach that feels like you have left urban life behind. The beach is a large golden stretch with a scattering of beach bars selling drinks and playing music. As it’s a bit further out of town, it does not have the facilities of the city beaches, but is still a lovely choice for a beach day close to Barcelona.
- Name: Playa Montgat
- Address: Montgat, Catalonia
- Access: Line 1 of Cercanias to Monsolis station
13. Playa Gavamar
Gavamar beach is approximately 15 km south of Barcelon. It is just past the airport and about 20 minutes from Barcelona by car. Parking can be hard so a good option is to take a bus and not have that problem! The Bus is only about 40 minutes from Barcelona. The beach is pretty with a sense of nature close by with the dunes and wood walk ways and paths. Being a little harder to get to means less crowds, even in summer.
- Name: Gavamar Beach
- Access: 25 minutes from Plaza Catalunya by train
Half an hour from Barcelona, Sitges is another very popular choice for locals and tourists alike. It is a resort in itself with 17 small beaches and coves in the area including nudist and gay beaches. The water is warm and shallow and great for families. There’s great nightlife too as well as plenty of choices for lunch and dinner.
- Name: Sitges
- Access: C2 train from Franca to Passeig de Gacia to Sants and on to Sitges
15. El Remolar- Filipnes
This is a real hidden gem with hardly any tourists making the trip. Right next to Remolar Filipines (a natural space that is protected), it’s a little harder to get to with a very relaxed, laid-back vibe and few crowds. Take the train to Viladecans and then get the VB- 4 Bus that will drop you at a dirt track. You then have to walk about 10minutes to reach the beach, but for a unique, secret experience, it’s worth the extra effort.
- Name: Remola Filipnes
- Address: Viladecans, Barcelona
- Access: Train to Viladecans then the VB- 4 Bus
With so many different beaches along the coast on offer, there is much to choose from whatever you are seeking in Barcelona!
Have a good trip and travel!