Historically Barcelona has ignored its beaches that up until the 80s were dirty, polluted and little frequented by locals who preferred to leave the city and seek cleaner and nicer beaches elsewhere.
Everything changed with the Olympic Games in 1992, the renovation of the coastline allowed for the tidying of beaches, and above all improving the drainage of wastewater has greatly improved the water quality of the beaches.
Many locals enjoy the beaches every day; they are easily accessible by bike or motorbike. Depending on the time of day you can see people jogging, doing gymnastics, yoga, water sports (sailing, windsurfing, surfing and paddle surfing), and of course swimming, sunbathing or having a drink on the terrace of a bar.
The atmosphere of the different stretches of beach varies greatly, depending on the beach bars’ selection of music, facilities… You can find glamorous beaches, family friendly ones, younger crowds, and gay and nudist beaches in the 5km offered by the city.
Going by subway/underground:
L4 - yellow line, stations Barceloneta, Ciutadella-Villa Olimpica, Bogatell, Llacuna and Poble Nou, offer access to the beaches.
The most glamorous beach:
the beach club at hotel W… impossible to miss it, it is almost in the water, thanks to an arrangement made by the city council to skip the Coastal Act. (“Barceloneta” station)
Marbella beach (“Poble Nou” station)
Marbella beach a little further north, around the pool bar Begay (“Poble Nou” station)
Rent a surfboard or paddle surf:
shops offer rentals in Barceloneta, near the Plaza del mar (“Barceloneta” station)
Rent a windsurf:
Marbella beach, at the “Base Nautica de Marbella”
Do not leave anything of value with you on the beach unattended, and be precautious at night, many organized groups of thieves are very active during the tourist season.
Barcelona's beaches during COVID:
To guarantee a safe area and social distancing on the beaches of Barcelona, there are access control sensors and the beaches are closed to the public when the maximum capacity is reached.
The town hall web site
allows you to consult the occupancy level of the beaches.
The best live webcambs:
The bests webcams to enjoy live views of the beaches of Barcelona:
-> View of the Barceloneta beach, with the W hotel in the background…
-> View of the San Sebastian beach and Paseo de la Barceloneta
-> Discover the history of the Barceloneta neighborhood during the tour the Born and Barceloneta