Barcelona beaches guide…

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 which 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, exercising, 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.

Barcelona Beach Hotel W

Practical information:

Going by subway/underground:
The line 4, L4 or yellow line, stations Barceloneta, Ciutadella-Villa Olímpica, Bogatell, Llacuna and Poble Nou, offer easy access to the different 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 different administrations to skip the Coastal Act. It offers a private beach club, the Salt, which offers tapas and cocktails menu. Access through metro “Barceloneta” station.

Nudist beach:
Nudism is common on the Marbella beach, mostly during the week because on weekends the beach is invaded by families. Access through metro “Poble Nou” station.

Gay beach:
Gay beach: Also on Marbella beach, a little further north, heading towards the Nova Mar Bella beach, the chiringuito (bar on the beach) BeGay is the central point. Access through metro “Poble Nou” station.

Rent a surfboard or paddle surf:
several shops offer rentals in Barceloneta, around Placa del Mar, in front of San Sebastian beach, and on Marbella beach at the Base Nautica de la Marbella.

Rent a windsurf:
you can also take windsurfing, wing foil or windsurf foil lessons on the Marbella beach at the Base Nautica de la Marbella.

A few tips:

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.
You risk a fine if you smoke on the beach, this summer it is forbidden to smoke on all Barcelona‘s beaches.
The street vendors who operate on he beach, offering coca cola, beer and even cocktails, such as mojitos, offer drinks prepared and stored in unhealthy hygienic conditions.

Barcelona Beach Map

All of Barcelona's beaches:

Sant Sebastian and Sant Miguel beaches:

These are the southernmost beaches of the city, just in front of the port, ending in front of the W hotel, the enormous hotel in the shape of a sail, designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill. These are the most accessible beaches, you can get there on foot or by bike from the end of the ramblas or from the avenue via Layetana in 10, 15 minutes, a pleasant walk that goes around the old port of Barcelona.
Many young tourists meet there.
A lot of bars and restaurants offer terraces that overlook the beach at both ends.
Access through metro “Barceloneta” station.

Barceloneta beach:

The oldest beach in Barcelona and the easiest to access. Family atmosphere, passers-by walk on the Paseo de la Barceloneta which dominates the beach and under which, at beach level, there are several paella and seafood restaurants.
Access through metro “Barceloneta” station.

Somorrostro beach:

Right at the exit of the marina, protected by the various dykes, this beach was occupied until the 1970s by a the slums. This fairly wide beach offers plenty of sports equipment for exercising or playing and plenty of beach volleyball courts.
Access through metro “Barceloneta” station.

Nova Icaria and Bogatell beaches:

These are the first of the artificial beaches created during the transformation of the district for the construction of the Olympic Village during the 1992 Olympic Games.
Family atmosphere, they can get very crowded on weekends. This fairly wide beach has volleyball courts, tennis table and a beach umbrella and chair rental service.
Access through metro “Ciudadella - Vila Olímpica” station.

Mar Bella beach:

It is one of the narrowest beaches, which decreases in size with each winter storm. Beach where nudism is tolerated and practiced by a minority of bathers especially on weekends when the beach is not full of families. At the beginning of the beach is the Mar Bella sailing club. Apart from having a fairly popular restaurant bar,the club offers paddle surfing and windsurfing rentals as well as introductory and advanced courses in various water sports (windsurfing, wingfoil and windfoil).
Half of the beach which is located on the side of the beach of Nova Mar Bella concentrates the gay audience.
Access through metro “Poble Nou” station.

Barcelona Beach Nova Icaria

Information on the level of beach occupancy:

This town hall website offers information on the level of beach occupancy, water quality, sea conditions and the presence of jellyfish.

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