Barcelona’s beaches: info and advice for taking the plunge

Published by in the category Activities, Beaches, parks, walks, terraces. Article updated 15 May, 2018. 0 comments

Thanks to our little guide to Barcelona's beaches, you will find lots of information and advice for baking under the Mediterranean sun.

Barcelona's beaches

With its 7 sandy beaches stretched over more than 4 kms, Barcelona has definitively turned seaward since the 1992 Olympic games.  There are few big cities where you can spend one half of the day exploring cultural sites and the other half on the beach. Make the most of it!

Barcelona’s beaches: access, services, cleanliness and visits

map of Barcelona's beaches

  • Access is very easy from the city centre (on foot, by metro, by tram, by bus or by bike)
  • All of the beaches have a wide range of services: Red Cross, lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, and deckchairs and parasols for rent on most beaches.
  • Barcelona’s beaches are cleaned every day of the year.

parasol drawing

  • Every year Barcelona receives more than 7 million visitors so in Summer the beaches are packed.
  • Do not buy drinks or cocktails from sellers walking along the beach as they have been left in the heat and are absolutely to be avoided.
  • We also advise you to decline any offers of massage services.

 

Xiringuitos, Barcelona’s beach bars

The xiringuitos are beach huts converted into bars and little restaurants right on the beach, which are generally open until 2am. The prices are higher than elsewhere but the setting makes it worth it!

Barcelona beach bar

Lively beaches

Barceloneta: beach restaurants and library

Barceloneta is the best known and most popular beach for tourists and locals, and you can often find sand sculptors, singers, dancers and all kinds of hawkers there.

This beach is very popular with young people, so it’s lively night and day, especially in Summer.

In July and August the biblioplaya, a little beach library, is set up on Barceloneta.

Sant Sebastià: nautical restaurants and clubs

Sant Sebastià is the biggest beach in Barcelona. It is very lively, like Barceloneta, it is very close to the city centre, which explains its popularity.

It’s known for water sports clubs and trendy restaurants.

Terrasse bar de plage de Barcelone

Quieter beaches

Bogatell: sporty atmosphere

Bogatell is a cleaner and quieter beach than Barceloneta or Sant Sebastià. It is also further from the city centre.

It has various sports facilities such as ping pong tables, gym equipment, football pitches and beach volleyball.

plages de Barcelone beach volley

Mar Bella: young, gay-friendly atmosphere + naturist area

Popular with the gay and lesbian community, you can also find a naturist area (the only one in the city). Sundays in Summer large parties are regularly organised here.

At the Mar Bella city water sports centre you can take lessons in windsurfing, sailing or kayaking.

A beach library is also set up at Mar Bella in July and August.

With children

Nova Icària and Llevant: quiet playgrounds

Although it’s right beside Barceloneta, Nova Icària beach is one of the quietest in the city, and it is popular among families with children.

It has playgrounds, beach volleyball courts and a ping pong table.

beaches of Barcelona palm trees hotel W

This is also the case at Passeig Maritim beach, known as Llevant beach. However, this beach is further from the city centre than Nova Icària as it is the last of Barcelona’s beaches.

Nova Mar Bella: the quietest beach

This is one of the quietest beaches in Barcelona, which is what makes it so attractive. It is perfect for families or people looking for a little tranquility. However, it is not the prettiest beach in the city as there is a block of apartments right behind it.

Swimmers with reduced mobility

Swimming assistance

The beach and its facilities are completely accessible to people with reduced mobility: turnstiles, showers and toilets.

From the beginning of June to the end of September, the mayor of Barcelona sets up swimming assistance where staff help people with reduced mobility to get in and out of the water. They can also lend them equipment such as amphibious wheelchairs.

This service is available on Barceloneta and Nova Icària and in the Fòrum swimming area after the Llevant beach. This is not a beach but a swimming area specially designed for people with reduced mobility.

Dates and times

Swimming assistance is available:
– in June: weekends and holidays
– from the 1st of July to 15th of September: every day
– last two weeks of September: weekends and holidays

Times:
– Barceloneta beach: from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm
– Nova Icària beach: from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm
– swimming area of the Fòrum: from 11am to 2pm

Bringing your pet to the beach

This is possible, except during the following periods:

  • Holy week (Easter week)
  • Weekends form April to October
  • Every day from the 1st of June to the 16th of September.
  • A beach space for dogs opened up in 2016. It is located on the Llevant beach at Poblenou and is only accessible during the summer months.

Barcelona beaches hotel W view

Useful information

When is the best time to enjoy the beach  Barcelona?

  • Set-up and services are generally non-existent other than from the end of May to end of September.
  • The rest of the year you can use the beach but there is no lifeguard.

Pickpockets and jellyfish

  • A lot of pickpockets operate on the beach so don’t take valuables with you. Never leave your possessions unattended. For more information, see our anti-pickpocket tips in Barcelona.
  • If there are jellyfish, information will be distributed in multiple languages.

Getting to the beach in Barcelona

  • Metro: The 4 line, stopping at Barceloneta, Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica, Bogatell, Llacuna. Poblenou, Selva de Mar or El Maresme Fòrum. Plan for 10 to 15 minutes walk from the metro station to the nearest beach.
  • Bus: numbers 6, 7, 14, 16, 17, 36, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 51, 57, 59, 64, 71, 92, 141, 157. For detailed timetables see the tmb website.
  • By tram: The 4 line, stopping at Ciutadella Vila Olímpica, Selva del Mar, El Maresme and Fòrum (this last one allows access to the swimming zone for people with reduced mobility).
  • By Bike: cycle paths run along the 4km length of Barcelona’s beaches.
  • By car: Barceloneta and San Sebastià are very close to the city centre so it is difficult to park nearby. Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant beaches all have big car parks.

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?