If you’ve never been to Spain, and hope to hit the beach, Barcelona has got the full package. This world-famous European city sits high upon many bucket lists, and for good reason. The winding city center streets boast unparalleled historic charm, rich history, and gorgeous architecture. From the epic churches to the alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, you’ll be captivated by the capital of Catalonia. There are restaurants and nightlife galore, and even though they needed to haul in sand by the truckload to soften their shores for the 1992 Summer Olympics, the resulting white sand beaches are here to stay.
Streets of Barcelona:
This gorgeous public beach is just a short stroll off the city blocks, situated between the Old City’s Gothic Quarter and the port. You’ll barely remember the hustle and bustle of the city as you step onto the groomed sand, gaze out onto the beautiful Mediterranean sea, and sip a refreshing beverage, or dine upon some fresh seafood at a beach hut.
But with its close proximity, the action is always in full swing. There are volleyball courts, street performers and musicians, sports, and all manner of people watching, swimming, and relaxing to be had down at Barceloneta.
For the clean freaks out there, the city employs over 200 workers daily to clean the beach, so Barceloneta is always pristine. What’s more, the beach has been ranked in the top-10 city beaches in the world, by the likes of National Geographic and CNN. So, you don’t even have to take our word for it.
You can rent bikes, chairs, umbrellas, or even charter a yacht for the day. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are also popular. The water is safe for swimming. And you’re a stone’s-throw from all the amenities of the city.
See what Barceloneta Beach is all about:
Bare Essentials Of Freedom: Mar Bella Beach
For those wishing to really shed the layers of conformity once outside the city walls, Mar Bella Beach is your place. This unofficial gay and nudist beach provides a safe environment for sunny disrobing, though unlike many clothing-optional beaches, this one is often very crowded. The whole beach is topless, but the full-nude portion is to the left of the pier, if that’s your bag. The beach is public, so you’ll be able to enter for free, and you can rent chairs and umbrellas if needed. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the metro. There aren’t a whole lot of water sports going on here, so if you like your ocean views tranquil, and your buns bare, and your flags rainbow-bright, this is the place to go.
Take a guided peek:
This beach sits by the Olympic marina, and is a very popular beach with the younger crowd. It’s a happening beach, with plenty of partying, restaurants, and cafes. The sand is nice and clean, and the water is glorious Mediterranean icy blue, but perfectly refreshing. You’ll see beach ball, paddle ball, volleyball, football (leave your ‘soccer’ in the states), and all manner of fun beach activities taking place. If you’d like to hang with the young locals, and get away from the more touristy Barceloneta, this is the place for you.
See what Nova Icaria has to offer:
Beyond Barcelona: St. Pol De Mar
This beach is about an hour train ride away from Barcelona. But you didn’t come all this way just to hang out in one place, right? For those wishing to explore the city limits, and an absolutely marvelous covey beach, St. Pol De Mar is for you. A far cry from the city streets, this is the perfect beach to stretch out in peace and get a bit of your own space. So lay your towel out on a nice open stretch, lather up, and soak it in. The scenery is stunning, and the water is great for snorkeling.
Through the fisheye scope:
If you feel like taking a stroll off the beach for a bit, Saint Pol De Mar is located right off a beautiful countryside village, with winding streets, restaurants, cafes, shops, and more. It’s a highly recommended day-trip getaway from your stint in Barcelona. Some of the coves have become popular for nudists, so keep that in mind when you go for your long walk on the beach.
If you’re not familiar with European travel, remember that August is often a holiday month. So, if you do come here hoping to wine and dine in tandem with some tanning, you might find yourself high and dry in the summer peak. Even big cities like Paris get a bit quiet this time of year, as the Europeans take their holidays very seriously. All that said, as long as you’re prepared, you won’t regret a second of time spent on one of these magnificent beaches, whether right in the city, or in the outskirts.