Barcelona is the cosmopolitan Catalan capital that makes an enchanting first impression, thanks in part to outlandish landmarks by legendary Modernist architectAntoni Gaudi. The flamboyant, fairy tale-like Sagrada Familia church is the city’s most astonishing sight, but the multi-hued mosaics and surreal structures of ParkGuell give it a run for its money.Sizzling summers provide ideal conditions for lazy days on buzzing Barceloneta beach, and al fresco feasts of tasty tapas dishes like succulent grilled razor clamsand rich Iberico ham. And Barcelona continues to heat up after the sun goes down, with bohemian bars and pulsing nightclubs to explore. Thanks to its combinationof rich historical landmarks and sandy coastline, Barcelona offers plenty to see and do in every season.
What to see & do in Barcelona Featured stories & fun stuff Barcelona has an amazing range of things to do and see, from medieval lanes winding through the Gothic Quarter, to a rich Catalan culture and top-of-the-league football. Once a thriving maritime city, you can still explore the old city, including its 13th-century cathedral, museums housing Roman-era ruins, and neighbourhoods made up of 19th-century modernistic architecture. The city’s revamped waterfront is linked by palm-lined.
Best Beaches in Barcelona Barcelona is much more than a Catalonian hub of delicious food, unique gardens, and funky architecture. This seaside wonderland is also a lovely place to unwind while soaking up the Mediterranean sun. Deep azure waters dazzle beachgoers as they sink their toes into golden sand, particularly during the busy summer. Prior to the 90s, much of Barcelona’s coast was an industrial wasteland. Thanks to the city’s role as host of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, the country devoted time (and a whole lotta money) to reinvigorating the shore. We’re talking sand imported from Egypt kind of upgrades. Whether beachgoers hope to bask under the Mediterranean rays, play a game of volleyball, or enjoy fresh tapas on the sand, there’s no end of fun to be had on Barcelona’s best beaches.
With 60 miles of coastline stretching along the province, Barcelona is a beach lover’s dream come true. Bustling Barceloneta may be the most famous, but it’s hardly the end-all-be-all of beaches in Barcelona. From youthful, lively Nova Icària to tranquil Caldetes, there’s a beach in Barcelona for everyone.
2. Barceloneta Beach Barceloneta is the Miami Beach of Spain: crowded, boisterous, and endlessly entertaining. The most popular beach in Barcelona, this is where people go to see and be seen. Fans of people-watching won’t be disappointed, but those searching for a quiet place to unwind will want to look elsewhere. Named after the ancient fisherman’s neighborhood that links to its shore, this exciting beach is close to some of the city’s best food, including the freshest tapas. If you’d rather not don a shirt and shoes, seaside huts offer delectable paella, as well as chair and umbrella rentals. Lifeguards are on duty, and amenities include showers, restrooms, a playground, and plenty of opportunities to participate in water sports. Insider’s tip: Bring your own sunblock and towel as the upcharge in this area is enormous. When it comes time to rinse the sand from your swimsuit, treat yourself to a stay at the luxurious Hotel Arts Barcelona. One of the best beach resorts in Spain, this Ritz-Carlton property features unbeatable views and a phenomenally relaxing spa.
Mar Bella Mar Bella, a long (about 512 meters) sandy stretch of land north of town center, welcomes visitors looking to bask in the sun without the masses and bothersome vendors found on Barceloneta and Sant Sebastià. Popular activities include volleyball, kayaking, skateboarding, rollerblading on the promenade, swimming, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Revamped as part of the Olympic Games beautification project, this lovely beach has also been awarded the Blue Flag, meaning it’s both clean and environmentally conscious. A beach of contrasts, one section is clothing optional (and separated by a man-made hill), while the other end boasts a children’s playground. The crowd here is young and diverse and includes many locals from the nearby neighborhood, Sant Martí. Amenities include showers, restrooms, umbrella rentals, concessions, and lockers. Lifeguards are also on duty.
Sant Sebastià At 1,100 meters, Sant Sebastià is one of the longest beaches in Barcelona. It’s also one of the city’s oldest beaches. Popular with locals, Sant Sebastià is only slightly less crowded than Barceloneta. If you’re visiting during the summer, arrive early to score a good spot. This bustling strand was one of the first to boast amenities like restrooms, showers, and on-duty lifeguards. It was also the first beach in Barcelona to allow men and women to swim together. Surfers, sailors, paddleboarders, and swimmers dot the sea, while the sand is packed with sun worshippers from May through August. It’s within easy walking distance of the town center, making it easy to find sustenance. That said, there are plenty of food vendors on hand for those who’d rather stay put. Insider’s tip: If you or your travel companions have mobility issues, this is the beach for you. There’s a dedicated area complete with amphibious chairs. It’s staffed by volunteers to help those with disabilities enjoy a dip in the sea.