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Barcelona Beaches - guide to Barcelona best beaches E-mail
Written by beaches   

Barcelona Beaches Map

Best Barcelona beaches - names & map

Barcelona top beaches. Guide to Barcelona's beaches. The beaches of Barcelona are a top Barcelona attraction in the summer. Beach is called 'playa' in Spanish and 'platja' in Catalan.

The beach swimming season is from generally from May to mid-September when the Barcelona sea water temperature is most comfortable for swimming. The sea temperature in the summer is from 20C to 24C degrees and in the winter months it drops to around 12C to 14C degrees. 

Barcelona has nine Mediterranean beaches that border the city coastline for 4.5km. All Barcelona beaches have the EU blue flag of excellence awarded for water quality and services.

Each beach has a different name, which you can see on the Barcelona beach map. A few years ago Barcelona was even named the best beach city in the world by the famous National Geographic magazine.

The nearest beaches in Barcelona are 15 to 25 minutes walk or by metro train from the Barcelona city center. If you want to be closer to the beach then you might also be interested in our guide to best hotels near Barcelona beach.

Daily services, like lifeguards, first aid and rescue centres, public toilets, an environmental information centre, a beach centre on Barceloneta beach (opposite the Hospital del Mar) and police safety points, are usually open from the middle of May and stay in operation until September. 

After September there are usually weekend beach services, until the middle of October depending on the weather. At the end of the beach season in Barcelona divers from the Guardia Urbana police force dive to clean waste and litter from the seabed to improve the ecosystem of the beaches and for the safety of future bathers.


Barceloneta beach views from Hotel W

How to get to Barcelona beaches

All Barcelona beaches are all on the yellow Metro line L4. You can get off at Barceloneta metro station then walk to the Barceloneta beach in 15 minutes. Once at the beach front you can walk to all off the beaches.

But remember there are 9 km of beaches in one continuous stretch, so if you have a favourite beach then it is easier to take the metro directly. Find the metro stations to get to the beaches on the beach map at the top of this page.

Which is the best Barcelona beach?

That depends on what kind of beach experience you prefer. In general terms the southern beaches are more festive and crowded because they are closer to Barcelona's city center. The northern beaches are less crowded and have nicer sand.

Whichever beach you are on in Barcelona, it is important to understand that the Barcelona beaches are 'urban beaches'. By this we mean that they are in the city area and have over 3 million visitors every year, so these beaches are crowded in high season and the sand is not always as "golden" or "white" as the blogs and guidebooks might claim. But they are convenient and with excelllent faciliteis. The sea water and sand are clean in the morning, but can get a bit littered at the end of a busy beach day. You can help by taking your litter with you or putting in the bins. And please don't leave toxic cigarette butts in the sand. 

Best Barcelona hotels near beach

Barcelona city council makes a big effort to keep the sand clean and the seawater clear with 200 people working daily in the summer on beach services.  Barcelona's beaches are cleaned daily early in the morning and the water quality is tested daily and is very high. So if you get there early the beaches will be very clean and the water will be clear and fresh. You can check the water quality and temperature on the official Barcelona beach website.

Barcelona has special beach police patrols to keep the beaches safe and 60-65 Red Cross lifeguards with 2 boats always on duty to keep swimmers safe during the main Barcelona beach season from May to Septeber. 

Costa Barcelona beaches

Beach bars Barcelona

The entire Barcelona metropolitan area, which includes towns near Barcelona is called Costa Barcelona. Costa Barcelona has 32 km of beaches in total stretching from Montgat which is north of Barcelona to Castelldefels which is south of the airport.

The entire Costa Barcelona coast line welcomes 9 million bathers a year. So if you are looking for nicer, bigger and a bit tidier beaches, then check out the many beaches outside Barcelona  that can easily be reached by train or car. Or book a small group beach tour to Costa Brava beaches outside Barcelona

Crowded Barcelona beaches

Pictures Barcelona's beaches
Barcelona average temperatures and sea water temperatures
Beaches outside Barcelona
Hotels near beaches in Barcelona

Names Barcelona city beaches 

Barceloneta beach Barcelona

Overview of Barcelona beaches with weather and water temperature
Sant Sebastià beach (most southerly near W hotel)
Sant Miquel beach
Somorrostro beach
La Barceloneta beach
La Nova Icària beach
Bogatell beach
La Mar Bella beach (has small nudist area)
La Nova Mar Bella beach
Llevant beach (most northerly - area for 100 dogs)
Banys Forum - bathing area Parc del Forum

North Beaches Barcelona

Best Barcelona beach hotels

Chiringuito beach bars Barcelona

Beach cafes Barceloneta beach

Each Barcelona beach section has small beach bars on the sand which are called "chiringuitos" (pronounced chee-ring-geet-toes.) These little beach bars often organise beach parties. Chiringuitos are hugely popular and serve drinks, snacks and a menu of snacks and salads. The food and drink is a little more than in the city, but considering the beach location the prices are reasonable. Chiringuitos also rent out sun-beds and often have DJ’s playing chill-out music. There are also a number of night clubs on the Barcelona beachfront. 

Find Barcelona beach clubs

Beach cafes Barceloneta beach by night

Opening times for Barcelona chiringuito beach bars. Barcelona's beach bars are open daily from around 10.00 in the morning until 02:00 on all beaches, except the chiringuitos in Barceloneta beach in front of residential areas, which close at midnight.

Beach parties in Barcelona

Nova Icaria beach Barcelona

There are often beach parties in Barcelona but they are usually small beach parties at the chiringuito beach bars.Barcelona beaches are also a great for fitness activities and the beaches are a year-round favourite for free jogging, skating, walks, biking and beach volleyball.

Costa Brava Day Tours from Barcelona

Nudist beaches Barcelona

There is a nudist or naturist beach on a section of La Mar Bella beach in Barcelona. The nudist beach section is marked in yellow on the Barcelona beach map.  Nudists were previously unofficially allowed on the 
Sant Sebastià beach, but is not an official nudist section and with the arrival of the Hotel W and many new beach-front restaurants, nudism on this Barcelona beach is not allowed. A petition has been started make this the second nudist beach in Barcelona, but this is not likely to happen.

Nudist beach area on Mar Bella Beach Barcelona

Swimming and safety

Swimming and bathing in Barcelona is very safe and there are no dangerous currents close by the shore. But check the lifeguards flags at all times before going into the water. All the Barcelona beaches have the EU Blue Flag ratings for eco-quality, disabled access, lifeguards on duty (only in season), showers etc.

Waves Barcelona beaches

There can be big waves at Barcelona beaches. It can also be windy. If the waves are big or there is a strong off-shore wind and you are not strong swimmer, stay close to the shore and away from the rocks. See our Barcelona weather page and read more about Barcelona sea water temperatures. Check the Green, Yellow and REd warning flags at the Red Cross Lifeguard centres before going for a swim. 

Green flag - safe for bathing
Yellow flag - bathe with caution
Red flag - bathing prohibited 

Jellyfish - Medusas

Jellyfish Barcelona. Sometimes in the warmer months the Barcelona beach waters are invaded by jellyfish (called medusas.)  This is usually in late July and August when the water can be up to 26 degrees warm. Swarms of jellyfish appear because of generally warmer sea temperatures combined with recent years decline in marine life like turtles, that eat jellyfish and help keep jellyfish numbers down. The good news is that the jellyfish are usually around 50m from the shoreline, so you will not notice them very much. If you are on the beach in Barcelona and there are many jellyfish in the water, you can see a yellow flag - which means bathe with caution - or the special "jellyfish" warning flag at the Red Cross life guard centres (called the Creu Roja Catalunya.) If you are unlucky and get stung by a jellyfish, then ask the Red Cross life guards - called socorristas - for free assistance. A jellyfish sting is painful, but not dangerous and causes a rash similar to being stung by nettles, but it can be unpleasant. One of the best treatments for a jellyfish sting is warm salty water.  

Read more about jellyfish and treatment

Beach safety lockers

There aren't any public lockers on the beaches in Barcelona, so don't leave your valuables unattended - and don't fall asleep on the beach, even if you are using your bag for a pillow. The beaches in Barcelona do have problems with beach thieves stealing bags, so our advice is to leave valuables in your hotel safe and just take a little cash with you to the beach. Barceloneta beach probably has the worst problem with bag thefts on the beach because it is closest to the old city centre. The more northerly beaches are not so bad, but be aware. Barcelona is a safe city but there are problems with pickpockets and bag-thieves.
How to avoid pickpockets in Barcelona

Surfing and Paddle surfing

Surfing and SUP paddle surfing in Barcelona. Surfing has become popular in Barcelona in recent years and you will generally surfers in spring, autumn and winter in Barcelona. The waves are small and choppy and Barcelona is not a top surfing destination, but on some days it is possible to catch some waves.

The best surf beaches on the city beaches are Sant Sebastian and Sant Miquel down by the Hotel W. There are breakwaters in front of some of the other Barcelona beaches to reduce the number of waves breaking on the shore. Bad news for surfers but it makes swimming safer for bathers in the summer and reduces the erosion of the Barcelona beaches caused by the spring and autumn storms. Another sport growing in popularity on the surf beaches of Barcelona and especially on beaches outside Barcelona is SUP Stand Up Paddle board surfing which is a fun watersport that anyone can learn. You can rent paddle boards in Barcelona at several places mostly around Barceloneta beach.

What can you rent on Barcelona beach

Barcelona sailing clubs

There are two Barcelona sailing clubs on the beach section, but they are for members only and do not have tourist sailing rentals. Barcelona is not a beach resort, but a city with a beach, so there are few watersport rentals on Barcelona beaches. There are no pedal boat rentals on Barcelona beaches, mostly because the waves can be too big. There is one company offering parachute rides and banana rides. You can rent SUP paddle surf boards by the hour at Barceloneta beach. Jetskis cannot be rented on the beach, but there are Barcelona jetski rental companies in the Port Olimpic marina and the Port Forum marina. 

Which Barcelona beach is best?

Mar Bella beach Barcelona  - Best beaches

The beaches run from south to north and so does the party scene. The party beaches that are most popular with students, travellers, backpackers and tourists are the south beaches called Somorrostro, Barceloneta, Sant Miquel and Sant Sebastia which are closest to the old city of Barcelona. These beaches are fun, crowded, noisy and the sand is more dirty than the other beaches. This is almost where you are most likely to have your bag stolen or snatched on the the beach. It´s a good idea to be aware on the beach. Do not leave valuables like phones and wallets in plain view and if possible do not take valuables to the beach at all.

Guide to avoid pickpockets. If you are looking for more tranquil beaches with cleaner sand, then go to the beaches to the north of Barcelona´s beach front. As you walk north along the beaches in Barcelona, you will notice the difference. The north beaches in Barcelona are better liked by local residents and families and definately less touristy. The sand is cleaner too. If you enjoy nudism or naturism, then head for Mar Bella beach, which is the official city nudist/naturist beach, although nudism is not compulsory. The nudist area is in front of an artificial dune created to spare innocent eyes from naked flesh, but generally you will also see nudity a little way outside the designated nudism area.

Zona Banys Forum - Parc del Forum bathing area

At the north end of the beaches there is an alternative to sand beaches called the Zona Banys Forum. This is an open water bathing area where you can swim in sea water in an enclosed area. Not charming at all but no sand and not very crowded

New laws - Nudity and Semi-nudity

A law was passed in 2011 banning nudity and semi-nudity on Barcelona streets both to avoid having an image as a vacation resort and to address issues of hygiene and respect for those members of the general public who prefer not to see semi-nude people on the streets.
Being nude or semi-nude ( topless) away from the beach could mean a fine €300 to €500 euros. This also means no walking around the city in bikinis or shirt-less. This is only permitted near the beach. Nudism or naturism on Barcelona beaches is only permitted on the nudist area of Mar Bella beach..

History Barcelona beaches

Before the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, it was often said that Barcelona had 'turned its back' on the sea. The shores of Barcelona were mostly areas with factories and there were even shanty town slums on the beaches. The only area for bathers was at Barceloneta beach.

All this changed in 1992 when new beaches and a long new beach-front was constructed for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games. Since then Barcelona has become a top beach city to the joy of both tourists and residents who can choose from 9 beaches on a stretch of 5 km from Barcelona's harbour north up the coastline of the city up to the Port Forum marina. 

Maps, locations and information Barcelona city beaches
Photos Barcelona best beaches
Beaches outside Barcelona 

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