Things to do in Barceloneta area of Barcelona



La Barceloneta area of Barcelona

Staying in Barceloneta and what to do and see.

La Barceloneta is a popular place to visit in Barcelona. Barceloneta is a small triangular piece of land bordered by the Port Vell marina to one side and Barcelona's beaches to the other making it ia delightful and vibrant place to stroll and enjoy the port area. Barceloneta is quite unique and very different from other areas of Barcelona both in architecture and atmosphere.

It is a popular place to stay, especially for young tourists who enjoy being near the beach and surrounded by authentic local atmosphere. There is a big hostel at the end overlooking the beach and there are quite a few tourist rental apartments inside Barceloneta and a few hotels on the main boulevard facing the marina.

The name Barceloneta means literally 'little Barcelona'. Barceloneta was built on reclaimed land from the sea and there were residents here as early as the 15th century. The small triangular shape of La Barceloneta land area covers just 71 hectares of Barcelona's old city centre, called the Cuitat Vella, But due to Barceloneta’s prime location near the beach and the the Port Vell marina and Barcelona centre it is a popular area for tourists and for young people to stay.

The first real houses in Barceloneta were constructed in 1753 by the Spanish army. The purpose was to provide new housing for former residents of part of the Ribera neighbourhood, who were displaced by the destruction of their houses to clear land for the new Cuitadella garrison which King Philip V buildt after defeating Barcelona in 1714 in the war of Spanish succession.

To learn more about that visit the Born Cultural Center where you can actually see foundations and ruins of the neighbourhood that was flattened by Philip V for his new fort. In the early 18th century Barcelona was still walled so there was no room for new residents inside the walls, so Barceloneta was created which explains the unusual military style layout of the streets.The citadel or garrison area, by the way, is now the Cuitadella Park.

For Barceloneta 15 parallel streets were planned, each 7.5 meters wide and crossed by other three cross-sectional streets of 9.3 meters width. The original houses, some of which can still be seen, were two floors high and originally intended to house one family. All the houses were all the same and built in a grid pattern. The earliest residents were mostly mariners, fishermen and shipbuilders. 

From 1846 Barceloneta residents were joined by factories and by factory workers as the industrial age started and Barcelona’s city council had banned new factories inside the medieval city walls.
This meant that new industrial areas outside the old walled city of Barcelona sprung up and Barceloneta was a perfect place for the small new factory because of its close proximity to the port and because the first railways went along the coast.

One of the original industries in Barceloneta was gas production and the gas company head office is still in Barceloneta. When the walls of Barcelona came down and trams started to connect the city, Barceloneta began the gradual transformation into the beach and leisure area, that it is today.

Most of the tiny two storey houses have been long since been extended upwards or replaced with taller buildings. The street layout is still the same and the ‘village in a city’ atmosphere is still strong and the community is strong and united.

Today La Barceloneta is a bustling, vibrant and essential part of Barcelona with about around 16000 inhabitants. Some of the community are struggling to adapt to the new Barceloneta which is doing very well to combine retain old world tradition and customs with fast pace of modern tourism. Hundred year old bars and fish restaurants co-exist well with new and trendy cocktail bars, chiriniguitos and hotels. The addition of new marina in Port Vell for super yachts has also provided many guests and jobs for the area

Staying in La Barceloneta 

The good things about staying in Barceloneta first and foremost the people and location.  Barceloneta has an lovely local and authentic atmosphere - the streets, the neighbours, the colours of the washing hanging out from every flat makes it feel like a real. The smell of the sea is envigoration but beware in the winter – the sea air can chill you to the bone.  

Barceloneta is a great place in the city for walking, jogging biking and skating although it can be crowded at the weekend and in peak season. Barceloneta feels like living in a village by the sea but you are only minutes from a big city. There are lots of old world restaurants and cafes although new trendy places and irish pubs are pushing old places out. Shopping is difficult for residents as there are few supermarkets. Parking is not a problem. There are big underground parking lots by the marina. 

HOTELS in Barceloneta 

Things to do in Barceloneta  

Passeig Joan de Borbó 
Picturesque boulevard along marina leading down to the Barceloneta beach. This is Barceloneta’s biggest attraction with thousands of tourists walking to the beach every day and enjoying meals at the many restaurants.

MHC - Catalan History Museum 
Address and information
Inside the Palau de Mar. Very interesting museum about Catalonia’s tumultuous history and relationship with Spain. Also has lovely roof top cafe terrace with views of marina. Visit

Port Vell Marina
Address and information
Port Vell Marina Barcelona Spain. Marina Port Vell is a marina and leisure area with a yacht club, a new super-yacht marina, Barcelona Aquarium, cinemas and Maremagnum shopping mall. It is also the floating venue of the Barcelona Boat Show

Museu Marítim
Address and information
Barcelona Maritime museum. In Raval area but only 15 minutes walk from Barceloneta

Barcelona harbour tours
Barcelona boat tours and watersports
Many boat tours start from Port Vell marina ranging from pirate ships, to fast speedboats to harbour tours and more.

Torre del Reloj
Old lighthouse built in 1772, now a clock tower, on Moll dels Pescadors. 
Not open to public but can be seen from Maremagnum Shopping Mall

Parròquia de Sant Miquel del Port 
Church from 1755 on Plaça Barceloneta  

Maremagmum mall
Address and information
Located in Port Vell at end of Rambla de Mar. Open Sundays all year.


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Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2017 13:39