Every district of Barcelona is different in its own unique way. Gothic is the oldest part of the city centre with its narrow winding streets, Raval is the poorer area of the city but it still houses some of the best bars and restaurants. EL Born is very artsy part of town with some cool underground bars, art galleries and secluded squares and Gracia is a rich shopping area where you can go on spending sprees in stores such as Armani, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein (provided that your holiday wallet is up to it!) During a visit to Barcelona you may visit one or more of these areas to scope them out, explore and find the many hidden gems that reside in them all. There is one area of the city centre however that at one time or another almost every holidaymaker with come to and that is Barceloneta.
A big reason for this is that this is where the main beach is. Running from the W hotel to the twin towers and the gold fish statue of the Port Olimpic this stretch of sand is a big reason why so many people choose Barcelona as their holiday destination. Very few cities of such culture and beauty can also boast a beach as well. The beach itself has many redeeming features. There is a lot of entertainment for people walking to the sand. Musicans and bands busk on the walkway that hugs the shore line. Many of them are very entertaining and big crowds gather to watch them perform. You can rent paddle boards and take them out into the sea and get a very unique view of the city. Prices start from around 13 euros for an hour and 20 euros for 2 hours.
The main area of the beach is very packed around the blocks so if you want more space head to the Port Olympic end. The nudist section is nearest the W Hotel. If you are feeling sporty public volley ball nets are available, you don’t need to book just head on and play! If you are particularly tired and hung over then you don’t need to move off the sand as beer and mojito sellers slog up and down the beach all day delivering well needed ice cold beers to you at a slightly inflated price. Also make sure you look out for the donut man. He balances a tray of donuts on his head and bangs a triangle whilst singing songs. His donuts are extremely tasty they are well worth the 1.50 euro asking price! Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available to hire for only a few euros and are stationed at various points along the beach.
The architecture around Barceloneta is very picturesque. The streets are narrow, usually one way. The houses are beautifully painted with little balconies jutting out all the way up. A lot of the apartments here are holiday homes and properties to rent. Because of the limited space many of these are smaller than you would find in other parts of the city but you do have the advantage of being right by the beach.
One of the main reasons why Barceloneta is so popular is the variety of food selections that are on offer. La Malandrina is an Argentinian Steakhouse where you can get a sirloin steak for 10 euros. The mix grill is also amazing there, as are the dips and selections of sides it is definitely worth a visit. At Makamaka you can get one of the best burgers in the city for around the same price. The restaurants along Joan de Borbo, which is the road that leads down to the beach, all offer a similar selection of seafood and Mediterranean dishes. If you are looking for something quick and cheap you have options as well. Que Bo offers boxes of food freshly made that you can take away. If you can find a quarter of roast chicken with roast potatoes on the side for three euros in the city anywhere else please let me know! Rumba n Roll is another hole in the wall where you get a variety of meats, seafood and veggie options again freshly baked in house. A few doors down is a fantastic little pizzeria where you can buy a slice of pizza or a calzone for a few euros. Or if you feel like building your own sandwiches there are a big selection of supermarkets in the area where you can grab a selection of cold cuts and cheeses and a freshly baked baguette to take back to the sand.
At the moment there is a dispute going through the courts as to who governs the land that hugs the port side of Barceloneta heading down to the beach. As a consequence of this there is a long stretch of street market that runs from just the other side of the Lichenstein colour face sculpture all the way down to the beach. Along this stretch you can buy everything from knock off handbags, nike trainers, fridge magnets, sunglasses and beach blankets. You can even have your hair braded if you wish! Take advantage of this market because as soon as the dispute is settled this market will be gone and if you want any of these items you will have to do the quick bartering with these guys while they keep one eye out for the police!
And so on your trip make your way down to the beach and enjoy all that this particularly beautiful and unique part of the city has to offer. Barceloneta is very quiet in the winter time it is the summer months that this section of the city open up and thrives to it’s fullest. Enjoy relaxing on the sand, swimming in the sea, grabbing a tasty bite at the many eateries this district has to offer then head back home for another night out on the town.