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Best beaches in Barcelona,

One of the most attractive things to many people who come to Barcelona on a holiday is the fact that there are beaches right next to the city. It gives the city a very different feel when you can head down to a beach to sunbath off yesterdays sangria and cervesas! Before the Olympic games the coast line stretch along the Mediterranean was just rocks and gravel. All the beaches were built for the Olympic games with thousands and thousands of tons of sand shipped in from the Sahara desert in Egypt! This in turn had a colossal impact on the economy as the holidaymakers came flooding to the old city with new beaches and made this beautifully unique city what it is today. But what are best beaches to go to? And how are they all different? Here is a guide for you to decide which beaches are best and why…

Playa Barceloneta

This is by far the most popular beach in the city and it is very busy at the height of the summer. It is the closest one to the city and it has the most conveniences near by. As it is the busiest it also has the most entertainment on offer. When you walk down to the beach along Joan De Borbo, the road that runs parallel all the way along Barceloneta beach, at the end there you will often find very talented bands and singers with huge crowds around them as they put on quite a show! The most crowded areas of the beach are around a strange statue of wonky blocks stacked on top of each other which is a good meeting point as they can be seen along the entire stretch of beach. Around this area are also some incredibly impressive sand sculpture artists who build their work each morning that even have water and fire features in them! The beach in this area is lively and noisy, playing music from speakers is acceptable though maybe not from a ghetto blaster! If you are particularly hung over then you are in luck because there are beer and mojito sellers who walk up and down the beach saving you a trip to the shops! Around 3-6 in the afternoon keep your eyes out for the donut man he is a celebrity of the beach and has been selling donuts here for years. He balances them on a tray on his head and bangs a triangle whilst singing songs. His donuts are only 1.50 euros and are absolutely delicious so make sure to call him over if you see him! If you are looking for something slightly more substantial there are a lot of restaurants to choose from in the area. All the ones along Joan de Borbo are very similar offering a wide selection of seafood. Along Carrer Almirall Cervera which is just off the beach there are some cheaper take away options which you can take back to the sand. Volley ball nets are set up for public use at various places along Barceloneta beach, there is no reservation system simply turn up and play. In the middle there is Surf House where you can rent paddle boards and see the beautiful view of the city from the sea. There are a couple of quieter areas of the beach.  The busiest sections are in the middle around the blocks but if you go the either end, near the W hotel to the right or the Port Olimpic to the left you will have far more space which is better if you want a bit of peace or if you would like the room to kick a football around or throw a frisbee. The nudist area of the beach is towards the W hotel. If you are hoping for topless Scandinavians you will be disappointed as they are mostly old men! The vast majority of people heading to the beaches will come to this long stretch of coastline so pick your spot and set up camp for the day and enjoy the variety this beach has to offer!

Playa Nova Icaria
When coming from the centre of the city this beach is the next down past the Port Olympic, home to the big gold fish statue and the two towers. There is far more space along this stretch of beach and has a lot more locals here than tourists. The people who play volleyball on these courts tend to play two on two and take it very seriously which is great to watch but maybe not so much if you want to have a group playing after a few beers! The advantage of this beach if is that you wont get hassled by beer and mojito sellers nearly as much as they mainly reside on Barceloneta beach.

Playa Del Bogatell
Beyond Playa Nova Icaria is Bogatella which is around a 15 minute walk from the metro station. The two beaches are divided by a police station medical centre and most importantly, the ultimate hangover cure…McDonalds! This stretch of beach is very wide from shoreline to walking path so if you want space head to this area as there is bundles of it! The disadvantage of coming down this far is the lack of local amenities such as restaurants and shops so if you do come here make sure you pack everything you need for the day!

Playa Marbella
If you are looking for a nudist stretch of beach that is more discreet then come to Playa Marbella. It is partitioned off by a big sand dune beside the windsurfing centre. On Sundays throughout the summer they had all night raves along this stretch of beach if you do happen to want to hang around after the sun goes down!

Playa Ocata
After a few days on the same beach if you are getting bored of it and would like a change head to Playa Ocata. It is a quick 30 minute train ride from the city centre. There are far less tourists here and a lot of space to play with. The sand here is a beautiful white/gold colour and is cleaner than the sand on the beaches in the city.

Whichever beach you choose when looking to soak up some sun and sand do be wary of your possessions. When going for a swim simply ask the people next to you to keep an eye on your bags whilst you are in the water so that they are there when you come back!