Beaches and La Rambla
Barceloneta beach, (Platja de la Barceloneta in Catalan) Barcelona's #1 attraction with locals when the heat kicks in. Frank Gehry's 'Peix d'Or' bronze whale sculpture is just visible through the sea mist in April.
Before the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona Barceloneta was a decrepit industrial zone but considerable thought and investment has resulted in the area becoming one of the city's primary attractions, a 1 km strip of user-friendly sand.
Barceloneta beach is Blue Flag quality with facilities including a fine wide promenade crammed with action, lifeguards, Red Cross first aid stations, toilets and of course a mass of hawkers, bars and restaurants.
The sand is moderately comfortable, the waters of the Mediterranean are cool, clean and reasonably calm as they are protected by spits of land.
Beach-goers range from families, romancing couples, school groups, British hen parties in recovery position from the night before, singles getting some colour to strange solo men tanning their genitalia (not illegal in Spain).
In the summertime (the season is June - September/October) the whole region buzzes with beach bars (chiringuitos), beach parties and later on exuberant night clubs.
Barceloneta Metro stop is a few minutes walk away beside the yacht marina and the History of Catalan Art Museum while buses also go there frequently.
Sant Sebastia beach (and sea mist), with the 'Miro meets the Mediterranean' avante-garde W Hotel (aka Hotel Vela) separating Barcelona's beaches from the commercial port.
If you're prepared to walk, bike or tube (Metro Yellow Line) a bit further along the Passeig Maritim promenade then half a dozen other similar but less-crowded beaches hove into view after the Port Olimpic, starting with Icaria, Bogatell (Bogatell Metro stop) and La Mar Bella (Poblenou Metro stop, 20 mins walk) a popular nudist beach.
Alternatively catch a 30 minute train ride from Sants station down to the clean, well-organised and calm beaches of gay Sitges.
More detailed information from the Barcelona city council in English on just about everything you might want to know (including webcams, transport information, jellyfish status, weather, water temperature etc.) about the beaches of Barcelona
More Costa Brava beaches
Barceloneta Port and the spacious Moll walkway between beaches and the Barceloneta Metro/Catalan Museum.
Mirador de Colom (Columbus memorial), with Montjuic hill in the background and the bottom of La Rambla to the right.
Montjuic offers the tourist panoramic city views, a 17th century fortress, the Palau Nacional showing Catalan art, Fundacio Joan Miro, extensive parkland and many other attractions including...
The Magic Fountain of Montjuic.
This free 'dancing fountains' display on Montjuic hill operates every half hour from 9pm to 11 pm Thursday to Sunday only, in the summertime, (May to September). Get there via the Metro station Placa Espanya and/or via a funicular railway connected to the metro.
Las Ramblas - as this pedestrain promenade is also known - is delightfully lined with shady trees, little florists, cafés (don't even consider eating there!), interesting buildings, bizarre living statues and sadly, pickpockets.
Overlooking the Rambla.
Police discussing problems, probably thievery related, on the Rambla.
Las Ramblas and adjacent Barri Gotic (medieval quarter, see picture below) has had a one of the world's worst reputations for petty thievery for years now, in spite of the installation of a sizeable police station directly beside La Rambla.
The Bugcrew can confirm that thieves are still very much in action as we were robbed there in spite of our experience and protective coloration. More of the robbery story and travel safety advice.
Carrer del Bisbe, Barri Gotic, on one side of La Rambla, similar in late-night ambience and isolation to the street in which the Bugcrew were mug-pocketed.
La Boqueria food market, just off La Rambla and offering especially attractive fresh fruit snacks and totally awesome chocolate variations, but also the usual veggies, meat and fish of course. Next, Gaudi buildings, Casa Batllo.
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