Barcelona’s #1 attraction with locals when the heat kicks in, Barceloneta beach encompasses a one kilometre strip of user-friendly sand. In addition various odd sculptures including Frank Gehry’s 1992 ‘El Peix’ bronze whale sculpture – just visible through the sea mist in this April.
The beach has Blue Flag quality water and offers 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 a little coarse but acceptably 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.
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.
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 half a dozen other similar but less-crowded beaches hove into view after the Port Olimpic. These run from Icaria, Bogatell (Bogatell Metro stop) to 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
Barceloneta Port and the spacious Moll walkway between beaches and the Barceloneta Metro/Catalan Museum.