The 10 Best Beaches in Barcelona, Spain

From bustling Barceloneta to nudist Mar Bella and tranquil Caldetes, this is our guide to Barcelona's best beaches.

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Barceloneta Beach

A crowded Barceloneta beach with skyscrapers in the distance
Dosfotos Dosfotos/Getty Images
Playa de la Barceloneta, Spain

From drums being played around the weird Cubes monument to sand-artists and singing dancing donut salesmen, it may be Barcelona's dirtiest, most crowded, and most touristy stretch of sand, but it's also the most entertaining. And it's got some great seafood eateries along the shore.

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Nova Icaria Beach

Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona
OK Apartment/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Passeig Marítim de la Nova Icària, 60, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
+34 932 21 03 48

Attracting a mostly very young crowd, Nova Icária is beside the Olympic marina and observatory. It's also near the Icária shopping centre with its English-language cinema, a good option when returning from the beach and stuck for something to do.

Nova Icária is good for watersports and there are some English-language sessions you can book online.

03 of 11

Bogatell Beach

Couple walking on seafront of Bogatell Beach in Spain
Diego Lezama/Getty Images
08005 Barcelona, Spain

Bogatell Beach is a bit of a walk from Bogatell Metro Station—about fifteen minutes—but once you get there it's cleaner and calmer than the Barceloneta stretches. Prepare for many a tattoo, lots of silicon and seriously large sunglasses.

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Mar Bella Beach

Mar Bella beach in Spain
Abir Anwar/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Platja de la Mar Bella, Spain

Mar Bella has a nudist stretch, part of which is discreetly partitioned off by a big dune beside the windsurfing center. It's also a favorite hangout for gays and lesbians.

On Sundays throughout summer there are late-night raves.

Read more about other Nudist Beaches in Spain

Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11

Ocata Beach

Ocata Beach in Spain
Miguel Perez/CC
Passeig Prat de la Riba, 7, 08320 El Masnou, Barcelona, Spain

North of Barcelona, Ocata is quiet, pristine and very flat, with oodles of space on the beautiful golden white sand. It's a half-hour trip on the train out of the city.

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Caldetes Beach

Boy climbing lifeguard tower at Caldetes beach in Spain
Carrer de la Pau, 08393 Caldetas, Barcelona, Spain

If you're looking for no-frills beach action, this is the one. Although it's only a short ride north of the city center, Caldetes is comparatively deserted.

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St Pol de Mar Beach

Spain, Sant Pol de Mar, view to empty beach
Westend61/Getty Images
08395 Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona, Spain

St Pol de Mar is an hour's train journey out of the city, but it's got a gorgeous beach lapped by clear water and backed by pretty hills. Best of all is the enchanting cove—which has become a nudist zone—next to the rain tunnel.

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Castelldefels Beach

Castelldefels Beach in Barcelona
Siqui Sanchez/Getty Images
Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain

It's only fifteen minutes south of the city center and enjoys five kilometers of tempting sand. The downside is it's as busy as the city center beaches.

Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Garraf Beach

Garraf beach
Oarranzli/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
08871 Garraf, Barcelona, Spain
+34 938 11 76 00

Five minutes by train from Castelldefells is Garraf, whose beach is considerably quieter. It's easily accessed from the station and has good facilities.

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Sitges Beach

Sitges Beach, Spain
Jef Nickerson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Plaça Eduard Maristany, 1, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain

Half an hour away from Barcelona city center, gay-friendly Sitges' city center sands are pristine but can get noisy and quite windy, while the area to the north of the seafront church is better sheltered and a bit quieter.

Read about how to get from Barcelona to Sitges.

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Further Afield in Catalonia

Calella de Palafrugell

It can get packed in high summer but, hemmed in between cliffs and a pretty fishing village, Calella's beach has one of Catalonia's most attractive seaside settings.

Altafulla Beach

A ten-minute train ride from Tarragona, Altafulla is one of the highlights of the Costa Daurada, with miles of white sand and a gorgeous, secluded cove beneath a ruined Roman fort.

Cala Llevadò

Steep, golden cliffs, marvelous crystal clear waters and one of Catalonia's best campsites. Cala Llevadò is located on the Costa Brava, between Tossa and Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava.

Tossa de Mar

Tossa might have a cheap 'n' cheery package holiday reputation, but its beaches are easily as good as anything in Catalonia, presided over by a medieval castle on the southern bluffs.

Cala de Sant Francesc

Just north of Blanes is this pristine spot surrounded by exclusive villas perched in the pine woods.

Sant Lluìs

If in search of something a little wilder try this pebbly beach, situated in the volcanic otherworld of Cap de Creus Natural Park. A short walk from Cadaquès, the beach is reached via a stony scramble through olive woods.

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The 10 Best Beaches in Barcelona, Spain