Best Beaches in (and around) Barcelona depending on your needs – complete lowdown!

It’s no wonder Barcelona is such a popular summer destination, you have the culture of a city with the enjoyment of the beach! There are many different types of beaches in Barcelona and the surrounding areas, so there is definitely something for everyone and sometimes it’s worth taking a train or a drive to find your perfect summer paradise. Here are our top recommendations…


Relax – If you just want somewhere quiet…

A chiringuito on Ocata beach

Montgat: Just a 20min train journey north and you will reach the peaceful haven of Montgat. Devoid of the call of ‘masaje masaje’ and ‘agua, cerveza, cola’, Montgat is often frequented by a few locals and some friendly volleyball players and little else. It’s the perfect place to read a book and doze in the sunshine. It’s also one of the cleanest beaches in Barcelona which is a HUGE selling point.

Ocata: If you’re willing to venture slightly further afield, you can catch a train from Catalunya or Sants to Mataro / Maçanet-Massanes and jump off at Ocata. The train takes about half an hour but is a beautiful jurney along the Costa Brava coastline and it’s worth it for the beach that awaits you. With nice chiringuitos (with nice prices!), clean sand, quiet surroundings and hammocks for rent, it’s no wonder Ocata was the most recommended beach by our staff in Barcelona. It also has great facilities and disabled access.


Meet locals – If you want something typically Spanish….

Badalona beach

Badalona: This beach is often the choice for Barcelona locals who wish to relax away from the hustle and bustle but don’t wish to venture too far afield. Found on the end of the yellow line, Badalona beaches are regularly cleaned, have all the necessary amenities, calm waters and golden sand.

Calafell: Located south, just overhalf way between Barcelona and Tarragona, you will find the town of Calafell. This destination is popular with families both Spanish and foreign and you are likely to come across children building sand castles with a smile. The area also has a rich heritage so it’s a perfect daytrip for history fans who like to do more than just top up their tan.


Meet expats – If you want to make friends and chill with backpackers…

One of many unique vendors at Barceloneta beach

Barceloneta: The busiest of all of Barcelonas beach and one of the most acessible. If you want to listen to a variety of music, buy cheap cans of beer from beach vendors, watch the skateboarders and bladers on the sidewalk and see the weird and wonderful whilst being surrounded by people from all over the world….Barceloneta is the place for you! It’s a busy but strangely chilled beach which is very popular with tourists and also has a plethora of bars and restaurants nearby.

Sitges: If you want something slightly less hectic and maybe a slightly older and more diverse crowd, you should head to Sitges. A 30min train ride south from Barcelona will bring you to the pretty coastal town. Known as a ‘gay resort’, Sitges is also popular with families due to the calm waters and beautiful beaches. It’s very touristic in the summer and every shop and bar has english speakers working so not the best if you want to practice your Spanish but perfect if you want a stress free lunch.


Sports – Volleyball or kite surfing anybody?

Nova Icaria: If you fancy a game of volleyball then this is the place to come. There are both permanant nets and a number of personal nets assembled by tourists and locals who don’t want to wait. You will often see a similar game that is played using the head and the feet, football meets volleyball… it’s amazing to watch and very popular in Barcelona. Nova Icaria also has a free gym on the beach if you want to show off your muscles or stare at men with nice muscles.

Kitesurfing in Castelldefels

Castelldefels: Another popular sport in and around Barcelona is kite surfing. The best place to try this sport close to Barcelona would be Castelldefels. Either side of high season you will see many kite surfers in these waters, both beginners and the more advanced. The beach itself is also lovely and one of the widest in the area with little bars in the middle so you can bring along friends who are less keen on the sport and they can watch and relax in comfort. Castelldefels is only a 15min train ride from central Barcelona.


Beauty – If you want to look at picturesque scenery with a glass of cava…

The beautiful 'Platja de Castell'

Cap de Crues: The Cap Creus is the last outlet of the Pyrenees and the most easterly point in Spain. It’s spectacular scenary should not be missed! Beautiful rock formations and a turquoise sea makes Cap de Crues a firm favourite of both chilled bohemnians and Spanish celebrities. With so many incredible hidden bays you’ll never get bored of exploring.

Platja de Castell: Located in the town of Palamós, about an hour and a half north of Barcelona is the stunning Platja de Castell. This beach is one of the few not to have been developed. There are beautiful coves, pine forrests surrounding and clear clean waters. One of the most picturesque spots you will find in the Costa Brava and even more beautiful outside of peak season when there are less visitors. The fish restaurants in the area also come highly recommended.


Alternative – For when you want to walk around on a beach where everything can dangle…

The view from Mar Bella beach.

Mar Bella: Located close to the city centre of Barcelona, Mar Bella is one of two nudist beaches in Barcelona and also has quite a large gay crowd frequenting it. With wider beaches than its nudist friend and chiringuitos to offer, Mar Bella is the beach of choice for people who want to let it all hang out away from the tourist bustle of Barceloneta and Nova Icaria. A large sand dune was created at one end to allow for a little privacy (this is where you will find most of the naturists) and located at the other end of the beach you will find sports facilities and a younger crowd. Poble Nou and Selva de Mar metros will bring you close to here.

El Torn: If you’re willing to travel a little further afield, Spain’s largest and most popular naturist beach is found in the province of Tarragona. Located amongst a wild, rocky coastline lies Playa El Torn, which despite being a very popular ‘playa naturista’ appears very quiet because of the enormity of the beach. A nudist campsite can be found adjacent to the beach, which is equipped with restaurants, bars, pools, a market, and even a cinema!



  1. [...] Best Beaches in (and around) Barcelona [...]

  2. [...] • The beaches. Once named the #1 beach city in the world, Barcelona offers a wide selection of beaches for its visitors. Beaches closer to the city are more crowded, smaller, and cater to many young people who prefer to drink and party; while the beaches farther from the city are bigger, quieter, and cater more to those who would rather swim and relax. For an extensive guide to Barcelona’s best beaches, check out this list. [...]

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