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Beaches in Barcelona

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What would be a visit to the Spanish Mediterranean metropolis without going at least once to the beach? Contrary to the French Mediterranean metropolis Marseille, where the beaches are far away from the city, in Barcelona, one can comfortably walk to the beaches.

The beach line of Barcelona A boat with big grates that releases the water in the proximity of the beach from junk

Barcelona is of course not a classic bathing resort, although there are beaches of a length of several kilometres. Therefore, the city and the accommodation is simply too expensive. Thus, a beach holiday in Barcelona is rather something for a fat purse. But in Barcelona people do not have a mere beach holiday but combine the bathing pleasure with the life of a big city - as also the local people do.

The sand beach of Barcelona with a length of approximately 5 kilometres is divided in six partial beaches that are divided by moles from each other:

  • Platja de San Sebastiá
  • Platja de Barceloneta
  • Platja Nova Icària
  • Platja del Bogatell
  • Platja Mar Bella
  • Platja Mar Bella Nova

What does platja actually mean? Beach is playa in Spanish, isn't it? In Spanish yes, but we are actually in the core of Catalonia and here, there is no Castilian(high spanish) but Catalan.

Although the beaches are comunicated with each other by a long promenade, they are of a completely different character. But they have one thing in common: they are artificially arranged sand beaches; all of them have toilets and showers for free use. A warden guards all-over from a 5 m heighted tower. The water is very clean and is permanently released from junk by some cleaning boats.

The tourist beaches

But the beaches are different concerning the kind of visitors and the life that is going on there. At the very west of the city, there are the beaches San Sebastiá and Barceloneta. Here, tourist from all over the world and Spain come together. The huge beach surfaces are are very close in the summer time. As most tourists do not have much time for the beach, there is a permanent comig and going.

The Platja de Barceloneta

Those who want to relax at those beaches will not be successful, as here, some merchants and sellers want to attract the tourist's attention; Every minute, coke and beer sellers pass over and offer their drinks. Partly, the sellers scream from all directions "Cola, Fanta, Cerveza, Agua fria..." This is so annoying that one actually does not want to be longer on this beach.

What is also a pitty is that many tourist do not consider it to be necessary to remove their waste. Of course, they do not come back any more; While the butts in the sand are still harmless, but the empty cans of beer and plastic bags piled up on the sand disturb all the more, specially when the wind blows the stuff to all directions.

The beaches of the local people

While the beaches in the area of La Barceloneta and in the proximity of the olympic harbour are crowded out by tourists and do not offer any room for calmness and relaxation, the further one gets to the northwest, the nicer is the bathing pleasure. The most beautiful beach is the outer one, the Platja Mar Bella Nova.

The gorgeous beach Mar Bella Nova during the week

As one gets to these beaches from the olympic harbour in only half an hour on foot, here, there are barely tourists; At these beaches, the local people do bath. Here, there are sumerous parking places where the local people arrive to from all corners and ends of the city. During the week days, these beaches are quite empty; only at noon time, when ,any workers have their siesta, the beaches are a little frequented.

The beach Mar Bella at the week-end

But at the week-ends, the rush to the backmost beaches already starts at the early morning. Contrary to the beaches by La Barceloneta, in the northeast, there is no permanent coming and going. The local people rather arrange their camp in order to stay there up to lunch time (approximately 03.00 p.m.). There are also drink sellers at the beaches Bogatell, Mar Bella and Mar Bella Nova, but probably one comes any 5-10 minutes and not any half a minute.

In the second backmost beach of Barcelona, the Platja Mar Belle, there is, by the way, a small and marked section for nudists. But these few nudists are even in this beach a definite minority, as the normal bath suit wearing people do also lie on this beach.

Thus, my recomendation is very clear: those who really want to enjoy the beach and the sea in Barcelona should go to the northwast of the city, to the Platja Mar Bella Nova. Those who do not want to do the long march from the city centre can get their comfortably by bus.

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