Barcelona is frequently mentioned as one of the ‘World’s Best Cities to Live in, and there are countless reasons why: it’s cosmopolitan, artistic, architecturally sophisticated, is home to the world’s best culinary masters and to the world’s best football team.
But to top it all, Barcelona is a city with a beach. Not many of Europe’s top city destinations can boast a beach. But Barcelona, situated on the Mediterranean Costa Brava in Catalonia, is one of them.
There are over four kilometres of golden sandy beaches in Barcelona, La Barceloneta, or Little Barcelona, in the Ciutat Vella district, is the main beach and also a triangular residential and commercial district which leads away from the beach and port.
The local neighbourhood
Barceloneta is a fascinating ravel of corridor style streets and alleys, where you can find some superb bars and restaurants. It’s also not your typical touristic area, so you can lose yourself in the lifestyle of the local residents of La Barceloneta.
The district reaches from the old harbour and the new Port Vell, across to the beach of the same name and there reaches up towards the city centre in a triangular point.
The residential district was originally built to provide accommodation to inhabitants of La Ribera who had lost their homes when the construction of citadel took place. Later it was home to local fishermen and metal workers.
During the urban renewal of Barcelona in preparation for the hugely successful Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, the district of Barceloneta was cleaned up and revitalised and now has a vibrant village feel.
Barceloneta Beach is situated around 15 minutes way from Las Ramblas; it’s a popular beach and can get pretty busy during holiday time. In which case, head to the next beach along, Icaria Beach, which is a little more laid-back.
The 1100 metre stretch of beach offers a myriad of sports and leisure activities. There are heaps of services for all the family including showers, public toilets, children’s games area, boat hire, parasols, ice cream and refreshments kiosks and more.
Eating out in Barceloneta
Visitors and residents of Barcelona head to Barceloneta to eat tapas, seafood and enjoy an evening drink by the beach. It’s also a favourite spot for Sunday lunch.
Recommended restaurants in the neighbourhood include Can Mano (Carrer del Baluard 20) and La Bombeta; both offer simple, local dishes at cheap prices. You can always tell a good restaurant if the locals are dining there and these two restaurants are always busy with locals. El Lobito and Suquet de L’Almirall both offer a superb seafood and fish menu, in a more stylish setting. Prices are obviously higher, but the experience is worth it.
Barceloneta enjoys a mild temperate and Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters.