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Leisure and Culture

Barcelona Beach Activities

beach barcelona with W hotel in background
Written by Joe Thurston

Barcelona is blessed in an unusual way for a major international city in Europe. In very few other places are you able to find the stunning architecture, shops, and sights of this modern cosmopolitan city, with a gorgeous sandy beach onto the Mediterranean on its doorstep.

A day on the beach – or even your apartment near one of Barcelona’s beaches – is a real highlight of the Barcelona experience and one that brings laughter and joy to people of all ages.

But what exactly is on offer at Barcelona’s seven beaches? ShBarcelona tells you more today!

Related article: The Beaches on Barcelona’s Coast

Discover Barcelona’s lovely beaches


people playing beach volleyball

Photo by Photographing Travis via Visualhunt

Many visitors comment on how they’re surprised that a beach right next to a city, has such beautiful, crystal clear waters. It’s the perfect place for a swim on a hot day as you can see right down to the bottom.

This also means that there is a wider range of water sports available; from sailing to kayaking and water skiing.

Beach volleyball and football are also particularly prominent, and there are always games going on at the tens of courts, that are completely free to participate in.

At Barceloneta beach there is even a very popular outdoors gym, should you wish to have a workout while you’re down there.

If all this exercise is just far too much to think about on your holiday, there are also trained masseuses walking up and down the beach offering their relaxation services.


Of course the most popular, and rightly so, activity is sunbathing. There are very few days without sun in Barcelona which makes it is the perfect place to soak in some rays.

In the summer months, the beaches will be full of people from all over the world, chatting and enjoying the atmosphere. In fact, books are very rarely read on these beaches; it is very much more of a ‘talking to friends and listening to music while sunbathing’ kind of culture.

Related article: The Best Beaches of El Maresme

Drinking and eating

cocktail with lemon, lime and mint

Photo by Iliyan Yankov via Visualhunt

Eating and drinking are two of the best activities to do on the beach. There are several options: the first one is to take advantage of the men rambling along the beach offering beers and cocktails.

It can seem a bit strange to some visitors, but they are well-made drinks that are really quite cheap. Plus you don’t have to move from your spot on the sand for an ice cold mojito!

There are also many different restaurants and bars on the beach. Sit at a fully serviced a la carte restaurant with your toes in the sand.

The ‘Pura Vida’ bar (coined from the Costa Rican phrase for ‘Pure Life’) right in the heart of Playa de San Sebastian, is a particularly well-run place, serving wonderful food and drinks that help it really live up to its name!

Lastly, there are many different supermarkets just off the beach, should you wish to buy a bottle of wine and some food for your time on the golden sand.

Beach rules

Please note the following two rules of the beach: Firstly, never leave your belongings unattended. They are safe and happy beaches but there have been incidents of petty theft whilst people take a dip in the sea.

Secondly, the Spanish are very liberal in their ways, and nude and topless sunbathing is something the locals take completely in their stride. So if you are more of the conservative mindset, it is something to take into consideration so you’re not shocked when this happens, and if you’re in the opposite camp, it’s the perfect friendly environment to make sure you don’t get those dreaded tan lines!

Whether you come to Barcelona for a couple of days or a couple of months, going to the beach is a great way to spend your day in this coastal city.

*Main hoto by Laura Berdasco via Visualhunt

What is your favourite beach in Barcelona and why?

About the author

Joe Thurston

Joe is a professional actor/writer from England who has made Barcelona his home.

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