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Tips for a great beach experience in Barcelona

Written by Joe Thurston

If there is one thing that is not lacking in Barcelona is an assortment of beaches. There are beaches that are very close to the center, like the one in Barceloneta, and beaches that can be found in the surrounding cities, like Ocata and Badalona. If you want to venture even further, you can explore the beaches of Costa Brava which are really worth the trip.

To guarantee that you have a safe and enjoyable beach experience, here are some tips from ShBarcelona.

Pack your gear

Photo via VisualHunt

Photo via VisualHunt

Bringing a towel is the most basic thing you will have to remember when going to any beach, but there are also other items that you should pack such as sunscreen, sunglasses and maybe a hat, depending on how long you plan to stay out in the sun. If you like to have some shade to escape to, there are certain areas on some beaches in Barcelona that have umbrellas to rent. However, these are usually either too expensive or exclusive to the users of a hotel or bar, so if you really need that shade, you better bring your own umbrella along.

Related article: Barcelona beach activities

Do not leave your items unattended

This is a rule that should be followed in most places in the world. Barcelona is known as a very peaceful city but it is unfortunately also known for a lot of petty theft. The thieves in Barcelona are always on the lookout, especially in the most popular, tourist areas, so it is not wise to leave your items unattended.


Barcelona is such a liberal city that a couple of years ago, a law had to be created to prevent people from walking completely naked on the street, as it made tourists feel shocked. Being topless is allowed on any beach in Barcelona but full nudity is reserved to some beaches, like the Marbella Beach which has both a nude section and a gay-friendly section.

Related article: Beaches of Badalona

Food and drinks

Photo via Pixabay

There are many different bars along the beaches, known as chiringuitos, but they are usually very expensive. You will also see men carrying cocktails and beers up and down the beach trying to sell them. Their drinks will also be sold at inflated prices, but are not nearly as expensive as the ones sold on the chiringuitos. The difference between the two is that when you go to a chiringuito, you know it is a regulated venue serving drinks that are safe to be consumed, while if you buy drinks from unlicensed vendors, you can never be sure of the conditions they were prepared in and what really is in them.


The atmosphere at Barcelona’s beaches will vary depending on the time of year you visit them. If you go during the summer, you will undoubtedly find people playing sports like volleyball, scorrer, and even ultimate frisbee. You will probably also run into people – usually young – who bring their own speakers and blast music while they talk. If you go to the most central beaches, closer to Barceloneta, you will be constantly pestered by people trying to sell you anything from drinks to pareos, henna tattoos, and massages.

Looking for an apartment in the city? ShBarcelona is the answer.

About the author

Joe Thurston

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

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