Located within the province of Barcelona and less than 20 minutes’ train ride from the city centre, Badalona is an attractive seaside town with long, natural sandy beaches. It is less crowded than Barcelona during the summer months and therefore a great place to go for a swim, relax over a meal or take part in beach sports. You can find out more about the attractions of Badalona’s coastline below.
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Badalona beaches, bars and boat trips
It is easy to get to Badalona by train from Barcelona centre – simply take the Rodalies de Catalunya R1 service which runs through Sants, Plaça Catalunya and Arc de Triomf every 10-15 minutes during the daytime. From the station a subway leads straight to the beach. The golden sands stretch for over 3km to Montgat in the North (see next paragraph for details). The view to the South is framed by the three chimneys of the former Sant Adrià coal-fired power station. Built in 1971 and closed in 2005, the local people decided in a referendum that the chimneys should stay standing as a testament to past industry: love them or hate them, they are now a characteristic part of the Badalona skyline. The beaches are divided up into different stretches, each with their own attractions. Just outside the station is Club Natació Badalona, which houses the city’s indoor municipal pool. There are ample bars and restaurants dotted along the Passeig Marítim which provide welcome shade from the midday sun. Further North, on the section of beach known as Platja del Pont d’en Botifarreta, is the Club Nàutic Betulo, which offers a full range of sailing-based activities. It is also possible to take a boat trip from Port Vell in Barcelona to Badalona harbour (€20 and 2 hours for a return journey). This trip is operated by BCNaval tours. It takes around 40 minutes to walk the full length of the beach from South-North; a walk which is particularly rewarding at sunrise and sunset.
Beyond Badalona: Montgat
Just North of Badalona is Montgat beach, which is separated from Badalona proper by a rocky promontory. This is a beautiful beach, most easily reached from Montgat Nord station (2 stops from Badalona and still in fare zone 1). Expect the beach here to be still more peaceful, especially in the early morning and late evening – it’s a good place to head for a convenient escape from the city. There are also two excellent restaurants here, just under the railway subway which leads to the beach, Can Faba 1898 and El Mirall. Both restaurants specialise in traditional seafood. Both can be busy so booking ahead is recommended. Can Faba’s fish soup is delicious and almost a meal in itself, but leave room for the catch of the day washed down with a glass of excellent local wine. The staff are very welcoming of families with young children, who are sure to be amused by the trains whizzing by at regular intervals. El Mirall has excellent value set menus at lunchtime which are very popular with locals so do book ahead to avoid disappointment. With the exception perhaps of booking a table at one of these restaurants, there is no need to plan ahead to visit Badalona from Barcelona due to its close proximity to the city and frequent transport links. This is what makes it the perfect escape for an unplanned afternoon stroll or early morning swim.