The 5 best beaches nearby and in Barcelona

1) Nova Icària

If you’re facing Frank Gehry’s Peix sculpture (you can’t miss it, it’s a 56-metre long goldfish), Nova Icària beach is behind you and to the right. This is a family beach, with volley fields and a ping-pong table.

Nova Icária beach

Passeig Marítim de la Nova Icària 77

2) Mar Bella

Again, facing the Peix, Mar Bella beach is a ten-minute walk to the right. This is a beach with a younger crowd, mostly gay men but lots of women as well. It’s also a nudist zone. Mar Bella and Nova Icària are the best beaches in Barcelona. If you want something else, it’s not a bad idea to leave the city; there are beautiful beaches in the vicinity.

Mar Bella beach

Passeig Marítim de la Mar Bella 126

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3) Sant Pol de Mar

This seaside village is only a bit further away than better-known Sitges (65 minutes by train). You can stay close to the train station and enjoy the bars on the beach, or you can walk a bit further away and lay your towel in between the rocky formations. Great photo opportunities galore. 

Sant Pol de Mar beach

Sant Pol de Mar

4) Playa Natural del Prat

Want to go where the locals go? Then go to Playa del Prat. You may recognise the name: your plane landed on Airport El Prat. The airport is close to the beach, but that doesn’t bother anyone. The beach consists of 5,5 kilometres of clean blonde sand, with a very mixed crowd. The train-ride from Barcelona to El Prat de Llobregat takes 11 minutes.

sunset at Playa del Prat

El Prat de Llobregat

5) Jardines de la Torre de les Aigües

You may think you’re trespassing, walking onto a private parking space or something, but this really is a public space. And a nice one: with a bit of water (around a water tower), sand and benches – an inner-city beach, but with more shade than on an actual beach, thanks to the trees. A great space for parents with small children.

swimming fountain at Jardines de la Torre de les Aigües

Carrer de Roger de Llúria 56

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