When visiting Barcelona in the Summer, you must pack a bathing suit. Barcelona is famous for the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s houses, and Picasso Museum but it is also known for their beaches.
Living near the Jersey Shore, it was hard to escape the beach each summer. I would spend hours, days, and weeks at Ocean City or Long Branch. However, visiting a beach in Barcelona was a different experience — a much more cleaner experience.
When I dunked my feet into the water I could still see my red manicured toes clearly. I was shocked to see how blue the water was. I felt safe swimming in the water and accidentally swallowing the water did not make me nervous. I picked up a few stones from the beach because it was colorful and did not look like the ordinary, dull, grey rocks. Wherever you sit in the beach you can see the W Hotel that is shaped like a sail, which is fun to look at.
The only downside to Barceloneta was that it was tourist-infested, which means there were vendors everywhere. Every minute a person would be walking by attempting to sell you a blanket/scarf, massage, sangria, and/or selfie stick. There was never a quiet moment in the beach. The water and view was pleasant but it was impossible to read a book without feeling distracted. Each time a vendor walked by you had to adamantly say “NO” or else they would continue to pester you, especially the masseuses who would touch you.
After two hours of attempting to enjoy the fresh and clean water I indulged in a nice lunch at the beach. It was nice to avoid pizza or hamburgers, which is what is always offered in the beaches back at home. I had a veggie burger and my friend ordered nachos. The restaurant was reasonably priced; however, beer was cheaper than water but that seems to be the case everywhere within Europe.
Also, bring your own towel and parasol because to rent a chair and parasol is expensive. Chairs and parasols are sold separately and they are both 10 euros each.
Overall, Barceloneta is nice to visit once because of the water and the stones you can pick up but do not expect a calm and quiet atmosphere, it is more bustling and hip with tourists, mainly.
Address: La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
If Barceloneta is the loud beach then Badalona is the quiet one. Badalona is filled with locals and there were absolutely no tourists there. The only foreign language I heard was the one coming out from our mouths. I spent my last full day there in the morning and it was the most peaceful morning I spent throughout my whole Spain trip. The locals here are quiet and there were no vendors, which made the beach much more peaceful. I was able to read a book while also taking a nap without having to worry about my items being stolen. What was interesting was that the females here were freely resting in the beach without their top. I heard of nude beaches in Europe but it was still a shock to me that females were comfortable being half naked. In America, females always cover themselves with at least a bikini top and most wear a shirt over their bathing suit but not in Badalona. That was definitely a culture shock to me; however, it felt nice seeing females feel free and relaxed.
The water is the same as the one in Barceloneta; therefore, whichever beach you go to you are guaranteed to be swimming inside a clean and clear water.
Out of the two beaches I visited I would definitely recommend Badalona more than Barceloneta. However, Badalona is further from the city center making it less known to tourists. If you want a quiet beach and nothing else than make your way down to Badalona but if you want a beach with music, sangria, and loud crowds then head over to Barceloneta.
Address: Playa Badalona, 08918 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain