Are you visiting Barcelona and looking for a summer beach escape? Barcelona urban beaches can get pretty busy when summer is at its peak. We have talked how you can plan the perfect day in Barcelona, but a city break is an excellent option for this extra day in Barcelona, when most of sightseeing has been done. Here’s our list with the top beaches and towns near Barcelona, distant less than one-hour from the most centric square of Barcelona, Plaza Cataluña.
Let´s start with the urban beach of Barcelona: Barceloneta. It’s an excellent spot for those who have limited time in Barcelona. However, we recommend adventuring the nearby beaches to grasp the real essence of a Mediterranean destination like Barcelona.
Some key recommendations to consider:
1) Try to be an early bird. Lay your beach towel early in the morning. One hour can make the difference between a couple of people on the beach to a couple of thousand.
2) Public transportation services are reliable. Barcelona´s train, bus and subway system is clean, air-conditioned and efficient. Public transportation starts to operate around 5:00AM and finishes around midnight. The railway line runs right next to the coastline both north and south of Barcelona, so all options picked below are easily accessible.
3) Visit during the week. Usually the weekends are busier than the week days.
4) Take a tour with a local. Book in advance the next memorable adventure with BrightSide Tours.
Let´s get ready then. Comfortable shoes, sunscream, water in the backpack, light clothing, sunglasses and off we go!
This lovely coastal town is located just 40min. by train from Plaza Cataluña. Sitges has everything a summer destination can offer: easy access beaches for the whole family, museums like the Casa Bacardi Museum and Cau Ferrat Museum, restaurants and cafes, night life and much more. The little old town, with the church of San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla two steps from the cliffs, is one of the most photographed locations in Catalonia.
VILANOVA I LA GELTRU
Also known as the little Havana, Vilanova I La Geltrú city center is filled with colonial architecture. Plaza de la Vila is the main meeting point of locals, open air concerts and street performances. At noon, you’ll find the locals sitting in one of the bars of the square and drink a vermut, the most emblematic wine-based drink in Catalonia. When you’ll arrive at the train station you should consider paying a visit to the Catalonia Railway Museum, before heading to the beach of Platja de Ribes Roges, a wide and lovely beach right next the marina.
Just 30min. from Barcelona you´ll arrive at Garraf Natural Park with the homonymous beach is the closest option we recommend south of Barcelona. A unique place where in one day you can do an easy level hike, go for a wine tasting experience in one of the vineyards of Penedés DO, swim in the sea and taste a delicious paella next by the sea. Note that the vineyards are located a few miles inland, thus you´ll need a hired car or private chauffeured tour to bring you there. The beach of Garraf stands out for its Mediterranean style white and green fishermen houses dating back to the 1920s. Like all the other options in the list, it´s a family friendly area with many services provided to the visitors.
SAN POL DE MAR
An excellent day trip north of Barcelona is San Pol de Mar. This seaside small town on Maresme coast is ideal for a short trip from Barcelona. During the summer the town lives up to the expectations of travelers from all over the world. The whole family can find something entertaining, from sailboat rentals, water sports, lovely walks and seafood restaurants. For the history lovers, a not-to-miss visit is the archaeological site in the outskirts of San Pol de Mar, the Iberian-Roman town of El Morer and the Martina tower.
All in all, the Spanish coast of the Mediterrean Sea is full of wonders waiting to be discovered. Give us a shout if you need any extra tip or local’s recommendations. We’ll be happy to help!