Summer time in Barcelona is all about going to the beach. Tourists come from all over Europe to lay on the beaches and drink cervezas amongst other things. Apart from the tourists, there are tons of people living in Barcelona and surrounding cities who also love going to the beach. Couple tourists with locals and you can just imagine what the beach scene might be like. In addition to crowds of people, the water is not the cleanest as there is waste running from the city and lots of trash. Growing up in a country with beautiful beaches, like I did, then you tend to have high standards for what a beach should look like. Barceloneta Beach is not it!
Living in a coastal city means living next to other coastal towns and beaches, lucky for us we have a great transportation system that can get you to some of the nicer beaches in 30 minutes or less! I have compiled a list of my favorite Barcelona Beaches that are slightly outside of the city, but are super easy to get to by train…no car or hiking required.
Beaches that are only accessible by car or by hiking are probably some of the most beautiful you will find here in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, I don’t have a car and I am not the hiking type…if you know me…you know. This list consists of my favorite Barcelona beaches that are easy to get to by train. Quick note…if you have a transport card for zone 1, which is used to get around the city, that same card will take you to these beaches. Let’s get into it…in no particular order, but I will save my numero uno for last.
Montgat beach is north of Barcelona on the coast, about 30 minutes on the R Train (renfe) toward Mataro. Once you get off the train, you simply cross the street, walk under the tracks and you are on the beach. From here you get a view of the Barcelona Beaches and the city, which is really nice. Montgat is a long and narrow beach with fine sand and clear waters. There are no chiringuitos (beach bars), but there are men walking around selling beer and chips, convenient if you don’t want to travel with a lot.
This beach is also north of Barcelona on the coast, about 25 mins on the R Train towards Mataro. After about a five min walk from the train, the beach is on the right and a little town on the left. This beach is pretty big and super wide so there’s lots of space. There are not many trees, like most beaches, so there’s no shade. There are no chiringuitos and no one walking around selling beer like at Barceloneta. The sand is fine but rocky at the shore, and the water is pretty clear.
Playa de Castelldefels
Going about 25-30 minutes south of Barcelona, we have Playa de Castelldefels. The R-train from Barcelona towards Vilanova i La Geltru takes you almost directly there. Once you get off the train at Playa De Castelldefels, cross the street and walk for two minutes right on to the beach. This is the main beach in the town of Castelldefels and is pretty big, much like Barceloneta but the sand and water are 100% cleaner. Like most beaches here, the sand is fine with a rocky shoreline and clear water. On this beach, there are chiringuitos but noone walking around selling cervezas or snacks.
Playa de Garraf
I saved the best for last. Garraf Beach is my favorite. However, it is the farthest at about 40 mins outside of Barcelona on the R train towards Vilanova i La Geltrú. This beach is very easy to get to. Once you get off the train, you just go down the stairs, under the tracks, down more stairs, cross the street and you are on the beach. I love this one the most, as in addition to being the smallest, it is very quaint, has the clearest water and there are the cutest little fisherman villas lined up which makes it so picturesque.
This beach doesn’t have any chiringuitos or anyone selling beers or snacks, but there is a restaurant named Chiringuito on the rock cliff which has an amazing Cava Sangria and an even more amazing view of the water. Usually a reservation is needed but sometimes you can and see if they have a table available. Also, if you are a SoHo House member, you will have access to the hotel (Little Beach House Barcelona) and it’s restaurant located right on the beach.
As noted before, these beaches are easy to get to from Barcelona by train. The distance is worth it, when it means clearer water, cleaner sand and less crowd. Generally speaking, all beaches in the summer will have a crowd, but if you go early in the morning, it will be peaceful. By one or two in the afternoon, the influx of people will start rolling in. You can either stay and enjoy the crowd or you can wrap up and would have had a long enough day to enjoy the beach.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have never been to Barceloneta Beach, you should definitely go. There’s so much to see, but once you are over the hype… check out some of the Barcelona Beaches on my list!
If the beach isn’t your thing, check out my posts on easy day trips from Barcelona.
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