Barcelona’s port used to be a blot on Barcelona’s landscape but in the 1980s it was completely transformed from a run down industrial fishing port to a beautiful seafront with shops, restaurants, bars clubs and of course beaches worthy of a city like Barcelona.
Barceloneta was virtually uninhabited until the mid 18th century when the people took the land back from the sea and created a new district out of what was a swamp. The first houses were built in the 1700s by engineer Juan Martín Cermeño and ever since then the area has taken on a life of its own. The houses were built for local workers and became astonishingly overcrowded as the original buildings only had two stories, supposedly so that cannon from Ciutadella could pass over them!
Visiting Barceloneta by day
The beaches around Barceloneta are overrun with people during the summer months and the churinguitos (beachside bars) are packed with people drinking, eating, dancing and enjoying the summer. It’s always a good idea to get down there early if you want a good spot to place your towel. You must also be aware of pickpockets in this area; when taking a dip in the sea make sure someone is keeping both eyes on your valuables. Its best to bring as little as possible. If you have to bring things you can leave them in a locker at the beach but do check what time they close, this can often be around six o’clock and you could be stranded without your things until they open again the following morning!
You will also find the museum of the history of Catalonia which offers a permanent exhibition of Catalan history dating form prehistoric times to the modern day.
Visiting Barceloneta by night
Barceloneta has much more to offer than just a beach. Its proximity to the sea means that there is an array or fabulous seafood restaurants with beautiful views across Port Vell and the Mediterranean. Even the backstreets are brimming with seafood restaurants, it is said that there is a bar or restaurant for every 120 local residents!
Along the edge of the beach you will also be able to enjoy some of the best of Barcelona’s nightlife as big clubs open onto the beach and revellers party until the early hours of the morning.
How to get there
The metro L4 will take you to Barceloneta but there are also several bus routes passing through the area which often can get you a bit closer to the beach if you don’t feel like walking quite so far.