Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Beach - Barcelonetta vs. Badalona

Barceloneta beach looking towards Port Olímpic
The ability to combine shopping on Rambla de Catalunya, with chilling out on the beach, followed by drinks in El Raval and dinner in Gràcia on the same day makes Barcelona a unique European holiday destination. A really nice beach within walking distance from the city centre means that you can pretty much do whatever you want when in Barcelona without having to plan anything in advance. The beach we are referring to here is located in Barceloneta. It is easy to get to the beach on foot, however, depending on where in Barcelona you are located you may want to take the Metro to Barceloneta station or get a bus that will take you there. The beach is nice and clean with several chiringuitos (beach bars)  and a string of regular bars and restaurants at both ends. We often have a quick trip to the beach in Barceloneta if we have an hour or two to spare but there are some down sides that should be mentioned. Firstly, it is crawling with tourists, secondly there are some terrible restaurants in Barceloneta that you should avoid (good places will be recommended in separate posts), and thirdly there are countless very annoying people constantly trying to sell you everything from beer, massages, henna tattoo's, fruit, mojitos etc. Personally, we suggest that you don't buy anything from these guys except maybe water, beer or a soft drink in an unopened can/bottle. Moreover, keep a good eye on your belongings as it is quite common to have your stuff stolen in Barceloneta and around Port Olimpic. Despite these draw backs it is truly amazing that you can just stroll down to the beach from Barcelona city centre for a swim and a mojito in one of the chiringuitos.
Badalona beach in November
If you get tired of the tourist madness in Barceloneta and feel like a nice and civilised day at the beach there is an excellent alternative not too far away. Just north of Barcelona the city of Badalona is located. Badalona has a great beach, with nice chiringuitos, restaurants and bars and none of the touristic nuisances you are exposed to in Barceloneta. Unlike Barceloneta in Badalona you will find almost exclusively Catalans at the beach. The beach is easily reached by train from Barcelona Sants railway station. Very conveniently the train station in Badalona is located right next to the beach. Moreover, there is a fantastic restaurant on the beach in Badalona that in itself is worth the trip (Club Natació Badalona that we will cover in a separate post). DC!

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