In the second installment of our series taking an in-depth look at Barcelona we will look at the ocean side neighborhood of Barceloneta. If you are looking for something more Mediterranean and less metropolitan, then Barceloneta is just what you’re looking for. Barceloneta has something for everyone. It has the Barcelona Aquarium for nature lovers, the beach for those looking to sunbathe, and it has the Maremagnum for the shoppers. As far as malls go, the Maremagnum is excellent. It is located right on the water, has an adjoining IMAX, and has top notch restaurants. You will not find the typical food court here.
Nothing says Mediterranean quite like a sun drenched stroll down Passeig de Joan de Borbó. The street is lined with moored boats and palm trees on the western side and seafood restaurants on the eastern side. When searching for the perfect paella here’s a tip: the crowded restaurants are crowded for a reason, and the same goes for the empty ones. A little wait might just pay off in the long run. After a seafood lunch or dinner at one of the many outdoor dining options, enjoy a gelato or chocolate treat as they can easily be found here as well.
If swimming is your goal then I would recommend a ten minute stroll down the boardwalk to Bogatel Beach. It is possible to swim directly at Barceloneta Beach, but as the locals will tell you the water gets cleaner the further you get away from the commercial port. At Bogatel Beach you will find more cafes, one of which is directly on the beach. The food here will not blow you away but it does the job. There are beach chaise lounges that can be rented as well as umbrellas for the fair skinned among us. Something to keep in mind is that many women go topless which is not something every American tourist is accustomed to.
Barceloneta is easily accessed by car by Via Laietana, one of the main arteries in the city which runs parallel to La Rambla. Avinguda Litoral runs the length of the coast and by driving down this route you can reach many of the outlying beaches that are less busy and more pristine. For this purpose having a car can be essential. So arrange your rental car in Spain and start enjoying the sun and surf today!