Beach Town Barcelona

barcelona beach

Barcelona’s seven beaches comprise over 4.5 kilometers of lovely Catalan coastline. Nearby Port Vell, Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches are the oldest, largest, and most popular. These beaches are absolute must-hit spots to get a glimpse of some truly awesome local culture.

barcelona beach

Even in winter, people are always spending time at the beach. Barcelona’s warm weather makes for an excellent beach town. Going for a stroll on the beach will allow you to see plenty of people engaging in typical beach activities: playing volleyball, swimming, tossing a baseball, flying a kite, and drinking beer, among other things.

volleyballbaseballrunner

But these things can be seen at many beaches. What’s so special about Barcelona’s beaches? Well, how about epic sand castle wineries, rockin’ folk musicians, and daring wintertime skinny dippers? Awesome enough for you? Sure as hell should be, and there’s more where that came from.

sand castle winery

Yes, that is a winery

sand castle

musician in barcelona

panties on the beach

Even in January...

Barcelona’s skateboard culture is also very much apparent at the beaches. Many longboarders, skaters, bikers and rollerbladers of all ages cruise along the beachside promenade with their buddies, headphones-in-ear. Sant Sebastià especially is a hot skate spot. Young skateboarders pull off their best tricks here, finding creative ways to utilize the stairs and rails. Prepare to be impressed.

longboardersskaters

Port of Barcelona

Port De Barcelona

Catalunya’s largest port is divided into three sections: Port Vell (Old Port), the industrial port, and the Free Port. Port Vell is by far the most popular zone, and the one most worth visiting.

port vell

Port Vell has got a lot worth seeing, including some nearby museums and monuments. Food carts line the port as well, so feel free to indulge in some unhealthy on-the-go snacks.

Barcelona snacks

The port’s most iconic feature is the Rambla del Mar. This stylish walkway bridges the city side of the port to the central area, where there is a shopping mall, restaurants, and even an IMAX theater.

Rambla del Mar

Rambla del Mar

By night, Port Vell lights up, welcoming both tourists and locals for a relaxing hangout, romantic night by the sea, or a good ol’ fashioned Barcelona-style skateboard session.

Rambal del Mar at night

Point of Interest: Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya

Located right in the heart of Barcelona, this large square features a wealth of fascinating sculptures, statues, and fountains. The square is right at city center, so many popular attractions, sights, and areas are within walking distance. Given the square’s prime location, many hotels, stores, and other large businesses are located around the square.

Plaça de CatalunyaPlaça de CatalunyaPlaça de Catalunyafountain

Oh, and don’t quote me on this, but the pigeons here just might outnumber the people. Seriously.

Oh My Gaud

It’s no secret that Barcelona is home to some truly remarkable architecture. Barcelona was the birthplace of the Catalan Modernisme movement, and when it comes to Modernista architecture, one name always comes to mind: Antoni Gaudí.

Much of Gaudí’s work can be seen throughout the city, the most famous of course being La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Construction on this massive basilica began in 1882, and it still continues to this day (expected completion year is 2026). Complete or not, La Sagrada Familia is definitely still a sight to behold, and probably the must-see sight of Barcelona. Each facade of the building is as striking as the next, with immense care and detail put into every inch of the building. Visitors are welcome to explore the interior of the building as well, which is as marvelous as the exterior. Simply put, La Sagrada Familia is guaranteed to leave you in awe.

La Sagrada Familia
Of course, there’s plenty more examples of Gaudí’s finest works to be seen in the city, including Casa Batlló (pictured below).
Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

The building features a rather remarkable facade, and, like with many other Gaudí buildings, tours are given of the interior.

Casa Batlló facade

Practically across the street from Casa Battló is another iconic Gaudí building: Casa Milà.

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

The building’s innovative design is a joy to look at, and it stands out with its wavy walls as one of the most unique Gaudí buildings and one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions.

Casa Milà

There are several other Gaudí buildings in Barcelona, and even more throughout Catalunya. Gaudí’s revolutionary work obviously stands out compared to other buildings, so they are almost instantly recognizable as his when seen on the street. These buildings not only give Barcelona a ton of character, but they stand as a symbol of Catalan culture and identity.

City of the Week: Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

barcelona skylineAnother beach town this week. This time, it’s the Catalan capital, Barcelona. This port city features stunning architecture, warm weather, a diverse community, and one hell of a football (soccer) team. Barcelona simply exudes culture– and a unique, exciting culture at that. Though many aspects of traditional Spanish lifestyle can still be found in Barcelona, Catalunya certainly sets itself apart with a culture of its own. There is plenty to see and much to do in lively Barcelona. Oh yeah, and there’s tapas.

Point of Interest: Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

Popular today among tourists and locals alike, Plaza Mayor has certainly been through its fair share of changes over the years (or centuries, rather). Built in the 1600s, the square has been used for coronations, celebrations, bullfights, and even executions. Now, the square is a common gathering place and a popular tourist attraction, featuring a wealth of cafés, restaurants, and shops.

The easiest way to get to Plaza Mayor is to get off at the Sol metro station, Madrid’s most active station, which will drop you off at another famous square, Puerta del Sol. Puerta del Sol is often packed with tourists, residents, shoppers, and more, and it can easily be considered the true heart of Madrid, with many attractions and landmarks nearby.Puerta del Sol

Regardless, just a few blocks away is Plaza Mayor. The vibe there is, for lack of a better word, awesome. Mark my words: You can literally spend an entire day simply sitting at an outdoor cafe in Plaza Mayor, and it will be one of the best days of your life. The sights, the sounds, the chatter, the laughter, the wine, the street performers– it’s all great.

Step one: Have a glass of white wine (guard your olives; trust me)

Step two: Order a coffee/cappuccino/latte/hot caffeinated beverage of your choicecafe

Step 3: Kick back, relax, and enjoy the street performers

street performer

street performer

street performer

Yes, that is a human being

If you're lucky enough to catch this guy at Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol, you are in for a treat. He hilariously toys with passerby, and nearly every gag he pulled had me laughing out loud.