Barcelona has become a very popular tourist destination in recent years, and it is easy to see why. The gorgeousness of the beaches is unsurpassable, and Barcelona. With over 4km of beaches, Barcelona has something for everyone. The most famous beach, and still a great place to visit, is Barceloneta. Known as Little Barcelona, the enormous stretch of golden sands can take your breath away. The joy of Barceloneta is its extensive series of eat-in restaurants, whether you fancy pizza or a more traditional Catalan Dish. The Beach merges into San Sebastian, favoured by the locals and those that consider themselves in the "know".
The Nova Icaria, well known to tourists as it is only a short walk from the Olympic Marina, this beach will be crowded no matter what type of year, though it offers not only great beaches, but a series of beach bars, restaurants on the promenade, and a handful of other bars and restaurants not far away; though it may be a case of deciding whether to abandon your place on the surf for food, or stay put and starve.
Bogatell is right next to Nova Icaria, but is mainly loved for the stone walkway, which attracted roller bladders and cyclists from near and far. You might take your life in your hands walking there, but the raised level means that traffic noise is blocked, and you just have the peace and quiet of the sands.
Should you want to, the nudist beach is just along the strip from Bogatell (which it is separated from by a windsurfing and kayaking school and hire shop). This beach is carefully hidden from other holiday makers with a long stretch of bamboo; and there is an excellent park nearby where you can eat or just crash out away from the sun.
The southern end of the Barcelona strips are longer, with more shallow waters, making it the best option for people with children. The northern points are smaller and pretties, with deeper waters, proving an attraction with the extreme sports crowd.
Barcelona's beaches have been given the European Foundation of Environmental Education's "The Blue Flag", which means that the beaches have fulfilled some of the requirements, such as cleaning up the water and surf, improving security and first aid treatments, as well as easy access for everyone. This blue flag means that you should be reassured when trying out the fabulous sands, or swimming in the water. Before, the Spanish beaches were notorious for their dirty sands, but this flag should mean that you can visit them securely.
While the Catalonian capital boasts great beaches, they are often overcrowded and not very exciting (as well as a mecca for petty thieves). If you want something a bit different, then try catching the Spanish Metro for an out-of-town beach that suits you best. Temperature is the main consideration here (though the south is better for children, having shallow waters).
15 mins ride from Barcelona town, the beach of Casteldefells has great bars and eateries, as well as a super beach. It is still very accessible from Barcelona, so if you were hoping to miss the crowd, you will need to go a little bit further out. However, Casteldefells is an amiable and friendly beach if you are not feeling adventurous.
Sitges, which a couple of years ago was unknown, is a very nice beach, though more and more tourists are turning up to eat ice-cream in its parlours, rent sun loungers, or just shop. The town is a popular gay resort, so no surprises that here are nudist beaches and great bars. All in all, Sitges is a great place to hang out and compare ices.
To the North is the great beach of Ocata; with a massive stretch of unspoiled beach. The best news about this beach is that the general tourist population don't know about it; there'll always be places to soak up the sun, and the local area has organized fun activities for kids.
Wherever you go in the Barcelona beach area, there are also plenty of things to do within the city itself. There are a number of festivals throughout the year, and the late summer has two big festivals, the Festes de la Merce, at the end of September, features music, performance artists and celebrations, the majority of it completely free. The second big festival, the Festes de Gracia, which is slightly earlier in the season, takes over most of the Gracia quarter, and is again a festival of music, street performance and partying long into the night. Visiting Barcelona at the end of April means catching the fantastic Sant Jordi festival, which is like Barcelona's individual Valentine's day. With people wandering the streets hading out roses, it is a popular and widely celebrated festival.