La Barceloneta

On the map, you recognize La Barceloneta as the triangular neighborhood that tapers into a point toward the sea. Barceloneta is one of Barcelona’s beachfront neighborhoods. The neighborhood was built in the eighteenth century for the people who originally lived in the neighborhood of La Ribera (El Born) and had to leave their homes to make way for the construction of a fortress (the current city park La Ciutadella).

Where? – Located along the southernmost beach in Barcelona.
How to get there? – Metro stop: Barceloneta (L4)
Main attractions – Port Vell (old port), Aquarium, Mercat de la Barceloneta.


Top 5 things to see and do in La Barceloneta

The beach

Since the neighborhood of La Barceloneta is located on the beach, of course you cannot skip a visit to the beach. It is always pleasantly crowded here. Kick off your shoes, play beach volleyball or even take a dip in the sea. There are often musicians all over the quay here and terraces are plentiful!

Port Vell

Port Vell means “Old Port. The port is located in the middle of the old town, between the neighborhoods of El Gòtic, El Born and La Barceloneta. The perfect location for a walk and there is plenty to do in the area.

There are many, bizarrely large, million-dollar yachts in Barcelona’s old port. Stroll along the harbor and look at the many large, as well as small, sailboats. You can read more about Port Vell here.

Mercat the la Barceloneta

Mercat the la Barceloneta is one of the oldest fresh food markets in the city and originally an important place for selling fish because of its location near the sea. Here you can pick up fresh produce. Tip: have your jamón ibérico or manchego cheese vacuum-packed so it can go straight home in your suitcase.

L’Aquàrium the Barcelona

Located by the sea, the Barcelona Aquarium is a favorite with small visitors to Barcelona. It is home to some 11,000 fish of 450 different species, all of which consume about two tons of food per week.

You walk under the sharks and the rays literally smile at you. You can even swim with sharks if you have your diving license! A visit to the Aquarium is perfect for with the family.

Tour of the harbor

It is also great fun to take a cruise around the harbor. It is wonderful with the wind through your hair overlooking all the luxury yachts and sailing boats. You also go out to sea and sail along different beaches. This is sure to provide beautiful vacation photos! Port Vell is in my opinion the most beautiful port. You can read all about it in my article on canal cruises.

Eating and drinking in La Barceloneta

Drink coffee

At the Forn Balboa bakery you can get delicious fresh breads and treats. Croissants covered in chocolate, pastries and cakes, all equally delicious.

Lunch, drinks and dinner

A must near the beach is La Cala Barceloneta. This is a good place to go for a tasty brunch. For the best sardines in town you can go to La Cova Fumada. At Surf House Barcelona you can enjoy a delicious brunch and dinner. It is located at a nice square and close to the beach.

Jai-Ca is always good for tapas, especially the fish they serve here is among my favorites. A classic is Salamanca. The joint is quite touristy, yet locals also come here for paella and fruits de mer.

For delicious pizza and a cozy, cozy vibe, NAP Mar is the place-to-be. Refresc House is a fine Brazilian restaurant. They use good quality fresh produce and have delicious taste explosions on the menu. Vegetarians are also well served here.

At Myra – Casual Café Barceloneta, they work with love and passion and provide a homey, warm experience. The food tastes great and be sure to grab a nice coffee!

Een van mijn all-time favorieten in La Barceloneta is Pez Vela (ook wel Peix Vela), aan de voet van Hotel W. Vanaf je tafel heb je uitzicht op zee. Ze hebben verschillende rijstgerechten, mediterrane salades, maar ook gegrilde vis en lekkere karbonade.

To soak up the Spanish atmosphere, you can go to Bar Leo. They have good tapas here and flamenco music flows from the jukebox. You can combine a visit to the covered Mercat de la Barceloneta with different tapas. During the day you can buy fresh produce here. To stay in the tapas mood you are in the right place at La Cova Fumada, it is always crowded but you eat tapas as they are meant to be!

As you read, you can find good food in Barceloneta. Many fishermen used to live in Barceloneta, as the port was the cargo port of Barcelona. Fish restaurant Montolio Can Mano is a remnant of this.


For cocktails in La Barceloneta, visit Maka Maka. They also serve (veggie) burgers here.

In Barceloneta there are a number of large, upscale nightclubs where the big DJs also come to play. Keep in mind that on Saturdays you pay an entrance fee. There can be long lines but inside it is one big party. More famous clubs are Shoko, Opium and Pacha. Beware, pickpockets are very active here and these clubs attract many tourists.

Shopping in La Barceloneta

Around Port Vell (the old port) is always busy, but Barceloneta is not known for its many stores. However, you can shop in Barcelona’s only shopping center that is open every day: Maremagnum.

If you want to shop for fresh produce, then it is fun to visit Mercat de la Barceloneta. This is a fresh produce market in the middle of La Barceloneta. Around this are several restaurants.

Accommodation in La Barceloneta

Hotel W

Hotel- W Barcelona

Hotel W, aka the “Double U,” or “La Vela” at the end of the beach, can be recognized by its shape, a sail (hence its nickname “La Vela”). It has been a fixture in Barcelona since it opened in 2009 and cannot be left out of the city’s skyline. Depending on which side your room is on, you’ll have panoramic views of the Mediterranean or of the city. The five-star hotel’s features include an infinity pool, a lovely terrace and a luxurious spa. There are nearly 500 rooms, 67 suites and 400 staff walking around.

W Hotel Barcelona has two standard rooms: the Fabulous Rooms overlooking the beach and the Wonderful Rooms overlooking the harbor. If you want to be sure of a good view, ask for a room in the upper floors. On the 26th floor is the Eclipse lounge, where you can sip cocktails. All this, of course, makes a stay quite pricey.

Prices, reviews, deals, current information and availability: Hotel W

Hotel 54 Barceloneta

Hotel 54 Barcelona

One of the few three-star hotels near Barcelona’s beach is the Hotel 54 Barceloneta along Joan de Borbó boulevard. This boulevard runs along the old port in the neighborhood of La Barceloneta. The location is fantastic: within a few minutes you are on the beach and you can walk right into the old town. The hotel has a modern design, the rooms are not particularly spacious, but have a private bathroom and a good bed. A nice touch is the roof terrace at the hotel. The breakfast buffet is not particularly extensive.

Prices, reviews, deals, current information and availability: Hotel 54 Barceloneta

Hotel Oasis

Hotel Oasis Barcelona

This simple two-star hotel is right between La Barcelona and the El Born district, a prime location. So you’re right on the beach (about a ten-minute walk), but also in the old town. The rooms are fine, some a bit larger than others, and despite the fact that the hotel only counts two stars, it comes with a nice and cozy new roof terrace with mini pool. Here you can cool off in the summer and easily meet new people. The decor is a bit dated here and there, but the value for money is fine.

Prices, reviews, deals, current information and availability: Hotel Oasis

Culture in La Barceloneta

The Museu d’Historia de Catalunya, is the museum of Catalan history. The Palau de Mar (Sea Palace) that houses the museum used to serve as a warehouse. On the top floor you can drink cocktails and have a fantastic view of the harbor and Mediterranean Sea.

History of La Barceloneta

Originally, the houses in the new neighborhood were no higher than one story, so that the guns in the fortress could have a clear view of the enemy lurking from the sea, but this quickly changed when the industrial revolution took hold in the nineteenth century. The only one-story house still standing today can be found in the Carrer de Sant Carles.

When the dangerous steam factories within the walled city center were banned and moved to more distant neighborhoods, La Barceloneta flooded with working-class families. To accommodate everyone, the existing houses were divided into two and then four, called cuartos de casas (“one-fourth” houses).

When the last factory in La Barceloneta broke ground in the 1980s, romantic times dawned that residents who were young at the time still reminisce about with melancholy.

On the beaches and along the promenade it was a warren of seafood restaurants and paella you ate at a rickety wooden table with your feet in the sand. Not that there was much sand, on the contrary: there was very little sandy beach until 1986 when Barcelona was chosen to host the 1992 Olympics.

The authentic chiringuitos (beach bars) disappeared or were pushed out to the promenade, and five kilometers of beach were built. It gave Barcelona a huge boost and caused an explosion of tourists.

La Barceloneta now

And those tourists turned out to be only too happy to stay in Barceloneta. Logical too, since the neighborhood is close to both the city center and the beach. But local residents, who saw their neighborhood change in a short time from a quiet fishing quarter to – especially during the summer months – a colorful carnival of vacationing beachgoers, were less pleased.

One problem that Barcelona City Council has been facing for years is that of illegal apartment rentals. You can imagine that in La Barceloneta, where people live close together, with often thin walls between homes, it is not always appreciated when one of the apartments is rented out to, say, a group of partying young people.

Since the arrival of Mayor Ada Colau, illegal apartment rentals in the city have been cracked down on, also increasing the tranquility of La Barceloneta. When the weather is nice, you will find a pleasant mix of tourists and locals on the terraces and on the beach. The narrow streets with names like Carrer del Mar and the many fish restaurants are a vivid reminder of the old fishing district that La Barceloneta used to be. Everywhere, colorful laundry hangs from balconies or on laundry racks that often stand in the middle of the sidewalk.