Barcelona has 4.2 kilometres of sandy beaches along the city coast, and the most prominent and prevalent of them all is Barceloneta Beach. The area of La Barceloneta offers a calming getaway from the urban streets, where visitors can enjoy sunbathing, summer sports and sipping cocktails at the beach bars within 10 minutes of the city centre. It is a central, relaxing paradise yet still surrounded by the energy and movement of the city and, although the beach is very popular, visitors can always find an individual spot to unwind.
In addition to being a place of relaxation, La Barceloneta is also an area of activity, where sailing, kitesurfing and windsurfing on the waves, or playing beach volleyball in the sand are popular pastimes. In addition to extensive sea views, visitors can enjoy urban architecture, such as the "Homenatge a la Barceloneta", a leaning monument in the sand, or the towering skyscrapers of the surrounding city. The best places to soak up the Spanish atmosphere are the restaurants, known for local fish and paella dishes in addition to other national cuisines like tapas and potato “bomba”. Near the beach, there is an abundance of shops to explore, an aquarium, IMAX cinema and various bars and clubs celebrating the coastal, urban nightlife.
Visitors can reach La Barceloneta via the City metro by travelling to the station of the same name. From here, the journey to the beach is a 10-minute walk along the pathway of the marina. Alternatively, visitors can take one of the local buses that go to the area.
The area of La Barceloneta was originally a fishing district, until the 18th Century when the construction of houses formed a neighbourhood, soon completed with markets, churches and Gothic architecture. The 1992 Barcelona Olympics drastically changed La Barceloneta, making it a modernised area of tourist attractions and quality sandy beaches. The fishermen and gipsy shacks disappeared, and the original, local scene was lost, although it is commemorated in the various museums of the area.