Badalona, Not Barcelona


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Oh, never-ending summer. I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it’s been quite the warm autumn here in Barcelona. With temps around 24ºC / 75ºF and the added humidity, it’s still short-sleeve season. In fact, we’re experiencing the hottest fall since 1950 (or so I heard on Twitter).

So please take off those tall, sweaty leather boots right now, ladies. And roll with it. In fact, you can enjoy a nice stroll at the beach.

That brings me here — the beaches of Badalona.

IMG_5781Badalona is a city just touching Barcelona and is the third largest population in Catalonia. It’s so near that it’s reachable through metro (L2, Badalona Pompeu Fabra) and the Rodalies train system.

A huge selling point for visiting the beaches in Badalona versus Barcelona? Elbow room and few tourists. That seems to be my theme lately.

If you’re coming from the metro station, you’ll have to go down Carrer del Mar to reach the promenade. This lively, pedestrian street is in the historic center of Badalona and starts in Plaça de la Vila. You’ll find lots of accessories shops, home goods stores, ice cream parlors, and clothing shops like H&M and Pull and Bear. There are a few mom-and-pop shops along the way as well. They seem to be well-established and have endured various generations.


Once you hit the promenade, you’ll see various restaurants with plenty of terrace seating. And lots of strolling space. The locals rule: grandparents wander about with their canes, teenagers huddle and gossip with their friends, and children whiz by on their scooters.

And come to think of it, I haven’t really encountered an eatery where a host is outside begging you to take a look at their menu del dia.


In the photo above, note that there are train tracks behind those tables. To get to the sand, you have to go under the tracks via stairs/ramp. Once you’re on the other side, there’s another wide promenade that can fit 15 people walking arm-in-arm happily.


If you have a little boy like I do, he’ll stop every time a train choo-choos by and point, “Train! Train!”IMG_5753

Like many beaches in Spain, Badalona has a few xiringuitos on the sand, ready and waiting to take your order of gin-tonic.


There are a few colorful beached boats that make for a colorful accessory along the boardwalk.

IMG_5757 20140927_141038

Look at all this space on this gorgeous day! We plopped down under the shade because the world was our oyster. (And incidentally, three young French people decided to sit ONE meter away from us and smoke. WHY?!)

IMG_5813There’s still time to enjoy this. I love you, sun!

By Justine Ancheta

California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).

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