Many people forget that Barcelona is not only a big bustling city and cultural centre, but that it's bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, and that its coastline offers a string of attractive beaches, the ideal diversion after excessive sightseeing and shopping. Visit the popular Barceloneta Beach, only ten minutes from the city centre, where there is a selection of beach bars: cool down with a refreshing swim and marvel at the bizarre architecture of Homenatge a la Barceloneta by Rebecca Horn. Windsurfing and kite surfing are popular activities on this always bustling beach. The end of Barceloneta and the beginning of Icaria Beach is marked by Frank Gehry's Peix. Marbella Beach is unofficially Barcelona's nudist beach, but although nudity is tolerated many people choose to keep their clothes on. Marbella is also frequented by gay and lesbian sun worshippers and sometimes hosts energetic beach parties. For a peaceful beach near the city centre look no further than Caldetes which is invariably almost empty. Although the famous Barceloneta strip is the most entertaining, the best beaches are further out of the city: St Pol de Mar is an hour-long train ride from the city centre, but it is arguably Barcelona's most scenic beach, backed by picturesque hills and with a lovely little cove that has become a nudist zone.
Transport: A twenty minute walk from La Ramblas or Barceloneta metro station, line 4