Depending on your concept of “cold,” the Mediterranean that splashes up on Barcelona shores is swimmable from May-October. I’ve rarely swum in May, because I feel the water is still too chilly, even though the sun is shining. For many years, I’ve had my last swim of the season around October 10th.
As the weather warms up, consider a hotel near the beach. La Barceloneta is Barcelona’s closest and most popular beach, not too far from El Born and the Gothic Quarter. It’s a fun area to have lunch in, and while many do swim along La Barceloneta, it is not as clean as other beaches in the city.
And as an important note, whenever you’re on a Barcelona beach, watch your valuables. (Read my previous posts on Barcelona’s best beaches.)
Calle Argenteria 37
Doubles from: $132 to $139
The outstanding three-star Hotel Banys Orientals offers 43 rooms in a sought-after setting on Carrer Argenteria, a picture-perfect cobblestoned street lined with unique boutiques and bars. Although its rates are on the higher end of the Barcelona Cheapo spectrum, the Banys Orientals is still a solid value, and we consider its location and style to be worth a splurge. From here, it’s about a 15-minute walk to the shore, and about a 10-minute walk to the port and La Barceloneta.
Avenida Marques de Argentera, 11
Doubles from: $112 to $203
The large, three-star Park Hotel offers 91 rooms and a fresh, contemporary style. In addition to being near myriad cafés and restaurants, the Park is located just a few blocks from the port and beach, making it ideal in the summer months.
Avenida Marqués de la Argentera, 13
Doubles from: $66 to $92
A stay at the two-star Hostal Orleáns is like a visit to a friendly aunt’s house. In this case, the aunt would be Fina Ibañez, proprietor of the comfortable, family-run abode, where the price is right and the “frills” are found in pink lacy bedspreads and a simple television lounge. It’s a 10-minute walk to the beach and a 5-minute walk to the port from here.
Pla de Palau, 19
Doubles from: $99 to $152
Situated between the Gothic Quarter and the beach, the 72-room, two-star Hotel Del Mar is a primo spot for seeing the best of both Barcelona worlds: history and seaside.
Avenida Marqués de Argentera, 19
Doubles from: $55
The one-star Hostal Nuevo Colón, which has been run by the Tobella family for 80 years, is a welcoming, no-frills establishment with some of the best rates we’ve seen in Barcelona. There’s not a lot of flair here, but the effortless, fun location—within walking distance of the beach, boardwalk, Maritime Museum and La Barceloneta—makes the Nuevo Colón a smart budget pick.
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