Beach towns near Barcelona
Badalona town has always attracted backpackers on the lookout for budget accommodation, local culture and less crowded beaches. Badalona is an easily accessible beach side town from Barcelona, and yet feels a world away.
- Distance to Badalona town from Barcelona: 14 Kms
- Travel time to Badalona town from Barcelona: 20 minutes
- Convenient Train : R1 from Barcelona Sants
2. Montgat beach town
Montgat is a dormitory town for Barcelona with a fair number of good, budget accommodation options. The coast around Montgat has some of the most attractive and secluded beaches.
- Distance to Montgat beach town from Barcelona: 14 Kms
- Travel time to Montgat town from Barcelona: 25 minutes
- Convenient Train: R1 from Barcelona Sants. Alight at Montgat Nord
3. El Masnou
El Masnou is the closest town to the wonderful Ocata beach. Camping Masnou near El Masnou is a popular beach camp site.
- Distance to El Masnou beach town from Barcelona: 19 Kms
- Travel time to El Masnou town from Barcelona: 30 minutes
- Convenient Train: R1 from Barcelona Sants alight at Ocata
4. Caldes D’Estrach
Caldes D’Estrach is a cosy small town on the beach, near Barcelona, famous for its quiet beach and thermal baths that date from the nineteenth century.
- Distance to Caldes D’Estrach beach town from Barcelona: 40 Kms
- Travel time to Caldes D’Estrach town from Barcelona: 50 minutes
- Convenient Train: R1 from Barcelona Sants
5. Vilanova i la Geltrú
Vilanova i la Geltrú is a non-touristy town with great beaches, a lovely medieval quarter and plenty of excellent restaurants serving authentic Catalan fish delicacies.
- Distance to Caldes D’Estrach beach town from Barcelona: 50 Kms
- Travel time to Caldes D’Estrach town from Barcelona: 40 minutes
- Convenient Train: R2S towards Sant Vicenc de Calders
6. Sant Pol
Sant Pol de Mar with narrow streets, whitewashed houses and sandy clean beaches is my personal favourite amongst all small beach towns around Barcelona. Apart from the beaches, other attractions of this small town include church of Sant Pau, Gothic parish church of Sant Jaume and archaeological remains of the Iberian-Roman town of El Farell.
- Sant Pol beach town from Barcelona: 60 Kms
- Travel time to Badalona town from Barcelona: 90 minutes
- Convenient Train: R1 from Barcelona Sants . Alight at Sant Pol de
Calella is an old Spanish village that has grown into one of the favourite beach resorts featuring beaches and magnificent natural rocky coves.
- Distance to Calella beach town from Barcelona: 60 Kms
- Travel time to Calella town from Barcelona: 30 minutes
- Convenient Train : R1 from Barcelona Sants
Beach town just outside Barcelona with a wide, long and uncrowded beach. As it is in Zone 1, it is cheap and easy to get into the town.
- Distance to Castelldefels beach town from Barcelona: 30 Kms
- Travel time to Castelldefels town from Barcelona: 25 minutes
- Convenient Train : R2 from Barcelona Sants
Advantages of staying in a small beach town around Barcelona
1. Cheaper Tariff
You will be able to rent a beachfront accommodation at a fraction of what you would have had to pay in Barcelona.
2. Imbibe local culture.
Beach towns near Barcelona have their own culture. For instance, burning of the Dimoni, celebrated on the beaches of Badalona, is the most popular and crowded fest of Badalona town
3. Authentic seafood
All small towns of Catalonia along the coast have restaurants serving fresh, authentic local food. Prices are a fraction of what you will pay in Barcelona.
Map of beach towns near Barcelona
My favourite small hotels along the Catalunya coast!
- Hostal Sa Rascassa is a small place with privacy. You will not be engulfed with tourist traffic. The location near the cove of Aiguafreda is a bonus!
- In Tossa de Mar, pick Hotel Cap d'Or near the old town. A small, comfortable place for a couple of days or longer.
- In Pals, Hotel Sa Punta is a short walk from the beach and close to town.
- Just outside Begur, try the hilltop Es Cel de Begur boutique hotel with gorgeous views of the sea.
- San Roc in Calella is a family friendly place at an elevation, on the bay with 180 degree views of the sea and town.
- In Llafranc, 5 minutes away from San Roc and overlooking an adjacent bay, I recommend Terramar.
- Also in Calella, for something more trendy check out Hotel Mediterrani.
Booking boutique places
If you like these places, you can also visit this website for similar options.
Choose Costa Brava over a beach town too close to Barcelona
There are many attractive beaches closer to Barcelona like the popular resort beach town of Sitges, beach towns like Montgat, El Masnou, Premià de Mar, Vilassar de Mar to the east of Barcelona. However, these beach towns are crowded and feel urban.
I recommend you stay at beach towns of Costa Brava. They are attractive, have all amenities and still easily accessible from Barcelona. It takes only around 90 minutes from Barcelona to reach these Costa Brava towns
A Moorish and Spanish-influenced town, Begur has miles of coastline and a beguiling medieval castle. Beach lovers are attracted to Begur for the many secluded and calm coves within easy reach of the town.
Begur has a fantastic collection of boutique hotels and a large number of vacation rentals as many Barcelonians have bought their weekend home at Begur.
2. Tossa de Mar
The fisherman's town of Tossa de Mar has cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, and some captivating medieval ruins. You can reach by bus or take a train to Blanes (every thirty minutes) and then reach Tossa de Mar by bus with a change in Lloret de Mar.
Tossa de Mar has become a package holiday favorite and would not recommend for those looking for a cozy secluded holiday. On the other hand, the nearby town of Lloret is full of clubs and bars with a buzzing nightlife and hence a favorite with young tourists.
Cadaques is picturesque coastal town but with no beach. I would still recommend staying at Cadaqués for some of the most intimate and secluded coves in the nearby nature reserve of Cap de Creus. Cadaqués town by itself is a major attraction for its Dali Theatre.
Beach towns in Costa Dorada
Costa Dorada is south of Barcelona, beyond Sitges.
Salou (for lively vibe)
Salou is a buzzing beach town in Tarragona, south of Barcelona and about 80 minutes away from Barcelona by train. It has many resorts, is known for water sports, and is also good for families.
Cambrils (for quiet)
Cambrils is if you like peace and quiet. It is a fishing village with cobbled streets, only a few minutes further south of Salou.
If you are up to going another 30 minutes south, then consider Mont-Roig del Camp (childhood home of Joan Miro), or Ametlla de Mar for quiet beaches and lots of nature.
It is a smart idea to stay at a beach town outside Barcelona, and visit the city and surrounding areas as day trips.
The best beach towns are to the north of Barcelona, all connected by the R1 train from Sants station. Based on how much time it takes to travel by train, the towns I recommend are:
between 00 - 30 min : Badalona, Montage, El Masnou, Calella
between 30 - 60 min : Caldes D’Estrach, Vilanova i la Geltrú (R2S train)
between 60 - 90 min : Sant Pol
See the other expert responses below for details along with pictures of the towns. Also scroll down for highly recommended accommodation options.