Things to do in Barceloneta area of Barcelona

Barceloneta Area Barcelona

La Barceloneta area of Barcelona

Staying in Barceloneta and what to do and see.

Updated January 2024

La Barceloneta area is a popular place to visit in Barcelona. Barceloneta is a small triangular piece of land bordered by the Port Vell marina on one side and Barcelona's beaches on the other making it ia delightful and vibrant place to stroll and enjoy the port area during the day and evening.

The biggest activity in 2024 in Barcelona is without doubt the America's Cup in October. From January to November you can visit the America's Cup Experience center on the Moll d'Espanya.


Barceloneta stands out as a distinctive and contrasting neighborhood within Barcelona, characterized by its unique architecture and vibrant atmosphere. It's a sought-after place to stay, particularly among young tourists who appreciate the proximity to the beach and the authentic local ambiance.

Throughout the area, tourist rental apartments are available, however, caution is advised when booking privately as some may lack the necessary tourist licenses and could potentially face closure by city authorities. Barceloneta also has some appealing beach hotels along the main boulevard which is called 'Passeig de Joan de Borbó,' which also face the Port Vell marina

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The name Barceloneta means 'little Barcelona'. La Barceloneta was built on reclaimed land from the sea and had residents as early as the 15th century. The small triangular shape of La Barceloneta land area covers just 71 hectares of Barcelona's old city center, which is called the Cuitat Vella.

The Ciutat Vella has the five oldest Barcelona neighbourhoods which are La Raval, Barri Gotic, La Ribera / El Born and Barceloneta. Barcelona is closest to the Barri Gotic, La Ribera / El Born which is also where some of Barcelona's main tourist attractions are located.

History Barceloneta

The first houses in Barceloneta were constructed in 1753 by the Spanish army. The objective was to provide new housing for former residents of part of the Ribera/Born neighbourhood, who were displaced after the destruction of their houses to clear land for the new Ciutadella garrison - now Ciutadella park - built by King Philip V of Spain after he the fall of Barcelona in 1714 in the 'War of Spanish succession'. 

To learn more about Ciutadella you can visit the Born Cultural Center where you can see foundations and ruins of the Ribera neighbourhood that was demolished by Philip V for a new fort. 

In the early 18th century Barcelona was still surrounded by stone walls, so there was no room for new residents inside the walls and so Barceloneta was created. It was built by military engineers which explains the unusual military style layout of the streets. 

For La Barceloneta 15 parallel streets were planned, each street 7.5 meters wide and crossed by other three cross-sectional streets of 9.3 meters width. The original houses, a few of which can still be seen, were two storeys high and originally intended to house one family. All the houses were all identical and built in a grid pattern. The earliest residents of Barceloneta were mostly mariners, fishermen and shipbuilders. 

From 1846 Barceloneta residents were joined by factories and by factory workers as the industrial age began. Barcelona’s city council banned new factories inside the medieval city walls and so new industrial areas arose outside the old walled city of Barcelona.

Barceloneta was a perfect place for small factories because of its close proximity to the port and because the first railway line in Barcelona was along the coast.

One of the original industries in Barceloneta was gas production and to this day the head office of Naturgy gas company is still in Barceloneta.

When the Barcelona city walls finally were demolished and trams started to connect the city, Barceloneta began the gradual transformation from a fisherman and factory worker area into the beach and leisure area, that it is today.

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Most of the tiny two storey houses have been long since been extended upwards or replaced with taller buildings. The street layout is still the same and the ‘village in a city’ atmosphere is still strong and the community is strong and united.

Today La Barceloneta is a bustling, vibrant and essential part of Barcelona with about around 16000 inhabitants. Some of the community are struggling to adapt to the new Barceloneta which is doing very well to combine retain old world tradition and customs with fast pace of modern tourism. Hundred year old bars and fish restaurants co-exist well with new and trendy cocktail bars, chiriniguitos and hotels. The addition of new marina in Port Vell for super yachts has also provided many guests and jobs for the area

Staying in La Barceloneta 

The good things about staying in Barceloneta first and foremost the people and location.  Barceloneta has an lovely local and authentic atmosphere - the streets, the neighbours, the colours of the washing hanging out from every flat makes it feel like a real. The smell of the sea is envigoration but beware in the winter – the sea air can chill you to the bone.  

Barceloneta is a great place in the city for walking, jogging biking and skating although it can get crowded at the weekend and in peak season. Barceloneta feels like living in a village by the sea but you are only minutes from a big city. There are lots of old world restaurants and cafes although new trendy places and irish pubs are pushing old places out. Shopping is difficult for residents as there are few supermarkets. Parking is not a problem. There are big underground parking lots by the marina. 

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Things to do in Barceloneta  

Passeig Joan de Borbó 
Picturesque boulevard along marina leading down to the Barceloneta beach. This is Barceloneta’s biggest attraction with many visitors walking to the beach every day and enjoying meals at the many restaurants.

America's Cup Experience
Address and information

MHC - Catalan History Museum 
Address and information
Inside the Palau de Mar. Very interesting museum about Catalonia’s tumultuous history and relationship with Spain. Also has lovely roof top cafe terrace with views of marina. Visit

Port Vell Marina
Address and information
Port Vell Marina Barcelona Spain. Marina Port Vell is a marina and leisure area with a yacht club, a new super-yacht marina, Barcelona Aquarium, cinemas and Maremagnum shopping mall. It is also the floating venue of the Barcelona Boat Show

Museu Marítim
Address and information
Barcelona Maritime museum. In Raval area but only 15 minutes walk from Barceloneta

Barcelona harbour tours
Barcelona boat tours and watersports
Many boat tours start from Port Vell marina ranging from pirate ships, to fast speedboats to harbour tours and more.

Torre del Reloj
Old lighthouse built in 1772, now a clock tower, on Moll dels Pescadors. 
Not open to public but can be seen from Maremagnum Shopping Mall

Parròquia de Sant Miquel del Port 
Church from 1755 on Plaça Barceloneta  

Maremagmum mall
Address and information
Located in Port Vell at end of Rambla de Mar. Open Sundays all year.

Related pages:

Best area to stay in Barcelona
Top Ten Barcelona
Book Barcelona tours
Day tours outside Barcelona

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 January 2024 11:18