Description of Barceloneta Beach Neighbourhood
The Barceloneta neighbourhood is famous for being the beach village in Barcelona, historically being home to the fishermen of the city but it's origins are a lot darker.
History of the Barceloneta Neighbourhood
Barceloneta did not exist in the 1700's. It was a small spit of land made up of sediment from a southerly tidal current. This spit of land gave limited natural shelter to the port of Barcelona, today what is Port Vell. The Spanish War of Succession from 1701 to 1714 meant that French forces built a fortress, la Citadel on what is today Parc Cuitadella.
The construction of la Citadel involved the demolition of a large residential area of Barcelona, called la Ribera, that was previously occupied by dock workers, fishermen and other professions related to sea trade. These workers relocated to what is now Barceloneta to form a new village outside of the medieval walls of the city of Barcelona.
Much of Barceloneta is built on land reclaimed from the sea because the medieval port of Barcelona built a breakwater, pier and dock extending out from the natural Barceloneta spit of land to augment the shelter of Barcelona port. By 1823, Barceloneta was its own established village with Sant Miquel Del Port Church and narrow parallel streets with with long identical buildings of apartments for the workers.
The area North of the Barceloneta village on the coast was an industrial area with a railway line that produced goods such as town gas for the city. Today the gas works have been demolished and is now Parc de Barceloneta. These railway lines once ran next to the coast connecting Estacio de franca (Barcelona's main terminus during the 1800s) to the north and south.
The Barceloneta area has been extensively redeveloped, first for the 1992 Olympics with the construction of the Port Olympic Marina Then later in the 2000s with the expansion of the Barcelona container and cruise ship port the breakwater was extended a lot further which included the construction of Hotel W.
What to see in the Barceloneta Neighbourhood
Today Barceloneta is no longer industrial, nor has a littoral railway but is a thriving beach area. The neighbourhood still retains some of the local community spirit but has suffered from modern hotels and gentrification. It is a trendy, cosmopolitan, tourist-driven neighbourhood because of its proximity to the beach, and is very popular in summer.
Barceloneta has the best seafood restaurants in Barcelona as well as the busy nightlife of Opium, Carpe Diem and Ice bar on the Somorrostro beach. Until a few years ago, Port Olympic Marina was also a thriving night club zone but this has since closed due to city plans for redevelopment of the marina.
Barceloneta is linked to Montjuic mountain by the red Miramar to Port cable car that flies over Port Vell. Barceloneta has the Catalunya history museum inside an original dock warehouse.
The Barceloneta beaches have seasonal beach bars, Chiringuitos, that appear in the summer then disappear in the winter. There are also beach vendors that sell direct to sunbathers.
Getting to Barceloneta
Barceloneta is served by the metro yellow line (L4) Barceloneta stop or Cuitadella-Villa Olimpica stop.
Estacio de Franca that is served by Renfe Regional and Rodalies lines is also nearby.
You can also walk to Barceloneta from El Born or the Gothic Quarter.
For a detailed breakdown of the beaches and attractions in Barceloneta, click on any of the images below.