Barcelona beaches are pretty much the darling of any sun-seeking traveler interested in finding the world’s best urban sand havens.
What most visitors don’t know is that the city has 10 beaches lined up one-by-one stretching from the W Barcelona all the way up the coast. That’s right, there’s more to the city’s seaside than just Barceloneta and its never ending string of vendors, massage ‘experts’, pasty-thighed tourists and seemingly ubiquitous clouds of weed smoke. (There are fantastic beaches up the coast, too….see Clooney+Hepburn)
So, rather than giving you a boring list of beaches, we’ve decided to make it easy on you. We consulted with Hollywood and Barcelona’s official list of city-run beaches, downed a snack of cheese, bread and olives and launched ourselves into the glammy waters of the celebrity world to bring you our list of:
4 Barcelona Beaches Explained By Fictional Celebrity Marriages
Sant Sebastiá = Anna Kendrick + Jason Segel
What do we love about Anna Kendrick and Jason Segel? They make you feel like you’ve known each other for your whole life. They’re pretty much the closest thing you can get to on-screen next-door neighors – friendly, charming and wholesome.
That’s what Sant Sebastiá is all about- around 70% percent of the people who visit this quaint little chunk of sand are locals from Barcelona’s Old City.
Sant Sebastiá and Barceloneta are the city’s two oldest beaches, which makes sense because their celebrity fictional marriage twin is Anna-Jason, two relatively old souls who have little grandparents secretly hiding in their souls.
Prenup: This marriage includes a nudity agreement. If you’ve ever watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you know Segel isn’t afraid of baring his man parts on the big screen. Sant Sebastiá is no different. Barcelona’s wrinkle brigade loves dropping their trousers at Sant Sebastiá and taking a dip in the Mediterranean.
If you’re interested in seeing the wrinkle brigade and Barcelona’s beach version of the Segel-Kendrick fictional love connection, check out our Gothic Quarter/Waterfront Barcelona bike tours! Nothing like the cool Mediterranean breeze in your face as you pedal past Sant Sebastiá … and the sandy squalor of our next fictional celebrity marriage….
Barceloneta = Kim Kardashian + Russell Brand
Glamorous (Kim). Seen and be seen (Kim). Greasiness with a touch of sleeze (Russell). Popular with Brits (Russell). Waaaaay to much for timid souls (Kim & Russell). Not averse to the occasional joint (Kim maybe, Russell for sure)
And that about sums it up.
Barceloneta is Barcelona’s most famous beach, a beach whose reputation far transcends the collective and individual reputations of all other Barcelona beaches combined, sort of in the same way that Kim’s largess — both in fame and booty — overshadows and overpowers her sisters four.
Yet at the same time, Barceloneta has this earthy appeal to it, a sort of Rastafarian-crack-open-a-cheap-beer-light-up-a-spliff-pass-out-on-the-sand-watch-out-for-pickpockets allure that sums up the way we feel about the filthy tendrils of hair and wispy beard the gods of emaciated movie stars decided to sneeze out on Russell Brand’s bony face.
If this is your cup of British tea infused with Armenian flair, Barceloneta is located two beaches up from San Sebastiá.
Prenup: This marriage includes a pickpocket agreement. Much in the same way that Kim silently lifts the IQ out of the wallets of our intelligence as we watch an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the kleptos at Barceloneta love to swipe your stuff while you’re mesmerized by the riff-raff and glam girls of Barcelona.
New Mar Bella = Mark Wahlberg + Jennifer Aniston
Marky Mark was a rapper. Not a good one. Popular? Maybe. But he wasn’t a good rapper. Then, for some reason or another, he decided to implement a career change. He switched from uninspiring-rapper-taking-up-stage-space to a rather proficient actor using sarcasm and a set of much-publicized muscles to become a serviceable — dare we say good? — actor.
Then there’s the relaxed, refreshing persona of Jennifer Aniston. Has there ever been a more friendly actress? Unintimidating. Beautiful. We almost feel like we could go over to her house and ask for a few eggs and a quart of milk and she’d invite us in for cookies and chit chat. Totally disarming, totally undramatic.
Way back when, before the 1992 Summer Olympics, New Mar Bella beach wasn’t a beach. We’re not quite sure what it was, but it wasn’t a beach. The Olympic Committee waved its magic wand of gentrification and declared the-land-formerly-known-as-(…) “New Mar Bella” beach, worked their renovative prowess and create a very relaxed place where you can avoid the madness of more popular beaches to the south. Totally disarming, totally undramatic. It’s like a beach that doesn’t wear makeup. New Mar Bella has the Wahlbergesque career-change angle and the friendly charm of Aniston.
Prenup: Agreement to venture out beyond Barceloneta. New Mar Bella is a little bit of a journey because it’s second to last beach in the lineup. You’ll have to take the yellow line a few stops beyond Barcelona and then walk a little ways to hit the water, but when you do, it will be worth it.
Sant Pol de Mar = George Clooney + Audrey Hepburn
“Clooney”. To us, the word is all about the class and smoothness you’d expect from a European aristocrat. Tuxedos. Fast cars. An after dinner-vermouth. A long conversation about Greece’s financial position and an even longer conversation about the history of wine in Tuscany. And the guy’s got a house on Lake Como. We’re still not convinced he doesn’t have ties to a royal family somewhere in Western Europe.
And has there ever been a classier woman on the silver screen than Audrey Hepburn? She was an elegant woman who always seemed to sort of float about rather use her feet like an average person. Black dress. Pearls. One of those swanky cigarettes with the long filter. She was the movie star version of a “Wish You Were Here! Venice” postcard.
That’s what you get when you go to Sant Pol de Mar – a swanky European experience which makes you feel like you’re on a beach in Italy sipping an evening vermouth, smoking a long-filter cigarette and channeling the on-screen elegance of a Clooney-Hepburn love child. Try for the beach’s northern section – it’s a cozy little spot that will make you want to camp out on the gravely sand until you’re absolutely forced to go home. Sant Pol de Mar isn’t a true member of the Barcelona beaches club, but it’s deserving of a spot on our list.
Prenup: Must ride trains. Sant Pol de Mar is located in the province of Barcelona, but it’s a good 90 minutes away by train. But trust us, once that regional railrider comes around the bend to little Sant Pol, you’ll thank you lucky stars — and Ocean’s and Casablancas — you made the journey. Au revoir!
Audrey Hepburn Photo Credit: Wikipedia