Fine sandy beaches, a Roman civilisation and only 10km from Barcelona …are a handful of the charms of the city of Badalona. The third most populated municipality in Catalonia, Badalona can be found just 10 km away from the buzzing city of Barcelona. Evidence of the original city, called Baetulo, which was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Romans, can be seen today. Badalona has a good selection of fine beaches, and the city is located on the left bank of the Besós River. The mountains of the Serra de la Marina range are a picturesque backdrop , which embrace this interesting, historical city.
Badalona blends the old with the new. The Mediterranean sea laps up onto the shoreline, of this vibrant, cultural city. Discover its Roman city and baths, wander down its Rambla, or visit the 14th century Monastery of Saint Jerome of Myrtle. There’s definitely no lack of things to see and do in Badalona, however it would be a shame to go there without visiting the Anis del Mono factory. Apart from enjoying a live demonstration at the anise factory, this building is one of Badalona’s fine examples of modernist architecture.
If you like to shop till you drop, you’ve come to the right city. Dotted around Badalona are six different municipal markets. It’s obvious that the city has had an important history in terms of industry and trade. Today the main commercial shopping area is Montigalà. In the Magic Badalona shopping centre, you’ll find a great selection of shops.
Badalona is well known for basketball, however the city also has a strong history of practising a wide variety of sports. If you were to compare the city to a dish, you could consider it to be Surf and Turf. Discover more in our Badalona Spain Travel Guide.
The reason I compared Badalona with Surf & Turf, is because of its blend of the sea, greenery and mountains. It’s coastline goes on for almost 5 km, yet the city has a green lung of dense vegetation, and is embraced by the Serra de la Marina mountain range. There is also an impressive working Marina, which includes leisure facilities also.
Of an evening you can wander quite close to the Rambla, on Santa Madrona Street, where you can find a good selection of pubs close to the seaside. If you want to hit the discos and music pubs, these are concentrated in the Can Ribó Manresá industrial district in the north of the city.
Although the city was originally founded in the third century BC by the Romans, human settlements the date back to 3500 to 2500 BC have been found in the area. The Roman town occupied around 11 hectares, and would’ve had around 15,000 inhabitants in the 1st century BC.
The Badalona of today was built around the old Roman town in the 10th century. A new urban nucleus was constructed around the church and the square, whilst a rural nucleus sprung up outside the old Roman town walls. The monastery of St Jerome of Myrtle was where the Spanish Catholic monarchs would spend their summer holidays. After his first journey to the Americas, Christopher Columbus was received by them in the monastery. From the 19th century, Badalona was considered to be one of Spain’s most important towns during the industrialisation process.
Things To Do
Roman Civilisation of Baetulo
The Museum has carried out excavations of the ancient Roman city of Baetulo, now Badalona. In 1995 the government of Catalonia declared it to be of Cultural National Interest.
It has a permanent exhibition of the Roman city, which includes the Venus of Badalona. This is a small white marble sculpture, which symbolised the wealth of Badalona in Roman times. The exhibition is known as Términos y Decumanus – Terms and Decumanus – and the archaeological site is considered to be one of the most important Roman cities in Catalonia. It enables us to observe its urban structure, which is close to the forum, by the walls and the route of Via Augusta. We can also see the layout in terms of streets, baths, and areas for relaxation. It’s layout was designed to encourage commercial, social and political relations.
Casa de Los Delfines – House of the Dolphins
Carrer Lladó 45-53
Located at the top of the ancient Roman city, this house gets its name from the drawing in the border mosaic which is in the rainwater tank. It’s a wonderful example of the domestic architecture of Roman times, with remarkable mosaics. The house itself, as was the style, is organised around a central courtyard, where the rainwater tank is. The area is paved with mosaic, and the main rooms of the house open out into the courtyard, or atrium.
Conducto de Aguas – Water Conduit
Carrer de Pujol
This passage brought water from the mountains to the Roman city. Drinking water was provided for the homes, and water was provided for the public Bath and fountains.
Visits can be organised through the museum and you can find information at the tourist office.
Masia de Can Miravitges – Farmhouse of Can Miravitges
The Masia de Can Miravitges is a farmhouse which was renovated between the 17th and 18th centuries. It helps us to witness country life of that period, and the impact of changes within society on the Catalan countryside also. To visit you need to organise a tour in advance with the tourist office.
Barri Medieval del Dalt la Vila – Dalt Vila Medieval Quarter
On the edge of the remains of the Roman city is Dalt Vila. This area represents the evolution of Badalona over time. Wander through its labyrinth of medieval, narrow streets and make sure not to miss the Gothic window.
Fabrica Anís del Mono – Anise del Mono (of the Monkey) Factory
Carrer Eduard Maristany 115
The famous anise factory was founded in 1868, by the brothers Joseph and Vincent Bosch. The tour will take you through the process of reducing this anise, which is a practice that has been used for over 130 years. The factory building is a modernistic gem, which has been preserved because of its artistic value.
Some of the other examples of modernist architecture are Casa Pavillard and La Fàbrica de Can Casacuberta. Visits can be organised through the museum and you can find information at the tourist office.
During the summer, there are plenty of activities happening on the beaches of Badalona. In fact it’s a very popular destination with locals from Barcelona who want to relax, but don’t want to travel too far. Below are the beaches of Badalona, going from north to south.
Platja de la Barca Maria – Beach of Maria’s Boat
Between Torrent Vallmajor and the border of Montgat
The Platja de la Barca Maria can be found around 500 metres from the train station – Estació de Montgat, and it’s a sandy beach, of over 700 metres long by 25 metres wide. During the summer season it has a ramp for those with reduced mobility, and there are also showers suitable for people with reduced mobility. Also from June to September there’s a lifeguard on the beach.
Platja del Cristall – Crystal Beach
Between Torrent Vallmajor and Riera de Canyadó
This beach of 300 metres long by 50 metres wide gets its name from the nearby glass factory. If you are getting a train from Barcelona or somewhere else, it’s located 1200 metres from the Badalona train station. Between June and September its facilities are good, wtih showers, toilets and bars.
Platja del Pont d’en Botifarreta – Botifarreta Point Beach
Between Riera de Canyadó and Riera de Matamoros
Located about 600 metres from the Badalona train station, this is the beach where the disco Titus 2 used to be. It’s also where you’ll find the Club Nautico Bétulo. The sandy beach is 625 metres in length by 50 metres in width. During the season there are toilets and showers, both of which are adapted for people with mobility issues. Also in the height of the summer, there’s a service to accompany people with mobility issues into the sea.
Platja dels Pescadors – Fishermen’s Beach
Between Riera de Matamoros and Carrer de Mar (Sea Street)
Only 150 metres from Badalona train station, this is the most central beach, which gets its name from the fishing boats and market. It is also suitable for those with mobility issues during the summer. The beach measures 450 metres in length by 50 metres in width.
Platja dels Patins a Vela – Skate Sailing Beach
Between Carrer de Mar and Avenida Martí Pujol
This is the city’s most popular beach, as the swimming club is located there, and it’s also quite close to Badalona train station. The club is also a base for those who love sailing. It is 120 metres long by 45 metres wide
Platja de l’Estació – Station Beach
Between Avenida Martí Pujol and Avenida Sant Ignasi de Loiola
As the name may lead you to believe, this beach is just in front of the train station. It’s a sandy beach which is 355 metres in length by 55 metres in width. On this stretch of the Badalona coastline, there’s also the covered municipal pool and the El Pescador restaurant. It also has facilities suitable for those with reduced mobility in the summer.
Platja del Pont del Petroli – Oil Bridge Beach
Between Avenida Martí Pujol and Plaza de los Patines de Vela
This is the beach just in front of the Anis del Mono factory, around 500 metres from the Badalona train station. It’s named after the iconic bridge of the same name. It measures 420 metres in length by 50 metres in width.
Platja del Coco – Coco Beach
Between Avenida Martí Pujol and Carrer de Cervantes
This is a sandy beach, which is 170 metres long by 60 metres wide, and is around 750 metres from Badalona train station.
Platja de la Mora – Blackberry Beach
Located 1000 metres from train station – Estació de Sant Adrià, Blackberry Beach is a sandy beach that is 585 long and 20 metres wide. You may want to be aware before going that this is a nudist beach.
Esglesia Santa Maria de Badalona – Church of St. Mary of Badalona
Carrer del Temple
This church is protected as a monument of cultural interest. Documentation that dates back to at least the year 1112, shows the site to be the first parish of the municipality. Most likely the first Romanesque church was built on the same site as the old Roman Temple. The church you can see today dates back to the 18th-century, and is of Neoclassical style. It is a single nave with six bays.
Monasterio de San Jerónimo de la Murtra – Monastery of Saint Jerome of Myrtle
Camino de la Murtra
Built at the beginning of the 15th century, in Gothic style, this ancient monastery of the Order of St. Jerome is set in the natural environment of the Serralada de Marina. The tour that you can do here will acquaint you with feudal society and monastic life. It takes you through the monastery’s most significant spaces, including the church and cloister, the defensive system, the kitchen and the refectory.
Museo de Badalona – Museum of Badalona
Pl. Asamblea de Cataluña, 1, Badalona 08911
The Museum of Badalona was set up in 1955. It collects, researches and preserves objects from different periods which relate to the municipality. It also manages the art collection of the city. Please check the archaeological section for details on the Roman civilisation.
Jardín de Quinto Licinio – Garden of Quinto Licinio
Pl. Asamblea de Cataluña 3
This is a pond which was built in the courtyard of a wealthy family, in part of the ancient city walls which had already been demolished. It is rectangular in shape with two semicircular ends. Visits can be organised through the museum or the tourist office.
Parc de Can Solei i Ca l’Arnús – Can Solei Park and Ca Arnús
Considered the green lung of Badalona, the park can be found in the heart of the city. Its lush vegetation invites relaxation and peaceful walking. It is notable not only for its size, but also for its historical value and rich fauna and flora. The park is just under 11 hectares, and three of these belong to Can Solei and the remainder to Ca Arnús. On a pre-arranged visit you can also see the two properties.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
Badalona Fiesta of Saint Anastasius – Fiestas Sant Anastasi Badalona – 11th May
St Anastasius is the co-patron saint of the city, and these festivities take place around 11th May.
Read more here about the Badalona Fiesta of Saint Anastasius.
Badalona St. John Festival – Fiesta de San Juan – 23rd/24th June
The night of San Juan is celebrated throughout Spain. The beach of Badalona is a super location to join in with the celebrations.
Find out more here.
Badalona St. Peter Fiesta – Fiesta de San Pedro – 28th June
St Peter is the patron saint of fishermen. If you’ve previously been to Badalona, or you’ve seen photos online, you’ll know that it has a lovely coast line
Read more information about this fiesta here.
Badalona Tourist Office
Francesc Layret 78-82, Phone: 934 832 990