Nearly 11 million visitors to the city beaches of Barcelona in 2022

by Lorraine Williamson
Barcelona beaches

BARCELONA – What could be more fun than a trip to a city where there is a good chance of beautiful weather and which is also located by the sea? Most visitors to Barcelona and the surrounding area see this ideal combination, as evidenced by how busy the beaches are. 

The beaches in metropolitan Barcelona – the city and the coastal municipalities adjacent to it – have welcomed almost 11 million visitors in 2022. This is evident from the occupation and satisfaction survey of the beaches of the Institute for Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona (IERMB). Furthermore, the beaches near the city achieved a remarkably high score, according to one of the conclusions. 

A total of 10,845,677 people visited one of the beaches of the Catalan capital. That is 23% more than in 2018, the year in which the last survey was conducted. In addition, all municipalities on the metropolitan coast have increased their occupancy rates, except Sant Adrià del Besòs. 


The most visited beaches are in Castelldefels, with 1,670,804 beach users, and July was the month with the highest influx. The AMB (Area Metropolitana de Barcelona) underlines the increase in occupation on the beaches despite the deterioration of the sand. This has led to a “significant reduction” of space at some points along the coast. 

The decline of the beaches 

It is estimated and reported in the study that metropolitan beaches will become over 20 metres shorter within 30 years. However, that is only if no structural measures are taken. According to the latest study by the AMB, 160,000 square metres of sand are lost every year in the delta del Llobregat. The beaches of the southern metropolitan coast sink an average of one metre per year. 

“Indispensable space” 

Ramon Torra, manager of the AMB, when presenting the research, emphasised that the metropolitan beaches are a first-class environmental, economic and social asset. He said, “they provide an essential space for leisure, health and socialising that benefits 11 million people “. 

Related post: Beaches of Barcelona are disappearing  

He sees it as unreasonable that the problems and needs of these spaces of such great social utility are not urgently addressed. That is why he has asked the Ministry of Ecological Transition to take urgent measures and come up with short- and medium-term solutions to reverse the deterioration of the sand. 

Viladecans, the highest-rated municipality 

The survey also indicates that Viladecans is the municipality most appreciated by users. Especially the access to the beaches, the landscape and the environment, the proximity and the tranquillity are important factors. 

30% of those surveyed visit the beach every two or three days. Furthermore, the average stay on the beach is 3 hours and 12 minutes. This is similar to that of 2018 (3 hours and 4 minutes). 

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