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On our final day in Barcelona, we returned to the Barceloneta waterfront district to tour the area in more detail and visit Barcelona’s L’Aquarium. We started the day with a wonderful tapas lunch at Xup Xup beachside along Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, the busy pedestrian walkway that edges the beach. We saw some unusual outfits along the path, including a costume of Sully from Disney’s Monsters Inc. franchise, and someone who appeared to have put their clothes on in the wrong order. We also enjoyed watching a budding Lionel Messi work the ball along the beach near our table.


Barcelona’s L’Aquarium is among the largest in Europe, with a spectacular 262-ft (80m) shark tunnel, and contains one of the world’s best collections of Mediterranean sea life. The 11,000 creatures housed here also feature sea life from all over the world, such as the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef.

We spent several hours viewing the vibrant tanks and displays, and were really impressed the breadth, quality and quantity of the life. We particularly enjoyed their Humboldt penguin exhibit and their beautiful Discus tank. We raised Discus when we lived in Toronto, and know how difficult it is to keep them healthy.


After touring the aquarium, we spent some time walking around Port Vell. The harbor area was redeveloped for the 1992 Olympics, transforming a run-down commercial port into a major attraction for locals and visitors with many restaurants and stores. This will be the center of activity for the upcoming 2024 America’s Cup races in Barcelona.

Besides the superyacht marina, Port Vell also contains a large pleasure craft marina. Had the pandemic not derailed our plans, we likely would have visited there in Dirona, and it looks like a fabulous location. The pedestrian walkway Rambla de Mar connects the port area to La Rambla, and swings open to allow vessels to enter and leave the marina. The bridge touches shore near the base of the 164-ft (50m) Christopher Columbus monument, erected in 1886.

We watched a boat pass through the open bridge, and also came across the bright red emergency rescue tug Punta Mayor. A year ago this vessel had a mechanical malfunction where it backed into and sunk a luxury schooner in the harbor:


We had an excellent meal that evening on the terrace overlooking Port Vell at the popular restaurant Barceloneta, and enjoyed our final Barcelona sunset from the rooftop of the Almanac Barcelona. On our way back to the hotel, we passed the dramatic Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, built as the main gate for the 1888 World’s Fair.


The following morning, we began our return journey home via Heathrow, again successfully using the Timeshifter app to avoid jet lag. We’d had a fabulous time in Barcelona, the only downside being we can’t bring Spitfire with us and we miss him greatly. Having him along with us was one of the many wonderful aspects of cruising the world in our own boat.


Our route for the day is shown on the interactive map below.


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2 comments on “Barceloneta
  1. John Schieffelin says:

    You bring up some wonderful places my wife and I missed during our brief stay there before we went on a Mediterranean cruise several years ago. We may have to go back. The aquarium looks terrific. I walked around the Port area and gawked at the superyachts but I’d love to see some America’s Cup action in those high-speed foiling boats.

    • John, I agree with you that there is lots to see in Barcelona. The America’s Cup starting in late August 2024 might be a great excuse for us to return and find some more of what the city has to offer.

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