Badalona is a city in Catalonia, north from Barcelona and part of its metropolis, along the Mediterranean sea coastline. It has a population of around 220,000 inhabitants, making it one of Catalonia’s most populated cities.
Badalona is both a dormitory town and a developed city in itself. Despite being shadowed by its neighbour city Barcelona, Badalona features many cultural tourist attractions as a result of its eventful history and presents large amounts of outdoors and entertainment services. From Badalona, Barcelona’s city centre is 15 to 25 minutes away by subway. Several “NightBus” buses from Barcelona also stop in Badalona. Because of this, the city is also regarded as a plan B sleeping option for travellers that are unable to find cheap accommodation in Barcelona.
During the summer one can expect to find lesser-crowded beaches in Badalona and neighbouring towns to the north, as compared to the massively crowded ones in Barcelona. Surfing, wind-surfing, kayaking and similar sports are very common among the residents.
Basketball is immensely popular in Badalona. Many pavilions and open street courts can be found around the city, and it is the most common sport among primary, middle and high schoolers. Attending several matches of friends and relatives around the main pavilions of the city is a typical weekend activity for locals.
Badalona – Things to see
- Pont del Petroli (Oil Bridge). Built as a dock for unloading oil products from ships. Renovated in 2009, it is now a dock for citizens’ and scientific use. A wide panoramic view of Badalona’s (and Barcelona’s) coast can be seen from the far-end of the dock. A weather station is also located there. A popular spot for maritime walks, couples and fishermen at night. A statue of Anís del Mono (an ape with Darwin’s face, holding a bottle of Anís del Mono) is located at the dock’s entrance.
- Badalona Museum (Close to L2 subway line. Buses B3, B4, B9, B17, B22, B25, B27, B29, B30, B31, B44, N9 and N2.). You can visit the remains of the Roman city of Baetulo underneath the building, where there are baths, part of a road and a group of shops. The Museum also has a collection rich in archaeological materials from the excavations it carries out, and also conserves a great variety of objects from other eras (of art, everyday life, crafts, industry, etc.), which give testimony to the history of the city.
- Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, Camí a Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, Badalona, Monastery built in the 15th century in a valley of the Marina mountain range. The landmark features Gothic architecture. The paths throughout the mountain range around the monastery and to and from the city are common easy hiking routes for locals.
Badalona – Things to do
- In May, in occasion of the celebration of Saint Anastasi, the patron saint of Badalona, activities and festivals are organized all around the city. The most important celebration takes place on May 10th. From 18:00-19:00 and till the night, people gather at the maritime promenade to participate in the popular Cremada del Dimoni (Devil-Burning), which is joined by a pyro-musical performance (the fireworks are launched from the beach, surrounding the devil). Many official (backed by the city hall) and unofficial (organized independently by the citizens) events take place throughout the month of May. The schedule with the official and some of the unofficial events is available at the city hall website. Notable events include:
- Correfocs (fire-runs, w:Correfoc), preceded by water-runs.
- Live music performances around the city. The most popular concert typically takes place at Turó d’en Carig (a hill next to the Màgic mall). This concert is funded by the city hall and features renowned local, national and international artists.
- Sardanes dancing sessions at the maritime promenade.
- Meeting and performance of Giants and Big-Heads from several local and neighbouring towns’ entities.
- Trobada dels Puntaires, where more than a thousand people from Badalona and other regions of Catalonia get together at the maritime promenade and practice bobbin lacing in public.
- Festa Baix a Mar, which typically concludes the month of festivities, is a popular sardine-eating event that takes place on the beach.
- The annual town’s festivity is held on August 15th, and features musical events around that date. Similar events to that of the May festivities (fire-runs, sardanes, giants and big-heads…) take place, along with an official speech by a public figure and fireworks on the 15th.
- Filmets Festival is an international short film festival that takes place every year in Teatre Principal and Teatre Zorilla (both in the center) during the month of November. The first edition was held in 1969.
- Teatre Zorilla (17 Canonge Baranera, 08911 Badalona)
- Teatre Principal, 41 Francesc Layret, 08911.
- Stand-up comedy (monòlegs) has seen a rising popularity in Badalona for the past few years. Many performances take place at many beach bars during summer, and in pubs and night-clubs such as Sarau or theater venues such as Teatre Zorilla all year round.
Now You Know