Beautiful city with dirty beach where tourists swim in sea of cigarette butts

A beautiful European city popular with British tourists has been slammed for its ‘dirty’ beach – with visitors reporting that they were swimming in a “sea of cigarette” butts.

The stunning city of Barcelona, in the Catalonia region of Spain, is famed for Las Ramblas, the Sagrada Familia and its nightlife.

Although not necessarily renowned for its stunning beaches and crystal clear waters like other destinations on the continent, it boasts a number of beaches in and around the area – including Playa de la Barceloneta – also known as the city’s “neighbourhood by the sea”.

There’s a constant buzz about the area, with tourists and locals alike enjoying the warm weather all year round – with cocktails, music and tapas restaurants lining the promenade.

However, there’s a darker side to the area, with some tourists promising never to return, with some locals even urging people to stay away.

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Thomas S, who visited the famous beach over the summer, was less than impressed with what the area had to offer.

Taking to TripAdvisor, he said: “Filled with tourist traps as far as restaurants and bars goes. Nine euros for 6 small octopuses. 11.50 euro for a drink with very little alcohol in it. And worst of all pick pockets.

“I had my phone stolen on a crowded bus, the second day on our trip in this area. The whole area is nasty and you don’t feel safe there.

“The beach is okay, but filled with huge nasty seagulls, looking for food and people trying to sell drinks, beers, massages and blankets. The massage-women are harrassing the tourists not taking no for an answer.

“Avoid this area. Find another beach. And never have your phone in your pocket. it will get stolen by lowlife-pickpockets.”

Another visitor, from Montreal in Canada, added: “The beach was dirty and the illegal vendors are annoying. Always harassed canโ€™t get no down time. Getting there smells and the place is dirty.”

While Valentina, originally from Moscow, Russia, said: “We have spent two days before Barcelona in Gava and were so shocked with Barceloneta beach.

“A lot of garbage in the sea and beach, and people don’t care about it – just swim and relax among plastic, paper, cigarette butts.”

A Barcelona local, who visited last year, warned tourists that “probably any other beach in the country is better”. Francesc Carreras, penning a highly critical review, joked that it would only be enjoyable if “you’ve never been to a beach before”

While Dolly L, who vowed never to return, said: “Very dirty, loud and crowded beach. Restrooms are few, too far and incredibly dirty. Illegal sellers shouting and kicking the sand on you everywhere. Not the place to come back again.” has contacted Barcelona City Council for comment.

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It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however, as one visitor from Carmarthen, Wales, said the beach is “definitely worth a visit if you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city”.

While one pleasantly surprised Irish tourist added: “Lovely ambling along the promenade on a sunny late afternoon alongside the fabulous beach and blue sea. A musical troupe was in full song entertaining passers-by.”

While a visitor from the UK wrote: “A perfect beach in the city, easy to get to with the public transport.

“If you don’t fancy sitting down or swimming you can walk along the beach or on the promenade. Plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops around.” has contacted Barcelona City Council for comment.

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