The 1992 Olympics brought about a big change in this area, before the seafront was made up of warehouses and docks, but now it has been transformed into one of Barcelona's most modern and architecturally ambitious districts.
The area has two beaches, Icària and Bogatell, both of which are increasingly popular and house quite a few beach side bars and restaurants. The beaches are well equipped with toilets, showers, first aid and changing rooms for the disabled. These beaches are quite popular for windsurfers and there is a sailing school if you want to prove your dexterity on the sea. If you want so sunbathe in peace then I recommend you walk up the beach away from the port, where there are far fewer people, although you may find yourself stumbling across a few nudists!
By night the area comes alive and people swarm to the huge strip of restaurants and well-known clubs such as Shoko and Baja Beach that look out onto the port, all under the watchful eye of a big golden fish designed by Frank Gehry for the 92 Olympics.
Bogatell is less modernized than the nearby Villa Olympica and still has remnants of old Barcelona, small Catalan cafés and narrow roads. If you want to escape from the crowds then this a good place to head and cool down after a long day at the beach.
Avenida Icària which runs through Bogatell to the Olympic village is also where you will find the Vila complex which consists of restaurants, shopping, a supermarket and a 15 screen cinema that shows the latest releases in their original language - especially good if you fancy watching a film in English.
The hotels in the area are for the most part quite modern and enjoy the relative quiet of an out of town location, but also have the beach and the Olympic village for entertainment.
Both Bogatell and Ciutadella Villa Olympica have metro stops on the yellow line that will take you into the centre of Barcelona in 15-20 minutes. You could also walk to La Rambla in about half an hour if you feel energetic. Otherwise taxis are cheap and easy to get around the Olympic Village.
Other sights of interest are the Parc Ciutadella which is surprisingly tranquil most of the time and a lovely place for a picnic. In the park you will also find the Barcelona Zoo which is always a favourite with children and adults alike (be sure to catch the dolphin show).
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