Swimming in Barcelona

Nothing beats a sunny day at a beach bar with a group of friends down at Barceloneta, followed by dinner sitting outside at Salamanca (great for suckling pig and seafood), or one of the many other restaurants on the front. Not sure if I’d actually like to swim there though.

The best place to get a proper swim in is up at the Olympic pools in Montjuic. Take the metro (red line 1 or green line 2) to Espanya and follow exit signs for the Fiera (this is also where all the big expos are held). Whichever exit you come out of, you will see two tall square brown towers through which you will see the imposing Palace of Montjuic (now the Catalonian national art gallery) on top of the hil at the end of a long approach. The pools, and the Olympic stadium, are up behind the palace. It’s a very pleasant walk, especially if the fountains are on, and the views from the top of the palace steps are stunning.

There are two Olympic size pools, one indoors, one out. The 50m outdoor pool can be bit chilly in April but if it’s a sunny day you will soon warm up. There are lots of sun loungers poolside but they may be full if you leave it late in the day during the summer. Usually though this is a very peaceful place to swim and relax, perhaps some of my favourite swimming baths ever, and I’ve been to a few. Indoors is obviously better in colder weather, the 25m long lanes have never been crowded when I’ve been. You also get a strong sense of history from the ’92 Games when you come here, check the photo exhibition in the entrance area. It currently costs €9.65, which is expensive, but it’s a great place to while away a sunny Sunday with a book and a dip.

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