Diagonal Mar

i el Front Marítim del Poblenou

At the time of writing, Diagonal Mar i El Front Marítim del Poblenou is Barcelona's newest neighbourhood and is still going through a consolidation process.

Begun in the late 1990s, the project has reurbanised the area between the seafront, Sant Adrià de Besòs and the Besòs river was previously centred on the notorious slum known as La Mina.

The name, Diagonal Mar, refers to its proximity to the sea at the far end of Avinguda Diagonal.

Speaking personally, the barri is a little off the beaten track to visit regularly but part of is attraction is that it forms part of Barcelona's upcoming area, loosely known as El Poblenou.

With its park, shopping centre and lovely beaches, Diagonal Mar is an extremely desirable area to live and in fact, the price of real estate here is now the highest in Barcelona.

Furthermore, given the neighbourhood's proximity to the Parc del Fòrum and the CCIB, Barcelona's international conference centre, Diagonal Mar is now home to some of the city's best hotels.


Getting to Know Diagonal Mar

The central part of the neighbourhood comprises two sections.

The older of these located between Carrers de Pallars, Puigcerdà and Llull on the left of the map consists of three blocks of the Eixample and includes some of the original housing.

The newer section is much larger and includes residential blocks and the Parc de Diagonal Mar, which was designed by Enric Miralles and with an extension of 14 hectares is one of Barcelona's largest parks.

However, this part of the neighbourhood is best known for the Centre Comercial de Diagonal Mar, which was opened in 2001 and with 240 shops and an area 87.000 m2 is Catalonia's biggest shopping mall.

On the Maresme side of the mall, we find Barcelona's International Convention Centre, which can hold conventions of up to 15,000 people.

The area known as the Front Marítim del Poblenou borders on the Ronda del Litoral, the main coastal road out of Barcelona, and is made up of five large blocks with interior gardens.

After crossing the Ronda del Litoral and a pleasant park area, you come to the beaches.

The first of these is the 400-metre-long Platja de la Mar Bella, which includes a nudist beach and is oriented towards gay bathers.

It boasts a popular disco and bar and the strange sculpture pictured above.

A little further down is the Nova Mar Bella, which is about 500 metres long and is possibly the quietest of Barcelona's city beaches.

The sand here is very pleasant and the incline into the sea isn't as steep as the city centre beaches, which makes Nova Mar Bella an excellent choice.

Public Transport

The neighbourhood is also well served by buses and the Trambesòs Tram Line.

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