Within the city limits, there are six beaches; Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta, Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella and Nova Mar Bella. Each has unique characteristics and its own feel, although they’ve all has some sort of artificial sculpting. What they lack in authenticity, they make up for in modern facilities. All have places to buy refreshments or rent sun loungers, are well watched by lifeguards and have showers. Only the Nova Icària lacks toilets, but is right next to Port Olímpic in any case. Five of the six beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag ( over the last few years, the only one to miss out being Barceloneta, the most urban. This worldwide seal of quality control evaluates various factors, from accessibility for disabled visitors to the number of bins, from watchtowers to general cleanliness. Each beach also has a safety system, whereby a green flag indicates calm waters, a yellow flag suggests caution and a red flag warns of dangerous currents. Nevertheless, these are inner-city beaches and, at their worst, do become crowded, dirty and polluted. It is worth noting that cleaner, prettier ones are but a short trip away .

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