Badalona has been a place of welcome since time immemorial, as you can see at the Turó d'en Boscà archaeological site, an Iberian settlement founded centuries before the arrival of the Romans. You have to book ahead at the Museum of Badalona if you want to visit its archaeological remains but it's well worth your while; the panoramic views are just amazing!
Now you've enjoyed some spectacular views, how about going underground? The archaeological remains of the city of Baetulo are preserved in the subsoil of the Museum of Badalona and its permanent collection shows how the ancient Romans lived. The carefully designed setting really feels like a journey back in time; there are even sounds that are activated as you walk past!
Once you've visited the Roman site, take the opportunity to explore the Dalt de la Vila district. Its hub is the Torre Vella building and the Parish Church of Santa Maria, but let your heart lead you further afield, along the narrow lanes reminiscent of a labyrinthine North African medina.
Do you need to rest for a while? Can Solei and Ca l'Arnús Park is the green lung of Badalona. You're sure to find a quiet spot in which to relax and even take a little nap in its eight hectares. But if you're keen on botany, keep your eyes peeled; the park boasts more than 120 species of trees, bushes, plants and flowers..
The natural surroundings are also one of the main attractions of Masia Can Miravitges, a mediaeval manor house where you can find out what life was like in the countryside in this part of the world in the Middle Ages. Today, part of the building is home to the Angeleta Ferrer Nature School, where many activities are organised related to the flora and fauna of the Serralada de Marina Natural Park.
Another must-see attraction for history enthusiasts is the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, built in the 12th century. Its library is a treasure trove of over 20,000 books! No doubt the Catholic Kings showed Christopher Columbus around this library when they received him at the monastery on his return from his first trip to America...
On a more contemporary note, but no less interesting, we come to the Anís del Mono factory, built on the seafront at the end of the 19th century. The facilities of this modernista-style building are open to visitors, so make sure you don't miss the old archive room, the manager's office and the distillation room with its enormous wooden barrels.
Since you're right next to the beach, why not take a stroll to the Pont del Petroli? This jetty (built in the 1960s by the CAMPSA oil company and originally used for unloading oil tankers) is the only one of its kind on the Barcelona Coast. The six-metre high jetty juts out 250 metres into the ocean, affording a spectacular panoramic view of the Badalona coast.
Looking for a good excuse to visit Badalona? The Cremada del Dimoni (Burning of the Devil) is the main event of the May Festivities and will take your breath away!