A blend of rich history and coastal enchantment

An Insider’s Guide to Premià de Mar

Premià de Mar

Premià de Mar is mainly a service-oriented town, with a charming historic centre and a wide variety of shops and leisure activities. It is located on the coast between El Masnou and Vilassar de Mar. It is easily accessible via rail or by car and is just 25 minutes from the centre of Barcelona, making it popular with commuters. Premià de Mar is both a tourist destination as well as a residential area for those who desire to escape the city. With its wide, sandy beaches, new marina, Mediterranean gastronomy, local shops, and rich history Premià de Mar is the ideal beachside town. 

History & Economy of Premià de Mar

Marina Port Premià

The origins of Premià de Mar date back to the early Neolithic period, with evidence of human habitation spanning over 6,000 years. The findings of archeological artefacts such as pottery were significant because it was the first time Montboló-type earthenware had been discovered in the Maresme area and it also indicated settlement from 4,500 BC or earlier. 

The arrival of Romans in the year 218 BC had an extreme impact on the social, economic, and political state of the town. Beginning with the development of what are now known as villas, that are spread throughout the town, more archeological findings revealed remains of Roman warehouses, ovens, workshops, necropolis (tombs), private baths (spas), and places for smelting metals. 

The name Premià appears in documents for the first time during the 10th century and is said to be named after a Roman owner known as Primius, Primianus, or Primilianus. Little is known of the town from the Middle Ages, however, it is evident that many people lived far away from the beaches out of fear of pirate or corsair invasions.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, more establishments were seen on the shore of Premià de Mar. During 1687, the Can Manent farmhouse, now a museum, was a bakery, gavella and inn along the entire length of the Camino Real. It is believed that fisherman Cristófol who came from Premià de Dalt was the first to settle with his family by the sea and eventually founded the district, the future Premià de Mar as we know it today. 

At the end of the 18th century, the population grew rapidly and the construction of the church of Sant Cristòfol started. Throughout the 19th century, activities in the area included fishing, farming (on dry and wet land), and trading with the Americas.  The main crops during that time consisted of grapes, wheat, barley, hemp, legumes, and onions. In 1836, the village officially became known as Premià de Mar and was delineated between the Riera and the current Joan Prim street, and the upper limit was marked by Àngel Guimerà and Sant Miquel streets. 

At the end of the 19th century, the phylloxera plague destroyed the vineyards, forcing farmers to grow different crops. However, significant industrial growth occurred, with factories such as Can Za, Can Gravada, Lyon Barcelona, and Vapor Vell leaving a lasting impression. In 1884, the Propagadora de Gas was built, lighting the streets with gas lamps. Later came electricity in 1912, the telephone, and Dosrius water in 1928. More major changes to the town appeared as Premià de Mar entered the fast-paced 20th century.

Property in Premià de Mar

Premià de Mar

Town houses in Premià de Mar

Premià de Mar’s property market is characterised by its attractive coastal location, proximity to Barcelona, and a variety of property types. It offers a more affordable alternative to central Barcelona, with the added benefit of a seaside lifestyle. The town’s good transport links, local amenities, and investment potential make it a popular choice for both buyers and investors. The town is about 20 kilometers northeast of Barcelona and both the train ride and car journey to Barcelona takes around 25-30 minutes, making it accessible for daily travel. Like other towns along the Maresme coast, Premià de Mar boasts beautiful beaches and a pleasant Mediterranean climate, attracting both permanent residents and holidaymakers.

The town offers a variety of property types, including modern apartments, traditional townhouses, and spacious villas.  Property prices in Premià de Mar are more affordable than in central Barcelona but higher than in many of the inland towns. Prices can vary widely based on the type of property, condition, and location. June 2024 saw, the average price per square metre at 2,358€ (Indomio).

There is also a healthy rental market, supported by both long-term residents and seasonal visitors.  Recent years have seen some development in the area, with new residential complexes and modern apartments being built to meet the increasing demand. However, the town also retains many traditional properties, adding to its charm, especially in the old town.

Gastronomy in Premià de Mar

Fresh seafood at Cal Tito (photo: Cal Tito)

The gastronomic offering of Premià de Mar consists mainly of traditional Mediterranean cuisine with a few special exceptions. El Paller Restaurant is located just a short walk away from the beach and is known for its traditional Catalan cuisine. Cal Tito has a “sea to table” concept, providing fresh seafood dishes to their customers daily along with seaside views from their terrace. Naunet Lounge Bar offers year-round service in the port of Premià de Mar with a cosy terrace. Check their website for any upcoming events and weekly live music. Other restaurants in the port include Champanillo Premià, Salicornia Pizzeria, La Bella Lola Arrosseria, Restaurante Las Palmeras Premià, Koi Asian, Frankfurt Kiki’s, and Jijonenca – Gelateria Orxateria.

If you are looking for a restaurant on the beach (during the summer) other than in the port, check out Déjà Vu Beach which offers delicious food and cocktails and a fun nighttime scene. Granier cafeteria is also a highly recommended spot for sweet and savoury treats as well as coffee or espresso drinks. 

Shopping in Premià de Mar

Premià de Mar

Passi Urban Garden

Premià de Mar is one of the few small coastal villages in Maresme that has a wide variety of shops. The recent addition of the Marina Port shopping and dining area has provided the town with a handful of convenient shops. Stores that can be found at this complex include Aldi, Veritas, Ametller Origen, PEPCO, Passi Urban Garden, Drim, Unoshop, AD Nautic Premià, Action Premià de Mar, C de Carmen Outlet, and PrimaPrix. This is a great area to do your everyday grocery shopping, purchase sea and boating gear, select beautiful house plants and decorations, or even pick up a few clothing items. To learn more about the port and what it has to offer, you can view their website.

Other shopping can be found throughout the streets of Premià de Mar such as supermarkets, beauty stores, clothing outlets, pharmacies, and more. There’s also the nearby Mercat de Flors just off the Nacional II which sells fresh local produce on Sundays including a range of olives, fruits, vegetables, and breads. 

Beaches at Premià de Mar

Playa Pla De L’os

Premià de Mar is home to 5 beaches that span across 2.5 kilometres of coastline. The beaches include Llevant Beach, Bellamar Beach, Pla de L’os, Platja de la Descarrega and Platja de Ponent. Along the stretch of sand, you can find a number chiringuitos such as Déjà Vu Beach which is a fun place to stop for a quick bite. Platja de Llevant is closest to the Marina Port Premià and offers access to the local yacht club and Platja de Ponent has an area designated for surfing. Whether you want to lounge in the sun or venture onto the water with a surfboard, the laid-back environment and crystal blue waters make Premià de Mar a perfect destination for any type of beach day. Premià de Mar also has one of the best dog beaches in Maresme which opens from the beginning of June until the end of September, solely reserved for pooches. 

Activities in Premià de Mar

Summer casals at Club Nàutic Premià (photo: Cercle Aventura)

If you are interested in discovering more about Premià de Mar’s rich history then the Museo Romà is the perfect place to explore. This museum features archaeological findings and special exhibits which you can learn about through guided audio tours or even participating in workshops related to the Roman time period. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance either online or via telephone. 

Another significant museum is the Museu de l’Estampació which is the only museum in Spain specialising in textile printing. Located in the building of the old Fàbrica del Gas, its primary goal is to illustrate printing as both an art form and a technique throughout history, with a particular focus on its significant role in the industrialisation of Catalonia. You can explore the permanent exhibition dedicated to textile printing, as well as temporary exhibitions. Check out the website for information on guided tours, printing demonstrations, and workshops.

Club Nàutic Premià is an esteemed sailing club offering a wide range of activities. Their sailing school offers different courses adapted to your level whether you are a beginner or advanced sailor. They have a team of well-trained instructors and during the summer, the club has casals for children in which they can partake in many different water activities including windsurfing, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and wake foiling. There are also pádel courts. Stay updated about weekly activities and events through their Instagram page. 

Espai l’Amistat is a local theatre that hosts performing arts such as music, dance, plays, and also films in a room with capacity for 350 people. In a smaller room meant for up to 100 guests, conferences, readings, and small events are held. Guests are given the option to purchase one-time tickets or a subscription with varying prices based upon age, number of people, and the number of shows. 

The Festa Major de Premià de Mar, known as the “pirate festival” takes place every July around the 10th of the month. Over the course of five days, there’s a variety of events catering to all ages and preferences. Highlights include parades, concerts, dances, the diada castellera (human tower day),  habaneras, a firework display, and more. The main event is a dramatic reenactment of pirates landing and attacking the town. Get more information about the festival from their website or stay updated through Instagram

If you are looking for fun summer activities for your children, Premià de Mar hosts multiple reputable summer camps at reasonable prices. Little Wild Ones is available to children ages 4 to 12 and has a focus on nature-based activities, creative projects, and exciting excursions. Kids&Us is available for children ages 3 to 12 and takes place at the Nautical Club. This camp has an emphasis on English language immersion through activities such as storytelling, games, arts and crafts, singing, and dancing as well as theatre excursions and day trips. Cercle Aventura is an outdoor activity-based camp that offers sailing, beach activities, and water sports including paddle surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkelling, and more. Code Learn is a technology-focused summer camp available to children ages 7 to 18. Discover more about summer camps in Premià de Mar and the surrounding Maresme area here

An Insider’s Guide to Montgat

An Insider’s Guide to Caldes d’Estrac

An Insider’s Guide to El Masnou

An Insider’s Guide to Cabrils

An Insider’s Guide to Vilassar de Mar

An Insider’s Guide to Mataró

An Insider’s Guide to Sant Pol de Mar

Maresme’s Top 10 Towns and Villages