Vegan Barcelona? Eat with Locals!
Vegan Barcelona? Eat with Locals and experience off the beaten path neighborhoods!
The sun shines over the old cobble streets of central Barcelona. The day seems to take a slow and mellow rhythm by the marina. The warm breeze blows from the Mediterranean, embracing every visitor with that fuzzy feeling that only Barcelona seems to offer.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with this city. Barcelona is vibrant, relaxed and the sun insists to shine in this idyllic corner of Europe 365 days a year.
But Barcelona has changed and not only in a positive way. For us locals, the level of mass tourism has been taking over some of the oldest and most iconic neighborhoods of the city center. Tourists pile up in Las Ramblas, Barrio Gótico, Plaza Catalunya, Passeig de Grácia, turning the life of the locals basically impossible.
Barcelona has been affected by one of the most overwhelming waves of mass tourism, poorly managed by local authorities. The small labyrinth streets of central Barcelona, simply can’t cope with the massive influx of tourists. And we locals are left with the same question every season: “what is there for us in all this chaos, apart from the crowds who make our daily lives basically impossible?”
I believe in sustainable traveling and giving back to the local community. When I’m abroad, I love experiencing the culture, the local foods, the local traditions and get to visit the least touristic spots. I love forgetting I’m a visitor and lose myself in the experience of being a local for a short amount of time. And Barcelona is so much more than Las Ramblas and those over crowded areas.
GREEN BARCELONA. VEGAN BARCELONA
Since Catalonia has placed a ban on bullfighting, Barcelona also placed itself on the forefront of animal rights issues. Bike renting spots are located in basically every corner of the city, reducing the CO2 emissions and inviting visitors to explore the city in a sustainable way. Over 150,000 trees now line its streets and its multifaceted parks, which range from high sprawling Collserola and Montjuïc down to magical Güell and cosy Ciutadella. The opening of several vegetarian and vegan Barcelona restaurants, turned this city into the healthy conscious paradise and favorite destination.
And the opportunities to turn away from mass tourism are widened by the opportunity to explore the city with locals, who open the doors of their homes, who will welcome you in their kitchens for a delicious meal or will show you the city through their perspective.
There are dozens of activities you can find, spread around different parts of town, offering the most authentic and local experiences, while helping the local communities and local economy. Simply tick the box; eat withlocals, activity withlocals or tours withlocals to see all there is available.
As a person who has always been interested in a vegan Barcelona experience, I wondered what was there for us, healthy conscious travelers.
Although Barcelona counts with numerous vegan and vegetarian restaurant and eateries, none of them will offer the personalized attention and opportunity to have a meal with a like minded local who shares the same passions and interests. More than just having a delicious raw vegan breakfast or lunch, you’ll have the chance to interact with someone who has a similar lifestyle and can share their stories with you.
So spend the morning with Cristina, enjoying her healthy smoothies and local breakfast at her home near La Sagrada Familia or with the other Cristina who lives by Sarriá, a very typical neighborhood, and who will welcome you for an organic superfood vegan Barcelona experience.
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH
There’s very little authenticity in Las Ramblas or Passaige de Grácia. Those are highly touristy places where inflated prices and crowds gather on a daily basis and where locals avoid going, as much as they can. I passed Las Ramblas around 4 times during the 7 years I ‘ve lived in Barcelona, and I couldn’t avoid feeling upset about the crowds back in 2004 already!
Take a sunrise photo tour with Alexandra who knows the streets of Barcelona like no other. Go for a wine travelers feast with Mar at the very typical San Gervasi neighborhood. Go for a workout in the park with Jamie’s and experience the city in a completely different way.
Give back to the local community and make a positive impact while having unique experiences that will enrich your life and create long lasting memories.