the city of our dreams

How To Be Healthy in Barcelona, Spain: A Wellness Guide

Vegan restaurants, live music yoga, and artisanal coffee all await you in one of our favorite European cities.

The Guide:

  • Section 1: Who Am I and How Did I Come To Know About Barcelona?
  • Section 2: What Makes Barcelona A Healthy City
  • Section 3: The Neighborhoods In Barcelona
  • Section 4: The Best Vegan Restaurants In Barcelona
  • Section 5: Where To Practice Yoga In Barcelona
  • Section 6: The Best Coffee Shops In Barcelona
  • Section 7: Sample Itinerary
  • Section 8: Additional Resources

Section 1: Who Am I and How Did I Come To Know About Barcelona?
Author: Samantha Shankman

Barcelona was more of an idea than a city when it first captured my imagination. I heard about its narrow streets that led to the Mediterranean Sea and became acquainted with its laid back locals dreaming of when I would wander through El Gotico or ride my scooter along Ciutadella Park. The Catalans spoke of their home with pride, and the travelers I met spoke of it with envy. My love affair with the city itself started slowly. I visited for four days during a study abroad weekend then two weeks during an au pair job then one more month between jobs before finally arriving to stay in January 2017.

I am blessed in that I’ve explored Barcelona through the friends and families that first told me about its secret pleasures. The sweet girlfriend who introduced me to small wine bars and hidden parks with fantastic views, the best friend from New York who relocated before me and sorted out all expat concerns, and the partner who knew every vegetarian and vegan restaurant and market as well as the best nutritionists, yoga teachers, and — perhaps most important — the best beaches along the Catalan coast to reconnect to nature.

As a writer who has spent more than five years now talking about travel, I tend to approach a new place with an already growing list of places I want to explore. And to see one yoga studio doesn’t feel right when there’s so many to discover, each one special and enlightening in its own way. The places I cover in this guide are those that I personally frequented again and again during my year in Barcelona. They’re owned by locals or foreigners who found a home in Barcelona, all of whom became friends because Barcelona slowly becomes a community to those that stay rather than pass through.

I also split much of my time between Barcelona and a small biodynamic farm in the province of Tarragona, making each trip into the city a chance to reconnect with like-minded friends that were working to make the city a more holistic place to live.

Although almost all foreigners only visited Catalunya’s capital, there is so much to explore and see the mountains, beaches and farmlands beyond.

Section 2: What Makes Barcelona A Healthy City

Barcelona is an intrinsically conscious city surrounded by the majestic Mediterranean and backed by hiking trails that turn into the Pyrenees for winter sports and play.

Walking around it today, however, its inherent vibrancy isn’t always on display. Processed meat hangs in butcher shops, refined bread lines bakery’s shelves. Many people smoke hand-rolled cigarettes from morning to night and alcohol plays a predominant part of the social scene.

It sometimes seems as though the city has forgotten it is situated on a blessed part of Europe where there is perpetual sun, endless opportunities for play, and rich soil to cultivate the most abundant of crops.

A new young generation of makers and explorers are shifting the consciousness and reminding Barcelona that it is destined to be bountiful. They are hoteliers sourcing only local furnishings and restaurateurs sourcing only local produce. Yoga teachers hosting retreats in its most magical mountaintops and designers and creators whose work doubles as a tribute to its natural spark.

Plan your stay right and that is the side of Barcelona that you’ll see.

Section 3: The Neighborhoods In Barcelona

Stroll through El Born with its cobblestone alleyways to find small bars like Ale & Hop where veggie burgers are made of locally grown beets and all beer is brewed locally. Venture through hidden undiscovered magic of Poble Sec for the best yoga on the way to hike Montjuic. Love your way through the boutique and wine bars in the student and artist neighborhood of Gracia.

>> Sandwiched between La Ciutadella Park and Las Ramblas, El Born is what everyone dreams of when they hear George Ezra or Ed Sheeran sing about Barcelona. You can spend your entire night on and around Passeig del Born, starting with tapas at Bornmouth or El Xampanyet and ending with cocktails at Creps al Born or Numero Nueve.

>> El Gotico is the heart of Barcelona. Not only is it the literal center of the city, but it captures the best in shopping, politics, architecture and social life from morning to night. Walk through the city’s most populated pedestrian streets, Portaferrissa and Portal de l’Angel, where you’ll find all the Spanish shopping icons from Zara to Mango. Meander through the city’s most famous plazas such as Placa Reial or Placa Sant Jaume where the Catalan government sits. 

>> El Poble-Sec has maintained its local culture perhaps better than any other neighborhood as Barcelona has become more popular. Walking through morning or night, you get a sense of what the city was like before the 1992 Summer Olympics that put Barcelona on the global map. A walk down Carrer Blai will indoctrinate you in Spanish tapa culture. Stay later for cocktails at Mau Mau and dancing at Plataforma or Sala Apollo for local nightlife.

>> El Poblenou is the Bushwick of Barcelona. Once known as an industrial quarter, the neighborhood is constantly in transition with some of the best coffee shops and new lunch spots opening there. With wide streets, and proximity to the sea, it is also one of the most open of Barcelona’s neighborhoods. Our coffee shop guide below will lead you here.

>> Gracia is best known for the students and artists who are drawn in by the cobblestone streets and small local bars. The neighborhood has in recent years gentrified bringing juice shops, matcha tea lattes and gluten-free pizza along with it. The best time to adventure through Gracia is in the early evening as residents come home for tapas.

>> El Raval underwent a radical transformation in the years following the Olympics. Once known as the red light district, it became better known for its nightlife and emerging arts scene. El Raval remains an enigma: Home to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art’s skateboarders and students, Barcelo Raval Hotel’s rooftop parties and celebrity guests, and large communities of Arabic immigrants. Walk the La Rambla de Raval before exploring its many sidestreets. We especially love independent bookstore Espai Contrabandos for its unexpected collections of contraband books.

>> La Barceloneta once belonged to the fishermen who lived near the sea, but is today home to tapas bars and the city’s coastline. You’ll walk through quintessential side streets and underneath laundry lines of drying clothes before arriving at the promenade where locals and visitors rollerblade, cycle, run and walk next to the sea.

>> Sarría is quiet, stylish section of Barcelona known for its upscale boutiques, beautiful urban homes, and small parks. It’s worth taking a stroll to see where many long-time Catalan families spend their days far outside the tourist bustle.

Section 4: The Best Vegan Restaurants In Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most lusted after cities on the map, thanks to those Mediterranean views and cobblestone streets, that effortless style and—of course—the dizzying array of dining options, from cheap tapas to complex tasting menus.

The city is also on a serious health kick, offering everything from weekly kombucha classes to yoga brunch; we’ve seen more than a few wellness bloggers making the rounds and posting their perfect avocado breakfast on Instagram. And while there are more than a few popular green dining options in Barcelona, we want to highlight the real vegetarian and vegan-friendly gems of the city. The places where the food is fresh, and affordable, and filled with locals.

Here, our definitive list of the five best restaurants for vegetarian, vegan and even raw cuisine (introduced to us, in turn, by our favorite Barcelona local-turned-farmer).

1. Amaltea This is one of the original vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona. Its wood-covered interior is a cool, peaceful retreat from the hot and bustling city.

First course options might include gazpacho, Indian dahl or a macrobiotic plate, followed by a second course of Cannelloni with goat cheese or a burrito filled with seitan. Our absolute favorite dish, however, is the vegan burger,  made of buckwheat and served with Spanish tortilla, sweet potato and guacamole.

We recommend going for lunch where you can ask for the menú de mediodía—which comes with two courses, a drink and dessert—for just 10.90€ ($12.47!). Located in the neighborhood of Eixample, it is slightly outside of the center of the city but easily accessible via walking or subway. It is open Monday through Saturday for lunch (1 – 4PM) for lunch and dinner (8 – 11PM).

Vegan Barcelona Spain

2. Ale&Hop Ale y Hop is a local favorite in Barcelona, but few visitors get beyond its impressive selection of handcraft beers from Europe to taste its incredible food. They offer a selection of vegetarian and vegan burgers made with vegetables grown in their very own organic farm. Our favorite is the garbanzo and beet burger. Don’t forget to ask for the sweet potato fries!

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Borne, this is the perfect stop to start or end a night of bar hopping. It’s also high quality food at a great price, especially for an evening meal. Ale y Hop is open from 5 pm to 1:30AM (or later) Monday through Thursday, and opens at 1PM on Saturday and Sunday.

3. Petit Brot Petit Brot is our newest discovery in Barcelona, and it’s changed the way we plan our days. This serene restaurant serves a wonderful, creative menu of organic and raw cuisine, juices and smoothies. You can select the menu de mediodia, which comes with a small soup and dish that changes weekly, or any combination of their standalone dishes.

We love their take on burgers, sushi and tabouleh, but our absolute favorite is the Ensalada de Sol: It’s not only beautiful, but it contains all our superfood crushes, like sprouts, sauerkraut, avocado, and beet hummus. (Check out their Instagram @petitbrot for some inspiration.) We walk away from every meal feeling deeply nourished and relaxed.

The restaurant was started by a young couple who are passionately committed to educating and nourishing their customers. They created the space using all bio-construction techniques and bio-degradable material and source the majority of their organic produce from local farmers.

Petit Brot is open from 12 – 5PM every day except Tuesday.

Vegan Barcelona Spain

Vegan Barcelona Spain

4. L’Hortet Another lunchtime gem, L’Hortet offers a menu with two courses and dessert for 10.90€ ($12.47). Diners choose from an organic salad buffet, soup or the daily special for a starter course, and from a selection of three plates of the day, which are always fresh and delicious, for the main. We once had a pomegranate dressing here that we still dream about.

Located in the center of the city near Las Ramblas and La Boqueria, it is the perfect quiet stop during a day of touring and exploration. It is open every day for lunch (12:30 – 4PM) and for dinner on Friday and Saturday (8 – 11:30PM).

Vegan Barcelona

5. Addis Adeba Addis Adeba is an incredible Ethiopian restaurant with local decor and a buzzy vibe located near the city’s main train station Sants.

Ethiopian cuisine always comes with several small combinations served on top of injera, an East African sourdough-risen flatbread. The vegetarian options come with red lentils, potatoes and carrot roasted in curcumin, broccoli and carrot cooked in coconut milk, greens sauteed in garlic, or chickpeas toasted in ginger.

It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8PM to midnight, as well as 1:30 – 4PM on the weekends. The menu, which includes combination of plates, drink and dessert, costs 17.50€ ($20) per person.

Section 5: Where To Practice Yoga In Barcelona

You might notice that classes in Spain tend to move a bit slower with teachers taking time to discuss an idea or philosophy before diving in. It turns the practice from a simple physical stretch to a mental and emotional one. Don’t know Spanish? Follow your classmates’ movements and let your teacher know ahead of time as many can also instruct in English.

Mandarim Yoga Mandarim Yoga became my primary studio in Barcelona. It has that perfect combination of a peaceful, easy going vibe outside the room with a serious practice on the mat. And with three locations spread throughout the city, there is no excuse not to make it.

The main class is a Hatha Vinyasa that puts equal focus on pose and flow, but we fell in love with the Monday special—Power Yoga—where the flows are a bit faster and the teacher always encourages the class to try a new move and test their boundaries.

The first class is 5€, and drop-ins after that are 12€. Follow them @mandiram_yoga_dinamico.

The Garage The Garage is a large studio infused with natural light in Poble Sec. The studio is decorated in neutral tones that immediately instill a sense of calm in its students. The Garage was started by Austrian expat and model Veronica Blume who created the space to share her love of yoga and teaches classes daily.

The studio is next to the adorable boutique Hotel Brummell where we recommend stopping for a coffee (made with local Nomad beans) on their back patio. All hotel guests have access to free yoga.

Garage offers Hatha and Vinyasa classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a single morning class offered on Saturday and Sunday. A drop-in class is 15€ or 3 classes in your first week for 20€. Follow them @thegarageblume.

Yo/Mu Yo/Mu offers a class unlike any other on this list—or that I’ve taken before. A energizing Vinyasa flow set to the beat of a live cello is just one of the reasons I love Barcelona on a Monday.

The yoga is taught by Lucy, whose kindness and connection reminds you why you started doing yoga. The live music comes from Pepe Arias, a classically trained cello player who creates auditory art with his bow, loops, sound effect machines and his voice.

Their idea? “Since both music and yoga can induce a transcendent state of mind, it’s only natural that combining the two will maximize your bliss.” We’re in.

Classes are offered Monday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm and Fridays at noon. A drop-in class is 12€. Follow them @yomuproject.

Yoga and Live Music

Vinyasa Flow and Live Music

yoga barcelona

Espacio de Yoga Espacio de Yoga is a small studio located on a quiet street in the north of the city. It’s unassuming exterior helps keep the calming oasis—staffed by conscious and kind teachers—a secret from the crowds.

The studio offers Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini and Ashtanga classes in a simple white room adorned with colorful flags. They also offer Ayurvedic therapies and acupuncture if you’re looking for an extra wellness boost during your stay.

There are classes throughout the day from 8 am to 8:30 pm. A drop-in class costs 12€.

Follow them at Facebook.com/espaciodeyogabcn1/.

YogaOne Mandri YogaOne is an absolutely beautiful studio with small class sizes.

The room gives you space to truly spread out and express your positions with freedom.

There are a variety of 50 Iyengar, Hatha and Vinyasa classes offered throughout the day. A great addition to the studio is the large, well-designed changing room, which makes it easy to stop in after a long day or make that transition from downward dog to tapas.

The first class is free.

Follow them @yogaonebydir.

If you’re looking for more than just a class, check out Yoga Weeks’ retreats in Barcelona and Ibiza.

Section 6: The Best Coffee Shops In Barcelona 

Barcelona is welcoming what’s called third wave coffee.

Following the exponential growth of coffee consumption and the rise of coffee brands comes the third wave coffee movement which fosters an appreciation for the quality of coffee and a growing conscious about the supply chain from origin to roaster.

Third wave is a mindset and Barcelona has brought it in with a handful of committed roasters and cafes creating incredibly simple coffee with a bold flavor and ethical background. We’ve written about the health and moral benefits of organic coffee before.

Now, we’re not knocking an espresso enjoyed at the local bar, but these coffee shops offer committed baristas, specialty treats, and an often unstated agreement that laptops are allowed.

Read on for the best coffee shops in Barcelona:

1) Hidden Café Barcelona 

Hidden Cafe is, in fact, hidden. You could walk past its sliding glass doors without ever noticing it, but you’d be missing out.

Each of the baristas is careful and thoughtful with the drinks they pour and that commitment to quality is what keeps me coming back above all else. Each beverage is served with a small paper that tells you about the origins of the coffee and its roasting. It’s also a great place to get work done with large wooden tables, a great playlist and come as you are vibes. That juxtaposition of great drinks with zero pretension – I mean, their sugar bowls are Star Wars mugs – is hard to find at most great cafes.

Hidden Cafe is located in the neighborhood of Sants, which is outside the tourist area and next to a massive outdoor mall.

Go for a matcha latte. It offers a variety of fresh matcha sourced directly from Japan.

Follow them @hiddencafebarcelona

2) Nomad Coffee

Nomad Coffee is on another level. There’s no other way to put it when you meet a roaster that lifts you up to the perfect high and, on some days, even brings on a spiritual glow. The beans are the cleanest we’ve ever tasted and consistent at that.

The Lab location is their home base with a small bar and standing room, but our personal favorite is the Everyday location, which is more relaxed with a broader menu offering tapped kombucha, ginger beer and even ice cream. You’ll also find Nomad at various cafes throughout the city but its something of a pilgrimage to go direct to the source where their baristas add the magic touch.

If you want to take your caffeine habit to a more elite status, Nomad offers comprehensive courses at its third location where they also roast the beans.

Go for nitro cold brew. The best coffee we’ve ever tasted.

Follow them @nomadcoffee

3) Skye Coffe Co.

Not far from Espai Joliu is Skye Coffee Co. This meditative space provides the physical space and open slate needed to start a project, write until it starts to flow, or dig into a book. The huge space has several large tables and a converted 1972 Citoën HY.

Skye takes a simple and purist approach to coffee, encouraging guests to drink an espresso or V60 plain or with milk – but no syrups, no spices, no creams – to appreciate the coffee’s true essence. Skye is usually serving local Barcelona roast Right Side, but International guest roasters are also sometimes available. No nonsense like pastries here. Their one food item is a simple but satisfying chia seed pudding.

Go for V60. Appreciate the aroma, taste and feel of the coffee, let it inspire you.

Follow them @skyecoffeeco

4) Espai Joliu 

Espai Joliu is an incredible little space that’s part plant concept space, part art gallery and part cafe.  In addition to coffee, there are treats like gluten-free buckwheat chocolate cookies, avocado toast, and vegan donuts on Fridays only. On sale, but also available to read, are a selection of the weightiest lifestyle magazines like Kinfolk, Cereal and Drift.

Espai Joliu is located in the up and coming Poble Nou neighborhood. Step out of the city into a magical urban garden.

Go for the latte…and ambiance.

Follow them @espaijoliu

5) Satan’s Coffee

Satan’s Coffee has two locations both centrally located. One is the Gothic neighborhood, perfect for a pick-up when you’re in tourist mode, and the other is boutique hotel Casa Bonay. The Bonay location is our personal favorite. It is a bright location with large tables and fast Wi-Fi. In addition to coffee, they serve small green juices and treats from croissants to chia seed pudding. It also opens earlier than most cafes at 7 am.

Plus, their menu comes with a punk edge reminiscent of Barcelona’s partying past.

“We take coffee damn seriously. All our coffees are sourced and roasted by Right Side, a local speciality roaster who have been our partners in crime practically since we served our first drop.”

Go for the batch brew. You’ll probably end up staying a while and they offer refills.

Follow them @satanscoffeeco

Section 7: Sample Itinerary

This Spanish city sits on the Mediterranean with the sea steps away from the center and miles of precious coastline to explore on the weekends. It is surrounded by mountains with some of best trails accessible from the local neighborhoods. And it packs serious culture. We’re talking Gaudi’s greats, Picasso’s premium, and a history filled with dramatic romanticism.

The city has an appreciation for artisanal fashion and supports small designers and boutiques where every dress, necklace and bag seems handcrafted just for you. And that’s not even mentioning the nightlife and festivals that bring every genre of music to the city, each in an incredible outdoor or underground space. No matter how many times you go to Barcelona, it feels like its revealing what’s behind its secret doors and small alleyways all over again to you.

Ever since we got conscious about how our daily decisions impact our bodies and minds, we made it a mission to seek out the very best health and healing experiences that a city has to offer — so we can explore the world and feel great doing so. From Berlin to Bordeaux, we’ve learned that a trip doesn’t have to throw you off track into a downward spiral of bad food choices and inactivity — it can actually inspire you and teach you some new habits or ways of thinking to incorporate into your own routine at home.

Follow this weekend itinerary to the hour, or let it inspire you to incorporate some of its healing moments into your next visit.

Friday, 2PM

Ease in. Barcelona is a city that begs to be discovered, slowly and sensually, street by street, boutique by boutique. Washing off the stress of the life you left at home, or staid air of the airport terminal, is possible in the summer months with the sea steps away from the city.

But first… food.

Start with lunch at Escriba, a chiringuito (which means small beach bar), that serves the best paella in Barcelona. Skip the fried starters and go straight for the paella — our favorite is the vegetarian or fresh seafood. You’ll sit back, look out over the ocean, and feel the first of Barcelona’s many magic moments.

4PM

After lunch, take a walk along the sea before arriving in the former fisherman’s neighborhood of Barceloneta. Skip dessert at Escriba and wait for dairy-free ice cream cone at La Heladería Mexicana, a tiny colorful shop with imaginative flavors, before taking a dip. Our favorite flavor (which we were surprised to discover even existed!) is the passionfruit cayenne.

6PM

If you’re arriving between November and March, it’ll likely be too cold for a swim.

After ice cream, head to holistic and natural therapies haven La Turquesa for a transformational massage. We don’t say that lightly. Georgi, the owner of La Turquesa, applies a combination of massage, acupressure and reiki techniques throughout the one hour session, which leaves you feeling not only physically relaxed but spiritually aligned.

While your travel buddy is in session, explore the alleys of Born which are filled with small boutiques featuring handmade jewelry, espadrilles, and chic collections of clothing. It’s hard to name a single street as the go-to and we believe that the city reveals what it is you most desire. Here’s a map of the area to let yourself explore.


9PM

Besides being the best shopping neighborhood, Born is also one of the most lively come dark. There are small tapas bars and restaurants offering local organic wines and artisanal beers. 

Our absolute favorite is Ale y Hop where you can choose from more than a dozen craft beers and the best veggie burgers in the city, made with vegetables fresh from the garden of the owner’s mother. Another good stop is Bornmouth where you can order a selection of classic tapas—we love their patatas bravas—or any of the restaurants under the Mosquito empire. There’s Mosquito for dumplings, Grasshopper for Ramen and Red Ant for bimibap.

If you’re in the mood for dancing, head to Passeig de Born, which is lined with cocktail bars that encourage dancing. Our favorite is Creps al Born, where talented bartenders stir complex cocktails with fresh ingredients (ask for a virgin!), and Numero Neuve.

Sometimes there’s no better form of healing then swaying your hips on the dance floor.

Saturday, 10AM

Today head north, to the picturesque neighborhood of Gracia, filled with boutiques, cafes, students and artists. Wander up Calle de Verdi where you’ll find tiny shops with the most stylish dresses as well as ethically made clothes and makeup, bulk food shops where you can pick a selection of fresh nuts and dried fruit, and small plazas where people are enjoying a latte or beer outside.

Start the morning at any one of Gracia’s specialty coffee shops and enjoy the quiet streets before the rest of the city wakes up. Try SlowMov for speciality coffee, Syra Coffee for a matcha latte, or Lukumas for a coffee with a side of donut.

11AM 

Mandarim Yoga is one of our favorite yoga studios and located in the adorable neighborhood of Gracia. It is a welcoming relaxed space that welcomes visitors and offers a masterful class on the mat. The Saturday morning class is a Hatha Vinyasa that puts equal focus on pose and flow.

1PM

Brunch is a recent phenomenon in Barcelona, but we suggest you skip it for a heartier meal. Messi Sin Gluten is a 100% gluten-free Italian restaurant where they serve thin-crusted pizzas, pasta and the largest selection of gluten-free beer we’ve ever seen. Our order always includes at least one vegetable pizza with vegan cheese and pasta with marinated artichokes, asparagus and zucchini but you really can’t make a bad choice.

3PM

Next: Hike! Gracia is in the northern part of the city and we recommend you continue heading north to hike to the city’s highest points for a spectacular view. You can walk or hike up to Parque Güel where you can skip the expensive tourist portion and instead explore the many trails surrounding Gaudi’s magnificent work.

Even further up is Bunkers where remains of an old army bunker today serves as a stadium to gaze up all of Barcelona’s streets and sea. Bring a gluten-free beer in your backpack and snack to enjoy on the top. The hike is about 40 minutes from Barcelona and not too steep!

4PM

Gracia comes to life between the afternoon and evening. After the hike, you’ll be ready to graze at its many tapas bar while stopping in its many shops and storefronts in between. Two of our favorites are Viblioteca, a small wine bar with an impressive selection of local organic wines and cheeses and La Bicicleta, a local restaurants with small plates and friendly staff. Walking through the neighborhood, you’ll come across dozens of places to sit for a bite to eat.

Sunday, 9:30AM

Boutique hotels are relatively new to Barcelona, but a favorite is Hotel Brummell. The staff is super friendly and there’s a wonderful rooftop terrace. The hotel was founded by Christian Schallert whose childhood friend Veronica Blume opened a yoga studio next door. That means free yoga with every stay! The Garage is a dreamy studio with morning classes each weekend.

Not in the mood to get on the mat? Hotel Brummell is located right next to Montjuic—a massive park and urban oasis that rivals Central Park in surprising visitors with its greenery inside a large city. (If you need a caffeine boost beforehand, ask for the natural, artisan cold brew by Fred with almond milk at Brummell Kitchen.)

Our other favorite boutique hotel is Casa Bonay, which is a multidimensional space with Satan’s Coffee, restaurants, a bar and a co-working space on its bottom floor. They host weekly events from documentary viewings with tacos and beer to live music performances.

11AM

Nomad is the coffee roaster in Barcelona offering organic coffee that’s clean, delicious and energizing. They have three locations throughout the city but our favorite is Everyday. Pick up a cold brew and matcha cookie, or any one of their many delicious drinks, before heading out to explore the neighborhood of Raval.

coffee shops in Barcelona

Raval is considered an artists’ area and it is one of the most multicultural parts of the city. It is filled with small boutiques, book stores and museums. Take a walk through the streets and shops, take time to enter the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (affectionately known as MACBA), or simply sit outside the museum and watch life happen. There are always skaters and students hanging outside. Raval is also next to Barcelona’s famed Boqueria market where you can go to lust upon mountains of fresh fruit and seafood.

2PM

Petit Brot is raw vegan restaurant in Raval where owners Ales and Laura serve juices and creative dishes that are as nourishing for your body and soul. They offer delicious takes on burgers, sushi and tabouleh, but our absolute favorite is the Ensalada de Sol: It is not only beautiful, but also happens to contain all our superfood crushes like sprouts, sauerkraut, avocado, and beet hummus. The serene space is the perfect place to reflect on your Barcelona adventures before heading out.

Another delicious option in Raval is A Tu Bola, which serves variations of falafel and the best pita and hummus we’ve ever had, and L’Hortet, a local natural eatery with daily menu.

Extra time?

Barcelona is an evolving city with tons of pop-ups and workshops. Here are some additional spots to check out, if you have the time.

All Those Food market: Sample dozens of street food vendors, taste local wine and artisanal beers, and shop handmade products from local creators.

Espai Egg: Attend workshops on kombucha and fermentation, or go in for a community dinner curated by local chefs.

Wo Kitchen: Let the Mosquito family (best dumplings, bimibap and ramen in Barcelona) show you how to make Vietnamese spring rolls or Thai curries.

Section 7: Additional Resources

These additional notes are in no specific order, but worth looking into for inspiration or weekend trips outside of Barcelona!

>> Itziar Aguilera is Spanish blogger who is based in Madrid but worth following for her artistic lens on a natural Spanish lifestyle, travels, and local fashion picks. Instagram: Itziaraguilera.

>> Fauna Y Flora is a conscious Catalan brand with handcrafted jewelry inspired nature. Their pieces are beautiful and can be found in boutiques throughout the city, or order online.

>> QKBCN is a one of Barcelona’s trendiest boutiques with luxurious hippie chic dresses, blouses, bags and jewelry from the local owner’s own brand Lio de Faldas, designed with ethnic inspiration, as well as others such as Missoni and Free People.

>> If you find yourself in Tarragona, you must dine at El Vergel. The menu is vegan and organic and the dishes are all creatively composed. Simply delicious but backed with deep fresh flavors.

Located on the second floor, the all-white restaurant breezy dining room has an almost Nordic vibe complemented by three balconies overlooking cobblestone streets. We like it so much that we once spent New Year’s Eve having a tasting menu there!

>> For a day trip to beaches outside of Barcelona’s (sometimes) crowded options, try Castelldefels. Accessible in less than 30 minutes by car or train, Castelldefels has wide open beaches and great areas for swimming or kitesurfing. On the south side of the beach, next to the boat docks, there is a small funky restaurant Vegan N’ Roses serving local lunch.

>> San Pere de Pescador is a small town located on the northern Catalan coast. It’s an almost two hour ride but worth it for a weekend of camping. Try Camping Amfora or Camping Nautic Almata where you can rent a small bungalow, apartment or sent up your camping gear a short walk to the sea. You’ll find wide beaches, chiringuitos for sunset cocktails, and complete disconnection from everyday life

 

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