Looking for reviews and recommendations of eco-friendly accommodation (hotels, hostels) and activities (tours, attractions) in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia (Spain)? Here are some of our favorite sustainability-focused hotels, hostels and travel activities in Barcelona.
We’ve also put together a list of organic restaurants, plus the latest weather forecast for Barcelona, best time to visit and other useful travel info.
One of the most popular city travel destinations in Europe, sustainability is a key concern, goal and driver of the Barcelona tourism board and its affiliated businesses. For example, in 2011 Barcelona became the first city in the world to be awarded the Biosphere certification by the Institute of Responsible Tourism. The award recognizes the city’s commitment to developing responsible tourism guided by environmental, cultural and socioeconomic management criteria.
Barcelona also has a website (barcelona-access.cat) dedicated to accessible tourism, helping people with visual, hearing, motoric or cognitive disabilities find adequate accommodation, transport and sightseeing options.
Eco-Friendly Hotels and Hostels
Boutique Hotel Hostal Grau
“Welcome to Hostal Grau, our home, one block from Las Ramblas. It is the base of operations for exploring the highlights of magnificent Barcelona. We have a “go green” philosophy that helps us protect the earth and making it healthier. We save water, energy, recycle, and compost and use non-toxic cleaners in our energy-efficient sound-proofed rooms. We have cocomat beds in all the rooms – pure luxury!”
Hotel Casa Camper
“Casa Camper Barcelona is a design hotel located in the multicultural heart of the city in the Raval area, full of galleries (including the MACBA), bars, little restaurants, and only 2 minute walking distance from Plaça Catalunya. Camper’s commitment to the environment is reflected in its water management. Casa Camper also uses solar energy for water heating, and encourages the use of clean transportation systems, such as public transport, walking or our bicycles.”
“Hotel Neri, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, combines echoes of history with a sophisticated and contemporary style. Boutique Hotel with 22 exclusive rooms and a gastronomic restaurant offering a treat for the five senses. Sensual and unique. Hotel Neri forms part of anima hotels, which has signed a collaboration agreement with the WWF ‘Check-out for Nature’ campaign.”
“The elegant and cutting-edge design of the Barcelona Princess Hotel makes it one of Barcelona’s most representative hotels and as such it contributes to the city’s architectural splendour. Located on the ’Avinguda Diagonal’ just in front of the Fórum, this superior 4-star hotel is located less than 20 minutes from the centre of Barcelona with excellent public transport alternatives available. The hotel is EMAS certified, based on ISO 14001.”
Eco-Friendly Hostels, Budget Accommodation
Barcelona can be an expensive travel destination, particularly during the busy summer months. The following eco-friendly hostels are a great alternative for those on a tighter budget:
Twentytú Hi-tech Youth Hostel
“Twentytú Hi-tech Youth Hostel is the first building in Barcelona intended for hotel use to be awarded the highest energy efficiency classification and has already become an icon for next-generation luxury hostels. The hostel has been used as a case study for the Construction21 platform, a European initiative promoted by UNESCO that aims to boost sustainable construction in Europe.”
“Sleep Green is the first urban youth hostel in Spain that was awarded with the EU Ecolabel in recognition of its commitment to sustainable tourism and protection of the local environment. Sleep Green is a small, cozy youth hostel in Barcelona’s beautiful neighborhood Eixample. The location is unbeatable, allowing you to easily discover the city by foot from the hostel. There are supermarkets, bars, clubs, main tourist sites and public transportation all on our doorstep. Sleep Green features comfortable air-conditioned dormitories of only 4 to 6 beds.”
“Ecozentric is a concept hostel of ecological design, strategically located in the center of Barcelona. The aim of the hostel’s owners, two road warriors returned from their travels has been to open a hostel where guests feel at home while we respect our commitment to the planet.”
Eco-Friendly Tours, Sights, Activities
Visit Parc Güell
Park Güell is the reflexion of Gaudí’s artistic plenitude. “Gaudí respected the vegetation that was already growing on the property, such as the carob and olive trees, and when new species were introduced, he opted for Mediterranean plants that did not require much water. He also designed various systems for collecting and storing water, based on the irrigation systems he had learned about in the rural setting of his childhood.
Both the vegetation and the management of the water resources thus helped to prevent the erosion of the land caused by the heavy Mediterranean downpours, while at the same time helping to provide the water needed by the estate’s inhabitants. Park Güell was recognised as an artistic monument in 1969 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984″. Check opening times and rates
Cycling in Barcelona
Botanical Garden Barcelona
“The Barcelona Botanic Garden is a municipal institution responsible for preserving collections of Mediterranean plants from around the world. Its main functions are conservation and documentation of Catalonia’s natural heritage. The Garden also acts as a source of information about botany and nature, promoting knowledge through activities designed for all kinds of groups, from professionals and enthusiasts to students. This dissemination promotes public awareness and fosters concern for nature.”
Free admission: every Sunday from 15h and the first Sunday of every month. Website
Organic and Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona
Because city visits on an empty stomach aren’t much fun, here is a list of organic restaurants in Barcelona from TimeOut.
Some of our favorite organic and vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona:
Organics Barcelona Plaça Urquinaona 14
Sesamo Restaurant Barcelona Carrer Sant Antoni Abat 52
L’Hortet Carrer Pintor Fortuny 32
La Báscula Carrer Flassaders 30
Restaurant Vegetarià Arc Iris Carrer de Roger de Flor, 216
Weather in Barcelona and Other Useful Travel Info
For all sorts of useful travel info and advice, check out Barcelona on WikiTravel.
For the latest news on weather in Barcelona, visit weather.com.
Best time to visit Barcelona
We love Barcelona in Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-October). People are working, so it means you experience the city more like a local. Plus the weather is beautiful!
Avoid visiting Barcelona in August, it’s high season, everything is more expensive than usual, full of tourists everywhere and weather is too warm.
Still need travel insurance for your upcoming trip to Barcelona? Here’s why World Nomads is our favorite travel insurance for city trips.
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