Vegan Travel: Barcelona!

I wrote this last week, our first few days home from our trip. I am excited to share the trip with you guys in a few posts. This is the first, then next up, Croatia and Rome!..

I was up at 4:30am today. Blame it on jetlag. I am still recovering from an amazing trip that my husband and I took over the Thanksgiving holiday. We visited three spots: Barcelona, Croatia (Dubrovnik) and Rome. First stop: Barcelona!

This was my first time visiting Barcelona. Several friends of mine have been and always rave about it. I had also heard positive things in regards to the vegan options, so I was optimistic that I wouldn't starve or end up eating bread and veggie sides our entire visit.

Well they were right. I absolutely loved Barcelona and hope to spend more time there in the future. Here is a glimpse of our four-day stay and all the vegan restaurants and shops we found -- with a few sightseeing at Barcelona hotspots, like the churches and architecture, along the way!..

* View from the top of the Nativity tower, Sagrada Família

* View inside the Sagrada Família

* Casa Batlló in the glistening afternoon sunshine

* Pretty colors of Gaudi's Casa Batlló

* On my way down the Nativity Tower at Sagrada Família

Welcome to Barcelona, Spain!

Hotel. We landed in Barcelona around 3pm. We hopped in a cab towards our hotel. The sun was starting to set, diving across the clear blue sky creating a sparkly glow through the city trees and stone sidewalks. The streets were speckled with people in dark coats and sweaters, bouncing along, getting things done before the sun settled away for the evening.

Our hotel was located on Passeig de Gràcia, a sort of high-end shopping district that is extremely close to some of the famous Gaudi buildings. There are a bunch of hotels in that neighborhood. I highly recommend that area for a hotel. Easily walkable to just about everywhere we wanted to go. I think we only took a cab back to our hotel once or twice - once when we were making our way home from the beach area and my feet were just DONE, and another on our last night after dinner. We walked to the beach, to Old Town, to the Sagrada Família, all our restaurants and more.

It was soooooo nice to walk that much. Walking is really the one thing I miss about living in NYC, and do not like about living in LA.

Arrival. Our plane ride was overnight, about 10-11 hours. On the Europe-bound flights, I usually sleep for at least five hours, thank goodness.

Bottom line on hotels, there are a bunch of lovely hotels in Barcelona, so you are sure to find something in whatever price range or neighborhood you need. We found Barcelona to be a really easy to navigate and walk around and staying in the center of the city will really help you get to just about everything.

First up, the Tourist-y Spots. (Then all the food spots follow.)

Casa Batlló by Gaudi - We stumbled on this famous piece of architecture on our walk back to our hotel. The colors are simply magical and I was so excited to photograph this famous spot. I could hang out there all afternoon and just watch the colors twinkle and change as the sun rolls by.

Sagrada Família - Gorgeous! Wow wow wow. This church is still under construction, but what is completed is simply stunning. I went up the Nativity Tower, which was a real treat. You get epic views of the city and the winding spiral staircases down are pretty fun + scary + cool. Note: There is NOT an elevator down, so if you are claustrophobic or afraid of heights you might want to skip the tower views and just enjoy the ground floor with sparkling stained glass windows and more.

* Glowy light galore inside the Sagrada Família, around 2:30pm..

* Inside Sagrada Família

* Ceilings inside Sagrada Família

Las Ramblas - We visited this famous strip of activity on a chilly Friday night. I was sad because the holiday lights were up, but not actually turned on yet. Overall, I wish we had visited on a holiday evening or during the day because at night it felt a bit like "Times Square." Lots of activity, but also a lot of street vendors trying to get you to buy selfie sticks or other random odd things you don't need or want.

Beaches - We were really curious to check out the beach in Barcelona! It actually reminded me of the beaches in Santa Monica. The water is brisk and pretty deep blue and there was an outdoor gym and lots of locals walking along the boardwalk on this very sunny fall day. Some people even swimming!

Old Town - It was really pretty to wander through the older parts of the city.

GOT Tour - Ok, so this had absolutely nothing to do with the city, but the Game of Thrones tour just happened to be in Barcelona, so to get extra excited for the next stop on our trip (Dubrovnik Croatia, aka King's Landing) we couldn't resist checking it out..

Vegan-Friendly Spots in Barcelona.

Now onto the good stuff! The vegan things.

Amapola Vegan Shop - I found this place by googling "vegan shoes in Barcelona." So we walked about fifteen minutes north to a really cute neighborhood with narrow streets and a bunch of bakeries and found Amapola Vegan Shop. The store is filled with vegan shoes, winter hats, bags and purses and even a large selection of goodies for men and kids. Belts, wallets, cute tees and so much more! I fell in love and bought a few pairs of shoes, a tee and of course I needed the canvas bag that said "Veganism is not a diet." Which is one of my favorite sayings. I usually add on.. "It is a choice your heart makes!"

Some brands they carried.. Matt + Nat, Bhava, Nae and more.

Contact info: Travessera de Gràcia, 129 08012 Barcelona +34 930 106 273

Teresa Carles - This was our first meal dinner out in Barcelona. We were pretty starving from a long day of walking and sight-seeing. This cozy spot was perfect! We snagged a corner table (without a reservation!) and enjoyed our dinner while seated among a bunch of locals. We ordered sangria which had lots of fresh citrus flavors. I had the Pumpkin and Crispy Tempeh Salad. It was a big salad and very filling. Rich in plant protein, which I was craving. We also split the Baby Burgers and has a few tapas items to start. The plant-based bomba de la Barceloneta (Potatoes, boletus edulis, mushrooms, soya, chickpea flour, allioli and brava sauce.) was kinda like potatoes brava in a giant croquette. SO good!

Flax & Kale - We came here for brunch. We sat outside on the pretty roof. Plants and fresh air, loads of sunshine. I ordered a matcha latte and the avocado toast. Also a side of market fruit. The fruit was just average. The matcha latte was good. The avocado toast is basically a giant serving of mashed avocado on a thickly sliced piece of fluffy toast. Sprouts on top too. It was good. The service seemed to be a bit off for us to be completely honest. Our server seemed to be a bit sick and was coughing all over the place. Don't get me wrong, this place looks amazing and the food it really good, but things just seemed a bit off for us that morning. (We had also had SUCH a perfect meal at Teresa Carles the night before so had really high expectations for this sister restaurant.) I have a feeling that if we tried this place again we would love it...

contact: FLAX & KALE TALLERS Carrer dels Tallers 74b, 08001 Barcelona

The Green Spot - I loved this dinner spot! The atmosphere is kinda like a super cool modern library or family room. Super comfy, yet modern. Moody lighting with table lamps and wood-covered walls, low ceiling and comfy pillow-lined tables bordering the sides of the dining room. We arrived right at 8pm, which is considered "early" for Barcelona dinnertime. The place slowly gathered a hearty crowd of people by the time we left.

What I ordered: Kale and Quinoa Salad with a white miso dressing, hazelnuts, edamame and cherry tomatoes. This salad was crazy good. The dressing was so flavorful and marinated the tender kale leaves perfectly.

Green hemp pizza with cashew cheese. The crust was fantastic and the toppings really flavorful and fresh. This pizza felt very healthy, yet still really hearty and filling.

We also ordered a few ginger ales and the vegan brownie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. OMG that vegan dessert was incredible. The brownie was fluffy and rich and so delicious.

contact: C. de la Reina Cristina 12 08003 Barcelona +34 938 02 55 65

Turris Bakery - We went here twice in the same afternoon it was so good! I found something called a Panadó which contained a filling of spinach, raisins and pine nuts. It was vegan! It was like a little tart, pocket thing. It was really oily and flaky in a lovely way. I really didn't even get a good photo we devoured them so quickly. I later messaged the company to double confirm that the item was vegan and indeed they were, just like the worker said. The bakery was just around the corner from the Amapola Vegan Shop.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona - We had a quick lunch in the main restaurant. I had an amazing Vegan Club Sandwich. Very vegan friendly!

Overall, our three days in Barcelona were a lot of fun and the city was so tourist and vegan friendly. Tons of delicious restaurants, cute cafes and lovely shops. So much to explore. Barcelona was lively and luscious, filled with delicious food and friendly locals. There is just so much to do there! Every type of scene. There is a beach scene. A museum and churches scene. An Old Town scene. A modern shopping scene. Little quainter neighborhoods with smaller shops. The other cool thing about Barcelona is that we found it to be very affordable for a big city.

We definitely could have spent an entire week there, just getting to know the city. But we were onto our next adventure.

And yes! Barcelona is totally vegan-friendly. I was really impressed and excited about that part. One local I talked to said that many of the younger generations are adopting vegetarian habits, which made me so happy to hear.

Video from some of my Instagram Stories from Barcelona...

Travel Tip: Bring your walking shoes!!..

Next stop on our adventure: Croatia! Dubrovnik! Aka, King's Landing..... stay tuned! :)

I will leave you with these fave spots. Those spirals and those gorgeous colors!..

Pin this travel post for later when you are doing some trip-planning or trip-dreaming of your own!..

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