Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga BCN

As an Ashtanga yoga practitioner I tend to seek out the Ashtanga community when I am looking to practice with others. This is a really nice space with authorized teachers and I had a lovely practice there, with very gentle and intuitive adjustments.

I would definitely recommend it as a welcoming place to practice and connect with the Barcelona Ashtanga community and look forward to getting to return again next time I am in town.

Location: Paseo Isabel II, nº 14 1º 1ª – 08003 Barcelona

Contact: +34 696437464 (Elena)

 

The Natural Way

The Natural Way Yoga & Brunch. Photo source

I just happened to come across a post about a Yoga & Brunch morning being held in Barcelona city during my last visit (and on my birthday!!). I went along and I loved every minute of it – the intuitive, strong and really enjoyable class by Kata – I forget how nice it is to challenge myself physically in other ways than I am used to.

After the class we had an absolutely delicious spread of vegan and sugar free brunch – it was all amazing and made with love by Suyai. There was granola with coconut yogurt, carrot hummus, beeetroot hummus, raw bread, vegan pad thai and the most delicious freshly made juices – not to forget the vegan brownies and energy balls. So much food and all so healthy and delicious. We spent the afternoon chatting with the girls and the rest of the group – it was just a really relaxed, organic and open morning. Next time I am in town I will be making it my business to attend another one of these nourishing mornings.

They like to get their Organic vegetables and goods from The Green Farmers in Barcelona (Carrer de Valldonzella 39, 08001 Barcelona, Spain).

The girls hope to run these events on a regular basis in Barcelona.

Contact:  thenaturalbcn@gmail.com

Suyai: +34 615 65 65 68

Food & Drink

Flax and Kale

Some breakfast delight at Flax and Kale

This was a random find while walking the streets waiting to catch a train and it is a healthy vegan/vegetarian/non-vegetarian’s dream. They have a pretty impressive menu – from those famous acai bowls (which I have yet to try), smoothie bowls as well as an array of vegan desserts – donuts, spelt crossaints, energy balls and some delicious looking smoothies. Their whole menu sounds amazing so it is actually quite hard to decide what to get 🙂

Everything is fresh, colourful and you can tell by the constant queue out the door and the quick turnover of tables that this is a popular spot. It might be a good idea to pre-book your table, especially at the weekend.

Good coffee and they open every day of the week:)

Location: Calle Tallers, 54, 08001, Barcelona

Contact: +34 933 175 664

 

Teresa’s

Lindsay trying to decide which juice to choose

This little juice haven is a sister cafe of Flax and Kale, as well as a few more dotted across Barcelona city. They make pretty awesome cold-pressed juices and smoothies, it took me about twenty minutes to pick a flavour – I went for The Vegan Vampire and we also tried the Tumeric Chai which was so good.

Lots of tasty vegan and non-vegan deserts also if you fancy a treat with your juice or coffee, I was told by lady I met in another vegan cafe that they have the best vegan chocolate cake she has ever tasted!

Lunch options here also, coffee and more. High quality, fresh and delicious stuff here.

Location: Carrer Argentina, 31, 08003, Barcelona.

Contact: +34 93 310 25 99

Cat Bar

A totally vegan pub grub and craft beer spot. Plenty of veggie burgers to choose from, tasty craft beers to sample at the bar ( but no drinking at the bar!!) and just a funky place to have a drink, nibble or full blown meal.

Wheat and gluten free beer & food options available. This is where I would go for a relaxed evening to hang out and chat with friends.

Location: Carrer Boria 17, 08003, Barcelona.

Contact: +34 693 58 47 00

Enjoy Vegan

Live simply, dream big, give thanks, give love, laugh a lot. Spotted at Enjoy Vegan.

This is a nice small vegan cafe located in a small square with a few other health food and vegan/veggie spots. It is a nice little nook to have some leisurely food and drinks.

I had the vegan quiche with salad and it was delicious – really tasty and nice and light. The salad dressing was particularly good. The couple who run it are really friendly and they have a great selection of food and daily specials on offer, I couldn’t fit in another bite but the desserts here looked delightful.

Location: Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell 10, Barcelona, Spain

Contact: +34 931 41 99 82

Mercat De La Terra

One of the great things about walking around cities like the dynamic, cultural and diverse city of Barcelona is that you can stumble upon awesome markets like this one on a Saturday morning, Mercat De La Terra is a Slow Food movement market that has a whole array of great local, organic and artisan stalls.

For some divinely delicious vegan cakes check out Gisela Biological and Vegan bakery I had the chocolate and rose donut, yum! Gisela Bakery uses the art of baking with Ayurvedic medicine, slow food, local and organic principles-  I love to see something like this and it inspires me as a baking lover myself.  You can check out some of their mouth-watering healthy, vegan treats on their website and order some for yourself right there. They also deliver to some healthy-foodie spots across Barcelona which you can find here.

The lovely ladies from Gisela bakery <3

One of the best coffees that I have had in Barcelona was from the super cool La Cherry coffee truck which is a little red van serving some top quality coffee that moves around Barcelona city and to various events.

You can also sample or buy some locally produced Organic wine, craft beers, artisan chocolate, locally grown organic vegetables and other great stalls. It has a lovely atmosphere with a stage set up for live music as a backdrop to your beverage and food of choice. The market is located on the way to the marina which is a perfect area for a Saturday afternoon wander and you can also have a look at the vintage and random knick-knack stalls placed across the marina front. Definitely a lovely, relaxed way to spend your morning in Barcelona city surrounded by some really lovely people and you get to support local produce and businesses.

 

La Gelateria Del Barri – Artisan Vegan Ice-cream

One of the bonuses of having an  absolutely terrible sense of direction (even after ALL these years of travelling), is randomly coming up places like this little vegan ice-cream bar. All of the ice-creams are made from non-dairy milk and it was just what I needed after hours walking the Barcelona streets – and in November. Lots of flavors to choose from – I had the Stracciatella flavour which was pretty damn good! There were so many delicious flavors to choose from, which made my decision even harder 🙂 !

Location: Carrer de Sant Pere Més Baix, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Gopal Vegan Deli

I just happened to walk by this vegan deli and took a quick peek at their goods and they looked delicious. As there is only a certain amount of food that even I can fit in during a week I didn’t try anything this time – but next time for sure. The vegan cinnamon rolls looked delicious.

Really nice and friendly staff and in a nice little square where you could eat your grub in the sun if you decided not to sit at some of the stools in store.

Accommodation

Futura Casa Lola

Look at that terrace at Futura Casa Lola!

This is a really great hostel in an excellent location. The hostel itself is small, simple and it is just recently opened so it’s clean, fresh and I can honestly say I will be staying here every time I am back in (Barcelona) town.

The staff were all super friendly and helpful. They have a terrace upstairs for some sun lounging or some morning yoga 🙂

The rooms are clean and basic and you can rent towels for €2. There are a couple of computers in the lobby that are free to use. There weren’t any cooking facilities when I was there but they said they were planning on getting some in.

Location wise I loved it, it is really close to Montjuic which is my new favorite discovery in Barcelona (Read more below about this great spot).

If you want to catch a yoga class then there is a yoga studio just around the corner is Studio 108 Barcelona, which at the time of publishing this offers yoga in English as well as a whole range of great sounding fitness and health classes.

There are some great food spots right on your doorsteps – Blai 9 (Address: Carrer Del Blai, 9 – 08004 Barcelona. Contact: Tel: +34 933 297 365, Email: blai9@blai9.com) is right across the street and this is so good for a delicious and creative spin on your average Catalan tapa.

Now they are not particularly “healthy” (Gasp!) or vegan friendly but there are some good options for those who take dairy or fish. We got a bit hooked on this place and I had a delicious birthday feast of tapas and wine during my stay. So good! It is always busy and you may have to wait for a table (try and get the outdoor seats for the whole tapa and Spanish street- life experience. ) Also super cheap, for €1.50 a tapa you can’t go wrong.

I just discovered another great spot a little further down the street on my last night called Carmesi (Carrer de Blai, 28, 08004 Barcelona, Spain. Phone: +34 659 04 83 94). Really cosy and friendly atmosphere. Lots of great food made fresh and in house using some organic products. They had some delicious vegetarian and vegan options, as well as non- veggie food so it is a great place to cater for all diets and preferences. Even just a great spot for a relaxed evening tea/wine and something light to nibble on. Lovely, friendly and relaxed staff.

There is also Bar Seco just around the corner. I just discovered this little spot on my last morning. These guys are just lovely! This cafe is another gem that runs on a fresh, local, organic, GMO free and quality produce and have been certified 0km by the Catalan Slow Food initiative.  Non dairy milk and great coffee on offer. A perfect spot for breakfast!

La Tieta is a great wine bar that is also along this street serving some really great wine, beers and all that goes with that – cheese, olives, antipasti and tapas of varying varieties. This is a nice, relaxed place to sit out on a warm evening and watch the Barcelona world go by. (Address: Carrer de Blai, 1, 08004 Barcelona, Spain. Phone: +34 931 86 35 95) 

Other hostels I have stayed in recently and over the years:

Hello BCN 

I have stayed here a few times and like it’s relaxed, backpacker vibe for when I am on that sort of trip. Standard dorms – from private to 4, 6 and 8 bed rooms.

There is a bar and nice hang out area and a kitchen where you can cook you own food.

It’s in the same area as Futura Casa Lola and I like this general area as it seems to have a nice mix of locals and non locals.

Location: Address: Carrer de Lafont, 8, 08004 Barcelona, Spain.

Contact: Phone +34 934 42 83 92         Email: info@hellobcnhostel.com

Mambo Tango

I first stayed here about seven years ago during a New Years visit to Barcelona and it was run by a really sweet Argentinian couple and their two dogs. They welcomed us in like two friends and the whole hostel rang in the new year together and it was such a nice experience.

I have stayed here a few times since then and it is still a really nice place to stay. On my last visit I arrived really late and tired and the lovely guy behind the bar insisted I throw down my bags, take a seat, have a chat and something to drink. All those little things really do make a difference when you are travelling, tired, hungry and just arriving somewhere for the first time. If you are travelling alone (which I am quite a lot) it is nice to arrive somewhere like here where the staff are warm, open and welcoming. I stayed here a few times and always found it nice.

WIFI and computers all available. Free breakfast. A nice area downstairs to hang out, books to read, a kitchen available for use. Private double, four, six and nine bed rooms available.

Good central location.

Location:  Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 23, 08004 Barcelona, Spain

Contact: Phone – +34 934 42 51 64       Email: info@mambotangohostel.com
Sleep Green

This is something new and exciting that I am going to definitely check out on my next visit. 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.

Now this is something I would love to see more off. This is top of my list for future stays. (Any excuse to go back!)

Location: Ronda Universitat 15, pral-1, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Contact: Phone (+34) 932 507 938       Email: info@sleepgreenbarcelona.com

Monjuic Park 

The cable cars at Montjuic park

As I said Montjuic park is my new favourite spot for some urban nature therapy. How I have not discovered this place before after so many trips to this great city, I do not know. Just a short (and steep!) walk from my hostel (Futura Casa Lola) it was the perfect way to spend my last morning.

This area is huge and not only do you get some fantastic views of the city but you also get a sense of stepping outside of the concrete jungle and escaping into a little oasis for a bit. I mean you are definitely still in the city up here and you will probably come across buses of tourists taking pictures of the harbor and city views but there is a dropping of the shoulders, a relaxing of the senses and just a feeling of space and calm which can be hard to find in a city as big and lively as Barcelona.

Montjuic views of the city

I walked around here for about three hours, getting a good leg workout on the uphill ascent. I especially loved the walk around the Montjuic Castle (castell de Montjuic), you have the views of the harbour and wild Aloe Vera plants to your left and the walls of the old military fortress to your right. I came across very few people along this path (possibly as it was a Wednesday morning in November) so it was just what I needed for a bit of mind clearing after a few days in the city.

As I had to fly home I didn’t have time to explore it all but it is going to be my new hang out spot every time I return. A great place to take in some rays, go for a run/walk, practice yoga, catch up on some writing and reading with a little picnic in tow 🙂 Doesn’t that sound pretty idyllic?

I also never made it as far as the teatre Grec, which is a Greek style theatre built by Catalan architect Ramon Reventos in 1929. It is another addition to my list for next time.

Location: Carrer dels Tarongers, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

Vic

Ladybird love

Vic, the capital of the Catalan region Osona, is a beautiful part of Spain. This ancient city itself is really stunning, filled with beautiful architecture, the impressive cathedral and just that really special Catalan city feel. The city is situated along the Meder river with the stunning Sau reservoir nearby. The great thing about Vic is that it is only about an hour and a half or so train ride from the centre of Barcelona city and even the views from the windows to get there are worth taking the trip.

That is one of the things I love most about Barcelona, the proximity to nature – the sea, forests, mountains. It is nice to be able to hop on a train and escape the busy city for a day or so – and the train only costs about €12 return.

Here are just a few spots that I discovered during my last visit but even just finding a table in the main square, take a walk around the historic streets and just feel like you have been transported to ancient Catalonia for a few hours.

Agape

This is probably one a very few, if not the only, vegan/vegetarian/gluten free/raw friendly restaurant in the beautiful historic city of Vic where I spent some time. This is a really cosy, local and friendly spot for lunch. They use local and organic produce and they have a set menu each day  with four options to choose from (dishes change daily) – starter, main and dessert ranging from €10 – €16 for all three courses. We had some delicious choices, from pumpkin soup, vegetable quiche with and almond base as well as delicious vegan chocolate mousse tart for dessert. It is such great value and all of the food is made fresh and in house by the lovely woman who runs the restaurant.

There are some health food products and great books on all things yoga, meditation, health and spirituality available for purchase in the shop downstairs.

If you do take a trip out to Vic (well worth it for a day trip or escape from the city) then this is definitely a great option for a veggie-friendly, local, organic homemade meal. Reserving a table ahead of time is advisable.

Location: Progres 2, 08500 Vic, Barcelona

Contact: Phone +34 93 889 26 46                  Email: agape.vic@gmail.com

Health Stores

There are no shortage of health food stores or supermarkets to fill up on your healthy goods but here are a few that I shopped at.

Veritas

This is an amazing health food supermarket in the gorgeous town of Vic. They have all you could ask for – organic fruit and veg, huge selection of health food products and natural cosmetics, as well as freshly baked bread and pastries. It is great to see such selection!

Location: Vic, Carrer de Sant Fidel, 11, España

Contact: +34 938 134 885

Casa Ametller

 

This is a great delicatessen shop stocked with lots of quality, fresh, local and organic produce. Some pretty good artisan chocolate, beers, wine too if you are into that sort of thing 🙂

There are also a good range of health food products, vegan and vegetarian friendly.

Location: Rambla de les Davallades 13

Contact: +34 671 630 252

 

Own Spirit Festival 

My dancing sisters

I can’t really do up a guide to Barcelona and not mention one of my favourite gatherings, Own Spirit. Now you see this is one of my other loves- dancing and electronic music. The particular style at this festival is mainly psytrance – which is definitely an either love or hate style and I love it. So I come here each year to spend five days dancing until my legs can dance no more and my face can smile no more. It really is a very special gathering full of joyous, loving and beautiful dancing spirits.

I think that the reason why this festival works so well is that it is quite small, it has a wonderful healing area full of yoga, massage, dance therapy, workshops, meditation, art and many more. They serve healthy, delicious food and have great stalls selling handmade clothes, jewelry, natural products and great food and drink stalls. There is a specific area for children and family with workshops and activities

The sun shines, the location is absolutely stunning, surrounded by green hills and valleys and it is just my week of dance, nature and disconnect-from-the-world therapy. I am counting down the days already <3

Location: Masia Cal Bogadella, 47, 08262, Barcelona

2017 Edition: April 13th – 17th.

 

This was me turning 29 before your eyes on a Catalan mountainside.

 

Check out my other guides:

Yoga Travel Guide: A day in Edinburg

Yoga Travel Guide: Galway, Ireland

Yoga Travel Guide: Wexford, Ireland

Yoga Travel Guide: Anjuna, Goa, India

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Montjuic views of the city