In a city like Barcelona that is brimming with breathtaking works of modern art by the likes of Dalí, Picasso and Gaudi; with cutting edge fashion and cuisine, its no surprise that the Spanish have decided to move forward in Eco Tourism. It’s not enough to be hip, one must also be green. Spain is certainly on the right track by quickly becoming an energy progressive country. And Spain now has vibrant, growing, carbon-neutral communities such as Longrono Montecorvo, a complete Eco City that will save an estimated 6,000 tons of carbon emissions annually, sport an Eco Park that will include wind turbines, photovoltaic cells and other forms of renewable energy technology.
If you want to stick to your green travel credentials, then Barcelona is the place for you. Starting with accommodations, a slew of hip Eco Urban hotels seem to be popping up all over the city. These hotels all offer chic minimalist design with luxury and comfort. A particular favorite of mine is the Abac Restaurant and Hotel. There are only 15 rooms at this hotel, so you must book in advance. Ask for the attic room, it has a jacuzzi tub and a wrap around terrace and yes, Missoni Bathrobes! One more fun eco note is that this hotel offers Segways to get around the city. Beep Beep! Two more hotels with upscale eco offerings are the Grand Hotel Central and the Art Nouveau Hotel Omm.
Of course there is something green for every pocketbook! Check out Barcelona’s Urbany Hostel,
in the city center with an epic roof terrace overlooking the Torre Agbar skyscraper. It’s reduce-reuse-recycle philosophy includes using “less aggressive” building materials, low absorption lamps and rainwater harvesting. For £14 a night you get a shared room, and use of a neighboring pool and gym. Sleep Green is the first hostel in Spain that was awarded with the EU Ecolabel in recognition of its commitment to sustainable tourism and protection of the local environment.
Okay, so you are not 18 and prepared to share a room, then stay at the mid-priced Casa Camper Hotel located in the arty El Raval district. This hotel is within walking distance to the Museum of Modern Art and some of Barcelona’s best shopping. It also offers free bikes and hammocks for guests.
Getting around this Eco Friendly city doesn’t require any gasoline. Walking is the best way to happen upon undiscovered spots, but there are other options. You can explore the city by bicycle. Barcelona’s spacious avenues allow an extensive system of bike lanes to accommodate biking at all levels. A new public bike-sharing system began last year, though at the moment is only available to residents. You can, however, rent a bike for around 20-25€ a day from Bike Rental Barcelona. Not a biker? Well hydrogen buses are on the way. After successful trial runs, the city plans to expand its hydrogen fleet this year. Public bus fares are about 1.25€
Step outside ones boundaries when traveling and discover something new. Barcelona is the perfect destination for laying on sun kissed Mediterranean beaches, ambling through old Gothic Quarters, experiencing art masters work or having organic Cana (beer) and Tapas. There is no shortage of Eco friendly yet culturally rich travel options in Barcelona.
Written by Carla Scott for EuropeUpClose.com