Travel slow in Barcelona: the story of Barcelona Plan·it
When it comes to travel, it’s hard to find people that are more enthusiastic than Sandro and Cecilia. With their project Barcelona Plan·it they are truly dedicated to show visitors the sustainable, authentic and local spots in the city of Barcelona or to provide a slow travel itinerary. We had a talk with them, to get to know some more about their project.
Hello! When and how did your project start? How did you come on the idea on starting this?
Cecilia and Sandro first met at an entrepreneurship workshop in Barcelona. Connection first came from sharing the passion for travel and good food; afterwards, many brainstorming sessions had followed and finally the idea of a tailor made service for curious travelers started to mature. The business idea was there but the name for it was very hard to choose, several namings came up before Barcelona Plan·it was registered, one example is The Ant Vivant since we define ourselves as bon vivants 😉
Who is behind it, who is running it?
Barcelona Plan·it is a two-friends show, Cecilia & Sandro share the daily business tasks of a very customized travel service. A bit about us: Cecilia is a passionate traveler, a sailing lover, and as a cook amateur enjoys everything related to the foodie world. Sandro is a professional from the Travel business and loves the outdoors and sporty activities, specially yoga.
What do you offer?
Barcelona Plan·it offers made-to-measure travel itineraries and Slow City Walks through the path less traveled around Barcelona, and beyond, combining city attractions and local hidden gems along with gastronomy insider tips.
How do you focus on sustainability?
We focus on travel from a local perspective, promoting local shops and initiatives from the community. During our walks we comment on local traditions, highlight sustainable, km0 and eco stores as well as small family-run businesses, and provide the traveler with personalized foodie tips (i.e, veggies, vegans, etc) . We wish to give the visitor the feeling of really understanding the city from a resident’s point of view and immerse into its local idiosyncrasy by showing them local life and Catalan traditions.
How is the sustainable travel scene evolving in Barcelona?
We believe that the market for sustainable travel is becoming more mature as the society is now evolving into a much more environmentally conscious mindset. There are several good initiatives in Barcelona that promote a sustainable way of travelling and living, so we try to learn from them and also search for synergies with like-minded business, like Good Goal! 😉
What are some of your major challenges?
We want to speak to the truly curious travelers that are in the search of an authentic travel experience in Barcelona, but either reaching them or them finding us is not always the easiest task. We are very active in social media and we keep on exploring new places, restaurants and secret local spots in Barrios off the tourist radar. But besides that, we notice that there are also other communication channels to try, like talking to small boutique hotels that want to offer their clients a tailor-made guide service or alternative walking tours off the beaten track, just to name some examples.
How do you think Barcelona is doing as to sustainability? And as to sustainable travel?
The City Council is undertaking several initiatives and gives a good support in regard to sustainability in Barcelona, it is a green city indeed. But of course we want to see more, as for instance some action to fight stronger against air pollution, as we have way too much traffic in our city, or ban plastic straws in popular bars in Las Ramblas (or any other!), for example.
As in regard to sustainable travel, we have been attending several meetings that gather voices from the sector to best define a strategy to offer a greener travel experience to our visitors. We want to be part of it!
What are some of the major things that you think have to be taken into account to obtain sustainable tourism in Barcelona?
Promote more local artisan shops and km0 restaurants and not so many franchising souvenir shops or gastronomy bars.
Limit and control the amount of tourists that come to the city just for one day, the touch-and-go tourism, promoted mainly by cruise ships coming into Barcelona harbour.
Control flat-rentals price so that residents can have better access to affordable living conditions.
What are some of your favourite places in Barcelona?
Sandro’s favorite places:
Club de Natación de la Barcelona – a local swimming club directly by the sea.
Pla de Garsa – Catalan cuisine in a side-street of El Born
Parel·lo Gelato – best gelato in Gràcia and probably in whole Barcelona
Cecilia’s favorite places:
Mirador del Migdia – the best view point for a perfect sunset and local bar (La Caseta) in Montjuïc Park.
La Principal – a local bar in a people-watching-corner of hip Sant Antoni area, ideal for a Sunday vermut.
Plaça Prim – local hidden square in Poblenou where you can feel as if you were in a small town.
Thanks a lot for sharing your story and for your innovative work!!
For more info about Barcelona Plan·it, check our review.
Good Goal is an independent guide to slow travel projects and other sustainable places in Barcelona and various other European cities. We visit every place ourselves and only list the most innovative ones. Our guide is made so that everyone can easily find the sustainable options, those that benefit local people, sustainable innovators and that show you the real and local side of the city. To keep yourself updated, please like our Facebookpage