Why is Barcelona not a dream destination for thousands of tourists? Discover the hidden face of overtourism!


  • Overpopulation: Barcelona is a victim of overtourism, which leads to significant overcrowding in tourist areas.
  • Environmental impact : The massive presence of tourists has a negative impact on the environment of the city and its beaches.
  • Price explosion: The high costs associated with tourism impact the lives of residents and the accessibility of the city for visitors.
  • Loss of authenticity: The influx of tourists has led to a standardization of the tourist offer, to the detriment of local culture and the authenticity of the destination.

Barcelona, ​​an emblematic city of Spain, attracts thousands of tourists every year in search of sun, culture and partying. However, behind this idyllic image lies a darker reality: overtourism. Let’s find out together why Barcelona is not always a dream destination for everyone.

The Reality of Overtourism in Barcelona

In the collective imagination, Barcelona conjures up images of sunny beaches, picturesque streets and vibrant culture. However, for thousands of tourists and even more for residents, the Catalan capital reveals a less idyllic hidden side: that of overtourism.

Local Demonstrations and Reactions

Recently, around 3,000 residents took to the streets of Barcelona to protest the harmful effects of overtourism. The slogans “Barcelona is not Disneyland” and “Make BCN Free Again” reflect the general fed up. Residents are expressing frustration over rampant tourism that is not only driving up property prices but also pushing out local residents and businesses.

Scenes of Disturbed Daily Life

The demonstration, which took place from the Ramblas to the Barceloneta, gave rise to some comical scenes. The tourists, apparently oblivious to the local demands, took photos of the demonstrators who were protesting against their overwhelming presence. This juxtaposition highlights the gap between the perception of tourists and the daily reality of locals.

The Concrete Effects of Overtourism

In addition to the rise in real estate prices, protesters expressed their anger at various projects and events that exacerbate the overtourism :

  • The proliferation of hotels and restaurants for tourists
  • Airport expansion
  • The advent of events like the America’s Cup and Formula 1
  • Cruise ships dumping thousands of visitors every day
  • The closure of iconic places like Park Güell for private events

Measures to Limit Overtourism

Faced with this alarming situation, the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Jaume Collboni, announced a series of measures to limit the tourist overcrowding. The most emblematic of these measures is the removal of more than 10,000 tourist apartments, often managed by platforms such as AirBnb, to return them to residential use.

“We recognize the complexity of this issue and reject simplistic solutions. Our goal is to build a balanced and sustainable tourism model that benefits everyone,” the mayor said, emphasizing the city’s commitment to finding sustainable solutions.

A Call for Responsible Tourism

Barcelona seeks to transform its tourism model to make it more sustainable and respectful of residents. The protests and actions taken are a call for vital change. Tourists, while enjoying the beauty and cultural richness of the city, are also urged to be aware of their impact and act responsibly.