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When I was researching what I wanted to see while in Barcelona, all of these really unique, architectural works of art kept popping up everywhere. I became fascinated with these places. Some even looked like they had come straight out of Hansel and Gretel! All of the abstract color and unique designs HAD me. I decided a Gaudí Barcelona tour was in order.
So, I put together my own little personal tour and even though I didn’t get to see every single one of Gaudí’s works while I was there, these are definitely five you shouldn’t miss!
Barcelona Resources & Recommendations
- Sunotel Aston Barcelona– Hotel recommendation (where I stayed). It has air conditioning, free wifi, includes breakfast and is located close to the metro. Read reviews | Book Rooms
- TripAdvisor– Read reviews on destinations, hotels, and tours
- Allianz Travel Insurance– Be sure to protect yourself and your trip!
- Skyscanner– Compare prices on the best flight deals
- Europcar– Get 15% off your Spain rental!
- Lonely Planet Discover Barcelona– The best destination (and my favorite) guidebooks out there!
1. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló was a preexisting house. I’m not sure what it looked like beforehand, but I have no doubt that it underwent a complete transformation and probably for the better. Or at least for “the unique”.
Besides the rooftop which you’ll see below, this was probably my favorite place in the house. I love stained glass!
Mushroom fireplace pod? I’m totally guessing here…it’s different!
I loved the rooftop. So quirky and colorful. Can you imagine this for entertaining?
Even the stairs had personality. Gaudí really left no detail undone.
TIP: Purchase tickets ahead of time. Skip-the-line (Fast Pass) tickets are highly recommended. The line can get long and because I had Fast Pass tickets, I just walked right on in!
Casa Batlló is open daily 9am-9pm and is located at Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain. All ticket information can be found here.
2. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Casa Milà, more commonly known as La Pedrera, has an unusual exterior. As all Gaudí designs do.
It resembles a stone quarry and therefore is how it got its name. Le Pedrera means ” the stone”. Can you see it now?
The inside is just as fascinating. It’s like a maze of arches in there!
The sewing/tailor room and this hallway were my favorite rooms. My mom sews and would love the old Singer machine! And, I loved the floors in the hallway.
The views from this rooftop were pretty cool. You could see all the way to the ocean from one side and the Torre Glòries and La Sagrada Familia from the other.
More of the “stone quarry” architecture could be seen up here too. Loved the peekabo through to La Sagrada Familia, also a work of Gaudí.
Probably my most favorite parts were the courtyards. I love what you find when you look up and looking up here was quite rewarding. The colors and artistry were amazing. I can see why it was named to the UNESCO World Heritage List!
Note: The black structure hanging in the center is not usually present. It was an exhibit while I was there. I was originally annoyed that it was there because that’s not how I had seen it in photos. I now love that it’s there because it’s different and I think it adds so much element to the photo!
Listen up for all those who like to “make a statement”. I think this door would do it, don’t you? 😜
TIP: If you are pressed for time, I highly recommend the La Pedrera By Day Premium ticket. This allows you to come on the day and time of your preference without a wait. If you have plenty of time, I recommend the La Pedrera Day and Night ticket. I would have loved to have seen it at night!
Casa Milà is open daily 9am-6:30pm, 7-9p and is located at Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain and you can find ticket information here.
You might also like: 18 MUST-SEE LOCATIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME VISITOR TO BARCELONA SPAIN
3. Park Güell
Named for Eusebi Güell, Park Güell, is a public park with gardens in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona. Güell bought the land and tapped close friend Gaudí to design it. Construction began on the park in 1900.
Saying Gaudí was busy in the early 1900s is an understatement. 😳
You enter the Monumental Zone from the top and work your way down. This is how the entrance looks.
I made a beeline for the colorful, mosaic wall.
It reminded me of an art contest I entered in elementary school. We were given a simple, pre-drawn picture of a clown and we had to “make it our own” being as creative as possible.
Here is my clown, complete with ribbon, paper write-up and anything else a parent frames when their child wins anything ever. It took 2nd place overall in the school. Where you see white in the clown, there *was* color. This was in 1988. It’s vintage. 🤣
And, you know what? 30 years later, I’m so glad my Mom did frame this if none other than for this blog post. I love connecting my then 10-year-old brain with my now 41-year-old brain. Maybe this is what would lead me to eventually come to appreciate Gaudí?
Okay, back on track! Looking out over the edge at that iconic view is awesome! THIS is the part that makes me think of Hansel and Gretel!
On one side of the zone, you can look out over some of the gardens.
And once you exit this area, you walk through there and go underneath the Monumental Zone where you find a majestic maze of columns with mosaic medallions in the ceiling!
On your way out, don’t forget to pay attention to the detailing in the mosaics on the lower walls…
and look back up at where you were admiring “that view” from above!
TIP: You have to purchase a ticket to the Monumental Zone to see the iconic view. These do sell out so I recommend purchasing these in as much advance as possible. I was lucky I got them after I arrived in Barcelona.
Park Güell is open daily 8:30am-6:30pm and is located at 08024 Barcelona, Spain
4. La Cascada
Located in Parc de la Ciutadella, La Cascada is definitely a site you should see. Yes, technically, it’s true that Gaudí wasn’t the architect. That was Josep Fontsére.
But, Gaudí, who was unknown at the time, was an apprentice on the design. Wonder if this was what caused his discovery??
I included it in this list because not only is it beautiful with striking colors, but it was designed to resemble the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I love this aspect!
TIP: Since the waterfall is located in the park, take plenty of time to walk around and explore. Parc de la Ciutadella has many interesting things to see! Admission is free and the nearest metro station is Arc de Triomf.
La Cascada is open March-Sept from 10am-8pm and Sept-March 10am-6pm and is located at Passeig de Picasso, 21 Ciutadella Park, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
5. La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia. I saved the best, in my opinion, for last. It was by far my favorite and there’s a reason it’s the most famous of the Gaudí structures.
Besides its beauty, one of these reasons is that construction has been ongoing for over a century. Yes, a century! This March 19, 2018, will mark 136 years since the cornerstone was laid.
Some people edit the cranes out of their photos, but I think they add to the significance!
As soon as I got inside, I immediately felt small. Both in size and imagination. Why doesn’t my mind work like this?
The sheer size and grandeur…
and the detail. The detail people. I can’t imagine sitting down at a table with a sketchpad either physically before me or only in my mind and coming up with something like this.
There’s even a stone monument with the Lord’s Prayer on it in all different languages!
This is probably my favorite photo because of the brilliant color of the sun shining through the stained glass windows.
As you can see, construction is still in full force. The basilica itself makes a Latin cross. There are currently 8 of the planned 18 towers of the basilica completed.
Twelve of the towers will be shorter and will represent the 12 apostles. The other 6 will be much taller and vary in significance. The tallest will be in the center representing Jesus Christ. Four will represent the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The remaining tower will represent the Virgin Mary.
Interestingly, La Sagrada Familia’s completion is set for 2026 which will be the 100th anniversary of the death of Gaudí in 1926!
TIP: Purchase tickets well in advance if you want to see the views from one of the tops of the towers. I recommend the Top Views ticket. They sell. out. fast. I missed out on these because I didn’t book enough in advance.
La Sagrada Familia has various hours of operation depending on the season and is located at Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The Death of Gaudí
Sadly, one evening as Gaudí was walking to his daily prayer and confession at La Sagrada, he was hit by a city tram. Apparently, because he had no identification on him and appeared elderly and homeless, no one helped him.
Substantially later, he was finally transported to the hospital receiving minimal care until he was recognized by the Priest of La Sagrada Familia. But, it was too late. His condition had deteriorated and he died on June 10, 1926, in a Barcelona hospital. He was buried two days later in the very church he designed and his funeral was attended by the masses.
No one knew it was him lying on the ground, but it shouldn’t have mattered. We were all created equally.
“Color is the expression of life.” – Antonio Gaudí 1852-1926
Have you been to Barcelona and seen any of these? Which was your favorite?
What I’m even more curious about-do you like Gaudí’s design style?
‘Til next time…