Gaudí’s Barcelona: A guide to 4 of his must-see buildings

Who is Antoni Gaudí?

Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926) was a Spanish architect from Catalonia whose work is known to have a “one-of-a-kind” style.

If you decide to take a stroll around the city, you will find that most of Gaudí’s works are in walking distance from one another. You’ll know where one of his buildings are not only by their beautiful designs, but also by the crowd of tourists right in front of them.


1. La Sagrada Familia

We set out early in the morning from our hotel to make our way to La Sagrada Familia. Typically, the later you go in the day, the more crowded it gets — so the plan was to beat the crowds!

Plot twist: everyone thought the same thing, so the crowds were insane.

La Sagrada Familia

A fascinating work

This church is arguably one of the most famous works of
Antoni Gaudí, and when you visit it you can really tell why – the photos don’t do it justice. You’ll be walking down a street lined with normal houses and then: BAM! There lies the most extravagant church looming over your head.

The details on this church are on another level of artistry: Gothic-style windows that make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Words etched into the sides, giving it a feel of magic. Statues carved out into the crevices, bringing the church to life.

Details on the Sagrada Familia
Windows of the Sagrada Familia

Fun fact: La Sagrada Familia began construction in 1892 and is expected to finish around 2030! I, and I’m sure many others, can’t wait to see what this masterpiece will look like when it is completed.

Construction of La Sagrada Familia

The spires and façades

Four tall spires and three façades characterize La Sagrada Familia – each of which are themed after three chapters in the life of Jesus Christ:

  1. The Nativity façade – representing his birth
  2. The Passion façade – representing his crucifixion
  3. The Glory façade – representing the road to eternal salvation
Details of La Sagrada Familia
Details of La Sagrada Familia

We unfortunately could not go inside because we had to purchase the tickets online, and as luck would have it they were sold out for the entire time we were in Barcelona!

Location

Admission

Opening Hours
Hours vary throughout the year, but they are typically from 9:00am – 7:00pm. Check out the hours here.

Tickets
Depending on which package you get, tickets will range from 15€ to 30€.
*make sure to buy your tickets online beforehand to ensure that you can visit La Sagrada Familia. You can buy your tickets here.


2. Park Güell

Getting to the park

We got our admission to go into Park Güell at 8:00am, so we woke up bright and early and made our way into the streets… to find them pitch black?

We began to question the time.

Mom’s watch said 5:30am…
The fitbit said 8:30am…
My phone said 7:30am…
And the “world clock” app said 6:30am…

uhhh, so which was it?

In between our confusion and fits of laughter at thinking we had actually left the hotel at 5:30am, we found a sweet old lady and asked her the time. Fortunately it was actually 7:30am and Barcelona just has super late sunrises!

Now knowing that we were on time, we continued our trek through side streets until we came to a series of stairs leading up to Park Güell. Beside the set of stairs was the most bizarre, yet smartest, thing! An escalator! (Has anyone ever come across an escalator in the wild?? Like not in a building, but casually just in the middle of a street?)

Escalator leading up to Park Guell

The “Monumental Core” of Park Güell

The crowds at Park Guell

The Park itself was built between 1900 and 1914, but it was officially opened in 1926. Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Gaudí, and it now houses a series of buildings and structures, including the Dragon Stairway, the porter’s lodge pavilion, and the Hypostyle Room.

A view at Park Guell
Park Guell (Gaudi)
Park Guell (Gaudi)
A photo of myself at Park Guell (Gaudi)

A beautiful detail you will notice is that most of the buildings have been decorated with ceramic pieces (called trencadis). 

Ceramic pieces on the buildings at Park Guell
Ceramic pieces on the buildings at Park Guell

Exploring the rest of the Park

Once completing your exploration of Gaudí’s architecture within the “Monumental Core” of Park Güell, make sure you don’t miss out on walking around the rest of the Park.

Not only are there beautiful structures that intertwine with the surrounding nature, but you also get a magnificent view of Barcelona.

Park Guell
The view from a lookout point at Park Güell
A photo of myself at Park Guell

Okay, side track, LOOK AT THESE PUFFY BABIES TAKING A BATH!

Birds swimming in a puddle

Location

Admission

Opening Hours
Once you buy your ticket, you will have to specify which time you will be going based on the options that you are given. You only have a timeframe of 30 minutes after your time slot to get there if you are running late, otherwise you may not be let in. Once you’re in, you’re able to stay as long as you’d like.

Tickets
Tickets are approximately 9€ and they will give you entrance to the Monumental Core (which has Gaudí’s architecture). The rest of the park is free of charge.


3. Casa Batlló

Casa Battló is found in the center of Barcelona. You’ll be able to spot it easily because of the crowd of tourists, each with a camera in hand, standing in front of the building.

Gaudi's Casa Batlo in Barcelona

This building was a remodel of a previously built house and, because of its skeletal organic quality, its local name is “Casa dels ossos” (House of Bones).

This structure was highly criticized by the city during its construction because of its radical design which broke all the bylaws, yet it was still awarded the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year in 1906 by the Barcelona City Council.

Gaudi's Casa Batlo in Barcelona

Location

Admission

Opening Hours
From 9:00am – 9:00pm daily (with the last entry being at 8:00pm)

Tickets
There are a variety of packages you can choose from for Casa Battló , ranging from approximately 25€ to 40€. Want to check them out? Find them here.


4. Casa Milà (popularly known as La Pedrera)

Casa Milà was the last private residence designed by Gaudí and is considered more sculpture than building by some. Its delicate detail work and undulating walls make it stand out from the surrounding buildings, so you don’t even need the crowd of tourists below it to know which building it is.

Casa Mila (Gaudi)

This building was built between 1906 and 1912. As the work on the building advanced, Gaudí went over the expected budget and did not abide by the City Council’s building codes, so the building of Casa Milà was caught in controversies (honestly, seems like most of Gaudí’s buildings were). Nevertheless, it was declared a World heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

Casa Mila (Gaudi)

Location

Admission

Opening Hours
Typically between 9:00am – 8:30pm and 9:00pm to 11:00pm, but times may vary a little bit depending on the season. For more information, click here.

Tickets
There are a few packages you can choose from, depending on what you would like to experience. These packages range from 15€ to 41€, and can be found here.


Have you been to any of Gaudí’s architectural wonders? Which other ones would you add to this list to visit?

xx