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.

Most of his works are in Barcelona and many are in walking distance from one another, so it is always nice to stroll around the city and come across his architecture. You’ll know where one of his buildings are not only by their beautiful designs, but 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. We had been told that the later it got in the day, the more crowded it would get – so we wanted to be there before the crowds came.

Plot twist: everyone thought the same thing, so the crowds were insane.IMG_9911This church is arguably one of Gaudí’s most famous works, 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.IMG_9864IMG_9884Fun 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.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis unfinished Roman Catholic church is characterized  by four tall spires and three façades, each 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

IMG_9913Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWe unfortunately could not go inside because, to our surprise, we had to purchase the tickets online and 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. Pack Güell

We had gotten 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.

My mom’s watch said 5:30am…
My fitbit said 8:30am…
My phone said 7:30am…
And my “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?)Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOnce we got to the Park, we showed our tickets (which we had gotten beforehand – didn’t want to make the same mistake as with La Sagrada Familia) and began exploring. Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe 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.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset
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A beautiful detail you will notice is that most of the buildings have been decorated with ceramic pieces (called trencadis). Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetOnce 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.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetOkay, side track, LOOK AT THESE PUFFY BABIES TAKING A BATH!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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 and you’ll be able to spot it easily with the crowd of tourists, each with a camera in hand, standing in front of the building.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis building was a remodel of a previously built house and, because of its skeletal organic quality, its local name was “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.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis 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.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

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?

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