The Spanish city of Barcelona is home to numerous examples of Gaudí’s work. The uniquely beautiful buildings made from curved stones and twisted iron sculptures, are some of the most identifiable types of architecture in the world and make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain.
The seminal modernist’s most famous buildings have greatly influenced the look and feel of the city, and no visit to Barcelona would be complete without experiencing his work for yourself. If you’re looking for a complete guide to things to do over a long weekend check out this article about what to do with 3 days in Barcelona.
- Who was Antoni Gaudi?
- The Top 10 Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona
- Barcelona Gaudi Tours
- Where to Stay in Barcelona?
Who was Antoni Gaudi?
Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish architect whose architecture is instantly recognisable and revered world wide. His most famous work is undoubtedly the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but he worked on many more projects throughout Catalan, and led an interesting life right up until the end.
He was an incredibly intelligent man who created his work by taking inspiration from his passion for nature and religion. He is considered to be the master of modernism, and his work defined a set of architectural styles that appeared throughout Europe during the twentieth century.
His first project was to build lampposts for the Plaza Real in Barcelona, and those same pieces can still be seen today. He lived to the grand age of 73 and despite his success, he continued to live his life as any poor artist would. On June 10, 1926 he was struck on the arm by a tram. He was taken by the police to a hospital for the poor, where he stayed until he passed away peacefully at 73 years old.
Unlike most architects, Gaudi did not like to draw plans for his buildings. Instead, he made 3D models to create a more accurate portrayal of what he could see in his own mind. He was deeply passion about both his faith and his architecture, and came to be known as “Gods Architect” due to the many religious images that can be seen throughout his work.
Touring the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona is one of the best things to do in Spain.
The Top 10 Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Sagrada Familia
The most famous of Gaudi’s works, this utterly breath taking basilica can be seen from miles away and is unbelievably still unfinished.
Gaudi played an active role in directing the construction of the Sagrada Familia until his death in 1926, leaving modern day architects the challenge of interpreting his designs. Built using irregularly shaped stone, the basilica is unlikely to be finished anytime soon. You can however, still experience Gaudi’s swan song by taking a guided tour to see and understand more about the church designed by Gaudi to represent the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
The Sagrada Familia is also famous for its epic entrance queues so arrive early if you want to get on a tour. Prices start from €22 for a self led tour, and the basilica is open 9.00 a.m and 7.00 p.m., depending on the time of year. Personally I think it’s worth getting a Fast Track Ticket for the Sagrada Familia.
Carrer de les Carolines, 20-26 08012 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Fontana
The Casa Vicens was one of Gaudi’s earliest notable works. He was commissioned by Manuel Vicens, a wealthy Catalan who owned a tile business in Barcelona, to create a façade of coloured ceramic tiles in both checkerboard and floral patterns.
The house is considered to be one of the earliest examples of the Art Nouveau movement and the building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.
Casa Vicens is open from October 15, 2018 to March 31 – Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m and Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. From April 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019 it is open form Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
General adult entrance tickets cost €16.
08024 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest Metro: Lesseps or Vallcarca
Park Güell is a wonderland of strange shapes, magnificent mosaics and fantastic views of Barcelona, and thanks to the 1992 Olympics it is also home to some of the most instantly recognisable Gaudi pieces in the world.
The park is home to the famous brightly coloured ceramic salamander, the laundry room ceilings and the Doric columns of the Hypostyle room. There is also the Gaudí Museum where he spent the last 20 years of his life. Park Güell makes a great day out for families.
Basic adult entrance tickets start from €8, and the park is open 08.30 a.m to 6.15 p.m in the low season, extending to 08.00 a.m to 9.30 p.m. in the high season. Check the website before you travel.
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5 08001 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Liceu
Palau Güell was one of the first important commissions Gaudí undertook at the beginning of his career. Eusebi Güell, asked Gaudi to build him and his family an urban palace as an extension to their existing home on La Ramblas in the centre of the city itself.
Designed as a piece of art that also functioned as a family home, the Palau Güell is notable for its tremendous use of light and impressive architectural form includes a living room with a parabolic dome and chimneys with conical vents that look like fir trees.
The Palau Güell is open between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m in the winter, extending to 10:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m. in the summer. Tickets start from €12 for general admission.
Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Deep in the centre of Barcelona lies one of Guadi’s most prestigious masterpieces. The grand house was remodelled and redesigned by Gaudi in 1904, and his completed work was so unusual it achieved the local name Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal look and feel about it.
With irregular oval windows, flowing stone work and a trencadís facade made of a colourful mosaic of ceramic tiles, the house is unlike any found anywhere else in the world. The arched roof has even been compared to the back of a dragon or a dinosaur, which sits well with Gaudi’s other representations of the Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia.
The Casa Batllo is open every day from 9.00 a.m to 9.00 p.m, and entrance tickets start at €25.
Carrer Sant Marc, 57, 08253 El Calvet, Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Urquinaona
Casa Calvet is one of Gaudi’s most conservative works, and one that was commissioned for the heirs of the cotton industrialist Pere Màrtir Calvet.
Without his usual Moorish and oriental design flourishes, the building simply offers a traditional baroque style that is perfectly planned to maximise light and create dramatic open spaces. Along with curved balconies and ornamentation crowned with statues of San Genis and Saint Peter, this is a classically beautiful building with discreet Gaudiesque touches.
The building is now home to a first class restaurant, where visitors come to see the stunning architecture as well as experience fine Catalan cuisine.
Cascada Fountain at Park de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Arc de Triomf, Ciutadella Vila Olímpica
Gaudi worked on the Cascada as an assistant to Josep Fontsere for the universal exhibition of 1888.
The Cascada Fountain was inspired by the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, and features two enormous pincers of gigantic crabs that serve as stairs to access the small podium located in the centre of the monument, as well as a sculpture of Venus standing inside an open clam.
A path from the podium leads to the Feminine Sculpture and away to the northeastern corner of the park. As fascinating as it is beautiful, the Cascada was widely criticized at the time of its completion, but it is now a much loved part of the park.
The park is open from 23 March to 22 September – 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 23 September to 22 March – 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Entrance to the park is free.
Carrer Claudi Güell, 6, 08690 Santa Coloma de Cervelló, Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Colonia Guell
The Colònia Güell is considered to be one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century and is located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló. Gaudi was responsible for the architecture of the church crypt and the irregular oval church that was completed in 1914.
The construction techniques he used here, are widely believed to have laid the foundations for his most established later work, La Sagrada Familia. The unmistakable Gaudí columns are present inside and outside the crypt, while the windows jut out over the walls and there is ceramic composition of the four cardinal virtues.
The Colonia Güell is open from 10.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m in the winter and 10.00 a.m to 7.00 p.m in the summer. Weekend hours are from 10.00 a.m to 3.00 p.m all year round. Entrance tickets start from €8.
El Drac de Gaudí at Finca Güell
Finca Duell, Av. de Pedralbes, 7, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest Metro: Palau Reial
Finca Duell was the estate of Gaudi’s close friend and patron, Eusebi Güell. As the owner of several estates in Barcelona, he often commissioned Gaudi to create visually stunning buildings for the use of himself and his family.
Here at Finca Güell it is not the building that is so important, but the gigantic iron gate that sits at the former gatehouses of the Güell Estate that Gaudi turned his hand to. He was able to combine all of the different techniques he knew for forging iron to create impressive metal gates, and an even more impressive metal dragon.
The Estate can be visited every day from 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m. Entrance tickets cost €4 for adults.
La Pedrera – Casa Mila
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Diagonal
Casa Mila, popularly known as La Pedrera, is the last private residence to be designed by Gaudi, and perhaps one of his most famous. With its unconventional exterior with undulating facade and twisting wrought iron balconies, the building was incredibly controversial when it was first built.
The external appearance is uniquely Gaudiesque, while the interiors were cleverly designed to include free-plan floors, an underground garage and an incredibly spectacular terrace on the roof. Visitors come to see the stunning views out across the city, the unusual wavy floors that give way to 28 quirky chimneys, as well as exploring the Espai Gaudi museum in the attic or the La Pedrera apartment where Pere Milà himself, lived with his family.
You can visit From Monday to Sunday: 9:00 .a.m – 8:30 p.m during the high season, with night tours running from 9.00 p.m to 11.00 p.m, and Monday to Sunday: 9:00 a.m to 6.30 p.m in the High Season with night tours running from 7.00 p.m to 9.00 p.m. Tickets start from €22
Barcelona Gaudi Tours
There are plenty of tours available to experience both Barcelona and Gaudi.
You could do a 3.5 hour tour that takes in the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. Alternatively, if you’re on a budget and happy to marvel at the architecture from the outside, you can try this walking tour.
Create Your Own DIY Guided Tour of Gaudi’s Barcelona
Gaudi Sites: 6
Walking Distance: 3km
Metro Rides: 3
To make the most of the city, buy a T-10 ticket that allows you 10 journeys on city transport with no expiry date.
Start at the Placa Reial, (nearest metro, Liceu) to catch a glimpse of Gaudi’s street lamps.
Then cross the road to join the Nou de la Rambla, and on your left you will see Palau Güell with its cracked ceramic facade and colourful chimneys.
Head back to Las Ramblas and turn left up the hill. Go down into the Liceu metro station and take Line 3 in the direction of Trinitat Nova and get of at Passeig de Gràcia metro station.
Passeig de Gracia is the most expensive street in Spain, and also home to the Casa Batlló (the house of bones), a firm favourite with Gaudi fans.
Continue along Passeig de Gracia until you reach case Mila, or La Pedrera, Gaudi’s luxury apartment building with the magnificent curved floors, undulating walls and spectacular roof terrace with its 28 chimneys.
Continue along to the the Diagonal metro station. Take Line 3 in the direction of Trinitat Nova and get off at Vallcarca.
Take a stroll down Avinguda de Vallcarca and turn left up the hill to Avinguda del Coll del Portell to Park Güell where you will find many examples of Gaudi’s talents, as well as the Gaudi House.
After the park head downhill to the Travessera de Dalt ring road to the Lesseps metro. Take line 3 in the direction of Zone Universitària. Go two stops to Diagonal and change for the blue line, 5in the direction Vall d’Hebron, two stops and get off at Sagrada Família.
Here your personal tour ends. The Sagrada Famíla is Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece and one of the most visited attractions in the city itself.
Where to Stay in Barcelona?
Finding somewhere central to stay means that you will have easy access to all of the amazing examples of Gaudi’s talent scattered throughout the city. The most popular areas include:
Plaça de Catalunya – This large square in the centre of the city, is where the old and new parts of the city meet and a great place to start your Catalan adventure.
Some of the best places to stay in Plaça de Catalunya include the sleek and stylish Catalonia Plaza Catalunya with its outdoor pool and Catalonia cuisine, the historic Hotel Regina with its high ceilings and regal feel or the boutique beauty of the Hotel H10.
Las Ramblas – As the most iconic boulevard in Barcelona, Las Ramblas is the perfect place to shop, eat or simply promenade
Some of the best places to stay close to Las Ramblas include the smart and affordable Ramblas Hotel with balconies overlooking to boulevard below, the upscale Royal Ramblas with its impressive restaurant or the stylish Arc La Rambla with its simple interiors and minimalist charm.
Gothic Quarter (the old town) – With it’s narrow streets and dark past, the Gothic Quarter is the perfect place to get a feel for the Barcelona of times gone by.
Lose yourself in some of the narrowest streets in the city in a Gothic Quarter hotel such as the affordable and clean Hostal Fernando with its simple restaurant and bar, the Hesperia Barcelona Barri Gòtic with it’s stylish interiors and high end feel or the stunning Catalonia Catedral with its Japanese terrace and roof garden.
Finally, if you’re looking for some great options to kickstart your day check out our guide to the best breakfast in Barcelona.