Many associate Barcelona with all things summer; beaches, water parks, partying, sangria, you name it! However, just because Barcelona surely knows how to do summer, it does not mean that that is all there is to this vibrant and dazzling Northern Catalan city. In fact, what I believe separates Barcelona from any other Spanish city (or any other European city for that matter) is its uniquely creative buildings which the great Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí, left for us to absolutely drool over. Here’s a list of places which I consider are absolutely a must for any art enthusiast visiting Barcelona…
PS: Did I mention they are all classified as UNESCO Heritage Sites?!
Just like they say “You can’t go to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower”, you simply cannot go to Barcelona without paying a visit to Gaudí’s masterpiece: the Sagrada Familia. What is so fascinating about the Sagrada Familia is the fact that it has been in construction for *drumroll*… 135 years and is estimated to be finished by 2026 i.e. exactly 100 years after Gaudí’s death. Talk about achieving perfection! In fact, even though it already offers eye candy just by looking at it from outside, with all its incredible details on its façade, upon entering its grand doors you will be left fixated by its impressive (and super colourful!) interior. The basic ticket for the Sagrada Familia costs 15 euros.
However, if you’re one of those people who have a thing for views from tall buildings, then I suggest you opt for the ticket which will give you access to one of the Sagrada’s towers; the Nativity or the Passion tower; you choose. This cost us 29 euros and after reading some Trip Advisor reviews, we decided to go for the Nativity Tower. The views from up there were unreal and trust me, the going-up part wasn’t anything close to how scary it was going up the Vatican’s Dome. (Read all about it: https://thegirlontheplaneweb.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/how-to-fit-all-of-romes-major-attractions-in-48-hours/)
PS: the 29euros’ ticket also includes an audio-guide tour!
From where to get tickets online: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/
Distance from La Rambla (Barcelona’s most central area) to Sagrada Familia: 3.5km
This is by far one of the most colourful places you’ll come across in all of Barcelona; with all its mosaic-covered architecture and sculpture which make for stunning holiday snaps. Even though it’s named after its patron, Eusebi Güell, this is another one of Gaudí’s sought-after artistic creations. However, art is not all Park Güell has to offer. Having been inspired by British residential estates, it offers excessive greenery and peaceful spots away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Getting there may be kind of tricky (or maybe that’s just us!). Hence, I suggest planning ahead if you’re travelling by metro from Barcelona’s centre, and reserving at least an afternoon for a visit here. Also, take note that this park has more than one entrance. In our case, we came from the Northern entrance and unexpectedly stumbled upon what is known as Turó de La Rovira or Bunkers del Carmel; a spot from which you’ll enjoy breath-taking panoramic views of Barcelona all the way to the coast! Even though entry to the monumental zone of Park Güell is against a fee of 7euros, the rest of the estate is free of charge… even the part around Turó de Rovira! Yay!
From where to get tickets online: http://www.parkguell.cat/en/buy-tickets/
Distance from La Rambla to Park Guell: 5.7km
And when you think it cannot get any better, somehow it just does. Gaudí used to believe that “Nothing is art if it does not come from nature” and this house practically sums up what he meant by this. Covered in animal-inspired designs inside out and full of symbolic elements, this house will take you to another world where magic is possible and imagination is key. Thus, walking around its spectacular rooms, I can guarantee you that you will certainly be overwhelmed with feelings of sublime.
The price of the ticket we paid to enter was 22.50 euros, and this also included an audio-guide; not an audio-guide just like any other but one with augmented reality features. Just WOW!
From where to get tickets online: https://www.casabatllo.es/en/online-tickets/
Distance from La Rambla to Casa Batllo: 2.3km
This next house, which is also known as La Pedrera, looks as if it has been carved straight from the ground. In fact, “la pedrera” actually translates to “the stone quarry” in Spanish. Similar to Casa Batlló, this building certainly stands out from it surrounding buildings due to its curvy and surrealist façade. However, unlike Casa Batlló, its façade is completely colourless and thus, viewers are given the freedom to imagine it in any way they like!
Its courtyard is one of its main features because as you look up you feel as if the walls are closing in on you (it is not as creepy as I made it sound). Yet, its rooftop is probably visitors’ most favourite spot; not only because of the views it offers but also because of its quaint stairwells, ventilation shafts, and chimneys, which at first glance look like soldiers guarding the roof. Entrance fees are similar to those at Casa Batlló.
From where to get tickets online: https://www.lapedrera.com/en/home
Distance from La Rambla to Casa Mila: 2km
Well, I guess that was more than enough artistic beauty for one day. Hope you’ve been inspired to visit these magical places very very soon! 🙂
And just in case you do, here’s the link to the hotel we lodged in whilst there; a hotel with a fantastic location: http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/roma-reial.en-gb.html?aid=318615;label=English_Malta_EN_MT_29561957785-36%2A9H8rI116OlsymKFeV%2AwS113415642265%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-146342137510%3Adsa-206308680745%3Alp2470%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm;sid=ebad84ba38bf384f7cee92e837eeacda;ucfs=1;room1=A,A;hpos=1;dest_type=city;dest_id=-372490;srfid=bedc676aaedb862775d818a6b4f444006d886134X1;highlight_room=
Until next time!
All photos belong to
me unless stated otherwise in the captions.