When visiting Barcelona you must see some of Antoni Gaudi’s work. His name is synonymous with this Catalonian city. His work can be found all over the city with over 20 sites to see and choose from. I had the opportunity to see some, but got up close to 4. I wish I had seen more, but I will save that for the next time.
Antoni Gaudi was an architect with a unique vision. His work is very identifiable and one of a kind. He drew much of his inspiration from nature and religion. Seven of his works have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I had the opportunity to explore 4 of these, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and of course the Sagrada Familia. Yes, tickets are needed for all of these.
Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Casa Mila is also known as La Pedrera (The Stone Quarry) was the last private residence that Antoni Gaudi designed. It was done by 1912 and was controversial at the time. The modernist building is 2 buildings with a courtyard. It has wrought iron balconies and a notable roof top with skylights, chimneys, and so much more. It truly is artwork.
It does cost money to enter. Depending on if you bought a city pass, a group tour, audio tour, etc will determine the price. Purchase tickets online prior to arrival for a cheaper price. Entries are timed so arrive on time. They have headsets in many different languages to do a self guided tour. I really liked this because there are sensors that know where you are and will begin to explain things as you walk from one area to another.
Once in, you wait on a line to take the elevator up to the top. The roof top has a ton of great views. There are big steps and small ones so be-careful not to mis-step and watch the little ones. Great to take in Gaudi’s rooftop work. From there you work your way down via stairs looking at the different apartments inside of Casa Mila, structures, furniture, and more.
Casa Batllo is a few blocks away from Casa Mila and is a remodel of a house that was already built. There are very few straight lines to be found in Casa Batllo. This also has a roof top with some views and has 4 chimney stouts. There is a beautiful atrium that allows light to flood in. I loved the blues throughout.
This site also costs to enter and is timed. The prices vary depending on which ticket you choose to purchase. Again, purchase tickets in advance because they sell out quickly. However I would no recommend to go until they finish with restoration. I didn’t feel it was worth the money and the elevator was broken.
They should honestly lower the price while under renovation. There wasn’t that much to see. Even the beautiful facade outside is covered up. Casa Batllo has augmented reality for their self guided tours in 11 languages. The rooms are empty and you hold up the device to see what used to be there. I was actually very disappointed in the experience and wish I went to a different Gaudi site.
Put on some comfortable shoes because you will need them for Park Guell. It is a bit of a hilly trek to get up there so if you or someone you are with has mobility issues then take a taxi up to the top. There are plenty of steps and places to walk around. There are two houses inside. Neither built by Gaudi, but one that he did live in for 20 years. It has been turned into a museum that can be visited for a small price.
Parts of the Park are free, but there is a timed entry fee to see the Monumental Zone. To save time and money, purchase your ticket in advance. Although parts of the park are also under renovation it is definitely a great place to visit. It gets crowded very quickly. Inside Park Guell you will see much of Gaudi’s arctic genius take flight. Inside there is also a playground, fountains, a book store, and more.
There are a lot of colorful mosaic tiles, curved architecture, and fountains. The views of Barcelona are beautiful and I had views all the way to the sea. To get a photo by the famous mosaic benches overlooking the city, there was a line. If you need to use the restroom, they have porta potties. Also once you leave the park they will scan your ticket and there is no coming back in unless you have a ticket.
Last, but certainly not least is the beautiful Sagrada Familia. One can’t come to Barcelona and not see this church, it doesn’t matter what faith you are, it is a site to see! In his later years in life Gaudi devoted all of his time to continuing on the design until he passed away in 1926. The church has been under construction for over 130 years and they are hoping to have it completed by 2026.
There are many different ways to see the Sagrada. This is another timed entry ticket. This ticket should be purchased well in advance as they sell out quickly. Prices vary depending on the type of ticket purchased.
By purchasing tickets in advance we not only saved money, but were able to skip lines. I highly recommend taking a tour with an actual guide. The church is beautiful, but a guide can best explain what you are looking at and point out things you may not have noticed. It is worth every penny!
The construction of the church is funded by tickets purchased. There is also a museum and the crypt which houses Gaudi’s tomb. There is also a school building on the property that was constructed by Antoni Gaudi in 1909. It was a place to educate the children of those working on the church. It has been dismantled to make room for the church, so little of it is left of the original.
It is gorgeous and you can see the nature inspiration all throughout the church. It is one of top attractions visited in Europe. I would happily go back again when back in Barcelona.