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Gaudi’s 5 Highlights in Barcelona

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A perfect way to dive into Barcelona’s vibrant culture is by exploring the masterpieces of Spain’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. With seven of his creations declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you might find yourself happily engulfed in Gaudi’s world. But while his works are absolutely worth it, Barcelona has so much more waiting to be discovered. Here are the top three Gaudi must-visits along with some of our favorite cultural hotspots in the city.

La Casa Milà

Nicknamed ‘La Pedrera’, literally ‘the quarry’, this mansion built by Antoni Gaudí at the beginning of the 20th century did not meet with unanimous approval when it was inaugurated. But more than a century later, Casa Milà has become one of Barcelona’s must-see attractions.

You’ll be amazed by the building’s all-white façade. Made of limestone and white tiles, Casa Milà looks like a snow-covered mountain.

Unlike Casa Batlló, Casa Milà is a building that is still inhabited today. Its tenants share their living space with the millions of tourists who flock there every year. Only the courtyard, the roof and the Milà couple’s apartment are accessible to visitors. Nevertheless, the apartment has more than 35 rooms!

In the evening, don’t miss the magnificent audiovisual projections that bring colour to La Pedrera and immerse you in Gaudí’s world.

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens, Gaudi’s first architectural gem, has recently opened to the public, and it’s a treasure trove of vibrant creativity! Built between 1883 and 1885 for Manuel Vicens in the Gracia District, this summerhouse was Gaudi’s debut project right after he graduated from the Barcelona School of Architecture. Even at twenty, Gaudi’s unique flair was undeniable, making this one of Europe’s earliest examples of Art Nouveau.

Mora Banc purchased Casa Vicens in 2014, sparking a three-year restoration that culminated in its grand public opening in November 2017. Now, visitors can marvel at this colorful masterpiece that was once a private sanctuary.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is the crown jewel of Barcelona, an iconic structure still under construction since 1830, with a hopeful completion date of 2030. Gaudi’s magnum opus was so intricate that he knew it would outlast him. He created detailed models to guide future architects, and despite many being destroyed, enough remains to bring his vision to life. This ongoing project is a testament to his genius.

The church, now in its final construction stages, is an absolute must-see. It’s vast, breathtaking, and often crowded, so plan ahead. Buy your tickets online in advance. You’ll have to commit to a specific time to visit, but you’ll avoid unreasonably long queues.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló, affectionately known as the House of Bones, is a whimsical marvel of Gaudi’s imagination. Redesigned in 1904, Gaudi had carte blanche. The result? Young and old alike will be impressed even before they enter, when they see the spine of a dragon resting on the roof of the house. The beast can also be found inside the house, where the central staircase seems to be its backbone!

Note the clever blue grading of the tiles used in the skylight, which forces the eye to see only one uniform blue colour when viewed from below.

Despite being small and crowded, the magic of Casa Batlló is undeniable. While you can admire its exterior, stepping inside reveals the true beauty of Gaudi’s talent at its peak. It’s a must-visit, offering a unique glimpse into his boundless creativity.

Parc Güell

Parc Güell is an enchanting blend of nature and Gaudi’s distinctive artistry. This park, perched on a hill with stunning views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean, invites you into a world of vibrant mosaics, winding pathways, and whimsical architecture.

As soon as you enter the park, you can admire houses that look like giant mushrooms. There’s no doubt about it, this is Gaudí’s imagination!

The grand staircase, the salamander, the long undulating bench covered in colourful trencadís – every detail will amaze young and old alike. You can also visit the Gaudí House Museum, where the architect spent the last years of his life.

Visiting with children? Take advantage of your visit to Parc Güell to organise a treasure hunt. Have them look for the famous salamander that’s easy to spot and other animal shapes in the park’s fountains. Have them count the number of pillars supporting the viaduct and organise challenges. The first one to find a purple trencadís on the bench wins!

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