My trip to Barcelona of course involved a visit to several of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. I knew that Park Guell and Sagrada Familia were a definite must visit despite the expensive admission price, but I can firmly say it was definitely worth it! On the other hand, I knew that I also wanted to visit Casa Battlo or La Pedrera but I was leaning towards La Pedrera after reviewing online what other visitors have said about both places. Either way, here is my take on whether a visit to these famous Gaudi masterpieces are worth it or not!
1. Park Guell
This was my first stop upon arriving at the airport. It was about an hour away by taking the A1 bus to Placa Espanya then taking the Green Line L3 to the stop, Vallcarca. It was an incredibly humid day and we ended up entering Park Guell through the South Side of the park. The park itself is quite big with good views of Barcelona towards the ocean but park itself didn’t really stand out to me too much because it was mainly a lot of greenery and trees with winding paths and staircases. I had bought tickets for the Monumental Zone only online, costing 7Euros a head and I would say it is definitely worth it. The free parts of the park is nice to walk around but to actually see Gaudi’s work close up, a visit to the Monumental Zone is definitely worth it! Our entrance time was at 3pm. At first sight, I thought the Monumental Zone only ticket only allowed access to a spacious viewpoint with a winding mosaic border and bench. However, we were also able to go down to explore the structural masterpiece that was holding this platform as well and we also walked through an example of a Gaudi house. There is also a cafe, gift shop, and a few gardens there as well that is not accessible without an entrance ticket. Park Guell was the start of my admiration for mosaics and colourful ceramic pieces. It was a good taste of Catalana Modernism and vivid colours. I am no architectural expert, but I must admit that I really have an admiration for intricate details and Gaudi’s work definitely nails that. You can truly spend hours here just admiring I also read online that the ceramic pieces he used were actually originially waste ceramic materials, so can I say this definitely makes me happier? 🙂
2. Sagrada Familia
The hype about the Sagrada Familia is real and it is definitely my favourite of Gaudi. This has been in the works since the late 19th century and the expected finish date is 2026! The Sagradia Familia is a Roman Catholic Church situated in an neighbourhood named the Sagrada Familia after the church itself in the Eixample District. Pictures of this place really don’t do justic as from afar it looks like the exterior of the Church is going for some type of melting appearance. The Sagrada Familia is most beautiful when you are standing right beneath it and this is really only possible with a purchase of a ticket. The exterior is filled with intricate details of stories about Christ. Personally my favourite was the interior that really allowed for a sense of holiness, the play of light and colours, and the grandeur of columns and open space to work its magic. I had purchased our tickets online including an audioguide (which I definitely recommend) for the price of 22Euros a ticket. I highly suggest purchasing tickets in advance as I did about a week or more in advance, since I saw a few people turn up thinking they would be able to purchase tickets at the door. Unfortunately they were told it was booked for the day and to try again tomorrow. There is also security at the entrance that will check bags in a detailed manner. As I decided to visit on my last day before flying back to London, I was also carrying my backpack which was my only piece of luggage that had everything inside it. It was a bit embarrassing as I had to take out my toiletry, dirty laundry, and everything else out while there was a line up of other visitors behind me. I would suggest making a visit to the Sagrada Familia when you are travelling light that day without a big bag ahah. There are three facades of the Church and the audio guide provides a perfect tour starting at the Nativity Facade, leading through different parts of the interior and ending at the Passion Facade. I believe the Glory Facade is still under construction so we were not provided much detail about it. There are also two towers that you can go up to with an additional price but we didn’t decide to do so. I really think I could have spent hours in the inside and really found a sense of serenity and happiness while admiring this massive structure that is made of so many intertwining geometrtic shapes. The use of different coloured glass mosaic is supposed to represent the sun and the moon and the use of a spectrum of dark to light colours starting from the bottom to the top of windows is simply impressive. I don’t think I have ever seen an architectural structure so beautiful. So what is my verdict? The Sagrada Familia is definitely worth a visit and do make for atleast 2 hours to really enjoy and take in the exterior and interior of this Church.
3. La Pedrera (Casa Mila)
La Pedrera caught my eye on instagram when I saw the beautiful chimney structures that were on the rooftop of this building. This is definitely the most beautiful part of La Pedrera to me, especially on a sunny day. The only thing I was not a fan of was the metal wiring on th edges of the building rooftop which was there for safety reasons, but made it impossible to capture a nice picture without distracting from the cool formations on the rooftop. The entrance price was 16.50 Euros with a student ID card, so I must say it was quite expensive with what I got to see. There is one level in the building which provides models and information on La Pedrera and other Gaudi works and another level which was remodelled to show what the rooms (Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, study room, etc) would have looked like by in the day being Gaudi inspired. I personally didn’t take too much of an interest in this so I would only recommend the La Pedrera if you have interest for the history of this building. The architecture is absolutely lovely though and I also really like the watercolour like ceilings for one of the staircases and how the building was so oddly shaped like a wave in my opinion haha!
4. Case Battlo
We decided not to enter this one but I have heard the interior with the large windows overlooking the busy street is magnificent! I personally thought the exterior was beautiful enough for me, so here is a picture of me taking in this Gaudi beauty!
Barcelona has always been one of my top places to go to in Europe because of the architecture and warm temperatures, being a beautiful city situated right by the ocean! I met a lot of friendly people as well during my 4 days there, was surprised by the food and anew foudn love for tapas, and felt a sense of safety wandering around the streets. I am definitely looking forward to my next visit to Spain! Stay tuned in the next week or so as I will blog about my daytrip to Montserrat!