We went to Barcelona for Antoni Gaudi
If it's your first time stepping onto the land of Barcelona, beware - you might get heavily drugged by Gaudi, the ingenious architect active in the industry since his graduation in 1878, until his end of life in 1926. He once said "Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator." He is definitely one who had achieved the highest level of such collaborations. I was personally so amazed that I immediately dived into his living works around the city and filled my entire trip with Gaudi.
Below are a few top sights from my list, and more details of each will follow soon. Take it bit by bit, as you need to prep yourself to soak in all the awesomeness!
Top 3 sights to See
This is definitely the most famous of Gaudí’s works. Located in the city centre, this church has been in construction since 1892, and it’s not expected to be finished until 2030. The architect showcased the epitome of the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and façade sculptures. Climbing one of its towers will give you a unique view of Barcelona, if you are not afraid of heights. I would highly recommend taking the audio tour as it is very informative, allowing you to understand the design details and the reasons behind them. Long queues are common due to the site's popularity, so it is a good idea to pre-book tickets here.
Time required: 2hrs
2. Park Güell
This park looks like Tarzan's jungle when I first stepped in - mainly because of the huge stone pillars and bridges in surreal curvy shapes, surrounded by exotic flowers and plants. Built between 1900 and 1914, it is a garden complex involving a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudí’s house. You can discover “trencadis” (surfaces covered with irregular ceramic pieces) in most of the buildings - Gaudí's signature and Art Nouveau. Today, this site is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Pre-book tickets here.
Time required: 3-4hrs
Yes, another Güell project. Gaudi and Eusebi Güell had a close relationship of an architect and client, and also close friends who admire each other. With this church commissioned to Gaudi, this is where he brought together for the first time all of his architectural innovations. "Had the church been finished it would have been a “monumental model of the Sagrada Familia," said Gaudi. Apart from the crypt, you can walk around the cute little town where a number of historical buildings with delicate decorations can be found. Since it is slightly further away from city centre (around 30mins driving), the site is not as busy as the previous two. You can buy tickets there easily, but if you would like to order online, click here.
Time required: 1-2hrs
When to Visit
Summer between June and September is definitely peak season but you can expect perfect cloudless skies for your adventures. Simply pre-plan and pre-book all your museum tickets a week ahead, to allow you skipping the long queues.
See all the places mentioned in this map below. You can download this map into your Google Map (desktop) here.
This post will be followed by all the Gaudi sights I have personally seen myself, one by one, in details. Subscribe to my mailing list below and stay updated!