Gaudi Trail Barcelona Top 5 Must-See Works
What should I see in Barcelona?
These are my personal favourites on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona (Top 5 Must See). An easy to follow guide with a suggested itinerary to make your life easy when in Barcelona on the Gaudi Trail! Others may have different opinions but this is what worked for me.
These, I think, were the best all-round architecture Gaudi had to offer and gave the widest cross-section both in time and style of Gaudi’s amazing work in Barcelona.
They are all within easy reach as can be seen on the clickable map at the bottom.
- Casa Batllo
- Sagrada Familia
- Park Guell
- Casa Vicens
- Casa Mila
So starting with my number 1 choice;
Let’s get straight into it!
Casa Batllo was, undoubtedly, my favourite Gaudi building in Barcelona. With its phenomenal frontage and amazing Casa Batllo interior, if you go to Barcelona you must visit Casa Batllo! Click on the picture for information on Casa Batllo Tickets, Information and Tips!
You might be tempted just to look at it from the outside. But, in my humble opinion, it is worth your time and money to go inside and look around! After all, it has 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and is Number 2 on the list of things to do in Barcelona. And, it’s also a world heritage site!
Visually, it’s a treat for the eyes both inside and out, there was not a thing in Casa Batllo I didn’t find quirky, charming and amazing. The roof is awe-inspiring with its…
The Sagrada Familia is arguably Spain’s most recognized building and, of course, has a huge number of plaudits to it’s name. When in Barcelona almost everyone goes to visit Sagrada Familia! It’s the Number 1 attraction in Barcelona on TripAdvisor!
This is Gaudi’s masterpiece and the project he devoted the latter part of his life to at the expense of all others.
Let me take you through step by step the highlights, the tour, opening times, ticket costs and other delights of the Sagrada Familia so you can plan your visit and make it a success! My number 1 top tip for visiting the Sagrada Familia is to book online because…
Visit Park Guell – Gaudi Goes Outdoors
Gaudi didn’t just design indoors, Park Guell is a great testament to his skill in an outside space. If you are looking to visit Park Guell to see the gorgeous architecture, here are 5 Top tips for visiting Park Guell.
This is where you can see the famous Gaudi salamander, used as a logo for a lot of Gaudi items in the tourist and tat shops.
The style, once again Gaudi’s ‘modernisme’ design style, is let loose to rampage through Park Guell creating one of the most impressive Gaudi projects in the city. However, it wasn’t always going to be a park…
You may not know Casa Vicens, but it is well worth exploring this amazing house. This lesser known house was actually Gaudi’s first! The Oriental and Islamic influences are clear to see in this early work of Gaudi’s.
Having only just opened in Barcelona in November 2017, to visit Casa Vicens is to see the beginning of a great architectural journey.
Only a few years out of Architectural school this was Gaudi’s first major commission…
Ohhh, it was a toss up between Casa Mila and Casa Batllo on my Gaudi Trail Barcelona for first place but for my money, Casa Batllo won. Thats not to say it isn’t amazing and on any other list it would be number 2!
You won’t be disappointed by a visit to Casa Mila! The phenomenal frontage of this building is truly a sight to behold, with its organic sculpted look and wrought ironwork.
All my Gaudi Trail Top 5 Must-See Works in Barcelona are within easy reach by either foot or Metro.
A walking Gaudi tour of Barcelona is possible but getting around them in one day would be a bit of a stretch. And, by not taking the time to have a proper look round it would not do them justice!
Even if you are not a huge fan of architecture, the Gaudi Barcelona buildings are a great way to spend your time in Barcelona.
Think of this as a two-day schedule. Below is a suggested itinerary with Metro stops. This itinerary is based on you having booked all your tickets online in advance.
Of course, there are plenty of other Gaudi works in the city, I saw them all while putting together this guide. But for my money, these are the ones that are the best and give you the most insight into Gaudi and his work.
I stayed at the Astoria Barcelona – TripAdvisor Reviews. It was a great base for our Gaudi adventures and I’d be happy to recommend it.
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Gaudi Trail Barcelona Map
For more advice about travelling in Barcelona and the best tickets to buy on the metro, see my Guide to Public Transport in Barcelona – How to get Around
Honourable mentions on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona
Did I mention the other Gaudi buildings and works in Barcelona? Here is a couple that didn’t make the top 5 but I found impressive in one way or another.
Pavellons de la Finca Güell
Even to my untrained eye!
If you happen to be in the area it’s worth stopping by to see it. But if time is tight, your time could be better spent at Casa Vicens, my number 4 on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona list, where you can get more of an appreciation of Gaudi’s Mudejar phase.
Parc de la Ciutadella
As I mentioned, Gaudi’s input is minimal but the park is well worth a stroll around for an enjoyable hour. It just doesn’t make the Gaudi Trail Barcelona list!
So where did this man Gaudi come from? What were his influences and inspirations? I have given a little Gaudi potted history below as a primer for your visits on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona.
Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) was an architect from Rues, Catalonia, Spain. Gaudi is best known for his Catalan Modernism or Modernisme architectural style. It is, however, a highly individualist style of modernism and I think, he transcended it as time went by. Most of his works are located in Barcelona, as is his signature work, the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia – Number 2 on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona
Gaudi’s influences included nature and religion and these can be seen echoed throughout his works. Working often with ceramics, stained glass and ironwork incorporated into his designs they are as unique today as they were when they were built.
Gaudi started off with influences from the Neo gothic art and Oriental/ Islamic techniques known as Neo-Mudéjar. These early influences can really be seen in his first work, Casa Vicens.
Casa Vicens – Number 4 on the Gaudi Trail Barcelona
Gaudi was known for not producing detailed paper plans, preferring instead to make detailed 3-dimensional models of his work. Unluckily, when the Sagrada Familia was stormed during the civil war in the ’30s some of these were lost.
Park Guell, another Guell collaboration was a failure at the time – not architecturally of course. But Park Guell was not designed as a park! The idea was to build an upmarket housing estate in the suburbs of Barcelona for the well off. However, only two plots were ever sold! What that has left today is some amazing wide-open park spaces interspersed with amazing architecture.
Park Guell – Gaudi goes Outdoors
Gaudi was only known to be interested in one woman in his life. Unfortunately, his feelings were not reciprocated. After this, he seemed to devote himself to his work and religion. Those two becoming increasing blurred during the latter part of his life as he concentrated on the Sagrada Familia. Gaudi knew he would not live to see his masterpiece finished and was fond of saying about this majestic work when asked about timescale;
“My client is not in a hurry”
Gaudi was dogged by ill health at various stages throughout his life. As a young man, he suffered from rheumatism. Consequently, most of his national service in the army was spent on sick leave.
Indeed, you could argue he did not help himself. He undertook a number of religious fastings in his life with one throwing up serious health problems.
For me 1904 was when he was at the height of his powers. he took a commission from Josep Batllo to remodel his existing house. The end result was the magnificent Casa Batllo, number 1 on my personal Gaudi Trail Barcelona list.
Casa Batllo, number 1 on my personal Gaudi Trail Barcelona list
Towards the end of his life, Gaudi dressed in old worn out suits and almost looked beggar like in his appearance. This had dire consequences, however! Whilst taking his daily walk Gaudi was struck by a tram in June 1926. His dishevelled appearance and lack of identity documents made people assume he was a beggar.
Consequently, the unconscious Gaudi did not receive medical attention promptly enough. Eventually, some passers-by clubbed together to get him into a taxi to the hospital where he received some very basic care.
It was only the following day that he was recognized as the great architect. And it was, by then, too late. His condition had worsened and he died 2 days later at the age of 73.
Gaudi’s early life was problematic and touched by tragedy too. His mother and brother both died in 1876 and this was possibly the reason why his grades were average in school and he failed some courses. Perhaps that is why when handing him his degree, the Principal of the Barcelona Architecture School, said:
“We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show.”
Time most certainly did!
For more on our Barcelona Gaudi Trail Adventures, click below
Have you been to Barcelona? Do you agree with my Top 5? What’s in your Top 5?
Next, a few things that you might find helpful if you are travelling to Barcelona!
Hotels and Guidebooks
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