Following Gaudi’s Trail in Barcelona

Posted on 03. Oct, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Photo Posts, Press Trips, Spain

Going on a Gaudi quest in Barcelona isn’t very hard.

It would actually be hard NOT to. Because he is, quite simply, everywhere.

The most iconic landmarks of Barcelona are signed by Gaudi, and they also happen to be the most popular. For a good reason - they’re quite spectacular. I always say that touristy things are touristy for a reason, and that’s also true when it comes to Gaudi. He created such unique, utterly innovative pieces of art, intricately inspired by the sheer beauty and diversity of nature. Lots of people tried to copy or surpass him, but none have achieved their goal. Gaudi is simply too much of a genius.

So whether you already are a big fan of the architect, or if you want to learn more about his works, follow this photo  itinerary through Gaudi’s Barcelona.

La Sagrada Familia

To think that I almost included the Sagrada Familia in my list of Europe’s most overrated attractions? I’m so glad I didn’t!

I visited the cathedral for the first time in 2009, while it still under major construction works. I basically paid 14 euros to see scaffolds and hear Catalan workers yell at each other. This time around, however, I realized that the the interior is completely finished, and the result is absolutely breathtaking. You can’t possibly imagine what the cathedral is like, because it’s unlike anything else.

Friendly tip: BUY YOUR TICKET IN ADVANCE. There is a constant 2-3 hour queue to get in, while it only takes a few seconds when you have your printed tickets. Be the wise one!

La Pedrera / Casa Millà

La Pedrera is one of the two Gaudi houses in Barcelona. I visited both, and I have to admit that I wasn’t very enthused about this one, for many reasons. Firstly, the building isn’t as unusual as the Casa Battló. Secondly, the visit takes us through a typical 1920s apartment, which felt more like a history museum to me. Thirdly, I felt that for 16 euros, the visit was too short, and an overall bad investment.

The one advantage of La Pedrera? The 360 degrees views over the city from the roof.

All in all, I don’t recommend visiting this house unless you’re a hardcore Gaudi fan. There are far better options out there to learn about the architect than La Pedrera.

Parc de la Cituadella

Barcelona’s greenest oasis!  The majestic fountain was designed by a then relatively unknown Gaudi, who was just about to graduate. This commissioned work allowed him to discover his true passion, and his unique, organic style, which would shape his ulterior projects, and whose heritage is instantly recognizable nowadays.

Casa Batlló

I’ve written more extensively about this one before, and I stand by my point - I think it’s perhaps Gaudi’s finest creation.

I definitely prefer it over La Pedrera, which, like I said, isn’t nearly as funky or interesting. The Casa Batlló truly is a work of art considering all the different mosaics, the absence of straight lines, the arched roof and the vivid colors. If you visit one of the two Gaudi houses, I can’t recommend this one enough. A well invested 20 euros.

Plaça Reail

Maybe will you be as surprised as I was to learn that Gaudi himself designed the intricate lampposts at Plaça Reail, in the heart of Barcelona. It was his first official work as an architect, back in 1878. A relatively small contribution to the city when compared to the grandiose Sagrada Familia and the houses - but the way I see it, it’s just another proof of how versatile yet focused Gaudi was.

Park Guell

 

Park Guell was a very nice discovery for me. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it because of the massive crowds - and you know how I feel about crowds - but guess what? If you get there early enough, there is no one in sight. At 9 o’clock there were only a handful of us, including what I believe to be a few employees.

The views over Barcelona are unbeatable, and the mosaic works on the bench are quite stunning. I’d been wanting to see this park for myself ever since I watched “The Spanish Inn”, one of my favorite travel movies. And it didn’t disappoint! I could’ve easily spent an hour or two there, taking in all the colors, the angles, and the scenery. Definitely an essential stop on any Gaudi trail.

Are you also a fan of Gaudi’s work? Have you seen some of his landmarks in Barcelona? What’s your favorite?

Disclaimer: I was a guest of EasyJet Holidays on this trip. As always, all opinions are my own.

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18 Responses to “Following Gaudi’s Trail in Barcelona”

  1. Jeff @ GoTravelzing

    03. Oct, 2012

    I love Barcelona and Gaudi and agree with your list. I can not believe I have not been the Parc de la Cituadella yet.

    Casa Batlló is one of my favorite buildings. I have a big picture of it hanging over my desk.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      Well then you must go and tick off that last remaining item on your Gaudi list :)

      Reply to this comment
  2. Holiday Addict

    03. Oct, 2012

    I really love your photos, especially those of the interior of the Sagrada Familia. We couldn’t get inside when we visited due to construction work, but I still loved it.

    I had kind of crossed Barcelona off my list, but I can see now that I need to go back!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      04. Oct, 2012

      Thanks! I was SO happy to see that the interior was finished!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Pascale

    04. Oct, 2012

    Your pictures are amazing! It makes me more excited to get there soon.Thanks for the tip about the ticket at the Sagrada. I keep your post in my bookmarks to read it again when our week-end will be planned. Soon, I hope so!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tom @ ActiveBackpacker

    04. Oct, 2012

    Gaudi’s stuff is awesome, it really makes Barcelona special - I love that city!

    A lot of people don’t end up going inside the Sagrada Familia because the queues are to long, and suffice with taking photos from the outside. If you do this you are really doing yourself a disservice, I’m not religious but it’s amazing in there :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      Booking tickets for the Sagrada Familia is essential, and such an easy step!

      Reply to this comment
  5. Andrew

    05. Oct, 2012

    We did four days in Barcelona, though didn’t see so much due to the heat. I liked the outside of the Sagrada enough not to want to spend money to go in. Thanks for the pictures of the interior though. I just put on my telephoto lens and zoomed in on all of the great little details on the outside.

    The park Guell was pretty awesome, though we were there late meaning with tons of people. We left and got rained on on the way to the subway. I still imagine what that place might look like in the warm rain.

    The Casa Battlo, I didn’t get as one of his. I guess I should of, but there is plenty of similar architecure and I was hungry. There was a line as we walked by of people apparently waiting to have a cocktail in the bar there.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      Same here - it was SO hot when I was there. It’s only because it was a press trip that I ventured out of my AC-equipped room, haha!

      Reply to this comment
  6. Abby

    13. Oct, 2012

    Yeah! My favorites!! And one new one: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cituadella…

    Reply to this comment
  7. This is the reason I WILL return to Barcelona one day soon.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Pascale

    24. Oct, 2012

    These days, we are watching plane tickets to go to Barcelona. What do you think about getting there in march?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      I think it’s a great idea. It’s pretty much always sunny in Spain anyway, and there will be less tourists. Although the beach will be a no-no!

      Reply to this comment
  9. Sally

    22. Jun, 2013

    Took my son to Barcelona for his graduation gift in April and every day was perfect 75+ and blue skies! I So agree with what you have written here. La Pedrera is not worth the money. Casa Batllo is amazing and worth every penny. Sagrada Familia should be on everyone’s bucket list - inside and out! The only other thing that you didn’t mention was Camp Nou - Barcelona’s soccer stadium - totally worth the subway trip - the tour is awesome and you can do on your own! I think Barcelona is the prettiest city in the world! Go if you can, you will not be disappointed!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      27. Jun, 2013

      Thanks for the suggestion Sally, I will definitely check out the stadium next time I’m in town :)

      Reply to this comment

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