Places to Visit in Barcelona: Park Guell

When it comes to places to visit in Barcelona, Park Guell is a must. It was my first stop when I came to Barcelona.

So, this was my first morning here. I took a long glance through the window, went down for breakfast, took my camera and the book I bought the night before, and rushed outside. Gaudi, here I come!

Places to visit in Barcelona Park Guell
Colorful ceramics on the ceiling

I took the bus that was climbing up for a while. “I really considered walking all the way up to Park Guell? It would have taken the whole day to climb up here” it crossed my mind.

Places to Visit in Barcelona

By the way, did you know that Antoni Gaudi loved to walk? I was just reading about him while sitting on the bus.

He took long walks because of his health condition, and that is how he discovered the spectacle of Nature, and that is why his creations were later known as “organic constructions”.

Park Guell Barcelona
PLACES TO VISIT IN BARCELONA: The famous undulating bench

In 1878, when Gaudi was 26, he met Euebi Guell, a rich industrialist and patron who was going to support his projects until the end of his life.

Park Guell Barcelona

Park Guell Barcelona began as a private urban planning project (1900-1914) assigned to Gaudi by Guell following the style that was popular in England at the time. Nevertheless, only two of the 62 projected parcels were sold, and the project thus wasn’t a success. Mainly because it was considered to be too far from the city center, too solitary, and up the hill.


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Gaudi finished his work anyway and now we have the legacy of one of the most popular architectural achievements. The whole area was declared an Artistic Monument by the local government in 1962 and it later became a UNESCO heritage sight.

As I mentioned, only two houses were built and sold. One of them was bought by Gaudi himself.

Places to visit in Barcelona
PARK GUELL BARCELONA: Always bustling with tourists

He lived here until 1925 and then set up an accommodation in Sagrada Familia Barcelona he began designing.

It is possible to go inside since it is now turned into a museum with the belongings and Gaudi’s furniture decorations preserved.

Top Places to See in Barcelona

Why is this one of the top places to visit in Barcelona? It is simple. It is just astonishing to see how Gaudi projected pathways for pedestrians and curious arched paths with local stones looking for forms that imitate the nature around. There is the famous wavy bench in the large plaza, supported by columns.

The busy lizard-fountain

Don’t miss the beautiful ceramic collages decorating the ceiling between the columns and created by Gaudi’s disciples.

One of the most eye-catching aspects is that there are a lot of curving and undulating shapes, and also – dragon-like details. It is one of Gaudi’s preferred topics, the immense dragon defeated by St George, the patron saint of Catalonia with its symbolic transcendence of Good overcoming Evil. I immediately remembered my trip to Cappadocia, the place where St George was born.

Don’t you just love it when details fall into place like this?

Pedestrian path in the Park

Things to see in Park Guell

So, you will notice a terrace resembling a dragon’s jaw or a passageway that looks like a jaw with huge teeth, and of course, there is a lizard-dragon covered in mosaics, in vivid colors located at the entrance as a huge well-recognizable fountain.


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Though I like dragon symbolism, and even though my family celebrates St George (in Serbian Orthodox Christian tradition this celebration is called Slava and each family inherits a particular patron saint), I am not fond of dragons and lizards.

But still, I could not resist the charm of ceramic collages and those beings represented by Gaudi! It was just another creator of nature, in all its (Gaudi’s) creativity.

So now I have a colorful lizard magnet covered in ceramics, climbing up the iron book stand next to my desk. They say it should always be faced upwards, for good luck and prosperity. I am not sure why, but at the end of the day – a spark of Gaudi’s magic is still with me, to this day.


The full Barcelona Lisbon SERIES


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24 responses

  1. Barcelona has so many amazing places in it. which tells alot about the history, culture and the amazing art makes you fall in love with the city more and more. you have clicked some amazing photos here it looks great from your lenses. Thanks for sharing this piece! I loved it! Cheers! 🙂

  2. Wow! That was fabulous. Gaudi is one of my heroes. Imagine how he must have seemed a hundred years ago, a wild-eyed lunatic making buildings that were so far from the conventional.

    Loved your photographs. What a delightful, rich, joyful day you must have had!

    1. Fortunately, there was Mr Guell! It crossed my mind so many times – what if Gaudi didn’t have such support?! He might have been considered for “just another lunatic”, who knows. And what a waste that would be!

  3. As a landscape architect, I always admire ‘different’ design, including architecture. I love Gaudi design – it is definitely ‘out’ there and different than the rest of the pack, but that’s exactly why I think it is cool. Thank you for sharing your post with beautiful photos – I will be back to Barcelona someday and experience more of this beautiful city!

    1. Love the idea that you as an expert like Gaudi’s work. 🙂 For me, it’s appealing because of shapes, colors and the symbolism behind it all. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I have been to Barcelona a few years ago and I actually did climb the hill, all the way down from Sagrada Familia to Parc Guell. And guess what? The next available tickets were for 5 hours later. So unfortunately I just walked around and tried to peak inside to see Gaudi’s artwork. Due to my limited time in Barcelona I didn’t have a chance to return but that’s a reason to go to back to Barcelona one day 🙂

  5. I am a huge fan of Antoni Gaudi’s work! During my visit to Barcelona last year, I managed to visit many of his famous works and Parc Guell was one of them. It is incredible how he sought inspiration from nature and designed the park. A true genius architect!

  6. I have been to Barcelona and would love to go back! Your article did teach me a few things I did not know! Thanks- love the photo’s!

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