Sure, Barcelona has its other charms–delicious sangria, tapa restaurants on every corner, and your run-of-the-mill beaches. But I’ve been intrigued by Antonio Gaudi’s work for some time now, and if you also have an appreciation for quirky architecture, then you’ll want to visit Barcelona. There are seven different Gaudi sites in Barcelona, but my time was limited, so I narrowed it down to the following three:
Casa Milà was originally built in the early 1900s for married couple Pere Milà and Roser Segimon. It was sold in the 1940s and then became an apartment building in 1953, and went through other various changes throughout the years.
It wasn’t until the early 1980s that some of the construction was restored, before being designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
During my visit, there was still a massive amount of exterior construction going on, to the point where I wasn’t even sure if I was at the right place.
But out of the three Gaudi sites I visited, this one was my favorite–the rooftop, in particular.
I loved the design, and it offers some great panoramic views of Barcelona.
Casa Batlló was originally built in 1877, and then underwent renovations in the early 1900s when Josep Batlló purchased the property. Throughout the years and with different owners, Casa Batlló remained a residence all the way up until the mid-1990s. It wasn’t until 2002 that it opened to the public.
I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about Casa Batlló.
It may very well have the coolest building exterior I’ve ever seen. Dozens of people were just stopped outside and admiring this insanely neat place, which to me, almost looked animated. It was surreal.
This floor, in my opinion, was the highlight.
That’s not the say that the rest of the building’s interior wasn’t unique and beautiful, but I found it a bit underwhelming; the exterior definitely outshines it.
Although I loved the exterior, the interior was my least favorite out of the three Gaudi sites I visited. I’m not saying you should skip this one, but if you have time or budget limits, just admire it from the outside.
Basílica de la Sagrada Família
This is the iconic Gaudi construction that I think of when I think of Barcelona. Construction for this beautiful church (quite possibly the largest I’ve ever seen) began in 1882, and it’s not expected to be complete until 2026.
This was one of Gaudi’s last projects before he passed away in 1926.
Note that while all Gaudi sites tend to get crowded, this one can in particular tends to have some very long lines, especially during the summer. I recommend visiting early in the morning right after they open, or shortly before they close. I didn’t go until around 5pm, and had no issues with lines or crowds.
Barcelona was the only city I got to visit in Spain this time around, and I will certainly return one day–it looks like such an amazing country. And a quick visit to Barcelona is definitely in order so that I can check out the other Gaudi sites that I missed this time around.
If you visited Barcelona, what was your favorite Gaudi design?
Essential Travel Information
Hotel information: During my stay in Barcelona, I was on a cruise, so I can’t personally recommend a particular hotel. However, Expedia.com has a ton of great choices.
Trains: Traveling throughout Europe is easier, often cheaper, and definitely more convenient than flying–especially if you book a sleeper car for longer journeys. Rail Europe is the best website to book your train tickets.