Gaudi in Barcelona – 13 Must-See Architectural Wonders

A tour of the works of Gaudi in Barcelona.

Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in Spain and it is the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí that has helped to make it a must-stop on any Spain itinerary.

Works of art are on display around the city showcasing the renowned Catalan architect. Gaudí’s Art Nouveau style influenced a generation, and the buildings of Barcelona are some of the most unique you will ever see.

Where to Find Gaudí in Barcelona

Barcelona led the charge of Catalan Modernism or  Modernisme with Gaudí at the forefront.

His designs have become a symbol of Barcelona and seven Gaudi designed buildings have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.

1. La Sagrada Família

gaudí sagrada familia in barcelona | gaudí barcelona cathedral
BARCELONA, SPAIN Sagrada – the most known the buildings created by Antoni Gaudi.

The most famous site in all of Barcelona is La Sagrada Família.

Sagrada Família began construction in 1882. Surrounded by cranes and scaffolding, it is a the centerpiece of the city of Barcelona

It is scheduled to be complete by 2026 to commemorate 100 years since the passing of Antoni Gaudí. He died in 1926 the age of 73 and never had the chance to see the cathedral finished.

Immaculate Carvings | gaudi cathedral barcelona
Gaudí Sagrada Família Immaculate carvings

The original architect was Francisco de Paula del Villar but after technical differences he stepped aside to make room for Gaudí.

La Sagrada Família started out as a neo-Gothic inspired cathedral, but Gaudí took it in a different direction creating a church of the future.

Gaudí only finished 25% of the building but didn’t regret the fact that he wouldn’t see it complete.

He was aware that he would not see it complete and is quoted as saying:

““There is no reason to regret that I cannot finish the church. I will grow old but others will come after me. What must always be conserved is the spirit of the work, but its life has to depend on the generations it is handed down to and with whom it lives and is incarnated.

More than 3 million people visit the cathedral each year and the funds it receives from tourists is used to help cover construction costs.

2. Sagrada Família Schools

gaudí sagrada familía barcelona schools

Located at Sagrada Família, the Sagrada Família Schools were built to ensure that the worker’s children would receive an education.

Built in 1909, the curved roofs of the brick buildings give off a distinct Gaudi flare.

Father Gil Parés was named priest of Sagrada Família by the Cardinal Casañas and remained so for 20 years.

He was a highly respected education adopting the methods of Maria Montessori (you may recognize Montessori schools associated with the name)

By designing the schools, one can see into the nature of Gaudi who clearly cared about his workers.

3. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

gaudí house barcelona
Casa Mila Barcelona

Casa Mila was our favourite of all the Gaudí buildings to explore.

We marvelled at the oval-shaped courtyard reaching up to the sky upon entrance. Also known as the Stone Quarry (La Pedrera).

The Gaudí UNESCO World Heritage Site is Barcelona’s most popular Modernist building.

Built between 1906 and 1912, La Pedrera was commissioned by Pere Milà and his wife Roser Segimon. Hence how it got its name.

We toured the rooms and made our way to the spectacular rooftop. A visit to Casa Mila wouldn’t complete without seeing it.

casa gaudí barcelona

The roof offers beautiful views of Barcelona, but it’s the design that is striking. We wove our way through chimney’s, staircases and spires.

I can only imagine the parties that were hosted up here.

4. Casa Batlló

barcelona gaudí casa batllo barcelona
Check out the skulls of Casa Batlló’s Balconies

You know instantly when you have arrived at a Gaudí work of art by the large crowd milling around out front.

Casa Batlló followed used the elements of Art Nouveau to restore this house located on the street Passeig de Gracia.

This street is a work of art unto itself with several other impressive buildings designed in the Catalan art nouveau genre.

Take a close look at the balconies of Casa Batlló, they look like they are skulls.

We could go broke looking at the works of Gaudí in Barcelona.

But if you are a true fan, entrances are not to be missed. Gaudí was just as inspiring inside as he is out.

You can book an immersive experience with a virtual reality smart guide to Casa Batlló with Get Your Guide. Free cancellation.

5. Casa Calvet

gaudí sites barcelona casa calvet
The beautiful historical landscape of the urban view Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Casa Calvet is one of Gaudí’s earliest works in Barcelona.

It’s not the most innovative, but when you see it, you’ll notice the distinct Gaudí flare.

Built in 1899, it is considered his most conservative works and yet, in 1900 Casa Calvet was awarded the prize for the best building of the year by the Barcelona City Council.

Discover Gaudí in Barcelona by bicycle – Discover how Gaudí imagined his designs and the beginnings of Modern Urbanism. Get into hidden courtyards and learn of the Modernisme period in Barcelona.

6. Casa Vicens

casa vicens gaudí house baracelona
Famous Casa Vicens designed by Antoni Gaudí. Landmark in Barcelona, Spain.

Casa Vicens is the first house designed by Gaudí. It was built as a summer house for the Vicens family between 1883 and 1885.

A surgeon from Havana, Dr. Antonio Jover bought the home in 1899 and it was passed down through his family until it was purchased by MoraBanc who renovated and restored it to its former glory.

It had been a private residence for more than a century, but

It is also the newest tribute to Gaudí. It’s been newly restored and opened as a museum.

Details:

  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 8 pm
  • Rates: General Admission 16€

Book a Skip the line Ticket to Casa Vicens. If you are looking for something more in-depth, book this Early Access Guided Gaudí Tour giving you access to Casa Vicens before it opens before continuing on to Park Güell, and Sagrada Familia.

7. Park Güell

gaudí buildings Park Guell | gaudi park barcelona
Gaudí Park Barcelona where he lived

Park Güell is an enchanting garden designed by Gaudí just outside of Barcelona on Carmel Hill.

It was commissioned by “1st Count of Güell,” Eusebi Güell. He wanted the park to be a place of urbanization and development. As the face of Catalan modernism, Gaudí would take this area into the 20th century.

It is a fairytale land with greenery and interesting architectural designs. Gaudí worked on the park from 1900-1912 and it officially opened in 1926. the year of his death.

It became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

As Crazzzy Travel wrote in here Romantic Things to do in Barcelona Post:

“The place not to miss is a terrace with a spectacular view of the city.

Book a Skip the Line Park Guell Walking Tour – check-in in at the Gaudí Experience office on Larrard Street to meet your guide for a tour of Gaudi’s most important works. (free cancellation)

It can be reached by public transport.

8. Gaudí House Museum

casa gaudi barcelona
Gaudí House Barcelona

While visiting Park Guell, you can visit the Gaudi House Barcelona.

The former residence of Antoni Gaudí was designed by Francesc Berenguer i Mestre.

Gaudí lived here for 20 years until just a few months before his death. Visitors can see a collection of furniture, objects, and documents from Gaudí’s life gaining insight into his life and work.

Need to Get Around Barcelona – Book your Barcelona Hop on Hop off Bus Tour with 24 or 48 hour options.

9. Palau Güell

gaudí buildings barcelona guell palace

Palau Güell (Güell Palace) is another Gaudí work commissioned by Eusebi Güell. This was the private residence of the Güell family. This pre-dated Park Guell as Gaudí began construction in 1886. (finishing in 1890)

From the outside, it doesn’t look that impressive, but when you go inside, and it is the lavish Gaudí design that you would expect.

Working with the usual Catalan Art Nouveau elements of stone, wood, wrought iron, ceramics, and glass Palau Guell is renowned for its innovative use of light and space.

The central hall is crowned by a Parabolic Dome (a dome that looks like the small end of an egg).

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palau Guell was also declared an historical-artistic monument by the Spanish Government in 1969.

Is is located near La Rambla in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.

10. Pavellons Güell (Güell Pavilions)

pavellons guell barcelona gaudi works

Güell commissioned Gaudí for many works in Barcelona. The Pavellons Güell was the first of many!

Gaudí built the entrance way and pavillons to Guell’s estate. They can be viewed on Barcelona’s Avinguda Pedralbes.

From 1884 to 1887 Gaudí created two guest houses and the wrought-iron gate in the shape of a dragon that connected them. He also spend time relandscaping the gardens.

11. Cascada Fountain

gaudi fountain barcelona
Fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella called Cascada in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s city park, Parc de la Ciutadella houses a zoo, the Parliament of Catalonia, a small lake, and a fountain partially designed by Antoni Gaudí.

The water tanks and hydraulics were designed by Gaudi while working for designer Josep Fontserè.

If it looks familiar, you are correct. This fountain was modeled after the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

12. Plaça Reial

barcelona placa reial gaudi barcelona
Plaza Real is a square in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Spain

Plaça Reial is a popular meeting spot for walking tours. Chances are, if you are in Barcelona, you will make your way to Placa Reial at one point.

The Porticoed Square (covered porches and walkways on buildings) is one fo the city’s most vibrant spots!

While in the square be sure to look for the street lamps on either side designed by Gaudí in 1879.. You’ll recognize them by spying the winged helmet and a dragon on top.

13. Colonia Güell

gaudi colonia guell

Colonia Güell is located 23km southwest of Barcelona in the village of Santa Coloma de Cervelló at Guell’s country estate.

It is another of Gaudí’s unfinished works. Construction began in 1908 but construction was stopped in 1914.

The only portion that was completed was the Crypt which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Gaudí UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona

places to see in barcelona stained glass | la pedrera gaudi house
Check out La Pedrera at night for added romance
  1. Sagrada Família – The Nativity Façade and the Crypt
  2. Casa Batlló
  3. The Park Güell
  4. The Palau Güell 
  5. Casa Milà-La Pedrera
  6. Casa Vicens
  7. Colònia Güell – The Crypt

Map of Gaudi Barcelona

map of the works of Gaudi in Barcelona

Click here to follow your interactive map of Gaudi in Barcelona

The Works of Gaudi in Barcelona

For more information about Spain, visit our complete Spain travel guide

You don’t have to be a fan of Gaudí architecture to enjoy Barcelona. The streets are alive with energy, the tapa bars are filled with great food and wine, and the rest of the architecture is extraordinary. But you will find that his works add to the entire experience.

The works of Gaudí put Barcelona’s design on the map and it is his innovative and imaginative designs that keep people flocking to the city to catch a glimpse of perfection.

Read More about Barcelona

Going to Spain? Read more about these Spanish Cities

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Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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22 thoughts on “Gaudi in Barcelona – 13 Must-See Architectural Wonders”

  1. Just wanted to inform you and your readers that the 3 pictures you have from the Sagrada Familia DO NOT represent Gaudi’s work. These modern sculptures, mostly found in the back of the cathedral weren’t made by Gaudi, and not even commanded by him. They are recent additions to the building and haven’t been very appreciated in the population because of their contratst to the rest of the cathedral (Gaudi’s work). A picture from the front of the cathedral would have been much more representative of this chef d’oeuvre.

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  2. Gaudi amazed me, I wonder where did he get the inspirations for all of his creations. I’ve seen nothing like that. Even the furniture pieces that he designed are really curvy and unusual. La Sagrada Familia is my favourite thing in Barcelona and also my favourite church in the world. I hope it will be finished one day, it will be interesting to visit in the future!
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..10 Spectacular Natural Wonders in New Zealand’s North Island =-.

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    • Hi Dina, It is true, he is definitely unusual. We are definitely the odd balls that didn’t get it. There you go, it is our lack of education in architecture. As I travel more to the cities of Europe, I hope that I grow an appreciation for it. It is writing pieces like this and reading people’s comments that make me want to go back and have another look at his works. Everyone loves him so much, that he deserves a second look from us.

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  3. my friend lived in Barcelona for a year and says it’s the best place she’s ever been.Haven’t visited yet , but it’s on my list of things to do this summer.Nice report

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  4. Gaudi’s works are the most impressive I have ever seen in my life…and I am really looking forward to admiring the sagrada familia accomplished, I hope I manage that 😉 I first visited in 1983 and to be honest at that time I could not appreciate it as much as I did a couple of years ago….the work progess made in this 27 years is simply amazing…I spent 4 hours in there and would not leave !! ..I am a painter and love arts….so for me Gaudi was a real genius!

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  5. I think even if you don’t exactly like the works of Gaudi, one can’t help but appreciate his contribution to architecture. As far as the entry fees though, they sound steep! I went to see a lot of buildings in Italy, but had to admire many of them from outside. As a designer, I love architecture, but as a backpacker, I can’t always afford the price to see them 🙂

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  6. Wow! We’ve been to Barcelona 8 times on our open ended world tour & often stay a month or more at a time & we think Gaudi is the very BEST thing in Barcelona! But, we are artists & love art.

    Just seeing them in person really touches something inside us, even our child loves Gaudi! If you love art, architecture and innovation, he will touch you. It really helps If you go inside those buildings, worth the money and it’s hard not to admire history’s most unique architect and what he did so very far ahead of his time. Reading about him also gives it great context, but it’s quite visceral for us. There is also an amazing connection between his work and nature.

    He is like a poet or many genius’s that are before their time, some “get it” and some don’t. No right or wrong, just different tastes.

    Can’t wait to hear what you think about Dali or Picasso ( 2 other innovative artists with awesome work in and near Barcelona). 😉
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Can Globe Trotting Location Independent Kids Have Friends? =-.

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  7. dave and deb i AM aghast! while i am a straight lines, modern girl to the core, i have a soft spot for Gaudi. i’d heard rumours that there are people like you that don’t love him but i’ve never actually ‘met’ one. but i’ll give you some cred as it looks like your photo of casa bastillo turned out better than mine ;p

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    • Haha, I love your comment. I know. We are in the minority. Not to say that we didn’t love our day walking around Barcelona. We love the city. We just didnt’ love Gaudi. But we appreciate the people that do.

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  8. When we visited Barcelona in 2000, we thought we would stay about three days…but ended up staying around a week. Gaudi’s architecture was one of the reasons for extending our stay – we found his philosophy and design fascinating, as well as beautiful. I’d love to return to Barcelona and explore some more! Enjoy your travels in Europe!
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Coming to America: Sharing Our Journey at Home =-.

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  9. I’m not really knowledgeable about architecture or Gaudi, although I’ve always wanted to visit Barcelona just to see his work because it’s so different from anything else. But I can’t say I’d feel compelled to pay 16.50 Euros for an entrance fee to one. Anyways I love that you were totally upfront in your opinions with such a must see attraction. It’d be a pretty boring world is everyone liked the same things.
    .-= Alouise´s last blog ..List #7 – Items I found while looking for my camera – or how I learned to stop attaching myself to material goods. =-.

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  10. I’m sad to report to you that you missed one of the best parts of Barecelona and again one of Gaudi’s pieces of work. Park Guell! Its pretty much his only creation you can explore the inside for free in Barcelona! (much like you we skipped all the insides due to price and lines)

    Check out our photos from it here: http://dreamalittledream.ca/spending-a-day-in-the-mind-of-gaudi/
    .-= dreamalittledream.ca´s last blog ..Pixels by Patrick Jean – cool video for your Saturday =-.

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    • We had heard that the park was excellent and we had planned on going to see it in the next day or two. but then the rain came and we were drenched in our campsite. No worries though, we are planning on going back to Spain in the near future. That is the amazing thing about travel. You can always go back!

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      • To be fair, while Parc Guell was probably one of the coolest things I saw in all of Europe (other than the Banksy museum exhibit), we didn’t go into the churches or other attractions. The entrance fee’s were just too much, and with 4 of us we could have easily spent 300 euros. If it were 5 euros each it would be a far more reasonable price.

        But I love the outsides of the buildings. It brings art back into architecture. Why do we have to have these straight lines, or have everything look like everything else? Why not have some cool curves and round shapes. And remember, this was all done in the early part of the 20th century, I think around 1910ish. Very different for the times. Skulls for balconies. Bones for support structures. Just cool things to mess with your head.

        Of course, we figure he was a huge opium fiend or something 🙂
        .-= Scott´s last blog ..Pixels by Patrick Jean – cool video for your Saturday =-.