Trip Plan Details
- Park GüellD'Olot, s/n, Barcelona, CT 08024 Spainrecommended Park GüellThe park was originally meant to be a private community but never panned out. One of the houses Gaudi lived in is located here. Cool little 15 min tour. It's just nice to walk around this area and ... read moreadmire the artistic nature of it.recommended Park GüellParc Güell a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the ... read moreyears 1900 to 1914. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí". Gayle and I made a special effort to come here when were in Barcelona, and we're really glad that we did. We arrived below via Bus Turistic and walked up the Hill. When we finally left after a few hours of happily wandering around, we decided to talk a nice long walk back to the Plaça de Catalunya. In between, we enjoyed the Dragon, climbing up to the Cross on the Hill, enjoyed the panoramic views of Sagrada Família, the Montjuïc area, and other parts Barcelona, listed to some really good street musicians, did a lot of people watching, and did a lot of inner park exploration. This was a really great (and free) Gaudí Park treat! The Park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, whom the park was named after. It was inspired by the English garden city movement. The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). It already included a large country house called Larrard House and was next to a neighborhood of upper class houses called La Salut (The Health). The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views from the site, with sixty triangular lots being provided for luxury houses. Count Güell added to the prestige of the development by moving in 1906 to live in Larrard House. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but no buyers came forward. Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906. This house, where Gaudí lived from 1906 to 1926, was built by Francesc Berenguer in 1904. It contains original works by Gaudí and several of his collaborators. It is now the Gaudí Museum (Casa Museu Gaudí). Parc Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens. They also seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí. The focal point of the park is the Main Terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a more social atmosphere. Gaudí also incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry into this Park. Also around the park are structures that echo natural forms like tree trunks supporting branching vaults under the roadway or sloping columns designed similar way to his Church of Colònia Güell. It's all a fascinating experience and well worth repeated visits to figure it all out and enjoy the Park in various unique ways.recommended Park GüellSpectacular! I'll definitely be going back there before I leave Barcelona. The day I went it was a bit crowded but it was a Sunday. I'm hoping next time there won't be quite so many people. ... read moreRegardless, it was incredible! Went back on a weekday during the day (also during November, the off season) and it was very nice! Much better without the large crowds.recommended Park GüellA surrealist park atop Barcelona which was designed by Gaudi, the (justly) famous architect. Fanciful, windy benches and twisted sculptures punctuate the landscape and make for a wonderful meandering ... read moreafternoon. You can also visit Gaudi' house, if you are inclined to learn a bit about the man behind the buildings you see all over Barcelona.Julia P
Hi Aida, Park Guell will allow you and your family to enjoy Gaudi and be outside with space to run around at the same time! Barcelona is a wonderful city, hope you enjoy it! Also, have a look at Julie Sheridan's Family-Friendly Barcelona guide (and her other ones - she's been living in BCN for a few years now and knows the city inside and out!) http://www.gogobot.com/user/julie-sheridan/journals
- Casa BatllóPasseig de Gràcia 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
- Casa MilàPasseig de Gràcia 92, Barcelona, CT 08008 Spainrecommended Casa MilàHonestly if you're going to Barcelona you should see all of Gaudi's major works. Nothing compares to the Sagrada Familia but his other projects are very impressive. The roof is the highlight of this ... read morebuilding.
- La Sagrada FamíliaCarrer de Mallorca 401, Barcelona 08013, Spainrecommended La Sagrada FamíliaThe entire cathedral has been built on public donations and is not expected to be completed for another 10-15 years. After 130 years of previous construction. It's an insane architectural masterpiece ... read moreand I've never seen anything quite like it.recommended La Sagrada Famíliaa must in BarcelonaRecommended for:recommended La Sagrada FamíliaHere are a few lame reasons that I heard advising not to visit the most Stunning La Sagrada Familia (both Inside and Out):. IT'S TOO CROWDED! Gayle and I found the ticket line and the crowds inside to ... read morebe manageable when were where there in October and about 9 AM. We pretty much avoided the Gift Shop (as a line develops there too). And if you want that 2012 Sagrada Familia calendar (or similar), they're sold all over town. IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE! - It's well worth the splurge. The Basilica is funded exclusively by private donations and entry fees. Your admission helps pay for ongoing construction. Cash Only. THE OUTSIDE IS STUNNING ENOUGH! As Gayle and I came up on La Sagrada Famlia (via Bus Turistic), both the Nativity and Passion Facades were most impressive. So was all the ongoing construction and the realization that we were watching a Cathedral in the making. But trust me, the Inside is even better! A work in progress since 1882, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church was formally consecrated on November 7, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. However, it's still a long way from a fully functioning house of worship and construction is expected to take another 30 years. Maybe I'll live long enough to walk through the Gloria Facade. Here are a few more observations: - The contrast between the Nativity Facade (Gaudi's original vision) and the Passion Facade (largely the work of sculptor Joseph Maria Subirachs starting in 1986) is dramatic and doubly inspiring. - Gayle and I were here on a Sunday and a choir was performing inside. That really enhanced the holiness of this Basilica and spiritual power of this space. Attending Mass would have been a bonus, but my guess is that Services are relegated to a smaller chapel and away from the Tourist hordes. - The scale of ongoing exterior construction (our admission money at work) reminded me of how amazing it is to witness a community of committed people with a vision, while working on a church that will not be finished in their lifetime. - Spend the extra money and take the Passion Elevator to see great views of the City and unique perspectives of this Church. And if you happen to visit Parc Güell (another Gaudi must see), notice La Sagrada Familia at the distance. - Visit the Museum. It's housed in what someday is intended to be the crypt and runs underground from the Nativity Facade to the Passion Facade. It tells the story of La Sagrada Familia and include plaster models, a workshop, and a commemoration of the Pope's visit (among other things). It's it educational, visually interesting, and much less crowded. - Check out the School. It's near the Passion Facade and was built by Gaudi for the children of workers building the Church. La Sagrada Familia is nothing short of being a representation of the Bible in Stone. And no set of pictures can fully capture its Glory. But I'll try......recommended La Sagrada FamíliaI can’t imagine seeing Sagrada Familia not being under construction in my lifetime. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s amazing as it is, and it’s such a rewarding feeling to see it with your own ... read moreeyes. You can’t stop admiring every little part of this incredible work of art. Being inside, gives you a feeling of partaking in some kind of ritual of observing something that only certain people are privileged to see. Visit the museum to learn about the vision that Gaudi had and compare some of his drawings to the sculptures you see outside. Go up one of the towers – you will be rewarded with some unusual views and details that you can’t see from the ground.
- Bus TurísticCarrer 60, número 21-31, Barcelona, CT 08040 Spainrecommended Bus TurísticI'm not a Tour Bus type of guy, either within a City or as part of a European vacation. I prefer to drive a rental car out in the Country on my own schedule, and within Cities like Madrid or ... read moreBarcelona, I like to walk and use the Metro. And do I really want any of my friends to see me on top of a double-decker bus among the hordes of tourists? In Barcelona, I made a well-considered exception. Barcelona's attractions are incredibly spread out (much more so than Madrid) and some sights are not easily reached by the Metro or even the Bus. And since there was no way that our 3 day stay here could even scratch what there is to see here, I appreciated the chance to sample the various attractions by line of sight. One tour book refers to the visitor we tries to see all of Barcelona's attractions his/her own way by foot/bus/metro as the winner of the "Dumb Tourist of the Year" Award. Gayle and I concentrated on a few marque sights and we really appreciated the efficiency (and good driving) that Bus Turistic had to offer. The choice of sights on their routes and the audio explanations (in multiple languages) were also impressive. For us, the visits to Parc Guell, Basílica de la Sagrada Família, and Camp Nou/FC Barcelona (all on the Blue Route) were among our highlights. We also spent a fair amount of time on the Red Route, but unfortunately just ran out of time in our unrealistic hope to hop off the bus and see much more. We also walked quite a bit and particularly enjoyed our walks back from Parc Guell and along the Upper Ramblas in the L'Eixample neighbourhood. My only suggestion to the good folks at Bus Turistic is that they might want to consider running their bus routes in both directions. For example, on Sunday Afternoon, we tried to stop at the Joan Miro Museum in favour of Poble Espanyol a few stops back. Unfortunately, this Museum (and others) close early at 2:30 PM. To get back to Poble Espanol would have required a decent walk or taking the Red Route 4/5 of the way around again. We bought the 2 Day Pass for 30 Euros each and very much thought that we got our money's worth. The weather was nice and we met lots of interesting people, although even the off-season crowds (both on an off the bus) can be large and intense in places.
recommended Camp NouCamp Nou is the Stadium home of FC Barcelona or Barça. Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture, hence the motto "Més que ... read moreun club" (More than a club). The official Barça anthem is the "Cant del Barça". Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate FC Barcelona. It is the world's second richest football club in terms of revenue. They also own a professional basketball team (who beat the Lakers last year) and operate an ice rink. The club holds a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid, and matches between the two teams are referred to as "El Clásico". On our last full day in Barcelona, Gayle and I got to pick a marque tourist attraction that we would spend some quality time. Her choice was Basílica de la Sagrada Família and mine was Camp Nou. In hindsight, she made the better choice (as Gaudi's Church is AMAZING), but I'm not complaining at all about the Camp Nou Experience. I'll also be the first to admit that I don't always "get" soccer and maybe in the same way that my British Friends don't understand Baseball. For them, I'll point to Game 6 of the recently completed 2011 World Series, and for me it's the 2011 Women's Soccer Semi-Final between Brazil and the USA. Back in the present, I was in Barcelona, so why not see for myself what all this World Champion excitement was all about? I also happened to catch the Barça/Seville Match on the Television the night before and definitely felt the love. Gayle (bless her heart) was very patient with me on this one and at 22 Euros each, such soccer greatness wasn't cheap. However, me and hundreds of others saw it all, including: - Posing for pictures in front of Trophies. - Standing amazed at a large room with nothing but trophies. - Experiencing Game Highlights in their Interactive Media Center. - Visiting the Locker and Press Rooms. - Seeing the Pitch up close at Field Level. - Feeling Humbled and Impressed By the Player's Chapel. - Sitting in the Seats at Various Stadium Levels. - Running Through the Tunnel to the "Cheers" of the Fans And when the Tour was over, you emerged right into the Team Store. The only thing I was missing at that point were 99 Euros for a Messi jersey and a boxed DVD set of Footballers' Wives.
- Font Magica de MontjuïcFont Magica de Montjuïc, Av Maria Cristina, 08004 Barcelona, Spainrecommended Font Magica de MontjuïcAbsolutely loved it! Totally worth seeing. It is only on Friday and Saturday nights from around 7 to 9PM I think. The do about a 20 minute or so show with music and lights, supposedly it repeats the ... read moreshow several times over a few hours starting at 7PM. The show is at the fountain in front of the Catalan Art Museum (the castle looking building between the two towers at Placa Espana). There was a large crowd to see the show even in mid-November (well outside of tourist season).recommended Font Magica de MontjuïcSo much fun! The music and fountain/light show made my night memorable.Katie Pierce
This is a fun way to end the day. The fountain's light show is choreographed to music, both local and international. I saw lots of families there when I visited a show.
- Barceloneta BeachPasseig Marítim de la Barceloneta, Barcelona, CT 08005 Spainrecommended Barceloneta BeachBarcelona is still growing even booming at the moment! It is amazing to see a city so close to the beach! If visit Barcelona definitely take the time to make it down to the beaches. I would highly ... read morerecommend getting a meal at one of the great affordable restaurants right on the sea!
- Las RamblasMonument a Colom in the south to Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona, CT Spainrecommended Las RamblasStreet artists, pets and lots of people can be found here. I enjoyed it so much!Katie Pierce
This is a great stroll for families. So much to see that kids would be entertained by without it being a bore for the rest of the family.
- Montjuïc CastleCarretera de Montjuïc 66, Barcelona 08038, Spainrecommended Montjuïc CastleGo up to Montjuïc – great views, interesting fortress… check times for the fountain show at the base of the steps where the Palace building is – the fountain show is spectacular. While you are there ... read moreat Montjuïc, you can also visit Miro museum which is nice.