Located on the southern slope of Mount Carmelo, in the district of Gracia, you will find a magical and colourful masterpiece, Park Güell (or Parc Güell in Catalonian).
1. Architectural introduction to Park Güell
Around the 1900’s the politician and industrialist Eusebi Güell, known as the main patron of Antoni Gaudí, had the idea to create an innovative and cutting-edge new housing development in this area.
Güell park was conceived by Güell and Gaudí to ensure incomparable high-standing houses, with individuality, vibrant creativity and all the technological advances of the time. Could you imagine that?
Back in those times, who wanted to live so far from the centre in a bad connected area?
Living in one of the large and impressive new buildings of the Eixample was the place to be! Especially at the Paseo de Gracia, which is full of shops, showcases, cafes …
The dream did not come true. Only two houses were sold, and one of them is the current Gaudí House Museum, where the architect lived between 1906 and 1925 and the other is the house Trias, owned by the lawyer Martí Trias i Domènech, a friend of Güell and Gaudí, which was designed by the architect Juli Batllevell in 1905.
However, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining and the park was immediately a centre of attraction! Park Guell was a reflection of Gaudí’s artistic fullness, its uniqueness was everywhere and everyone wanted to see that.
Tourists, travellers, artists… all kinds of visitors wanted to experience this magical atmosphere. It became a meeting point for associations, parties and a centre for events and celebrations. A UNESCO world heritage site and the new city’s hotspot!
In 1918, after the death of Güell, the park was sold to the Barcelona City Council to make it public and in 1969 it was considered a National Historic-Artistic Monument. In 1984 UNESCO included it within the World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí “.
Are you ready to walk around this 17-hectare park and discover its treasures?
2. What to see in Park Guell?
Antoni Gaudí used to create perfect integration between architecture and nature and this park is a perfect example of it. You will find two different areas in the park, the monumental area and the free zone.
The monumental zone
The main access is located on the street Carrer d´Olot, where the park is hemmed by a wall made of brick and local stone, to preserve the natural image of the landscape.
You can also see ceramic medallions with the name of the park on them.
Once visitors enter you will start going up and up. It feels like going from the ground to the sky, to reach paradise. Gaudí loved metaphors, most the architects do …
At the entrance, you will find two buildings framing the area. They seem to be there to welcome you into this fantasy world Gaudí wanted to present to us.
Today they serve as a souvenir shop and concierge services.
The monumental staircase
This is the first element you will see when you enter and probably the most characteristic image of the park.
The staircase has two symmetrical sides and in the central space, between both sections, there are three fountains and sculptures.
In the first fountain, you can find a circle that symbolizes the world, along with a compass symbolizing the architect’s work.
In the second one, there are the shield of Catalonia and a snake. Is it due to the symbolism of medicine? Or maybe it has a religious sense …
Plenty of theories, just choose one! And finally, in the third fountain, the great icon of the park: a colourful salamander that poses facing the access and the city.
This creation, which seems to be almost like a dragon, is subject to mythological comparisons. It is believed to represent the element of fire. Metaphors and symbolism everywhere!
A funny fact is that sometimes when an underground tank can no longer accumulate more water, the excess is expelled through the mouth of this dragon outwards. No fire, but water. Luckily!
The Hypostyle Hall
The staircase ends in the Hypostyle Hall, which was built between 1907 and 1909 to be the market that supplies the new urbanization.
Due to the commercial failure, the Hall changed its function and now it serves as a place to rest and enjoy concerts.
The floor plan combines a rectangle and a triangle with 86 columns in total. A kind of artificial forest, a dreamy Doric Temple in the shadow where everything gets quiet.
The seventeen outer columns are slightly inclined and all of them are octagonal, mimicking the shape of stalagmites.
Again, nature and architecture merged. Its height is between six and seven meters, and they have a diameter of 1.20m.
The function of the columns is not only structural since through them the water drains from the square and is sent to the underground tank. Functionality and beauty, what else?
The Square and the Wavy Bench
On top of the Hypostyle Hall you will find the Square, with a beautiful view of the city and the Mediterranean sea. It was built between 1907 and 1913 and it has 3000 square meters.
A wavy bench made out of trencadís, which consists of using small pieces of recycled ceramics, is the main attraction of the square. It was designed by Josep Maria Jujol, one of Gaudi’s closest disciples.
Sitting there to rest your body, read a bit or have lunch on a sunny day with a panoramic view of Barcelona is one of the must-do things in this city. It seems like the body of a 110 meters long snake is embracing the square.
It is also a great photo-point! So don’t miss one of the most beautiful corners of Barcelona and show off with nice pics!
Located in the highest part of the mountain you can find the most direct allusion to Christianity of the whole park, The Calvary.
It is a monument made of stone which has three crosses (maybe as an allegory of the crucifixion of Jesus). It has a circular plan with two stairs and on top, the best view in the city! You want to see that.
The Gaudi House Museum
The house was designed by Francesc Berenguer, one of his disciples, between 1904-1906 and Gaudí lived there from 1906 until 1925.
Nowadays the house is used as a museum and there is a wide collection of works by Antoni Gaudí and some of his collaborators, distributed over three floors.
In the basement, there is a room dedicated to the sculptor Carles Mani.
On the 1st floor, you will see the furniture designed by Gaudí for Casa Batlló and Casa Calvet.
On the 2nd floor Gaudí’s office and bedroom plus the furniture and the hydraulic tile floor of Casa Milà. Pieces from Eusebi Güell, Josep Maria Jujol, Francesc Berenguer and Aleix Clapé are also exhibited.
The entrance to the museum is not included in the regular park Guell ticket price so you will have to buy it separately. You can buy it there or online via the official site. It is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
The free zone
This area is more like a wild garden where you can lose yourself walking through several paths. It is fun to visit it and discover hidden viewpoints of the city.
Apart from the spectacular views of Barcelona, you will be able to appreciate the architecture through the viaducts Gaudí designed here. The Calvario and Gaudí’s House are in this part of the park.
3. Guided Tour
Do you really want to know all the details and discover more about Gaudí?
Then a guided tour is a wonderful way to discover the park and learn about modernism, architecture, the trencadís technique, Gaudí’s approach to nature and all the unique symbolic messages in the park.
The visit will be made with a small group and with a knowledgeable guide. The guided tour lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but you can stay in the park as long as you wish.
Enjoy and don’t miss anything. Your visit will be unforgettable!
4. Visiting Park Guell on Your Own
If you prefer to visit the park on your own, it will be best to buy the tickets online. The maximum hourly visitor admittance is 400 people.
After waiting to get your ticket, it is possible to be assigned a time slot to enter in a few hours. That is not fun! Don´t let the crowds decide and plan your own time.
To get there from the city centre, you can need around 45 minutes and to enjoy the monumental and free areas around 2 hours.
The opening times change depending on the season, so check our FAQs below and decide what is best for you.
Avoiding peak hours can be a plus if you are keen on taking the best pictures. Early morning or evening are good options. Sunsets are amazing from the wavy bench!
5. How and where to buy tickets for Park Guell?
You can buy the Park Guell Tickets at the park itself but, it can be Hell on Earth. Park Guell is one of the most famous attractions and visited, so it’s going to be busy the whole year-round.
You will have to wait for sure, so play it smart and get your Park Guell tickets online. So the only thing to worry about will be bringing your sunglasses and your best comfy outfit.
Receive them via email, SMS or in our app and show them on your smartphone (no need to print), easy! You will be ready to enter and discover this dreamy park without lines.
Be sure you are on time. Tickets purchased in advance will allow you to enter the park for 30 minutes after the time you reserved. Time is money, don´t waste it and let’s have fun!
Where is Park Güell?
Park Güell is located at Carrer D’Olot, 08024 Barcelona, Spain.
The main entrance is located in Carrer de Larrard. There are other two entrances in Carretera del Carmel and Passatge de Sant Josep de la Muntanya.
Park Güell opening hours.
Be there on time. They will let you enter only 30 minutes after the time you booked. Last admission is one hour before closing time.
- From 1/01/2020 until 14/02/2020: 08:30 h – 18:00 h
- From 15/02/2020 until 28/03/2020: 08:30 h – 18:00 h
- From 29/03/2020 until 26/04/2020: 08:00 h – 19:30 h
- From 27/04/2020 until 23/08/2020: 07:30 h – 20:30 h
- From 24/08/2020 until 24/10/2020: 08:00 h – 19:30 h
- From 25/10/2020 until 31/12/2020: 08:30 h – 17:30 h
What’s the best time to visit Park Güell?
If you want to avoid crowds, the best option is to go early in the morning, around 9:00 am. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the park and to take nice pictures. You can be done for lunchtime, so go to Gracia district and take some tapas in a typical tapas bar, as locals do.
Another option is to go a few hours before the closing time and skip the peak hours. In summer, it is nicer to avoid noon and afternoon hours, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm approximately, when most visitors are wandering the Park. The sun here is very intense in summer so take care or you will end up sweating and red like a gamba!
How to get to Park Güell?
With your ticket, you have free access to the GÜELL BUS, a shuttle that will take you directly and in just 15 minutes from the Alfons X metro station (L4) to Park Güell.
By Metro, Green Line (L3), Lesseps or Vallcarca stops
- From Lesseps station (L3), it’s a 20-minute walk. You can arrive taking the Avinguda del Santuari de Sant Josep de la Muntanya, which is equipped with escalators.
- From the Vallcarca stop (L3), it takes about 20 minutes to arrive by foot as well, using the escalators of the Baixada de la Glòria and then accessing the Avinguda del Santuari de Sant Josep de la Muntanya.
By Bus, lines H6, 32,24,92
- Bus line 24 has a stop at the entrance of the Park, close to the gates.
- Line 92 is also close, a few minutes of walking.
- With H6 and 32, we must get off at Travessera de Dalt and go up through Sant Josep de la Muntanya doing the same route as if we were going down at Lesseps metro station.
Going by taxi is handy but expensive. From the centre, you can expect around 15 euros per trip. There is a taxi stop in front of the main entrance.
Accessibility for the disabled and persons with reduced mobility
People with reduced mobility may have difficulty moving through Park Güell, due to its architectural features, with irregular stairs and roads. There is a specific route adapted to people with mobility difficulties.
If you need any special requirements, contact the Visitor Service via email email@example.com.
How long does it take to visit Park Guell?
Getting there will take you 30-45 minutes and you must be 30 minutes before just in case.
Then for the Monumental Zone, you will need 1 hour approximately and another one for the free zone. In total 3 or 4 hours minimum.
What are the rules when visiting the Park Güell?
You can only enter 30 minutes after the reserved time slot, if you are late you are not allowed to enter.
Keep the entrance ticket with you during the visit.
If you leave the paying zone it won’t be possible to enter again, so be sure when you want to leave.
How much do the tickets to Park Güell cost?
Ticket prices for skip the line admission to the Monumental Zone of Park Güell 2020:
- Adults: 10€ per person
- Children from 7 to 12 years: 7€
- Children under 6 years old: free
- Seniors 65 years and over: 7€
- Disabled + companion: 7€
Any further questions? Just let us know!
We hope that you have gained valuable insight from this article. Acquiring knowledge on the city you are traveling to ensures that you fully enjoy the experiences.
Knowledge is power for your upcoming adventure to Barcelona. The more familiar you are with the tours on offer, the more prepared you are to tailor the trip to meet your expectations and create memories that last a lifetime.
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Born in Almería, María Gómez is a Spanish architect and writer who has always been interested in travelling and discovering new places. She combines her job as an architect with her love for writing and telling stories.
After finishing the Univerisity in Granada (Spain), she has been living in The Netherlands for a few years and travelling around the world. She enjoys writing about monuments, buildings, customs, people and life. María will show you the world through her unique lenses and special approach. Her motto is to inspire others to travel and enjoy our awesome world!