When I recently went to Barcelona on a budget, I needed to make some decisions about what to see and what to do. The cool things to do in Barcelona can quickly add up and a city trip to Barcelona can become rather expensive. As we already choose to go to Montserrat by train, there was not much budget left to see Gaudi’s attractions in Barcelona. We decided to skip the Gaudi houses and the interior of the Sagrada Familia, and went to the green and colourful park Guell instead.
The first time I went to Barcelona was 2 years ago, and then there was no entrance fee for the park. I took an afternoon stroll, climbed a hill and spend a whole afternoon in Park Guell. Nowadays, they have restricted the number of visitors per hour and enforced an entrance fee for the monumental zone of the park. You can order your tickets online to save you waiting at the park and you get a €1 discount. You can store the tickets on your mobile device, no need to print anything. Check out all the information at the website of Park Guell. Please keep in mind you can visit the park for free, you only need a ticket for the monumental zone.
What to see at Park Guell
The Park Guell lays to the north of city centre of Barcelona in the area called García. It is 15 ha big and lays on a hill top. From different spots in the park, you’ll have magnificent views over Barcelona and the sea.
The park consist of pine trees, palm trees and numerous flower beds which contributes to the green and colourful look of the park. It’s not just the trees and the plants though! The reason the park is so colourful, is because of Antoní Gaudi. He created the park in 1900 and played with his mosaics, colourful benches, the modernista houses and the big cross at the entrance. This has become the symbol of the colourful park Guell in Barcelona.
The monumental zone
As mentioned before, you need to pay to visit this. The most famous part of the monumental zone is the Nature Square (Plaça de la Natura). It is completely encircled by colourful mosaic benches and palm trees. It is party cut from the rock behind it and partly rests on the rock formation underneath it. It is supportedby the man-made pillars which resemble wooden tree trunks. This is called the Hypostyle room (Sala Hipóstila). This used to be the market place area. It is now in use to collect the water for the fountains.
When you look down from the platform, you’ll see the monumental staircase with the lizard, fountains, mosaic walls with colourful flower motives and two houses. One house is the Casa del Guarda, (the park’s gatekeeper’s house). The other one is the Laie Park Guell Gift shop. The last one can be entered without waiting and gives some insight of the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. And it provides beautiful views over the colourful park Guell.
You can walk further and check out the Portico of the Washerwoman. The name comes from the former function as a path to the old house which was situated further along. The portico looks like a giant wave. One side with an unfinished rock formation, the other with columns. This isn’t the most colourful part of the Park Guell. But it is very interesting to see how Gaudi blended his man-made structures with nature.
The rest of the colourful Park Guell
When you google Park Guell, you’ll find numerous images of the colourful monumental zone of the park. But the park is huge and there is so much more to explore. Take enough time to walk around. Get away from the crowded main area and be amazed by the colours and lay out of the park.
You can take a lunch or an afternoon snack and enjoy the nature in this crowded city. Get away from busy Barcelona and relax at the colourful Park Guell.
You can enjoy the park year round. The park opens at 8.00 am and closes at sunset. The times vary depending on the time of year. There is plenty of shade with all the paths, walkways, balconies and porticos so you can visit during the high of summer. I’d recommend to visit at the end of the afternoon or early mornings. The crowds will have thinned out and the light has this soft shade of gold. This will give your pictures of the colourful Park Guell and extra shade of gold.
Do you want to learn more while visiting the Park Guell, you can also book a guided tour of Park Guell*. You get your entrance fee to the park and a professional guide explaining all the ideas or works of Gaudi in the park!
Have you ever been to the green and colourful Park Guell in Barcelona? What did you think? Do you think it is worth to pay for the entrance now? Please share your ideas below.