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Top sights in Barcelona
Only the 'k' in Barcelona's enchanting Park Güell reveals that it was inspired by England's garden city movement. The rest is Gaudí in his element! It's bursting with the great architect's trademark iconography, but here are the facts behind its best bits!
Park Güell was intended to be the center of a residential complex that never was. Though inspired by Greek temples, the market hall also honors the Roman road that once ran nearby.
Straddling the main stairway, "El Drac" is rich with religious connotations from Eden to St. George. The fountain it guards, however, suggests Python, the dragon of Ancient Delphi!
Only two villas were completed of the planned 60. Gaudí lived here himself between 1906 to 1925 after it failed to attract buyers! It's now home to a collection of his designs, and needs a separate ticket to visit.
Overlooking the city, the serpentine bench covered in mosaics was hailed by none other than Salvador Dalí as a precursor to the Surrealist movement. He should know!
Religious and political symbolism aside, the upside-down cups adorning one of the gingerbread-esque houses at the main entrance are said to represent Gaudí giving up coffee!
If your stay in Barcelona is brief, you will only need a couple of hours to see Gaudí's monuments. However, bear in mind that the entire park is much larger than the "Monumental Zone" discussed here, and anyone keen on the great outdoors could easily while away an afternoon taking a walk across its scenic corners!
Park Güell's Monumental Zone is open from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM during high season (May 4th to September 6th); 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM from March 29th to May 3rd and September 7th to October 24th; and 8:30 AM to 6:15 PM through winter. Only 400 visitors are allowed in every half an hour, so consider booking your tickets online in advance!
The hill is a bit of a climb, but there is also an escalator (Baixada de la Gloria). It is accessible by metro (20 minute walk from Lesseps station), taxi or buses 24 and 92, which stop by one of the entrances to the public area of the park.
- When should I visit?Opening times vary by season, so we suggest checking online before you visit.
- Is it expensive?General tickets cost €8 for adults at the door.
- Will I need a guide?It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
- How to get there20 minutes walking up the hill from metro station Lesseps, or buses 24 and 92 stop by one of the entrances to the public area, where you can walk to the Monumental Zone.
- Additional information
- Only 400 visitors are allowed into the Monumental Zone every half hour!
- Don't forget sunscreen and some good walking shoes!
What people are saying about Park Güell
Our guide for Sagrada Familia "Joe" - was extremely knowledgeable, pleasantly casual and friendly. Our guide for Park Guell - "Anna" (sp?) was FANTASTIC, funny, warm and friendly and my wife and I didn't want the tour to end. Thank you ANNA!
We were happy to have booked this activity with a professional photographer. We were on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to celebrate 3 important events in our family life--the awarding of a graduate degree and two birthdays--and we wanted wonderful images to commemorate this trip. Valentina was a sweet, personable young woman who put us at ease. We believe that the images will be wonderful. We would recommend this activity to other families.
I am glad I did the tour to learn about the history and an of the park. Our guide Anna Beltran was wonderful - full of energy, funny, passionate and knowledgeable about the park. You can tell she really loves what she does and it made the tour really great.
Our guide was wonderful!!! We learned so much about Gaudi, the Park and the city!!!
The guided tour was in English (just to mention, we could even choose between the few other languages Ana knows!) She draws our attention to many beautiful details of the park. Anna, it was a real pleasure to go around with you and learn about the park and Gaudy's life story! Thank you! I warmly recommend a guided tour around the park. Damir