Park Guell is a public park with gardens and architectural elements located in the upper part of Barcelona, in the foothills of the Collserola mountain range. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, one of the most famous architects of Catalan modernism, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Park Guell was originally conceived as a residential estate for wealthy families, but the project was unsuccessful and only two houses were built. The park was then donated to the city of Barcelona by its owner, Eusebi Güell, and opened to the public in 1926. Today, it is one of the most visited attractions in Barcelona, attracting millions of visitors every year.
Park Guell covers an area of 17 hectares and consists of two parts: a monumental zone with the most emblematic buildings and structures designed by Gaudí, and a free-access zone with natural paths and gardens. The monumental zone requires a ticket to enter, which can be purchased online or at the ticket office. The ticket also includes access to the Casa del Guarda (Guard’s House), a small museum that displays information about the history and construction of the park.
The monumental zone is divided into several areas, each with its own characteristics and symbolism. Some of the most notable ones are:
- The main entrance: It is located at the bottom of the park, on Carrer d’Olot. It has two pavilions that resemble gingerbread houses, one of which was used as a porter’s lodge and the other as a waiting room. The entrance also has a large staircase with a mosaic dragon fountain, which represents the mythical beast that guarded the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology.
- The Sala Hipóstila (Hypostyle Hall): It is a large covered space supported by 86 Doric columns that resemble tree trunks. It was intended to be a market for the residents of the estate, but it was never used for that purpose. The ceiling is decorated with colorful ceramic tiles that form geometric patterns and images of plants and animals. The hall also has four rainwater tanks under its floor that collect water from the roof.
- The Plaça de la Natura (Nature Square): It is a large open space that overlooks the city and the sea. It has a wavy shape that follows the contours of the terrain, and it is surrounded by a mosaic bench that forms a continuous snake-like shape. The bench is covered with trencadís, a technique that consists of using broken pieces of ceramic tiles to create colorful designs. The square was designed as a social and cultural space for events and celebrations.
- The Viaducts: They are a series of bridges and arches that cross the park and connect different levels. They are made of stone and have organic shapes that blend with the natural environment. They also have columns and buttresses that resemble tree roots and branches, creating an impression of harmony between nature and architecture.
- The Turó de les Tres Creus (Hill of the Three Crosses): It is the highest point of the park, where three stone crosses stand on a mound. The crosses represent Calvary, where Jesus Christ was crucified according to Christian tradition. The hill offers panoramic views of Barcelona and its surroundings.
Park Guell also has other attractions, such as:
- The Casa-Museu Gaudí (Gaudí House Museum): It is one of the two houses that were built in the park, and it was where Gaudí lived from 1906 to 1925. It is now a museum that displays furniture, objects, drawings, and models related to Gaudí’s life and work.
- The Gaudir Més card: It is a free card that allows residents of some neighborhoods near the park to enter the monumental zone without paying. It also offers discounts on guided tours and other activities in the park.
- The Park Güell app: It is an inclusive app that provides information about the park in different languages and formats, such as audio guides, sign language videos, subtitles, etc. It also has interactive games and challenges for children and adults.
Park Guell opena every day from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm (from April to September) or from 8:30 am to 6:15 pm (from October to March). The ticket prices vary depending on the season and the time of visit, but they range from 7 to 10 euros for adults and from 4.9 to 7 euros for children (under 6 years old enter for free). It is recommended to buy tickets online in advance to avoid queues and ensure availability.
To get to Park Guell, there are several options:
- By metro: The closest metro stations are Vallcarca or Lesseps (line L3), which are about 15 minutes walk from the park. There are also escalators on Baixada de la Glòria street that facilitate access to the park from Vallcarca station.
- By bus: There are several bus lines that stop near the park, such as 24, 92, H6, D40, V19, or 116. There is also a specific shuttle bus service called Bus Güell that connects Alfons X metro station (line L4) with Park Güell in about 15 minutes. The Bus Güell ticket is included in the Park Güell ticket.
- By taxi or private vehicle: There are taxi ranks at both entrances of the park (Carrer d’Olot and Carretera del Carmel). There are also parking spaces for private vehicles near Carretera del Carmel entrance, but they are limited and subject to availability.
Some tips for visiting Park Guell are:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
- Bring water and snacks if you plan to spend several hours in the park.
- Respect the environment and do not litter or damage any element of the park.
- Follow the indications of the staff and respect the rules of access and visit.
- Enjoy the beauty and creativity of Gaudí’s masterpiece.
Park Guell offers guided tours for groups or individuals who want to learn more about its history, architecture, symbolism, etc. There are different types of tours depending on the language, duration, content, etc. Some examples are:
- Essential Park Güell: A one-hour tour that covers the main areas of the monumental zone with an official guide.
- Premium Park Güell: A one-and-a-half-hour tour that includes access to restricted areas such as Casa del Guarda or Sala Hipóstila with an official guide.
- Private Park Güell: A personalized tour that adapts to your preferences and needs with an exclusive guide.
You can book your guided tour online or at the ticket office.
There are some prohibitions in Park Guell that visitors must respect:
- Do not enter with animals (except guide dogs).
- Do not enter with bicycles, skates, scooters or similar vehicles (except wheelchairs or strollers).
- Do not enter with large bags or backpacks (there are lockers at both entrances).
- Do not enter with food or drinks (except water).
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol or drugs.
- Do not make noise or disturb other visitors.
- Do not take photos or videos for commercial purposes without authorization.
Park Guell is a unique place that combines nature and art in an original and surprising way. It is one of Gaudí’s most representative works and one of Barcelona’s most emblematic symbols. It is worth visiting it at least once in your life to discover its secrets and enjoy its charm.