Whether you’re on a Barcelona city break as a couple or with your kids, Park Güell is a must-do on your next trip. You don’t have to be an art lover to enjoy wandering past the colourful shapes and marvellous mosaics designed by Gaudi, Barcelona’s most famous artist. From its position on the hill, there are wonderful, far-reaching views of the city to enjoy. It’s a UNESCO-listed site, one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions and is well worth a visit.
A slice of Spain’s Art Nouveau style
Gaudi’s distinctive Art Nouveau architecture can be enjoyed across Barcelona. Park Güell is one of his most famous, and most loved, creations. All ages will delight at the colourful mosaic sculptures and buildings spread across the park, which are just waiting to be discovered.
During your visit, you can spot the famous dragon (or salamander) on the Dragon Stairway, and hunt for goblin-like creatures. Play hide and seek around the Hansel and Gretel-style fairy-tale houses at the entrance to the park. Cool off in the shade of the Hypostyle Room, originally designed to be the market for the estate, with more dragons to spot and 86 stone columns.
At the centre of the Monumental Core stands the Greek Theatre or Nature Square. An undulating bench around the perimeter is covered with mosaics and makes a stunning spot to rest with an ice cream. As long as you’re here before the crowds, it’s a popular place for toddlers to try out their balancing skills. This spot draws many classical guitar players strumming their tunes, adding to the atmosphere.
After looking at the art in the park, don’t miss Turó del Calvari for the best far-reaching views of the city. This is the highest part of Park Güell, and worth the hike. You’ll be rewarded with views across Barcelona, including being able to see the Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s other famous Barcelona landmark, as well as the sea and countryside beyond.
Park Güell tickets
To visit the main centre of the park, also known as the Monumental Core, you’ll need tickets. This is the area with most of the buildings and mosaics, including the famous dragon fountain. The gardens do extend beyond the Monumental Core, and this area of Park Güell can be explored without a ticket.
If you buy Park Güell tickets online in advance you’ll save money and can avoid the queues. You can buy tickets on the day, although numbers admitted every half hour are limited. Be aware that the park can get very busy at times. You could be left waiting for some time before you can go in if you don’t book your Park Güell tickets in advance.
If you’re travelling with younger children, it’s useful to note that kids under the age of six years can visit for free, but must still show a valid ticket. You’ll need a separate ticket to visit the museum where Gaudí lived for 20 years.
Visiting Park Güell Barcelona
Park Güell is open all year round, staying open later in the evening during the summer months. If you’re planning to stay some time, you could pack a picnic to enjoy. Alternatively there’s a selection of restaurants and cafés located in the park or just outside.
To make the most of your visit, you could join a guided tour. Available in multiple languages, including English, your expert guide will explain the secrets behind Gaudi’s architecture. Tours last around an hour and are available throughout the year. You can choose between joining a private or public tour and it’ll make sure you don’t miss anything important. You can book your tour in advance online or on the day at the gate in addition to your park entry ticket.
Getting to Park Güell Barcelona
Park Güell is located to the north east of the city centre on Carmel Hill in the Gracia area. The tourist hop-on-hop-off buses stop nearby, or you can take the metro to nearby Vallarca or Lesseps stations and walk. If you get off at Vallarca, there’s an escalator part way up the hill to the park.
Gaudi House Museum
Gaudi House Museum was the home of the artist for nearly 20 years until 1925. Located in the free area of Park Güell, visiting here gives you the chance to find out more about the private life and public works of this great man. Combination tickets, including access to the Monumental Core of the park and the Sagrada Família, as well as the museum, can also be purchased.