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 colorful park Guell instead.
The park Guell is one of Gaudi’s masterpieces. The park is accessible for free and offers a lush natural environment in the urban jungle of Barcelona. Part of the park, the monumental zone, can only be entered with a pre-paid ticket. This is not free, but in comparison to the other (quite expensive) Gaudi Houses, this is only a minor fee.
I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.
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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.
Or course, you can also visit on a guided tour of the park, or combine it with other works of Gaudi like the Casa Pedrera and the Sagrada Familia.
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 colorful 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 colorful 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 colorful mosaic benches and palm trees. The structure is partly cut from the rock behind it and partly rests on the rock formation underneath it. It is supported by man-made pillars which resemble wooden tree trunks.
This is called the Hypostyle room (Sala Hipóstila). This used to be the marketplace 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 into the architecture of Antoni Gaudi.
And it provides beautiful views over the colorful 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 colorful 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 colorful 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 colors 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.
When to visit Park Güell?
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 visiting 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 colorful Park Guell and extra shade of gold.
Do you want to learn more while visiting 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.
I’m totally going here! I’m headed to Europe for the first time in November and spending a very quick weekend in Barcelona – and this is right up my alley.
Very nice! Did you check out my post on how to get from the airport to BCN centre for only 1 Euro. It will be a great budget saver for you! Have fun
A surrealist dream. I’ve been to Barcelona twice, a long time ago, and never went here. I’m a bit ashamed, especially considering how much I love Gaudi and Dali’s surrealism. Thanks for reminding me to get back!
Oh, if you love Gaudi, this is sort of a must see Hannah! If you can, revisit, you won’t regret it.
Great tips. Next year I’m going to Barcelona and I’ll definitely visit the park!
Have a great trip Evelina!
I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I visited this gorgeous place. I was only 17, so I didn’t truly appreciate the beauty and significance of Parc Guell – perhaps I should go again!
You look different with the eyes of a 17-year old than as a twenty-something. It is not a bad idea to revisit Barcelona if you can, Daniela.