If Spain is on your bucket list, then a Gaudi tour in Barcelona should be right at the top! The lure of the fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudí is a major drawcard, with over 3 million visitors each year to the Sagrada Familia and over a million to each of his other Barcelona buildings.
With seven of these buildings declared World Heritage Sites (and Gaudi himself described as God’s architect) visiting Barcelona without learning more about these amazing structures and their creator is a mistake.
No matter whether you want to tour the inside of these buildings yourself (get express admission and skip the queues) or take a tour of the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona and maximize your time, this article has all of your options covered.
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Gaudi World Heritage Barcelona Sites
Q. So, just which of Gaudi’s many buildings are UNESCO World Heritage sites?
A. The seven below
- Parque Güell
- Casa Vicens
- Casa Batlló
- Palacio Güell
- La Sagrada Familia
- Colonia Güell
- Casa Mila
Map of Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona
Use our map to plan your own walking tour of these buildings.
Casa Vicens (Viens)
The first building designed by Gaudi in Barcelona was Casa Viens (Vicens). In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Purchased by a bank in 2014, it was immaculately restored and opened to the public in 2017.
Casa Vicens is a combination of Hispanic and Arabic traditions called Neo-Mudéjar and oriental style architecture. A striking building, Casa Vicens, is one of the first Art nouveau buildings in the world.
Gaudi broke away from traditional ways of designing and building and used a wide range of materials in the building, including concrete, glass, and iron. These materials were set beside coarse red bricks and patterned ceramic tiles.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Vicens
The best skip-the-line entrance ticket for Casa Vicens is the Barcelona: Gaudi’s Casa Vicens Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket. Like all the express entry tickets to the world’s big tourist attractions, they sell out fast and you need to book a few months ahead at least.
The best thing about these tickets (apart from being able to walk past incredibly long lines of people waiting to get inside) is that you can cancel for free up to 24 hours before your tour.
If you’d like to know what’s so special about Casa Vicens, the best tour is a 90-minute tour by an in-house Casa Vicens expert: Barcelona: Gaudi’s Casa Vicens Guided Tour.
Park Güell was built as Gaudi’s personal estate and is now a public park system of stunning beauty. Park Güell sits on Carmel Hill and is a UNESCO Heritage Site that dazzles you with its natural beauty and views of the sea.
Tips for visiting
- Park Guell is on a steep hillside and it makes sense to arrive at the top of the hill directly instead of huffing ad puffing your way up from the metro station. Bus numbers 24 and 32 will take you to the entrance.
- Lesseps Metro is the station you will walk downhill to reach when you leave the park. It’s on the green line.
- When you arrive at the entrance gate, snap a pic with your phone of the park map.
- See where Gaudi lived for 20 years in his ‘pink tower’ house that is now the Gaudi Museum and costs €5.50 to visit.
The park, though, was never finished, but it remains today as one of Gaudi’s most familiar works. The site features mosaics, sculptures, and various structures perfectly designed to fit within the natural environment.
Best Tickets and Tours of Park Güell
The most popular entrance ticket to Park Guell is the Barcelona: Park Güell Admission Ticket.
The best fast-track tickets to see Park Güell are the Barcelona: Guided Tour and Park Güell Skip-the-Line ticket. These skip-the-line tickets include a guided tour and you are then free to stay in the park and explore it at your own pace for as long as you like.
A very popular guided tour of Park Güell is simply called, Park Güell: Tour. It takes you to the must-see sights, but then to some of the hidden sights that only locals know! It includes skip-the-line admission tickets and is a Gaudi walking tour that helps you get the most out of this large and hilly site in two hours.
There is a 6:15 pm option for this great value tour that lets your escape the heat of the day and wander through Park Guell.
Sagrada Familia is the most iconic Gaudi building in Barcelona – in fact, in all of Spain. This unique UNESCO site, still under construction, attracts over 3,000,000 visitors a year.
The astounding interior shows the unique genius of Antoni Gaudi with its minute attention to detail, from stained glass to the decorations on the columns and altar.
Tips for visiting
Most savvy travelers visit major sites like the Sagrada Familia first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. However, if you want to see the Cathedral as Gaudi imagined it, you need to choose a sunny afternoon when the sun streams in through his fantastical windows and changes the whole look of the interior of the building.
The Cathedral is chock full of symbolism – in its façades, individual towers, and interior decorations. Either take a private Gaudi tour or download the official app and use the interesting audio guide so that you understand what the building is all about. It will completely change the way you experience the Sagrada Familia!
Sagrada Familia is the epitome of Art nouveau, Gothic, and Gaudi’s uniquely personal style. Sadly, he was killed in a traffic accident in 1926 before the building could be finished. He is buried in the Basilica’s Crypt.
Of the three great façades, the Nativity Façade on the eastern side of the monument and the Crypt are UNESCO World Heritage-listed so don’t miss these!
Construction is expected to be completed in 2026 (with some extra time now because of Covid-19), when there will be a monumental celebration to honor Gaudí and his work.
Next to the Sagrada (located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló), Gaudí built a school for the worker’s children and the children from the surrounding neighborhood. The school has a wavy form with a brick front and it contains three classrooms, a chapel, and a hall. There are three outside classrooms with iron pergolas.
Best Tickets and Tours of La Sagrada Familia
If you’re looking for the fastest and no-frills entrance tickets to La Sagrada Familia, then the Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Fast-Track Access Ticket is definitely the one for you. It has more than 22,000 highly positive reviews and is booked several hundred times each day – so book early!
There are dozens and dozens of group, private and specialist tours of this haunting and complex building. The best group tour, wheelchair accessible, is a small group tour with a knowledgeable guide. It’s called the
The best private tour gives you an unbeatable view of Barcelona from the towers of the Sagrada Familia, as well as a tour guide who reveals the genius of Gaudí’s life and his early death and the symbolism of the building from the inside and outside.
And then it’s time to ascend the towers – you have access to the Access to Sagrada Familia Towers, the Nativity Tower, and the Passion Tower. At the end of this fascinating Gaudi tour, you are free to spend as much time as you like inside La Sagrada Familia. The tour is called Sagrada Familia: Private Tour with Tower Access and it is one of the few ways to have access to the towers.
If you like walking tours, then you’ll love the most fascinating specialist-organized tour which is called Barcelona: Foodie Walking Tour with Sagrada Familia Tickets. Visit 5 of Barcelona’s best restaurants and bars on this walking tour that includes Tapas, pintxos, and Iberian ham tasting. 3 drinks are included as well as Churros and hot chocolate.
The tickets are skip-the-line tickets, so pass the long queues to enter this extremely popular attraction. Taxis take you from the final tasting restaurant to the entrance. On this tour, there is no guide to take you inside La Sagrada Familia, but an audio guide is included in the price and your local guide explains the most important aspects of La Sagrada Família to you.
With so many Gaudí tours to choose from, you might like to check reviews, prices of all La Sagrada Família tours, and tickets here
After his first commission, Casa Vicens, Gaudi began designing and building the Güell Pavilions which the Count commissioned.
Güell wanted Gaudí to redesign his estate and enclose it within a walled and gated area in the town of Sarrià, which is now a suburb of Barcelona. Gaudí again used a design that was a combination of Mudéjar and Oriental.
The buildings at Güell include a stable, gatehouses, and a lunge ring. The stables have a Catalan vaulted ceiling and the buildings within the estate are of brick in various shades of yellow to red and covered in colored glass.
Gaudí used a wrought iron dragon with glass eyes in the main gate and the Fountain of Hercules in the gardens has a spout in the shape of a Chinese dragon.
The estate was left to the Spanish Royal Family in Güell’s will and converted into a royal palace in 1918. In 1950, the University of Barcelona purchased the Estate. In 1969 the Pavillions were declared a Monument of National Historic and Artistic Interest.
Güell Palace commissioned by Eusebi Güell in 1886, is considered one of the best Gaudí buildings in Barcelona and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is located on Carrer Nou de la Rambla.
The front of Palau Güell is reminiscent of a Venetian palace, with two large oval gates at the parabolic arch entrance.
A magnificent staircase leads to the family home the centerpiece of which is a salon decorated with murals and a 17m high parabolic dome ceiling. This was a room for entertaining and impressing guests.
The northern parts of the Palace were reserved for special events and social occasions. In contrast, the southern part was specifically for the family including the dining room and the billiards saloon.
Best Tickets and Tours of Palau Güell
Barcelona: Guided city walking tour to the Güell Palace is a wonderful introduction to Barcelona. The guided walking tour starts at Las Ramblas and spends time at the Boqueria Market, and includes entrance tickets to visit the Palace.
One of Gaudí’s earliest buildings, Casa Calvet is considered the most conservative. It was created to be both a commercial building and a home for a textile maker and it is elegant as well as beautiful and unusual.
This is an important house to visit because Casa Calvet begins to incorporate Gaudí’s love of Art Nouveau – with its curving facade and attic balconies that were taken straight out of gothic fairy tales.
In 1900 Casa Calvet received the award of ‘best building of the year,’ from the Barcelona City Council.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Calvet
A truly high-quality group tour run by professional architects that trace the changing inspirations and development of Gaudi’s work is the Barcelona: Discover Gaudi architectural Guided Tour. It is one of the very best Gaudi tours and most of the architects who take the group tours are professors of architecture and architectural critics.
Casa Calvet is one of the stops on this tour and at the end, these enthusiastic architects give you a guidebook they’ve written on where to have a drink and admire the best city architecture!
Barcelona: Private Gaudí Bike Tour with a Local is a private tour experience that guests rave about. This Gaudi tour takes in at least 8 of Gaudí’s famous works, including Casa Calvet.
Casa Milà – La Pedrera
Pere Milà commissioned Casa Milà and it was to be a family home. The Milà family would live on the main floor and rent out the apartments.
Casa Milà is one of Barcelona’s most interesting buildings (It is located on the Passeig de Gràcia). It is called La Pedrera because the building features forms drawn from nature with curved iron balconies and a finish of rough plaster that resembles a stone quarry.
Undoubtedly my favorite rooftop in the world! On the roof terrace, you can see how Gaudi used the architectural details of chimneys, skylights, and beautifully decorated vents to mimic a city skyline.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
The best two entry tickets to La Pedrera are:
These are skip-the-line (priority access) entry tickets to Gaudi’s apartments on the Passeig de Gracia and the Espai Gaudi exhibition. The Night experience is very popular and sells out quickly (so make sure you’ve pre booked!) It involves watching a rooftop audiovisual display on the rooftop as well as projections on the stairwells, and access to the patios, the Espai Gaudí, and the roof.
But what if you want to see all the good stuff inside this world-famous apartment complex on the Passeig de Gracia? The best-guided tour is the Barcelona: La Pedrera Exclusive Small Group Tour because it gives you exclusive early access to Casa Milà.
A plain house when Josep Batlló bought it, in 1904 he commissioned Antoni Gaudí to redesign Casa Battló completely. Breaking every conceivable architectural convention, by 1906 this stunning building received an award as “One of the best three buildings of the year”.
The pillars on the facade of Casa Battló look like bones and the roof appears to be the scales on a dragon’s back. This mesmerizing building has become known as the house of bones and the house of the dragon.
The facade incorporates found objects, stones, stained glass, and ceramics creating a sparkling building that makes you smile in appreciation. Casa Battló is a celebration of Gaudi’s work bringing together art, life, movement, and joy.
Four of the Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Batlló
You are spoiled for choice with great Casa Battló tour options. You can choose the very popular express entry ticket, called the Barcelona: Casa Batlló Entry with Self-Audioguide Tour which has almost 2,000 positive reviews!
There are two wonderful guided tours that allow you to spend time at several Gaudí sites. The first is the Gaudi Tour: Sagrada Família, Park Güell, and Casa Batlló which claims to offer the most in-depth tour of Gaudí’s life and work in Barcelona. At all the sites you have pre-reserved entry, but at the first stop on the tour, Casa Batlló, you have first entrance skip-the-line Casa Batlló tickets so can spend time in the building before the morning crowds arrive.
The other best guided tour of Casa Batlló is also a tour where you can see several of Gaudí’s sites. In the tour, the Barcelona: Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, & Chocolate Tasting Tour, your tour takes in two of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. These are skip-the-line entry tickets and they include touring the roof of L Pedrera and stopping at a chocolate boutique in between visiting the two sites.
If you are looking for a premier private tour of Casa Battló, you can’t go past the
Barcelona: Private Skip-the-Line Casa Batlló Tour. This unique tour includes skip-the-line entrance to Casa Batlló via the Gold line, a visit to an early 20th-century private hall with period features, and a vintage-themed photo shoot.
Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
Gaudi also left his mark on Barcelona’s architecture in more ways than just the Gaudi buildings. In addition to Park Guell, he also designed the Cascada Fountain which is within another of Barcelona’s prettiest parks – Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park).
Many Catalan artists contributed to the fountain and Gaudi was one of them at the beginning of his career. He was given a task as a student to correct and design the grand fountain’s hydraulics and water tank.
With its faint resemblance to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the design incorporates dragons, stone-carved clams, and a gold statue of Aurora riding four horses.
It’s possible to find a free tour that visits the Cascada Fountain
Church of Colònia Güell
Cripta de la Colònia Güell is the Catalan name for this Church and it is also known as Gaudi’s Crypt.
Unfinished to this day, the Church is widely considered Gaudi’s best building – and what a fantastical building it is!
In the original plan, the building was to have two naves, two towers, and a central dome. However, construction was halted after the death of Count Güell.
The only portion of the Church fully completed is that of the Crypt which appears to melt into the surroundings. Within the Church are 22 stained glass windows that allow light to infiltrate into the darkness of the Church.
Best Tickets and Tours of Cripta de la Colònia Güell
Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)
Torre Bellesguard is the latest Gaudi tour destination and is one of the least known sites for Gaudi tours in Barcelona.
Also known as Casa Figueres, Torre Bellesguard is built from stones and bricks and the interior features colored glass, white walls, and iron details. The Catalan-style arch built from overlaid bricks is stunning when seen against all the myriad details incorporated by Gaudi.
Gaudi also restored the medieval palace ruins that are now an intricate part of the grounds of the mansion.
Gaudi’s experiments with new materials and shapes gave him the inspiration to develop what would have been considered inconceivable in the past. His attention to detail, his desire to incorporate the natural world, and his ability to skillfully decorate the exterior of his buildings leave a legacy of beauty for the world.
Have you picked a favorite from these 11 Gaudi buildings in Barcelona?
Best Tours and Tickets for Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)
The Barcelona: Gaudi’s Bellesgaurd Tower with Optional Tourcan be booked as just the express entry ticket, or you can upgrade to include a 1 hour guided tour of this most recently opened of all of Gaudi’s sites.
The Barcelona Express 2 Day Card gives you 50% off the entrance price of Torre Bellesguard.
The Best Tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona
Above you will have seen the best ways to purchase tickets to see the individual architectural masterpieces of Gaudi’s Barcelona.
I find it difficult to find a free tour that is small and at a convenient time, but it is possible to find some free tours of Gaudí’s sites.
But what if you only have a short time? There is so much history, and so many wonderful things to see, do, and eat in Barcelona! Seeing a few of Gaudi’s most iconic buildings on one tour can save you time, and allow you to fit the most into your Barcelona itinerary. It can minimize your exposure to the traffic, hassles, the heat, and the throng of tourists that is peak season in Barcelona!
So what is the best tour in Barcelona of Gaudi’s masterpieces?
Gaudi walking tours of attractions in Barcelona are very popular and, a licensed guide can give you interesting information about each building, its incredible Architect, and the history of Gaudí’s work and short life.
My pick of the best quality, best value for money, and most highly reviewed tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona are below.
Gaudi’s Masterpieces Private Tour in Barcelona
This Private tour of Gaudi’s Masterpieces will take you to four major Gaudi sites (Park Guell, the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, and Casa Batlló) and enter each of them with your private guide.
Private Full Day Tour of Barcelona’s Highlights
This Private Full Day Tour of Barcelona’s Highlights includes skip-the-line entrances at La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and Casa Mila but it includes much more! You will explore Gothic and medieval architecture in the Gothic Quarter and its major buildings, as well as the attractions of Montjuic and Tibidabo, ending in the city center
Barcelona: Sagrada Familia and Park Güell Tour
This Barcelona: Sagrada Familia and Park Güell Tour gives you access to all of the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, skip the line access, and transport between the two sites as well as guided tours with your private guide.