When you think of Antoni Gaudí, your mind travels straight away to one place: Barcelona. This Spanish city breathes the art and genius of this unique architect, who left his mark in every corner of the city.
His style, full of colour and round shapes, is easy to recognise. After all, Gaudí is the main representative of the Catalan Modernism. Some of his constructions are such magnificent masterpieces that have transcended their location and are known worldwide.
Without any doubts, the famous La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family) is one of the main attractions that Barcelona owes to Gaudí. The construction of this basilica started in the early 1880s and hasn’t yet been finished. There is such a level of detail in its structure that there is no estimate date for when it will be finished (if ever!). Gaudí himself considered this to be his masterpiece. It is said that when he was hit by the tram that caused him to die in 1926, he was not paying attention to the road because he was admiring this church, even though the construction was only completed up to 20% at the time.
If you visit this basilica, it is worth paying for a guided tour. There are many symbols and details in the construction and lighting of the place, which can only be fully appreciated if explained by an expert eye.
Amazing as it is, this building is not the only symbol of Gaudí in Barcelona. As a matter of fact, the city host six other buildings of this architect which were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Casa Batlló and Casa Milá (known as La Pedrera -the stone quarry-, for its facade) were commissioned to Gaudí by the owners of these houses. Even though now they are museums that can be visited, at the time were simply private houses. Both have very organic shapes, inspired by nature. There are no sharp edges, since all the shapes are rounded. Again a guided visit is worth it, because of all the thought put by Gaudí in their design. For example, the top floor of La Pedrera resembles the skeleton of a snake, and the shape allows the air to flow in such a way that keeps the house cool in the hot summers.
Park Güell is also another masterpiece of Gaudí. Now it is a public park, but when it was commissioned to Gaudí by the entrepreneur Eusebi Güell, they had an urbanization project in mind. Nature was the main inspiration for Gaudí, and the shapes of every space he designed melt naturally with the surrounding space. This park was built between 1900 and 1914, and here you can also find the Gaudí House museum. It used to be free, but now there is a fee to see the main attractions.
Apart from Gaudí’s unique constructions, Barcelona has many other attractions to offer. The Cathedral, the beach (especially the popular Barceloneta), the Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, the amazing views from the Montjuic mountain, the Montjouic Castle and the incredible show of Montjuic Fountains are just some of the other places you can visit in the capital of Catalonia. And of course, if you are a football fan, there are also guided visits to Camp Nou (Barcelona Football Club stadium) or you could even attend a match!
Where to stay in Barcelona
If you decide to visit the city of Gaudí, why not wake up every morning watching his most magnificent creation: La Sagrada Familia. This is possible if you stay at Gaudí’s Nest. Located just opposite this incredible basilica, this apartments offer stunning views which can also be enjoyed from the terrace. Apartments can host between 4 to 6 people, have free Wi-Fi and offer shuttles to/from the airport as well as late check in services.
If you prefer to stay in a villa a bit further outside the city, you may enjoy Villa Gaudí. Built on top of a hill, it offers an incredible view of the whole of Barcelona. This can be the perfect location if you are travelling with a big group, since 18 people can sleep in this accommodation that consist of a three-storey villa and two apartments. Even though it is 12 km away from the beach, it has its own swimming pool. This is a good option for the football fans, since Camp Nou is just minutes away.