We’re not done with Gaudi yet. Another of his outrageously popular works in Barcelona is Park Güell, a multi-tiered garden filled with curving arches, colorful mosaic tiles, crooked pillars, and his trademark wacky architecture. The original purpose of the project was to create a gated community for Barcelona’s wealthy elite – however, thanks to a lack of interest, investors abandoned the idea and left it for the rest of us to enjoy. Lucky us!
I kicked off my Barcelona walking tour in Park Güell and totally cheated by taking a metro ride (L3, Vallcarca stop) to save an hour’s steep walk uphill at the beginning of my day. Originally designed to be a privatised upmarket suburb, the funding project of Park Güell eventually ran out of gas (much like me by 4pm), and was converted to a public park instead, one that’s just brimming with Gaudi’s artistic touches at every turn. Take the western entry into Park Güell and follow the walking trail upwards, where you can soak up wondrous views of the city skyline and the three houses which Gaudi designed. You’ll need to buy an entry ticket to see the houses (in the southern section), yet admiring them from above and below are certainly rewarding enough. Follow the trail as it spirals down and you can pause to soak up the details of Casa del Guarda and the Dragon Stairway. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch; the park is always buzzy, but this is one of the most relaxing spots in all of Barcelona and finding a quiet nook in which to rest and admire the views is supremely easy.