If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you know that it is a bustling city with so much to do & see it can make you dizzy. My favorite thing on the never-ending list of things to do in Barcelona is definitely Park Güell. Park Güell is an area on Carmel Hill that has exquisite architecture, beautiful gardens, and an amazing view of the city all the way to the coast. To me, it exemplifies Barcelona's culture - it's busy yet relaxed, creative, colorful, and intriguing.
The park was originally created between 1900 and 1914 to be part of an elite subdivision-like housing area that was ultimately unsuccessful. However, the architecture & design were created and implemented by Antoni Gaudí, an artist whose work became extremely popular in the 1950s, thirty years after his death. In the 60s it was declared a location of national interest and has become a tremendously popular tourist attraction. To simply view the park, admission is free; however, if you would like to see Gaudí’s major works of art and houses, there are fees.
During my visit at the park, we paid the additional fees to see the monuments. It’s affordable so it’s definitely worth it! You are admitted on a timed basis, so you can only enter when your time slot is entering. While you’re waiting to enter, though, there are free areas to explore and hike where you can get incredible views of the city and of the park itself. I would recommend spending several hours in the park's free & paid areas to get the full effect, and to see everything that you want to see. You don’t necessarily need a full day for your visit but there’s enough to see if you do decide to spend a longer amount of time in the park.
One of the coolest parts of Park Güell is the mosaic bench. As a cliché tourist, I took innumerable pictures sitting on the bench overlooking the park’s two houses and the rest of the city. While we were walking around the bench area – there’s a large open space to explore and escape the crowds – we actually saw a wedding take place! Talk about a wedding venue with a view. It was a casual wedding but we got to see the bride & groom exchange vows right there in the square.
These areas have crowds, so be prepared. You're in one of the most touristy areas in the city so be mindful of the amount of people you'll encounter and be sure to watch your bags (if you have any) at all times. Just know that the waiting & crowds are worth the amazing view!
Visiting the houses that are built at the entrance to the park was one of my favorite things, too. One is a gift shop and the other is a museum. The gift shop is free, unless of course you purchase something, & the museum has an extra fee. The houses are less crowded than the general area of the park, therefore you get to feel more in-the-moment, if you will. They also give unique views of the surrounding areas of the park.
Helpful hint: If you plan to venture up to Park Güell, be sure to wear comfortable shoes if you take the metro. The nearest stop is several blocks down the hill, and I wont lie... it's a hike to get to. The good news is that there is an ice cream shop dangerously close to the park so you can stop in and get a tasty treat after trekking up the hill. :) Plus, the location is what makes the view from the park so extraordinary so the hike is definitely worth it!
Hi, I'm Madeline
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