No other tour offers such a deep insight into the life and work of Antoni Gaudí
The name Gaudí is almost synonymous Barcelona. The city’s favorite architect (and maybe its favorite son, if you don’t count the soccer players) has come to embody the style and joie de vivre of a city deeply rooted in its natural surroundings. This is Barcelona at its vibrant, playful best.
On this, the most complete tour available of Gaudí’s work, we visit three of his residential works, including one unknown to most visitors; skip long lines to wander beautiful Park Guell; and, of course, embark on a thorough exploration of Gaudí’s greatest work and final resting place, La Sagrada Família.
Your tour starts with first entrance to Casa Batlló, arguably Gaudí’s most impressive residential property (and certainly his most-visited). Entering ahead of the morning crowds, you’ll discover some of the genius solutions Gaudí employed to solve architectural problems throughout the house, dispersing light and air throughout its many levels. A sure highlight is the roof, designed to resemble the scales of a dragon – the great emblem of Barcelona.
The best thing about Gaudí was that his work was constantly changing and adapting to the styles and materials of the time. You’ll see this clearly with our next two visits, to his other residential properties. First is Casa Mila (OUTSIDE VISIT), known locally as La Pedrera, or The Stone Quarry. You’ll see why as you stand and gaze at this imposing block. On first glance, it can seem a little drab but once you learn how its face was assembled and then carefully carved, inch by inch, we bet you’ll feel differently.
The facade of Casa Vincens is a totally different experience. One of Gaudí’s earliest works, it is colourful and flamboyant in the over-the-top manner of an architect still developing his own style and vernacular.
Somewhere in the middle is Park Guell. Part fanciful explosion of color, part thoughtful study of organic forms, it is a perfect reflection of the natural world. Not least because it’s all incredibly functional, with a secret drainage system, visual illusions and stone benches designed for perfect ergonomics. Don’t forget to bring a camera, the park is home to the best viewpoint in Barcelona. Since this became a ticketed site a few years ago, entrance lines have become extremely long – so it’s a good thing you have Skip the Line Access.
Your tour ends, as Gaudí himself did – in the La Sagrada Família. In the final years of the architect’s life he abandoned all other projects, and much of his life in general, to work on this magnificent and completely unique church. He even went door to door collecting donations and moved into its basement so he could work around the clock. It’s an incredible representation of everything that made him such a unique talent – so much detail and symbolism, blending the natural and human world together in a riot of colors, shapes and characters.
It can be hard to know where to look on your first visit to La Sagrada Família, so it’s lucky you have a Gaudí expert on hand to guide your experience. You’ll spend a full hour exploring the church itself, from its detailed façade to the stained glass windows inside.
Your tour also includes pre-reserved access to ascend one of the church towers, for incredible views over Barcelona and beyond.
Due to the popularity of Gaudí and his works, we’ll find long lines outside all three of the sites we enter (Casa Batlló, Park Guell & La Sagrada Família), but with pre-reserved entrance to each, we’ll sail straight inside.With small groups of 15 people or fewer and headsets for every guest, you’ll find it easy to hear and interact with your guide. Meanwhile our private transport between sites means you’ll cover more ground than would be possible even in a whole day on your own.
Give Gaudí the time he deserves on this complete tour of his finest works.