When exploring Barcelona, it does not take long before you stumble upon a piece of architecture that was unmistakably created by the great Antoni Gaudi. The famous practitioner of Catalan modernist architecture has a unique style, which you’ll find imprinted in buildings of various functions across the city, with tourists flocking to see such masterpieces as the Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera.
Such is his legacy’s enduring popularity and power that a number of tour companies in Barcelona offer excursions dedicated exclusively to discovering Gaudi’s work. Additionally there are excellent options involving one or other of his famous works, including queue jumps and local guides. Of the many options available, we’ve ascertained the best, picking out five based on a variety of factors such as value for money, itinerary and the reviews of previous guests.
FROM €46 PER PERSON
In a cycling-friendly city, what better way to immerse yourself in Gaudi’s Barcelona than on two wheels? During this private, 3-hour bike tour your local guide will take you to the most famous Gaudi sights while regaling you with intriguing stories about the iconic artist’s life and work. Your journey will begin at Plaça Reial alongside the eye-catching Gaudi lanterns, before moving on to famous landmarks such as the famous Sagrada Familia Church, Parc de la Ciutadella where you can admire some of Gaudi’s early works, and even the hospital where he died. At the end of the tour, you’ll cycle back to your departure point armed with memories to cherish and a new-found appreciation of one of the world’s greatest ever artists.
FROM €38 PER PERSON
The unique thing about Barcelona Architecture Walks is that all of their guides are practicing architects, meaning that visitors can tap into their expertise to gain a rich understanding of the landmarks that they visit. Held across 3 hours (and in any weather), the acclaimed ‘Barcelona and Gaudi’ tour takes you to a number of the city’s modernist buildings created by the masterful Gaudi, including Casa Calvet, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, as well as areas of Barcelona that served to stir his imagination and incredible vision. The tour will also include rich discussion about a number of important philosophical ideas and concepts that underpin much of the city’s architecture, such as eclecticism, the end of modernism, utopian socialism, positivist materialism, anarchism, beatification, the intellectual bourgeoisie, and the Spanish Civil War. (Photo: Sergio Pirrone)
FROM €25 PER PERSON
Alongside the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell is considered to be one of Gaudi’s most accomplished and spectacular works. The creativity here is dense and it would be easy to overlook some of the finer details. That is why taking a licenced guide makes for a great solution, helping illustrate some of the more unusual aspects of his modernist masterpiece, while providing useful insight and answering your questions about the remarkable creations in front of you. The queue jump is a handy tool to save time and get right to it. The park also offers fantastic views out over the city.
FROM €7.50 PER PERSON
From the outside, the home inhabited by Antoni Gaudi from 1906 to 1925 (one year before his death), looks a lot less ambitious, as far as buildings go, when compared alongside some of his other creations. However, there is great beauty in the subtle flourishes of architecture and sculpture within the house and in the surrounding gardens. This skip-the-queue ticket allows you to avoid having to wait in line, in order to experience the museum, full of exhibits on Gaudi’s life and work, in the best possible way.
FROM €9.50 PER PERSON
Roughly 20 minutes away from Barcelona is Colonia Güell, a former textile village where one of Antoni Gaudi’s most colourful and engaging creations now enjoys UNESCO World Heritage Status. Learn all about the work undertaken to form its twisting columns and unique architectural flourishes that were seen as his practice run before work began on the much larger and much more ambitious Sagrada Familia (which is still not finished almost a century after his death). The audio guide will fill in the gaps with added information and knowledge about the choices he made and what they signify in his work.