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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 06 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

When Barcelona is prosperous, it builds with breathtaking flair. Its superb Gothic buildings are engineering marvels; not for their height, but their width.

During the late 19th century, the city evolved its own Modernista style, related to Art Nouveau but filled with Catalan national symbols (notably dragons).

It also produced one extraordinary genius, Antoni Gaudí, whose inspiration went beyond mere decoration to the forms of nature herself. Today Barcelona is reinventing again; just visit the new 22@ District.

Recommendations

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Agbar Tower

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External view showing the blue and red glass tower

Barcelonans, understandably, call it a ‘giant suppository’. Designed in 2005 by French architect Jean Nouvel, it features an innovative, shimmering skin of 4,500 LED lights that display delightful, infinitely varied coloured patterns.

Best for ages 18+

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Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External view of the Santa Eulalia Cathedral

This massive pile is Catalan Gothic at its most grandiose, full of wonders: lavishly ornate chapels, Renaissance sculpted choir stalls, and the crypt of patron saint Eulalia. The cloister is especially charming, and you can climb to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city.

Best for ages 18+

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Casa Batllo

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Bucket List Experience
External view of the colourful facade

The former home of the Batllo family, Gaudí’s shimmering, colour-drenched townhouse is a Modernista masterpiece. One of three Modernista masterpieces in a single block.

Adult price: £32

Best for ages 13+

Casa Vicens

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External facade showing the intricate detail

The first private home Gaudi designed, this bright Orientalist building only opened to the public in 2017, so it’s a relatively new addition to Barcelona’s Modernista scene – as such, its brightly-tiled and painted interior is often blissfully quiet.

Adult price: £12

Best for ages 13+

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Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Bucket List Experience
Close up of the external facade, curvy design with ornate iron balconies

Gaudi’s otherworldly masterpiece, shaped like a curvaceous cliff with a surreal roof guarded by twenty-eight knight-like ‘witch-scarers.’

Adult price: £25

Best for ages 13+

Church of Santa Maria del Mar

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Front facade of the church

Barcelona’s Gothic jewel was built in the 14th century by the sea-faring community in only 50 years – hence its rare stylistic harmony. During the Spanish Civil War, its accumulated Baroque decorations burned, leaving behind the bare bones of its sublime interior.

Best for ages 18+

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Frank Gehry’s flying fish

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Frank Gehry's famous whale, at the Barcelona waterfront

Frank Gehry’s giant ‘flying fish’ (some say goldfish or even whale) was built for the 1992 Olympics and to adorn the newly regenerated port area. At 56 metres long, 35 metres high, with shimmering gold scales that change colour with the light, it’s become a well-loved city landmark.

Best for ages 18+

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Guell Palace

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Gorgeous external ornate facade of the Guell Palace

Ponderous and strange, Gaudi’s Art Nouveau town palace, commissioned in 1886 by the oligarch Eusebi Guell, is full of astonishing innovations, from its sweeping ramp to the subterranean stables, lofty parabolic cupola, and chimney sculptures covered in broken tiles.

Adult price: £4

Best for ages 13+

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Park Guell

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Bucket List Experience
Landscape view of Gaudi's Park Guell

Gaudi’s endlessly playful, imaginative garden is a lyrical delight, with majestic views over Barcelona.

Adult price: £6

Best for ages 4+

Hospital de la Santa Creu

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External view of the building

This hospital complex (1902-30), designed by Domenech i Montaner, is a cherished icon of the Modernista style. A World Heritage site, patients are still treated here, its enchanted pavilions glittering with colourful mosaics, tiles and sculpture.

Best for ages 18+

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La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior view of the Sagrada Familia at sunset

Gaudi’s extraordinary, iconic masterpiece – and the most spectacular church of the 21st century.

Adult price: £23

Best for ages 8+

Duration: Any

Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External frontal view of the building

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1929 masterpiece was revolutionary for its simple form and spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as travertine and marble. It has inspired many important Modernist buildings since.

Best for ages 18+

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Miro Foundation

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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Bucket List Experience
External view of the building facade

Luminous museum of modern and contemporary art, housing the world’s top collection of works by Joan Miro. Set in a striking rationalist-style building, designed by Josep Lluis Sert.

Adult price: £10

Best for ages 18+

Palace of Music

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Inside view of The extraordinary La Palau Musica concert hall

Catalan’s gorgeous Modernista concert hall, Palau de la Musica, is a must-see for its extraordinary architecture alone. Designed by Lluis Domenech i Montaner, the palace mesmerises with intricate ornamentation, stained glass windows, and lavish interiors. Today, it serves as a vibrant cultural venue hosting a variety of concerts, operas, and choral performances.

Adult price: £17

Best for ages 18+

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Roof of the Santa Caterina Market

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

External view of the entrance

The city’s oldest covered market was rebuilt in 2005, and crowned with an undulating roof of multi-coloured tiles, a dazzling 21st-century response to Gaudí’s use of trencadi broken tiles.

Best for ages 18+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: Any

Getting there & doing it

The Barcelona tourism office has an architecture audio guide to Gaudí’s 11 Barcelona buildings, available in Spanish, English and French. Download it from the tourism office website. The Ruta de Modernisme is a self-guided route with all 117 Modernista buildings, and 105 Modernista hotels, bars and restaurants. A physical version of the guide and map are also on sale at Barcelona’s tourist office; it also offers 50% discount on admissions. Or just explore for yourself: the 19th-century suburb of Eixample is full of stunning Modernista façades that most tourists never find: hire a bike and explore at leisure.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Barcelona e-Bike Gaudí Highlights or Bohemian Neighborhoods Small Group Tour

Barcelona

Barcelona e-Bike Gaudí Highlights or Bohemian Neighborhoods Small Group Tour
See Barcelona with lots of fun and little effort on this 3,5 hours electric bike tour, led by an expert local guide. The easy-to-use bikes are fitted with electric motors that start as soon as you pedal, meaning you’ll see all the city sights without getting out of breath! Choose from two different itineraries taking place at different times of the day, see top attractions like La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, gothic quarter or la barceloneta and learn about Barcelona’s culture from a guide. Numbers are limited to 14 on this small-group tour, ensuring you’ll see the best of Barcelona with personalized attention from a guide.

Price: €40

Min age: 1

Rating 4.89 / 5 [569 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Private Tour with Skip the Line Tickets

Barcelona

Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Private Tour with Skip the Line Tickets
Barcelona and Gaudi are two concepts that go together. Barcelona is imbued by Gaudi’s work. Learn all about the life of the father of Modernist Architecture in the best Barcelona Gaudi’s Private Tour. Visit his most famous buildings and the places he frequented with your expert local guide. Walk around the Plaza Real, the elegant square decorated with the streetlights of a recently graduated Gaudi. Visit one of his first masterpieces, Palau Güell. A sober structure, in the Raval Quarter, almost devoid of the exterior decorations that so characterized his later works. Before to leave the Gothic Quarter meet the preferred tavern of Antoni Gaudi and Pablo Picasso among other artists. Walk along Paseo de Gracia, a showcase of Catalan Modernism, where are located not only works of Antoni Gaudi but also of other famous architects of the time. Impossible to understand his work without having seen Casa Batllo and Casa Milá (La Pedrera), two masterpieces created at the highest creative peak of his career. Finally, The dream of Gaudi. Sagrada Familia. Enter with your skip the line tickets to one of the most fascinating religious temples in the world. Before saying goodbye to your local guide, your local guide host will show the two main exterior facades, give you the skip the line tickets with audio-guide in your language, and will give you all the tips you need to make the most of your visit in your Sagrada Familia Local Tour. With skip the line tickets you will be able to not have long queues, and being able to get a profit of this wonderful local tour in Barcelona. Enjoy the best Gaudi Barcelona Private Tour to know the work of one of the most important artists in the history of the city.This Gaudi Barcelona Local Tour is 100% private and personalized. If you want to add or change something to this private local tour, just let us know your idea. We will design a Gaudi’s Private Tour according to your requirements. - 3 hs. walking tour to the most important Gaudi's buildings. - 1 hs. inside Sagrada Familia church. Skipe the line tickets included. - Discover the history of the most important church in the world, its facades and its interior. - Feel like a local riding the subway to the famous church. - Totally private tour, only you and your local guide. - Learn about the most famous arquitect, Antonio Gaudi. - Bring your kids to the tour, is completly customizable.

Price: €97

Min age: 0

Rating 4.62 / 5 [475 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Barcelona Gaudí Segway Tour

Barcelona

Barcelona Gaudí Segway Tour
This 150 minute Segway Tour takes you along the districts of Eixample and Gràcia including the Sagrada Familia and other Barcelona top sights. You will visit such great spots such as the famous boulevard of Passeig de Gracia that host some of Gaudí's most well known works, and the enchanting neighborhood of Gràcia.

Price: €59

Min age: 16

Rating 4.89 / 5 [47 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Gaudi's Modernist Legacy: Sagrada Familia Small Group Tour

Barcelona

Gaudi's Modernist Legacy: Sagrada Familia Small Group Tour
Enjoy a stroll through the streets of Barcelona and discover its most extravagant buildings on this 3-hours walking tour of the city's modernist architecture. Journey through the life and work of its greatest exponent, Antoni Gaudí and marvel at his masterpieces, La Pedrera and La Sagrada Familia.

Price: €18

Min age: 3

Rating 4.58 / 5 [31 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Gaudi Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Sagrada Familia Ticket

Barcelona

Gaudi Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Sagrada Familia Ticket
The famed architect Antoni Gaudí is as synonymous with Barcelona as siestas and las Ramblas. The Fat Tire Gaudí Bike tour is the perfect way to visit so many of his unforgettable creations culminating with his magnificent cathedral, La Sagrada Família.

Price: €50

Min age: 0

Rating 4.76 / 5 [13 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Barcelona

Catalonia, Spain

Close up of the spires of La Sagrada Familia

Spain’s cultural heart has unforgettable architecture, a pioneering arts scene, creative cuisine and nightlife that buzzes till dawn.