Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Photo Friday: Barcelona, Spain

When we kickstarted our voyage back in April, the thing that excited me most about traveling back to Barcelona was seeing the mark of Antoni Gaudi once again.

Barcelona, SpainThe great thing about Barcelona is it has two distinct faces: the angular, austere side of the downtown high-rises and the whimsical side of modernism touting the work of one of the world’s greatest architects in his iconic Parc Guell. On day one, we explored the former, spending time in the plazas and frolicking among the tall facades that housed designer labels, museums and the like, and watching my dad challenge his college fraternity brother to a late-night skipping contest around the fountains.Barcelona, SpainBut day two was all about the latter.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainNow, I’m far from an architecture buff—in fact, I know nothing about the subject other than what I enjoy and what I dislike—but something about Gaudi’s childlike whimsy evokes my love for fairytales and Disney movies.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainFirst of all, if someone tells you it’s just an eight-minute walk from the closest metro stop, don’t believe them. It was closer to 30, and a steep, calf-burning walk at that. I wouldn’t have cared so much were I not escorting a 72-year-old woman who wasn’t prepared for the hike. I eventually left her behind (upon her request) to rest to climb the rest of the way up.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainWhen I reached the entrance—admission was free, but it looks like they’re working on changing that—it was an absolute madhouse, even on a rainy, dismal day. For those who have never been, take your photo and get out—or rather, get up.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainPark Guell, Barcelona, SpainAs you descend deeper into the park, the crowds thin and you’ll find a quiet space here and there in which to relax and ponder (or simply to overcome jetlag while checking out the view, as I did).

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainEverywhere you look, there’s art embedded into the landscape, whether on the ceiling, in the railing or within a column.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainPark Guell, Barcelona, SpainIt’s Gaudi’s playground, and I can’t imagine how much fun he had creating it.

Park Guell, Barcelona, SpainAs I only had a brief hour to explore, I’m looking forward to my next return to Spain’s most photogenic city to find new magic he’s woven into his garden.

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

  • June 7, 2013

    Good point on the walk up. It’s not a 8-min or even a 15-min walk. Better to get the bus, or a taxi! Walking down is not too bad.
    Reg Of The Spain Scoop recently posted..Photo Friday! Where In Spain Is This?My Profile

    • June 7, 2013

      Our concierge was so exact about the number–eight minutes–that I believed him, but it was more like 28..and of huffing and puffing at that!

  • June 7, 2013

    I remember that “hike” from the metro!! Haha at least it is worth it!! I’m was not a gaudi fan before i went to BCN. I admire him bc he found a way to be innovative a century ago. Plus I’m a nerd (engineer) and I know that structures with those shapes are not easy to design and support.

  • June 7, 2013

    So awesome. Spain has never really been on My List (I know!) but the last 6 months or so I’ve had several friends visit and I just can’t imagine NOT seeing all the history and architecture and culture for myself. Swoon!

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  • June 7, 2013

    Wait, are you still in Barcelona?

  • June 7, 2013

    Gaudi is amazing, and I love that the first photo matches the color scheme of your blog!
    Kymri recently posted..Road Trip for Cameras: Nova Scotia’s Eastern ShoreMy Profile

  • June 8, 2013

    I lived at the top of that “8 minute walk” for a summer, so apart from the park and the convenience store across the road – there was literally nowhere I went that didn’t involve going up and down that hill. It never got easier, but living that close to the park was totally worth it :)

  • June 10, 2013

    My favorite park in Barcelona!!! Great shots!
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  • June 10, 2013

    Thanks for sharing Antoni Gaudi’s architectural photos. They are really amazing. This is why Barcelona is always famous for artist. Around the year, travelers, generally art lovers or artists travel Barcelona to visit the art works of Picasso and architectural works of Antoni Gaudi which have made Barcelona so popular and cultural city in Europe. To see all the art galleries of museum in Barcelona easily and without facing any hassle is by advance booking of Barcelona airport taxi. This is the best way to visit other cities of Spain like Madrid, Alicante etc.

  • June 10, 2013

    The hike to the park IS killer. I’m glad I got some water along the way. I love this park – the best part is if you can make it to the “stations of the cross” at the top. There’s an incredible lookout over the city to the water. Street musicians play up there as well. Now, I’m missing Barcelona!
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  • June 11, 2013

    Regarding the walk up presumably from Lesseps metro station … If you get off the green line at Penitents it’s mainly downhill and there are electric stairs for the uphill section. You also arrive at the top of the park so the visit is also downhill with fewer tourists at least initially. You then catch the metro back to the centre from Lesseps, which I reckon is about a 15 minute walk even goung downhill.
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  • June 11, 2013

    Lovely photographs, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Spain. It always has something interesting to offer.
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  • June 14, 2013

    Okay, I’ve been to Barcelona but didn’t see half that stuff, darn it!!
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  • June 16, 2013

    Now that you mention it, that walk from the metro to the Park was kind of brutal, especially when it was hot. However, it was, indeed, worth it. La Sagrada Familia was my favorite Gaudí experience and the perfect excuse to keep visiting Barcelona since it will probably not be finished in my lifetime.
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  • June 17, 2013

    love that second photo

  • June 19, 2013

    Those pictures are amazing. I love the whimsical side of Barcelona – as a photographer, I can never have enough of it
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  • June 23, 2013

    I want to go to Spain, Barcelona someday!
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  • July 4, 2013

    Barcelona is amazing city. It is a place where always could discover new places, new streets, new attractions… it’s fantastic!
    Realy I love it!

  • July 14, 2013

    Thanks for your kind comments about Barcelona. I am Glad you are looking forward to your next return to Spain’s most photogenic city. I suggest visiting beautiful areas close to the city of Barcelona such as Montserrat, where there are lots of possibilities for taking beautiful pictures.

  • February 17, 2014

    Barcelona is the awesome city in the spain. may be next month i will go barcelona :)

  • February 22, 2014

    I love Barcelona! Thank you for posting pictures. I had broken my foot at the time I visited and couldn’t make the climb. The Sagrada Familia was very inspiring. I highly recommend seeing it. A word of advice if I may, to skip the line, buy your tickets in advance online or at the hotel and go straight to the entrance kiosk.

  • July 24, 2014

    The Park Güell is one of my favorite places! I remember the last time I visited it , I took my cousin and brother who had never been and found myself in exactly the same situation as you (which made me laugh) : rainy day, the never ending walks (as I recall I think we got lost) and the great number of people.
    I think they’re planning to charge an entrance fee but keep it free for the locals (lots of neighbors use the park to walk their dogs and so on).

  • September 28, 2014

    Gorgeous pictures. I love Barcelona, maybe it’s time for another visit?
    Jennifer recently posted..Madrid Tapas Cooking ClassMy Profile

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