Barcelona: Day Tour with Sagrada Familia and Park Güell
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 6.5 hours
Only the 'k' in Barcelona's enchanting Park Güell reveals that it was inspired by England's garden city movement. The rest is Gaudí in his element! It's bursting with the great architect's trademark iconography, but here are the facts behind its best bits!
Park Güell was intended to be the center of a residential complex that never was. Though inspired by Greek temples, the market hall also honors the Roman road that once ran nearby.
Straddling the main stairway, "El Drac" is rich with religious connotations from Eden to St. George. The fountain it guards, however, suggests Python, the dragon of Ancient Delphi!
Only two villas were completed of the planned 60. Gaudí lived here himself between 1906 to 1925 after it failed to attract buyers! It's now home to a collection of his designs, and needs a separate ticket to visit.
Overlooking the city, the serpentine bench covered in mosaics was hailed by none other than Salvador Dalí as a precursor to the Surrealist movement. He should know!
Religious and political symbolism aside, the upside-down cups adorning one of the gingerbread-esque houses at the main entrance are said to represent Gaudí giving up coffee!
If your stay in Barcelona is brief, you will only need a couple of hours to see Gaudí's monuments. However, bear in mind that the entire park is much larger than the "Monumental Zone" discussed here, and anyone keen on the great outdoors could easily while away an afternoon taking a walk across its scenic corners!
Park Güell's Monumental Zone is open from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM during high season (May 4th to September 6th); 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM from March 29th to May 3rd and September 7th to October 24th; and 8:30 AM to 6:15 PM through winter. Only 400 visitors are allowed in every half an hour, so consider booking your tickets online in advance!
The hill is a bit of a climb, but there is also an escalator (Baixada de la Gloria). It is accessible by metro (20 minute walk from Lesseps station), taxi or buses 24 and 92, which stop by one of the entrances to the public area of the park.
Ok, here goes! First let's just get to the bottom line for those that just scan through reviews. This was a great tour with an excellent tour guide. We met Daniel promptly at the set time and he was very cordial from the get go. My 25 yr old daughter and I did the 6-hr private tour. We were only going to be in Barcelona 4 days coming from our ski trip in the French Alps, so we wanted to get the most bang for the buck on our first full day in town. We stayed just of Las Ramblas on the edge of the Gothic section of town so our walk to met Daniel was not far. What impressed us most besides Daniel's personality was his knowledge of the history and his ability to convey that information as we waked along. He also had a tablet with power point slides that provided more historical context. Every step of the way was a walk through history. Even the tiles on the streets we walked had a story. Designed by Domènech i Montaner or Gaudi? I would recommend this highly! Ask for Daniel.
Oh my gosh anther excellent guid. Full of information about the tour. She would answer any questions. Also talk about general life. Everything was on time guide easy to find. Just a personal thing I would get a taxi. So easy. Another great tour thank you
Great tour. Easy to find meeting location. Our guide. Gloria, was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and organized. Everything was included. Great way to see the city if you have just one day.
Buying tickets on line saved us time that we’d have wasted staying in a line. Once you see Sagrada Familia walking in Guell Park is a must to understand the beauty of Gaudi’s vision.
We went early morning, the views are spectacular and the park is incredible. Wear walking shoes and pack a picnic you will want to stay for a while.