Antoni Gaudí isn’t just a part of Barcelona; he defines it. Often hailed as a genius of Catalan modernism, his unique interpretation of the Art Nouveau movement shaped the unmistakable face of Barcelona today. With seven of Gaudí’s works designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites and nearly a dozen more scattered throughout the province, the marks of this renowned Spanish Catalan architect are stamped all over the city. From commissioned residences of some of the city’s most influential citizens to his magnum opus dominating the skyline with its distinct turreted spires, read on to discover our must-visit Gaudí wonders perfect for first-timers and Barcelona buffs alike.
Commissioned as a renovation in 1904, Casa Batlló is Catalan modernism plucked straight from a fever dream. Like Casa Milá, Casa Batlló was designed with a space from which to admire the artist’s most important work—the Sagrada Família—which some say represents the forest. Casa Batlló, on the other hand, represents the ocean. Its exterior—a magically nautical blend of undulating walls, coral-shaped balconies and a scaly gradient of jewel-toned tiles—is emblematic of Gaudí’s method of drawing inspiration from the natural world and transforming it into a design vibrating with otherworldly allure. Return visitors will revel in the museum’s new 10D Experience, an immersive glimpse inside the mind of a genius, peppered with sensory experiences and psychedelic installations that carry the building’s historic past into the modern era.
Perhaps one of the most photographed places in Barcelona, Parc Güell offers spectacular views from its prime location perched atop El Carmel hill, featuring an upper terrace that overlooks the city and the deep blue ocean horizon beyond. The park has both free and paid areas, showcasing nearly two miles of meandering pathways, botanical gardens and the house-turned-museum in which the architect himself lived. Commissioned by the wealthy industrialist Eusebi Güell, the park was originally intended to be a gathering place for Barcelona’s aristocracy. Today, it serves as a public staple displaying the full range of Gaudí’s Modernisme, the twists and curves of its unconventional shapes all blanketed in the artist’s signature trencadís method of colorful tile mosaic.