The Park Güell is a magical and enigmatic place, full of symbols. Antoni Gaudí, the genius architect, succeeded in transforming a steep hill into a unique and avant-garde urban garden city project.
Origin of the project:
Eusebi Güell the promoter, friend and patron of Gaudí, bought between 1889 and 1902 a large extension of land on the edge of the city, on a hill called at the time the peeled mountain.
His project was to build 60 exclusive villas for the new industrial elite, in a huge garden, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and with breathtaking views of Barcelona and the sea.
He commissioned Antoni Gaudí to organize this project and between 1902 and 1913 the perimeter wall, accesses and common facilities were built.
The project, aimed at the wealthy bourgeoisie, did not succeed because they found this area too far from the center, and only two plots were sold.
The project was abandoned and the death of Count Güell and in 1918 his heirs sold the park to the town hall which transform it in a public garden.
The design of the park:
For nature to be omnipresent, it was planned not to build on more than 18% of the surface.
Inspired by the Nîmes gardens of the Fountain as well as English parks, Gaudí gave free rein to his overflowing imagination for theatrical decoration and to provide innovative solutions in order to develop this project on a steep terrain.
The park common areas:
Designed as an exclusive space, a perimeter wall was planned to close the park and control the entrances.
The main entrance, which looks like an exotic theater, aims to surprise and intrigue the visitor with many signs and symbols.
The main door flanked by the concierge and administration pavilion and gives access to the spectacular monumental staircase decorated by three fountains and numerous mosaics and sculptures, one of the fountains is topped by a huge salamander or a dragon depending on the interpretation.
At the top of the staircase a covered space, planned to be the market for the inhabitants of the community, is formed by 86 Doric columns 6 meters high, these gigantic columns giving this space the appearance of a Greek temple.
Above the market the large square was intended to be the center of the community. This 3000 square meter square is a fantastic Barcelona viewpoint.
The square is partially surrounded by a corrugated bench that acts as a balustrade. It is probably one of the longest benches in the world. It is covered with "trencadis", ceramic debris, tiles, bottles and various crockery.
Antoni Gaudi designed a network of pedestrian paths as well as access routes for cabs and cars, providing ramps and viaducts that allow them to access the entire park despite the steep drop.
For this purpose he built three viaducts with different styles and shapes. All use the stone extracted from the hill and fit perfectly into the landscape.
After the surprising concierge and administration pavilions at the entrance to the park, you can also visit the house where Gaudí lived for 20 years, between 1906 and 1925, when he moved to his studio in the Sagrada Familia.
This house served as a model for the future owners of the garden city, it has now been transformed into a museum.
Advice for the visit:
You should know that Parc Güell is located in a district quite far from the center of Barcelona and poorly served by public transport. You need 20 to 30 minutes by taxi depending on your starting point and traffic and 30 to 45 minutes to get there by public transport, including a 15 minute walk with quite a bit of elevation, which combined with the heat in summer may not be suitable for all visitors.
See the Getting to Park Güell chapter for more information.
You should also know that the park is divided into two zones, the upper part is free to access and the lower part where the most interesting constructions are located, called the monumental zone is restricted.
Access is limited to 400 people every 30 minutes. Do not risk going to the park without having tickets because in tourist season they are often sold out several days in advance.
See the Buying Park Güell tickets chapter for more information.
Buy tickets for the Park Güell
Buy only on the official Park Güell website
, that's where you'll find the best rates.
Beware of websites that publish tempting offers for skip-the-line and discounted tickets, most often the tickets result more expensive because they add multiple commissions.
Skip-the-line ticket doesn't exist, all tickets have a fixed time for entry. A group enters every 30 minutes and the queue is reduced.
Respect the time indicated on your ticket.
Park Güell tickets prices
In 2023 the official entry price is €10 for an adult and includes an audio guide. There are reductions for retireds (7€) and under 13 (7€). Entry for children under 7 is free.
It is very important to buy tickets in advance, especially during the tourist season, to not risk making this long journey in vain.
Getting to Park Güell
The Park Güell is quite far from other places of interest in Barcelona. Don't think you can walk to this park from the Ramblas or the Sagrada Familia.
allow 20 to 30 minutes by taxi depending on your starting point and traffic and 15 to 20€ for the trip.
it takes 10 to 20 minutes on foot from the various metro stations in the area.
There are three metro stations to choose from:
The "Lesseps" station of line L3 (green line). The route is indicated from the exit and goes through several fairly steep streets, equipped with escalators in the most difficult places. Allow 20 minutes.
The "Vallcarca" station of line L3 (green line). The route is indicated from the exit and passes through several fairly steep streets, equipped with escalators in the most difficult places, which are quite frequently broken down. We do not recommend this solution.
it's quite long and not very practical.
With the tourist bus:
you have to take the blue route.
With the Barcelona City Tour you have to take the green route (East).
In both cases the stop is a 10 minute walk from the park entrance.
With your vehicle:
we do not recommend it, there is no parking possible in the surrounding streets and the car parks are quite far away.
Visiting with a private guide
The best way to discover this exceptional monument is to visit with a private guide
who can help you discover the ingenious solutions developed by Gaudí, the symbolism of these monuments and the hidden details.
-> Gaudí's masterpieces tour (Sagrada Familia & Park Güell)