The first thing you see when you enter the park is the ceremonial staircase that leads up to the Sala Hipostila above.
The stairway is dominated by two brightly coloured fountains in the middle. One is a salamander - which symbolises alchemy - with water dribbling from its mouth and above it is the serpents head [symbolic of the Greek god of healing]] staring out from a Catalan flag. Even the sides of the staircase are covered in mosiacs
The park was originally conceived as part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, after whom it was named. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí (though he did buy and live in the house which now houses the Gaudi House Museum.
My memory of the park from 1982 was that it was very near deserted when my travelling partner and I made our visit. It is anything but deserted today. As always in Barcelona, book online at the website so you can select the time of entry into the Monumental zone. Even with the booking, one has to stand in line to enter at ones selected time.
The area outside the monumental zone is rather less crowded. Stone pathways and viaducts lead through the trees to viewpoints over the city below. We walked up from the entrance on Carrer d'Olot to the access to the Monumental Zone behind the Placa Natura, where crowds lined up. On the terrace behind, rough stone 'bird nests' mimic palm trees on the slope above.
The dusty plaza provides the roof of the Hypostyle hall, and at it perimeter are the park's iconic trencadi tiled benches, their sinuous lines in the shape of a sea-serpent. The benches are crowded with visitors, taking in the expansive view of the city below. It is truly selfie heaven.
The tiles used on the benches incorporate poetic images, religious imagery, and elements of Catalan nationalist symbolism. jutting from the edges of the Plaza, the heads of dogs form waterspouts, providing the drainage for the wide flat expanse. Step lead down to a shaded undercroft, flanked by angled rough stone columns whose thrust supports the retaining wall. The path leads down a spiral viaduct, to the wrought iron entrance gates, flanked by two buildings with fantastical rooflines and pinnacles. In one is the Gift Shop, and in the other, a rather sparse permanent exhibition, which required a short wait to enter. No extra cost, unlike the Gaudi House Museum, outside the Monumental Zone.
In front of the entrance, the Grand Staircase rises, either side of a fountain and mosaic 'dragon', to the Hypostyle Hall beneath the Placa Natura. The massive doric columns are again subtly angled outward at the edges of the hall. Unfortunately, the four mosaic roses in the hall were being 'renovated', and so were invisible behind scaffolds.
?After seeing our fill of the park, a stroll up the hill (5 to 10 minutes)to the bus stop at Carrer del Carmen saw us soon back down the hill.
Getting to the park is most economical by bus, No 24 from Plaça Catalunya runs up Passeig de Gracia to the entrance at Carretera Carmel-Park Güell. The metro stops are quite distant (15 minutes walk form either Vallcarca or Lesseps on Line 3. Fortunately there are escalators! A taxi will cost about 15 euros from Plaça Catalunya.
Park Güell is an adorable and whimsical place that sits high above the city, providing a really cool vantage point of the city and the beach.
We visited in the summer time, so it was very crowded, but they do have timed entry tickets to help alleviate that. Spring and Fall might be a better time to go - the sun would not be so harsh - not sure about the crowds.
Beyond the ticketed monuments of the park, there are trails where you can walk around and go up higher for better views of the city.
Our hotel concierge showed us a path on a map to walk up to the Mt Carmel bunkers, but we ultimately had to bail because I insisted on following the advice to dress less American and I left my Keens at home - it's a hiking trail. Lesson learned - ignore people and their judgments. I was grateful on most days that I was wearing my cute loafers, but I should have brought my Keens for my back-up shoes instead of another pair of loafers. I definitely regret not making it up there, but we did manage to travel up 325 stair steps to get a slightly better view.
The timed entry tickets for the park allow you to enter up to 30 minutes after the time on your ticket. The park is not far from the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, but it's all uphill from there, so we took a short cab ride after our visit to the basilica - there were plenty of cabs waiting. After our visit to the park, we were exhausted (and sweaty); there were plenty of cabs near the exit gates for an easy ride back to the hotel (we also nabbed the nicest cab driver in the city - I actually remember our nice conversation with him).
Probably the sight most associated with Parc Guell are these wavy benches, which form the edge of the upper terrace of the Sala Hipostila. Its really one long continuous bench and the detail is incredible considering each one is different and made up of mosaic patterns! Below it 86 columns support the roof which is decorated with various round mosaic decorated discs, the four largest representing the four seasons.
This was originally intended to be the garden cities market place. Now various people hawk their goods - jewellery, keyrings and various souvenirs - to the throngs of tourists who visit the park
Definitely one of my favourite places in the city was Parc Guell, yet another Gaudi masterpiece!! Its just so gorgeous and the amount of detail that has gone in to all the mosaic work on the buildings (including both of the gatehouses pictured) and features is incredible. Well worth seeing.
Due to sitting so high up on the hill the park has some wonderful views over the city and right down to the sea, particularly from the upper terrace. Have a seat on the wavy benches and soak it up!
As mentioned it does sit quite high up and if you are getting here by public tranport you will likely have to walk up the steep hill to it.
This is famous and beautiful park but it's very difficult to get in because they has rules similar to some strict museums so you have to wait a lot of time before getting in if you got chance to get in. I heard they told to tourists come next day because in the evening the park was full. They said me I could enter to the park about 7.30pm and then another worker said 8pm. It was like waiting from 7pm to more and more waiting. There was strong chicken *** smell at one zone. The time changed from late to later. You can't just buy ticket and enter to the park because they won't let you have to wait. I don't know how is the system if pay ticket for group or something but if you just go to park and try buy the tickets you must wait before getting in. I didn't know about this system before. Didn't like that system but liked the buildings.
Fantastic and whimsical place which reveals the genius of Gaudy as much as Sagrada Familia does. It is amazingly nice to walk leafy alleys (which sometimes are quite steep, so you need to do a bit of hiking) and enjoy the beautiful pieces of architecture you meet here and there. But the main part, which you need to pay money to access, is definitely worth its cost and sometime to spend there, to visit all the little houses and to take all the pictures. The architecture is amazing!
This was quite a large park and very beautiful. You can walk through most of the park without entering it. Well, at least it seemed like we saw quite a bit of the park. I did try to buy tickets to enter the Monumental zone but the next available time slot was in two more hours. I was a bit disappointed because I did want to go in. So, we continued to walk in the areas we could.
We saw a couple of guys who were playing music on unusual instruments. It was very good. I even bought one of their CD’s. I also saw a “street” performer who appeared to be sitting on air. We also stopped to have a drink and sit overlooking the massive raised open area.
It was a beautiful, sunny day on our visit and we enjoyed what we did see. At the upper end of the park, you have some great views of the city. You can also see the Sagrada Familia.
Entry price in 2015 is:
Online 7,0 €
Ticket Office 8,0€
You can see more photos on my travelogue.
This park is a creation of Gaudì. It was built between 1900 an 1914 on the purpose to create a housing area, but this project was unsuccessful. In 1922 Parc Guell was opened to the public.
Inside the park there is a house where Gaudì lived from 1906 to 1926. It was designed by Francesc Berenguer in 1904. The furniture of this house was designed by Gaudì himself.
This Placa is a great place to obtain a great view over much of Parc Guell. The view extends over the City to the ocean, with views extending Barcelonetta.
If you are lucky you may obtain one of the Gaudi design seats located around the edge.An ideal place to relax.
At the Main entrance to Parc Guell , either side of the main gates are two magnificent buildings which were the Porter's lodge of the estate.
Casa Del Guarda was built between 1901 and 1903 and is currently part of the Barcelona History Museum. It is located to the right of the main entrance.
The building to the left now houses the shop/ bookshop.
Not to be missed and very crowded inside especially on the staircase.