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Walking to Park Güell, Gaudi's playground of color and creativity in Barcelona

Ema Bakalova

May 28, 2023

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Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi

Park Güell, one of Gaudí's most renowned masterpieces, is a "whimsical" public park located in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. It is famous for its colorful mosaics, playful architecture, and stunning views of the city, reminiscent of a scene from a fairy tale, or fantasy land. Gaudí's distinctive and imaginative architectural style has made a lasting impression on Barcelona, and Park Güell stands as one of the most iconic and unique examples of his work.

Walking through the streets of Barcelona
Walking through the streets of Barcelona

Walking to Park Güell

If you're a fan of exploring cities on foot, like me, I highly recommend taking a walk from the center of Barcelona to Park Güell. The walk from La Rambla to the park involves a gradual uphill climb, taking about an hour on foot. The final stretch includes stairs and a steep ascent.

Gothic quarter in Barcelona

Walking through Barcelona

One thing I loved about the city was that I consistently found it beautiful and charming to walk through. Despite its busy atmosphere, the city was remarkably clean.

If you decide to walk to Park Guell, here are the best walking route options:

  1. Route via La Sagrada Familia:

• Start your walk at La Rambla, located in the city center. I am using La Rambla as my starting point because most hotels and Airbnb's would probably be situated somewhere close by and it is a very central destination.

• Head northeast from La Rambla until you reach Passeig de Gràcia, another iconic street known for its high-end shops and modernist architecture. Along the way, you'll pass by landmarks like Plaça de Catalunya.

• Continue walking along Passeig de Gràcia until you reach the renowned Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudí. You can decide to stop along your way to or from the park at the church.

• Continue your walk along Carrer de Sardenya, which will lead you to Park Güell. It's about a 15-20 minute walk from Sagrada Familia to the park's entrance.

  1. Route through the Gràcia Neighborhood:

• Begin your walk from La Rambla and head north, roughly parallel to the Ronda de Sant Pere and Passeig de Gràcia, towards the Gràcia neighborhood.

• As you enter Gràcia, you'll discover charming streets, squares, and a more local atmosphere compared to the bustling city center. This was the pathway we took on our way to the park, and we stopped at La Sagrada Familia on our way back.

• Continue your walk through Gràcia, enjoying the neighborhood's unique character and perhaps stopping at a local café or market. There are lots of bodega-type stores you can buy fresh fruit from.

• To reach Park Güell from Gràcia, make your way to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, a major street in the neighborhood, and head north until you arrive at the park's entrance.

Streets of Barcelona
Streets of Barcelona
Streets of Barcelona
Streets of Barcelona
Hop on Hop off bus Barcelona

Hop-On Hop-Off

The Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours also offer a convenient stop at Park Güell, making it easier than navigating the route to the park independently (and without having to walk).

Hop on Hop off bus Barcelona

Hop-On Hop-Off

The Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours also offer a convenient stop at Park Güell, making it easier than navigating the route to the park independently (and without having to walk).

Walking through Barcelona to Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
Walking through Barcelona to Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi

Inside Park Güell

While there's no one-size-fits-all route for exploring the park, I recommend starting by heading to the highest points first. From there, gradually descend, taking your time to meander through the park's diverse pathways and areas. This approach to exploring the park ensures a more enjoyable experience, allowing you to begin with the best views and the park's highlights at the top and gradually uncovering the rest as you descend.

The lookout points at Park Güell are strategically placed to provide visitors with stunning panoramic views of Barcelona. Gaudí thought the design of the park through carefully, selecting specific spots to showcase the city's beauty and natural surroundings.

Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi

The terrace of the serpentine bench

The main terrace, for example, offers a wide vista of the city and the sea, while the serpentine bench, a long undulating bench covered in colorful mosaics made of broken tiles, curves around the terrace. Intricately designed, this organic bench not only provides seating but also offers a unique view towards parts of the park, including some of Gaudí's mosaic sculptures, and the cityscape beyond.

Additionally, the higher vantage points in the park offer broader perspectives, allowing visitors to appreciate the layout of the city and its architecture from above, a view you cannot really get anywhere else in Barcelona. You can even see the way the Sagrada Familia sits in the urban fabric in the distance.

Decorative motifs at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi

Decorative motifs

The serpentine bench's mosaic uses recycled ceramic fragments to create new decorative motifs showcasing Gaudí's commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious design through the innovative reuse of materials.

Decorative motifs at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi

Decorative motifs

The serpentine bench's mosaic uses recycled ceramic fragments to create new decorative motifs showcasing Gaudí's commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious design through the innovative reuse of materials.

The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
The serpentine bench at Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Park Güell to Sagrada Familia

After Park Güell, we headed to La Sagrada Familia to catch a tour. Since you'll pass by the church either on your way to or from the park, it's a great chance to combine both experiences into a single day's itinerary.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Park Güell to Sagrada Familia

After Park Güell, we headed to La Sagrada Familia to catch a tour. Since you'll pass by the church either on your way to or from the park, it's a great chance to combine both experiences into a single day's itinerary.

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