Last Updated on April 1, 2023
You can’t visit Spain without experiencing the out-of-this-world creations of Antoni Gaudi, the iconic Catalan architect. Influenced by elements of Art Nouveau, Gothic, and traditional Catalan architecture, built some of his greatest works in Barcelona. His modernist buildings are sprinkled around the city, and you can visit them through your own self-guided walking tour. This post shows you how to design your own self-guided Gaudi walking tour of Barcelona. You’ll also get a map with a route you can follow to see 6 Gaudi masterpieces in one day or over the course of a few days.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy
First, the truth about Barcelona…
If you’ve read my Self-Guided Walking Tour Barcelona, you know that I think this city is overhyped. You’ve probably read or heard a million times that Barcelona is the number one city to visit in Spain. I beg to differ. After living in Spain for 1.5 years and visiting almost every autonomous community, I compiled a list of the 8 most beautiful and underrated cities to visit in Spain.
I’m not mentioning this just to bash Barcelona – far from it. I believe Barcelona is definitely worth a visit, especially because of the Gaudi architecture I’m going to talk about in this post. I just don’t want you to go to Barcelona thinking that it’s the best that Spain has to offer. Catalan culture and history are definitely worth exploring, and you could even venture to other less-touristy towns like Girona and Sitges. Still, if you’re looking for the ‘typical’ Spanish experience you have in mind, you’ll have to venture south. What’s the best place to experience the essence of Spain? In my humble opinion, that would have to be the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada!
Gaudi walking tour logistics
Total distance: 4 miles
Walking time: approximately two hours if you follow the route without stopping. I’d recommend you reserve half a day for this tour if you want to spend a good amount of time at each place. Also, it may be a lot to see all six Gaudi sites in one day so another option would be to break the tour up over two days.
Items to pack
Comfortable shoes – wearing some running shoes with soles that provide support. The Nike Air Max Thea Sneaker is a great choice.
Portable Wi-Fi – I use the Travel WiFi Portable Hotspot device to access reliable Wi-Fi abroad. it’s a better alternative to using SIM cards or racking up roaming fees. It’s also really convenient and reliable. You can read my full review of Travel WiFi Wireless to seek if it’s the right pocket Wi-Fi for you.
Water – stay well hydrated, especially if you visit in the summer!
Map or GPS – with pocket Wi-Fi, you can access Google maps or Apple maps on the go. In Spain, Google maps’ directions may be a little off (in my experience, at least). A good alternative would be the Moovit app, which is free to download.
Camera – A DSLR will capture those Gaudi buildings so much more beautifully! I always recommend the Nikon D3400 for beginner photographers. It’s very simple to use.
Snacks – pack some fruit, cookies, or some other snacks if you get hungry easily, like me. My go-to travel snack, the WanderBar, is a protein bar made specifically for travelers and frequent flyers. I can’t get enough of the Cocoa Crunch flavor.
Gaudi Walking Tour of Barcelona with Map
Our first stop on this walking tour is Park Guell, the whimsical, cartoonish park that looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. It’s like a wonderland of gingerbread houses, quirky pathways, and mazes. Park Guell, which was opened to the public in 1922, is one of Gaudi’s most visited buildings in Barcelona. The park was officially commissioned by a Catalan businessman called Eusebi Guell in 1890. He wanted Gaudi to build a ‘garden city’ inspired by nature. The park is perched on a hill in the El Raval district overlooking Barcelona. The history of Park Guell is just as interesting as the park itself!
You can tour the public park for free, but you’ll need a ticket to get into the main fantasy world, known as the monumental zone. You should definitely buy your ticket online to save you from waiting in line. I’d purchase my ticket at least a couple of days in advance because this park is very popular with tourists.
Beware of crowd control at Park Guell
Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a limit on the number of people who can enter the monumental zone each hour. This goal is to maintain control over the crowds. That’s another good reason to purchase your ticket online before you go. A great way to make the most out of your visit to Park Guell is to do a walking tour with a live guide.
With this tour, you also get to skip the lines, and you won’t have to worry about the hourly limit on the number of visitors. A local guide will walk you through the monumental zone and explain all the parts in a way that is fun and engaging. That’s why I always use and recommend Get Your Guide tours. I always leave with something memorable that I learned and a notes app filled with interesting details about the destination that I couldn’t find online.
Address: Carrer d’Olot, 13, 08024 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: Every day from 9:30 am – 7:30 pm
Distance to next stop: 0.6 miles
Casa Vicens is one of Gaudi’s lesser-known works, but it’s definitely worth a visit. In fact, it is the first private residence that Gaudi ever designed. Located in the Gracia neighborhood, Casa Vicens was opened in 1888. It’s a townhouse designed with bricks and features many colors and patterns in orange, beige, and green hues. Gaudi built this house for the wealthy Vicens family to use as their summer vacation home.
If you’d like to experience Casa Vicens fully, I’d recommend you book a tour with an audio guide or a guided tour with a live guide. With the first option, you can skip the lines, access the building, and tour it on your own as an audio guide, staying as long as you’d like. With the second option, you’ll have a local guide showing you around the building and explaining the history and significance of each level. After the 1.5-hour tour, you can explore the building at your own pace and revisit the areas you liked the most.
Address: Carrer de les Carolines, 20-26, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: Every day from 10 am – 8 pm
Distance to next stop: 0.8 miles
Completed in 1910, Casa Milà was built for a wealthy couple – Pere Mila and his wife Roser Segimon. Funnily enough, Barcelona residents are the time thought the house was hideous! It had an unconventional exterior with contoured waves made out of gray stone. That’s how it got the nickname ‘La Pedrera’ which translates to ‘the Quarry House.’ Nowadays, people from around the world flock to see this building that was once considered ugly. Isn’t it amazing how people’s tastes change from generation to generation?
The best way to experience Casa Milà is to do a tour with an audio guide. With this tour, you get to skip the line and also view the house from the rooftop. The vantage point from the rooftop is really amazing! You’ll also have a narrator speaking in your ears and explaining what you’re looking at. That way, you can leave with an appreciation for the building, its history, and its significance to the city of Barcelona.
Address: Provença 261 – 265, Passeig de Gràcia, 92, Barcelona Spain
Hours: Every day from 9 am – 11 pm
Distance to next stop: 0.3 miles
Just down the street from Casa Mila, you’ll find another one of Gaudi’s famous houses, Casa Batlló. The shape is similar to that of Casa Mila, but the exterior is much more colorful. This is by far my favorite of all the houses that Gaudi built in Barcelona. Unlike Casa Mila, the building was actually not built from scratch. The wealthy Batllo family were the owners of the home. They commissioned Gaudi to demolish their existing home and build a new one. Instead, Gaudi simply refurbished it and added his signature waves on the exterior. The best way to see Casa Batlló is to do a tour with an interactive audio guide. You can skip the lines and explore all of the building at your own pace, with an audio guide explaining everything you’re looking at on the tour.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
Hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday from 9 am – 8 pm
Thursday and Saturday from 9 am – 10pm
Distance to next stop: 0.4 miles
Gaudi’s buildings are famous for their eclectic, somewhat eccentric designs, but Casa Calvet is an exception. It actually just looks like a normal building with a heavy Baroque influence. Casa Calvet is located in the Eixample district, where you’ll also find La Sagrada Familia. Gaudi built it for a textile manufacturer known as Pere Martir Calvet to use as both his factory and residence. Unlike the other buildings on this list, you cannot go inside Casa Calvet. You can only have a look at the exterior and keep moving. If you want to check off every single Gaudi building from your list, then you can make a quick stop here. Otherwise, you can skip and head to the next place on this list.
Address: Carrer de Casp, 48, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: Not open to the public
Distance to next stop: 0.7 miles
Gaudi didn’t just build houses. He also built the Cascada Monumental fountain at Parc de Ciutadella, the only park in the entire city of Barcelona. This park is a great place to sit and relax a bit when you tire of walking around the city. The ornately-decorated Cascada Monumental is located at the north of Parc de Ciutadella. It reminds me of the lake at Retiro Park in Madrid. Some people compare it to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, but I’m not sure about that. You’ll have to see for yourself. Visiting the park and the fountain is free.
Address: Passeig de Picasso, 21 | Ciutadella Park,08003 Barcelona, Spain, 08003
Hours: Every day from 10 am – 10 pm
Distance to next stop: 1.2 miles
La Sagrada Familia
Well, I saved the best for last. I’m sure you’ve heard about La Sagrada (Church of the Holy Family) Familia a million times. There’s a good reason for that. This basilica is easily Gaudi’s greatest masterpiece. Gaudi devoted his final years to building La Sagrada Familia but never completed it. In fact, the basilica is still under construction as of today. The completion date is 2028, almost 150 years since construction began.
For me, the most impressive part of La Sagrada Familia is the interior, built in the Gothic style. The best way to experience La Sagrada Familia is through a guided tour with access to the Nativity Tower. You can skip he lines and explore the interior and the towers higher up the building while learning about the famous church from a local guide. If you’d rather just see the interior of the church, you can go with this guided tour of La Sagrada Familia. A local guide will show you around the arches, sculptures, ceiling, stained glasses, and altar and explain the history and symbolism behind it all. To make sure you’ll fully prepared for your visit, also check out the 5 mistakes to avoid when visiting La Sagrada Familia.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: Every day from 9 am – 6 pm
There you have it – your very own self-guided Gaudi walking tour of Barcelona. Which of these Gaudi sites are you most excited to see?
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