In 1984 UNESCO declared Barcelona’s Park Güell a World Heritage Site. It is one of the most impressive Gaudí projects in the city, and well worth the extra effort it takes to get up to the park from the city center.
A visit to the park takes planning and the better part of a day. Here are a few tips to help beat the crowds and make your experience a good one.
The park has an interesting history and was commissioned by Eusebi Güell (pronounced Goo-eh) in 1900. He and Gaudí envisioned a gated community for Barcelona’s rich movers and shakers. In 1900 the park was in the countryside, away from the hustle and noise of busy Barcelona. These days the park is within the city limits, though it isn’t centrally located. There were to be 60 houses in Eusebi Güell’s gated community, in addition to a large square, market area and other services needed to sustain the population.
However, Barcelona’s elite was not interested in Eusebi Güell’s plan, and only two of the 60 houses were built. WWI and the lack of interest saw the project abandoned in 1914, and eventually, in 1922, the city turned the land into a public park. Until recently it was a functioning public park, with no entrance fees. However, now tourists have to pay €7 to get in, a price that does not include entrance into Gaudí House Museum, where the architect lived from 1906 until 1925. For those that like to plan ahead, you can even buy Ticketonline.
1. Go early
Hitting the park in the morning has a few advantages. One is that there are fewer people obstructing your photographs with Gaudí’s famous dragon fountain, and another is that it starts getting hot around 1 PM in Barcelona, especially from May to October. Wandering around in the afternoon sun in Park Güell in July or August could be a miserable trip due to the temperatures and lines. During low-season, the park will be less crowded, and heatstroke won’t be much of an issue. For more information, see the Opennig Time throughout the year
2. Bring food and water
There are few restaurant and cafe options in the park, but what is on offer is expensive. Plan ahead and bring a bottle of water, a couple of sandwiches from your local bakery and some fruit from La Boqueria Market Have a picnic on the beautiful Undulating Bench overlooking the city.
3. Don’t wear high heels
The park is enormous and set on a hillside that can be difficult to navigate without the proper footwear. You’ll be walking a lot and huffing and puffing uphill. Wear sneakers or shoes that aren’t going to kill your feet. Some of the pathways are made of dirt, so also use footwear you don’t mind getting dusty.
4. Pack sunscreen and a hat
See tip one. It gets hot, especially in the summer. The last time I visited I got a sunburn, and it was May. There are shaded areas, but to explore the park fully, you’ll be trekking under the bright Mediterranean sunshine. Be prepared.
5. Public transport: Metro vs. bus
Many websites recommend taking the Metro to Lesseps and then walking up to the park. It’s an option, but it is not the fastest way, and it requires a lot of uphill hiking. If you’re fit and want some exercise, this is the route for you. If you want a quicker route, then take the bus 24 or 32 which will drop you off right by the park’s gates. When you leave the park, the walk to the Lesseps Metro stop, the green line, is not so bad because it’s all downhill.
6. Watch your camera and wallet
Some of the trails to the back of the park, away from the main attractions such as the courtyard, houses, entrance, dragon, and marketplace, can be desolate and thieves have been spotted lurking in the bushes. Keep an eye out. It’s not dangerous to wander the park’s trails, but make sure you have your purse and camera across your chest and are aware of who and what is going on around you.
7. Don’t miss the museum
You’ll have to cough up to get into the Gaudi House Museum is worth it. Between the general park entrance and the museum entrance, you’re looking at about €12. It’s a treat to tour the house, nicknamed the ‘pink tower’, to see where the architect and his family lived from 1906 until 1925. Touring the house also offers an idea of what Gaudí and Güell had planned for the 60 proposed houses that were never constructed. When Gaudí left the ‘pink tower’ he moved to La Sagrada Família and lived on-site until he was run over by a tram in 1926.
8. Locals get in for free
Finally, not everyone has to pay to get into the park. When the city decided to start charging visitors, locals were not happy. After all, many neighbors had been using the park for years as a green space to jog and walk Fido. Locals from the districts adjoining Park Güell (El Coll, Vallcarca-Penitents, La Salut, El Carmel, and Can Baró) have free entry to the park all year. If you live in La Barceloneta, then you’re out of luck!
Plan, pack a lunch and catch the bus for a morning at this must-see destination. There is nothing else quite like it in the world, and the vistas overlooking the city and Mediterranean are spectacular on a clear day. Enjoy one of the most unique parks in the world!
9. What Is The Starting Time of Park Guell Entrance
- Spanish:11:30h, 15:30h
- English:10:00h, 11:00h, 12:00h, 14:30h; 15:00h, 16:00h
- These schedules are subject to change. Please check the final schedule of the chosen day during the purchase process. The purchase can be made with a maximum of 90 days in advance.
- Catalan, Spanish, English and French.
10. Is Wheelchair Accessible?
There is an alternative route without stairs or barriers. If needed, we have at your disposal a wheelchair service, which you can reserve sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
11.Some Additional Information:
• The Premium Barcelona voucher is not your ticket and you cannot use it to access the park. You will receive the official ticket in a separate email sent directly by the local partner (please check your spam folder). In case you do not receive an official entrance ticket from Park Guell, please show the booking number on the right top side of your voucher on the door to get in
• This is not a guided tour but a ticket-only admission to Parc Güell
• If the time slot you have chosen is not available, you will be assigned a new time within an hour of your original choice
• The park will close at 9:30 PM May 4 to September 6; at 8:00 PM September 7 to October 24 and March 29 to May 3; and at 6:15 PM October 25 to March 28
• Once issued, tickets cannot be modified (date and time)
• Best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon
• The Plaça de la Natura (Greek Theatre) and the Hypostyle Hall are partially closed due to renovation works. This will partially affect your access
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