Best Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona

There are so many wonderful examples of Spanish architecture in Barcelona, it can be hard to know which are the best Gaudi buildings to see. With this guide to Gaudi’s best 11 buildings in Barcelona, you’ll be able to plan an itinerary that will leave you amazed and inspired by the works of the man called “God’s Architect.”

11 of the Best Gaudi Buildings

Is Barcelona on your bucket list? The lure of the fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudí is a major drawcard, with over 3 million visitors each year to the Sagrada Familia and over a million to each of his other Barcelona buildings!

Seven of these buildings have been declared World Heritage Sites. He has been described as God’s Architect – read on and you’ll see why!

And no matter whether you want to see each of these yourself (and get express admission and skip the queues) or take a tour and maximize your time – this article has all of your options covered.

Gaudi World Heritage Barcelona Sites

Q. So which of Gaudi’s many buildings are UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

A. These seven:

  • Park Güell 
  • Palacio Güell 
  • Casa Vicens 
  • Casa Mila 
  • Casa Batlló 
  • Colonia Güell 
  • La Sagrada Familia

1. Casa Vicens (Viens)

The first building designed by Gaudi in Barcelona was Casa Viens (Vicens) in 2005. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Purchased by a bank in 2014, it was immaculately restored and opened to the public in 2017.

Casa Vicens Barcelona Spain
Casa Vicens, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Viens is a combination of Hispanic and Arabic traditions called Neo-Mudéjar and oriental style architecture. A striking building, Casa Viens is one of the first Art Nouveau buildings in the world.

Gaudi broke away from traditional architectural conventions and used a wide range of material in the building including concrete, glass, and iron. These materials were set beside coarse red bricks and patterned ceramic tiles.

Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Vicens

2. Park Güell

Park Güell was built as Gaudi’s personal estate and is now a public park system of stunning beauty. Park Güell sits on Carmel Hill and is a UNESCO Heritage Site that dazzles you with its natural beauty and views of the sea.

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

The park though was never finished but it remains today as one of Gaudi’s most familiar works. The site features mosaics, sculptures, and various structures perfectly designed to fit within the natural environment.  

Best Tickets and Tours of Park Güell

3. Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia is probably the most iconic Gaudi building in Barcelona this unique UNESCO site, still under construction, attracts over 3,000,000 visitors a year.

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

The astounding interior demonstrates the sheer genius of Antoni Gaudi with its minute attention to detail from stained glass to the decorations on the columns and altar.

Sagrada Familia is the epitome of Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Gaudi’s uniquely personal style. Sadly, he was killed in a traffic accident in 1926 before the building could be finished. He is buried in the Crypt of the Basilica.

Of the three great façades, the Nativity Façade on the eastern side of the monument and the Crypt are UNESCO World Heritage-listed.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2026 when there will be a monumental celebration to honor Gaudi and his work.

Next to the Sagrada (located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló), Gaudi built a school for the worker’s children and the children from the surrounding neighborhood.

The school has a wavy form with a brick front and it contains three classrooms, a chapel, and a hall. There are three outside classrooms with iron pergolas.

Best Tickets and Tours of Sagrada Familia

4. Güell Pavilions

After his first commission, Casa Vicens, Gaudi began designing and building the Güell Pavilions which the Count commissioned.

Güell Pavilions, Barcelona, Spain
Güell Pavilions, Barcelona, Spain

Güell wanted Gaudi to redesign his estate and enclose it within a walled and gated area in the town of Sarrià, which is now a suburb of Barcelona. Gaudi again used a design that was a combination of Mudéjar and Oriental.

The buildings at Güell include a stable, gatehouses, and a lunge ring. The stables have a Catalan vaulted ceiling and the buildings within the estate are of brick in various shades of yellow to red and covered in colored glass. 

Gaudi used a wrought iron dragon with glass eyes in the main gate and the Fountain of Hercules in the gardens has a spout in the shape of a Chinese dragon.

The estate was left to the Spanish Royal Family in Güell’s will and converted into a royal palace in 1918.

In 1950, the University of Barcelona purchased the Estate.  In 1969 the Pavillions were declared a Monument of National Historic and Artistic Interest.

5. Palau Güell  

Güell Palace commissioned by Eusebi Güell in 1886, is considered one of the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is located on Carrer Nou de la Rambla.

Trip Anthropologist
Front facade of Palau Güell, Barcelona, Spain

The front of Palau Güell is reminiscent of a Venetian palace, with two large oval gates at the parabolic arch entrance. 

A magnificent staircase leads to the family home the centerpiece of which is a salon decorated with murals and a 17m high parabolic dome ceiling. This was a room for entertaining and impressing guests.

The northern parts of the Palace were reserved for special events and social occasions whereas the southern part was specifically for the family including the dining room and the billiards saloon.

Best Tickets and Tours of Palau Güell

6. Casa Calvet

One of Gaudi’s earliest buildings, Casa Calvet is considered the most conservative. It was created to be both a commercial building and a home for a textile maker.

Casa Calvet, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Calvet, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Calvet begins to incorporate Gaudi’s love of Art Nouveau with its curving facade and attic balconies taken straight out of gothic fairy tales. In 1900 Casa Calvet received the award of ‘best building of the year,’ from the Barcelona City Council.

Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Calvet

7. Casa Milà – La Pedrera

Pere Milà commissioned Casa Mila and it was to be a family home. The Mila family would live on the main floor and rent out the apartments.

Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Mila is one of Barcelona’s most interesting buildings (It is located on the Passeig de Gràci).

It is called La Pedrera because the building features forms drawn from nature with curved iron balconies and a finish of rough plaster that resembles a stone quarry.

Undoubtedly my favorite rooftop in the world! On the roof terrace, you can see how Gaudi used the architectural details of chimneys, skylights, and beautifully decorated vents to mimic a city skyline.

Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Mila

 8. Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain

A plain house when Josep Batlló bought it, in 1904 he commissioned Gaudi to redesign it completely. Breaking every conceivable architectural convention, by 1906 this stunning building received an award for “One of the best three buildings of the year”.

The pillars on the facade look like bones and the roof appears to be the scales on a dragon’s back. This mesmerizing building has become known as the House of Bones and the House of the Dragon.

The facade incorporates found objects, stones, stained glass, and ceramics creating a sparkling building that makes you smile in appreciation. This building is a celebration of Gaudi’s work bringing together art, life, movement, and joy.

Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Batlló

9. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella

Cascada Fountain is within one of Barcelona’s prettiest parks – Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park).

Cascada Fountain, Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park), Barcelona, Spain
Cascada Fountain, Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park), Barcelona, Spain

Many Catalan artists contributed to the fountain and Gaudi was one of them at the beginning of his career. He was given a task as a student to correct and design the grand fountain’s hydraulics and water tank.

With its faint resemblance to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the design incorporates dragons, stone-carved clams and a gold statue of Aurora riding four horses.

10. Church of Colònia Güell

Cripta de la Colònia Güell is the Catalan name for this Church and it is also known as Gaudi’s Crypt.

Cripta de la Colònia Güell  (Gaudi's Crypt), Barcelona, Spain
Cripta de la Colònia Güell (Gaudi’s Crypt), Barcelona, Spain

Unfinished to this day, the Church is widely considered Gaudi’s best building – and what a fantastical building it is!

In the original plan, the building was to have two naves, two towers, and a central dome. However, construction was halted on the death of Count Güell.

The only portion of the Church fully completed is that of the Crypt which appears to melt into the surroundings. Within the Church are 22 stained glass windows that allow light to infiltrate into the darkness of the Church.

Best Tickets and Tours of Cripta de la Colònia Güell

11. Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)

Torre Bellesguard, also known as Casa Figueres
Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres), Barcelona, Spain

Torre Bellesguard, also known as Casa Figueres, is built from stones and bricks and the interior features colored glass, white walls, and iron details.

The Catalan style arch built from overlaid bricks is stunning when seen against all the myriad details incorporated by Gaudi.

Gaudi also restored the medieval palace ruins that are now an intricate part of the grounds of the mansion.

Gaudi’s experiments with new materials and shapes gave him the inspiration to develop what would have been considered inconceivable in the past.

His attention to detail, his desire to incorporate the natural world, and his ability to skillfully decorate the exterior of his buildings leave a legacy of beauty for the world.

 Have you picked a favorite from these 11 Gaudi buildings in Barcelona?

Best Tours and Tickets for Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)

The Best Tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona

Above you will have seen the best ways to purchase tickets to see the individual architectural masterpieces of Gaudi’s Barcelona. But what if time is short?

There are so many wonderful things to see, do, and eat in Barcelona. Seeing a few of Gaudi’s most iconic buildings on a tour can save you time, allow you to fit the most into your Barcelona itinerary, and can minimize your exposure to the traffic, hassles, heat, and the throng of tourists that is peak season in Barcelona!

My pick of the best quality, best value for money, and most highly reviewed tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona are below.

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