Top 8 Barcelona Architecture You Must Visit

Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is home to many historical cathedrals, castles, museums, and Barcelona structures. Most notable are the works of Antoni Gaudi, Lluís Domènech I Montaner, Casanovas, Josep Fontserè, etc.

Each known for their own unique styles. If you’re planning on making a trip to Europe, you will find Barcelona, rich in history, packed with picturesque towns, streets and beautiful architectures that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year- a country worth coming to.

Top 8 Barcelona Architecture 

Barcelona architecture reflects the period’s style and fashion it was constructed in; you can see the transition from gothic to noucentisme to modernisme and now contemporary.

It’s truly spectacular how each Barcelona architecture stands as a relic to its time. Here are the 8 notable architectures you must visit when in Barcelona. 

1. La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia
Source: C Messier

Antoni Gaudi’s most famous masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia’s construction began in 1882 and is still on-going. It is estimated to be completed in the year 2026 by architect Jaudi Fauli. The grand church now has 10 spires, but it is going to have 18 in total when finished, to represent Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and the 12 apostles. It’s sheer monumental presence, decked with intricate designs, is legendary. UNESCO named it one of the world heritages.

Travel Tips:

  • La Sagrada Familia attracts a large number of tourists all year. In order to avoid large crowds, it’s better to go at off-times, like at 2:30 pm. 
  • You can buy an audio guide in English which will provide with its history as well, and you can show yourself around. 

Where to Eat:

La Piazzenza is an Italian restaurant situated inside Gaudi Avenue, where La Sagrada Familia is. Here you can enjoy their popular pizzas at affordable prices with the view of La Sagrada Familia in front. If you’re looking for a fancier authentic Catalan cuisine, The Charm (L’encis) is only four minutes away. 

2.  Monasterio de Pedralbes (The Monastery of Pedralbes)

Monasterio de Pedralbes (The Monastery of Pedralbes)
Source: Ricard MC/ Shutterstock

Established around 1327 by Queen Elisenda de Montcada, which is also the Queen’s resting place, the beautiful monastery was a sanctuary to the blue-blooded nuns. The walls and the cobbled corridor is etched with history. The cloister is serene and quiet, with a big courtyard surrounded by trees. Walking through the monastery from its abbey to the kitchen, the gothic architecture with 14th-century frescoes is breathtaking. 

Travel Tips:

  • You can easily get to the monastery using Barcelona’s hop-on hop-off bus service.
  • The monastery is not that crowded so you can take your time, and leisurely tour the cloister taking in every detail. 

Where to Eat:

Just 4 minutes away is the beautiful outdoor fine dining restaurant El Jardi de I’Abadessa with different kinds of cuisines. Still, you can also chill back with a cup of coffee enjoying the outdoors after a long day of touring. 

3. Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 

Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Source: Rock Isern

Situated at the peak of mount Tibidabo amusement park, the temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the work of architect Enric Sagnier I Villavecchia that started in 1992 and ended in 1961. Its design is an infusion of Neo-gothic, Roman, and Modernisme styles. The church provides a picturesque view of the Barcelona city from high above the mountain. 

Travel Tips:

  • The park remains closed in January and February, the best time to go is during summer vacations.
  • The best way to get to the park is first to take line 7 of FGC and then a tram that will take you all the up the mountain. 

Where to Eat: 

Since it’s an amusement park, there are many cute cafes and diners. Merbeye is great for refreshing cocktails and tapas. If you want something romantic, you can dine-in on the terrace with an amazing view. 

4. Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló
Source: Roc Isern

If your eyes fall upon Casa Batllo for the first time, it feels like magic has finally taken a solid form. The structure, design, ovals and curves, the intricated pastel-colored mosaics make it one of the most beautiful works of Gaudi. He remodeled the entire design of the original building without demolishing it, and his work finished in 2 years in 1906.

Its new owner gives open house day tours. The minute you walk in, you become transfixed with the colorful patterns. A UNESCO world heritage site as well, Casa Batllo attracts thousands of tourists all over the world.

The building is not only pretty but is very firm and functional, which influences modern architecture to this day. 

Travel Trips:

  • It’s better to book your tickets online way ahead of your journey because the tickets run out fast. Casa Batllo remains open every year every day till 9 pm.
  • The interiors of the house, each space, and corner, have their own charm. Therefore it’s great when you come with plenty of time in hand. 

Where to Eat:

Just 2 minutes away from Casa Batllo is the restaurant Vinitus Madrid-Barcelona, where they have a great assortment of food from appetizers to desserts. However, if you want somewhere to sit and chill still engrossed with Batllo’s beauty, Faborit Casa Amatller café is right where Batllo is. You can enjoy pastries and coffees or smoothies.

5. Casa Milà

Casa Milà
Source: Dicasvfale

Casa Mile is another of Gaudi’s buildings finished in 1912. The Barcelona civic architecture is also known as the “The Quarry” (La Pedrera) because of its open structure in the center. Gaudi’s ingeniousness flourishes when we look at it. He put a self-stone façade, huge open terrace, and underground garage and free-plan floor. The beauty, lines, and curves of the building with interesting characters and organic styles give the building its own personality.  

Travel Tips:

  • The Day tours are more fruitful than the night ones, although you can take both. 

Where to Eat:

Just a minute away is Artespanol, serving hot and fresh tapas and paellas. It’s affordable and has an outdoor environment, which is great for scenic relaxation. Another quaint little bistro further down is Ponte Milvio bistro- a great for pizzas.

6. The Gothic Quarter 

The Gothic Quarter
Source: Catharina Rytter

The Gothic Quarter is probably one of the oldest streets in Barcelona with architectures and streets dating back 2000 years. Here you can find the early works of Antoni Gaudi, like Placa Reial. There are historical walls and corners including the medieval gothic cathedral, El Call, and many other notable spots. It’s packed with restaurants, exhilarating and vibrant night-life. A perfect little town to get lost in. 

Travel Tips:

  • El Call is Barcelona’s old Jewish Quarter inside the Gothic Quarter where you can learn about the city’s Jewish past.
  • The La Boqueria along the borders of the Gothic Quarters is one of the oldest markets, which is a must-visit.

Where to Eat:

If you’re in El Call, then head to the charming little tapas bar La Alcoba Azul, and later if you get a chance, try to visit La Plata, which only sells 4 types of tapas but has been there for as long as anyone can remember. 

7. Las Arenas 

Las Arenas
Source: Felix Konig

Barcelona’s ancient bullring was transformed and designed by architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners into a modern-day shopping mall instead of demolishing it because the bullring is of cultural value and deep roots. The rooftop gives a 360º panoramic view. The bullfighting arena was designed by architect Augusto Font I Carreras. If you notice beyond all the intricate metalwork, you’ll able to see the foundations of the once one of the 3 bullfighting rings in Barcelona. 

Travel Trips:

  • The easiest way to reach there is through the metro station. Take L1 and get off at Placa Espanya. 

Where to Eat:

Among the restaurants inside the mall, my favorite was the Watatsumi, a very cute little Japanese restaurant with great food. There’s La Azotea Quinto Quinta with a variety of Spanish cuisine.

8. Park Güell

Park Güell
Source: VladyslavDanilin 

Another one of Gaudi’s iconic masterpieces that is also one of the world’s tourist hotspots is Park Güell. This UNESCO-world-heritage park is designed with naturalist, modern contemporary expressions.

The benches, pathways, statues are drawn from inspiration from nature and explodes into colorful scenic garden setting—a Barcelona architecture to behold, where Gaudi let his imagination run wild, providing the world with bold beauty. The architect himself lived there for many years. You’ll be mind-blown by the design of the house itself, something from a fairytale. 

Travel Tips:

  • It’s always better to book tickets ahead online. They let 400 people in at a time, and tickets are hard to get on the spot.
  • The park’s monumental core is open to the public, but you’d have to buy the Gaudi house museum ticket additionally. 

Where to Eat:

Guelly Sandwich is the best place to have a real cold coffee, namely Freddo espresso, and all kinds of delicious sandwiches that will fill you up.

Final words

Barcelona architecture and heritage are nothing short of intoxicating beauty. A month-long vacation won’t suffice to experience all that the city has to offer fully. Every corner is majestic.

If you’re in Barcelona, then definitely try to cover as many recommended architectural masterpieces as you can above. Anywhere you go, the city will not disappoint you.

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