Begin your Barcelona trip with a whimsical afternoon at Antoni Gaudí's famous Parc Güell. According to experts, this is one of the world's most impressive (and abnormal) man-made landscapes and the perfect place to add a bit of pizzazz to your vacation photo album. Covering several acres of green space in northwestern Barcelona, this area features everything from mosaic collages to mushroom-shaped chimneys. Gaudí's artistic style and love of Catalan culture is evident through the park's numerous walking trails.
While you're here, don't miss the chance to explore the Sala Hipóstila, a mock indoor marketplace constructed and decorated by Josep Marià Jujol. Greet the tiled lizards on your way up the stairs to this pagan-style building, complete with beautiful symbols representing the four seasons. It's here that you'll find the mosaic snake-like bench, said to be the longest in the world. Other popular attractions here are the Closed Chapel (which marks the highest point in the park), and the Casa Museu Gaudí (Gaudí House Museum), which showcases much of this beloved artist's sketches and sculptures.
Parc Güell is open every day, but hours vary depending on the season. While the park itself is free, the Casa Museu Gaudí does charge a small entrance fee. For more information, visit the park's website.