Casa Batlló#6 in Best Things To Do in Barcelona
The details highlighted in Casa Batlló show famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí at his best. Of all the Gaudí apartments in Barcelona, this is probably the most recognized (it's also a UNESCO World Heritage site). Sitting down the street from Casa Milà, Casa Batlló is known for its vibrant colors, intricate tile work and skeletal terraces. The unconventional façade is inspired by the legend of St. George, whose story is famous for slaying a dragon to save the princess. The roof in particular depicts the dragon's scaly back while the skeletal balconies and boney windows are said to represent the dragon's previous victims (the legend goes that someone would be sacrificed every day so the dragon wouldn't take the whole town). After you've taken the time to absorb the monstrous amount of detail used on the outside of the building, stop inside to tour the equally eye-catching interiors, including the Noble Floor, which was once home to the Batlló family. With your ticket, you're also able to access the roof to check out Gaudí's admirable mosaic work up close, including those on the dragon's back and the roof's many colorful chimneys.
Travelers who visited Casa Batlló found it to be a masterpiece. While it may be tempting to stay outside and admire the house's details for free, many visitors said it's more than worth the extra coin to explore the inside of the building. Travelers who did so were not only wowed by the architecture but impressed with the audiovisual guide as well (provided with the ticket), which showed pictures of the building from more than 100 years ago for visitors to compare. The only complaint visitors had were the crowds. Travelers highly recommend getting a skip-the-line style ticket online to avoid waiting in long queues. They also said if you can get there early, do so, as some said having to jostle through throngs of people inside took away from their experience.
You can visit Casa Batlló every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regular admission costs 23.50 euros (about $26.50) and skip-the-line tickets cost 28.50 euros (around $31.50). The closest metro stop is Passeig de Gracia (servicing purple, green and orange lines). For more information, check out Casa Batlló's website.
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#1 Park Güell
Antoni Gaudí's Park Güell is as whimsical as parks can get. The park was originally supposed to be a housing community for the rich, commissioned by Eusebi Güell. Güell hired Gaudí but the project eventually folded due to the land's incompatible building conditions. Gaudí continued on, modeling the park after gardens he had seen in England (Güell means English in Catalan) and building around the natural elements of the land instead of tearing them down.
Today's park covers 42 acres of space and features everyday park props with a twist that is quintessentially Gaudí. Instead of numerous benches spread throughout, here visitors will be greeted with one long, wavy stone bench adorned with vibrant mosaics and equipped with views of the ocean. And instead of drab administrative buildings, the welcome centers here (which house park souvenirs and learning materials on Gaudí and the park) look like buildings you'd see in a Dr. Seuss book. You'll also find plenty of picturesque pathways that weave along verdant vegetation, down cascading tiled staircases and through jagged stone columns and tunnels. While you're here, don't miss the chance to see the Sala Hipóstila. Located right at the entrance, the Sala Hipóstila was originally intended to be a marketplace. Today it serves as nothing more than to dazzle visitors with its stately stone columns and beautiful mosaic works, which you'll find dotted all over the ceiling. Other popular attractions here include the Casa Museu Gaudí (Gaudí House Museum), Gaudí's former home turned museum, and Turó de les Tres Creus, a lookout point with pretty impressive views of the city situated in the southwestern point of the park.
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