From Gaudí’s fantastic architectural creations to Gothic highlights and modern skyscrapers, Barcelona is filled with weird and wonderful architecture to feast your eyes on. Below is a guide to the city’s quirkiest structures.
Also known as La Pedrera or “the stone quarry” due to its rough-hewn exterior, Gaudí‘s Casa Milà was commissioned in 1906 by Pere Milà and his wife Roser Segimon. The building is a great example of Gaudi’s modernist approach, with its distinctive curves spread over nine floors. The building was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and has had many visitors since opening its doors to the public in 1987.
W Barcelona Hotel
A soaring structure positioned along the water’s edge, the W Barcelona Hotel has had much attention since its construction in 2010. The 5-star hotel’s grand sail-shaped design and reflective exterior is now a familiar yet crazy sight along Barcelona’s shoreline.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a night’s stay at the luxurious hotel then why not visit the rooftop terrace or its beach-like Salt bar for a special drink come sundown?
A Torre Agbar (now Torres Glòries), a 38-story skyscraper, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. At 144 metres tall, you can’t fail to catch sight of this distinctive geyser-like building, which is said to be inspired by Montserrat, a mountain close to the city. Torres Glòries is an office building during the day, and comes to life with inspired light installations at night.
The building is open to the public if you are wanting to take a look a closer look.
One of Antoni Gaudí’s grandest and most well-known architectural creations, la Sagrada Familia became a lengthy project for the architect.
Like most of his work, the natural world had a part to play in the creation of la Sagrada Familia, with its tree-like pillars and high windows working with the natural light. Part of la Sagrada Familia, together with several other Gaudí creations in Barcelona, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a testament to Gaudí’s astonishing contribution to architecture.
130 years on, the building is still unfinished, perhaps to be completed by 2026, to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
Another Gaudí creation, Casa Batllo is reminiscent of a fairy-tale palace (if an unconventional one) with its spires, grand balconies and colourful design. It is a building that wonderfully showcases the architect’s love of nature, colour and unusual resources.
“The great book, one that is always open and which you must strive to read, is that of Nature.” –Gaudi.
As already mentioned, Gaudí was a great lover of the outdoors. With Park Güell he had the dream project of bringing his colourful and unique designs to the grounds of Camel Hill. The result was a collection of stunning spiralling houses, animal-inspired statues and curved mosaic-lined stonework.
Today, visitors can visit the park but it is advisable to come early to avoid the queues.
Pont del Bisbe
Pont del Bisbe, the Bishop’s Bridge, was built in 1928. The quirky and intricate bridge is a great feature to discover as you wander through the streets of Barcelona’s pretty Gothic Quarter. The architect Joan Rubió i Bellver did a great job of ensuring the bridge blended in with its surrounding medieval architecture.
Find the latest hotel deals in Barcelona and feast your eyes on the city’s much-loved architecture.
Need more weird and wonderful experiences in Barcelona? Hop over to our Hidden Travel website for a look behind the city’s more obvious spots.