The Genius of Gaudi – Barcelona’s Architecture and Museums

Casa Milà

I’ve already covered about Barcelona numerous times already, three times about its food in Barcelona, the City of Gastronomy, Getting Fat and Getting Smart in Barcelona, and What is Living Without Food? The Food in Barcelona.  And then another post for Barcelona Architectural Design and More for things to do and visit.  In fact, some of the stuff I will cover in this blog post is briefly mentioned in the Architectural Design blog post, such as the La Sagrada Familia and Picasso Museum.  But stick around for more photos and more info about these tourist attractions, plus a couple of other cool things like visiting some of Gaudi’s works and Barcelona’s esteemed museums, something I didn’t get to do due to restriction of time from my other Barcelona visits.

And for those of you who have read my previous blog posts, you will know that I am particularly fond of Barcelona.  The gradient skies of pink and blue, some surprising and impressive restaurants, and a modern and elegant feel of the environment, it’s one of those cities I love walking around.  That said, this time I really got to get a sense of Barcelona as a city, since I came this time not for work but really as a tourist.

 

Accommodation

H10 Casanova (website)

Slightly off the way from Eixample, H10 Casanova is convenient enough to have a bus station right outside the hotel, and the metro station Urgell just two blocks away.  The rooms are slightly small for its price, although that’s Barcelona since hotels are more expensive than Madrid, but we were offered a complimentary glass of champagne when we were checking in.  I felt a bit cramped in the room.

H10 CasanovaWe actually got upgraded so we had a bigger area including a sofa

H10 Casanova

H10 Casanova

H10 CasanovaI also don’t like how there are no curtains or anything for the shower, so water will just get on the floor

H10 CasanovaThis is essentially their “gym”, plus one treadmill.  I’m serious.  They only have one of this for you to do everything.  Needless to say, I only went there once haha, but more because of my laziness though

H10 CasanovaThe buses outside the hotel

Gran Via de les Corts CatalanesThe same street, but when the weather was better.  Natural lens flare ^__^

Barcelona bus to AeroportA couple more blocks away, there is a bus stop that takes you directly to the airport

 

Things to Do

Casa Batlló (website)

Considered as one of Gaudi’s magnum opus, the house is a remodel of a previously built house.  It really showcases Gaudi’s ability to transform an architecture that incorporates the elements of nature and the environment around it.  In fact, Gaudi was a huge proponent of encouraging architecture to utilise its natural surrounding environment.

No doubt, any passer by will find Batllo to be an eye catching house, with its unorthodox appearance.  Internally, the theme is prevalent as well, with each room designed with its own concept in place.  I like the house as its neither modern or old, but rather quite peculiar in its own unique way.

As a tourist, you’ll definitely pass by this place.  I highly suggest coming here for a visit.  Ticket queues may take up to 15-20 minutes, and the visit takes about an hour.

Casa BatllóThey will give you a device that will automatically play once you step into each of the rooms and will explain to you what the room was designed for.  As you can see from this photo, this device will incorporates the use of Augmented Reality so you can visualise what the rooms were like back in the days.

Casa Batlló

Casa BatllóSome of those balcony looks like seashells

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

 

Casa Mila (website)

Another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, “Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera or “The stone quarry”, a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance, is a modernist building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912.” (Wikipedia).

For me, what I felt was cool about this place was the rooftop with its bends and twists and curves and its view of the Avinguda Diagonal, and an observation of what life was like back in the early 20th century with each room decorated as if we were transported back in time.  You’ll see what I mean below.

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa MilàThe rooftop, Some of those cylinder columns look like Dugtrio from Pokemon

Casa Milà

Passeig de GràciaThe view from the rooftop.  You can see even some of the buildings across also convey a sense of uniqueness, quite possibly influenced by Gaudi’s works

Casa MilàA model of Casa Milà

Casa MilàArches

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa MilàLife back in the day

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa MilàThe maid’s room usually was close to the children’s

Casa MilàHome office.  Btw I believe this home was a representation of someone that was well off

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Casa MilàSouvenir shop, just before leaving

 

La Sagrada Familia (website)

ANOTHER one of Gaudi’s works, the “Basílica de la Sagrada Família, also known as the Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by Spanish/Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, his work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.” (Wikipedia)

Interestingly enough, it seems that this basilica is always under construction, from the last two times I’ve been to Barcelona, and even in this most recent trip.  Apparently, the La Sagrada Familia will finally be completed by 2026 to commemorate Gaudi’s passing away 100th year anniversary.  Hopefully by then I will be able to visit Barcelona again to see what it’s like.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

 

Passeig de Gràcia

The famous street that boasts Gaudi’s masterpieces, such as Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, a ton of big brands also have a store along this famous Barcelona street.

FENDI BoutiqueFENDI Boutique

NespressoNespresso, I liked the colorful capsule

Passeig de GràciaNext to Casa Batlló, that triangular shaped house, is Casa Amatller, another one of Gaudi’s works.  As you can see, the works from Gaudi’s are all very distinguishable.

Passeig de GràciaAgain, people in Barcelona protesting, believing they should be independent from Barcelona and be part of their own Catalunya.

Passeig de Gràcia

 

Barcelona Cathedral (website)

Just go to the website for info.

Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

 

Park Güell (website)

I won’t bother you too much about the description and the history of the park, since most of the information can be found on the website.  But if there’s one takeaway you need to know, it’s that Gaudi had a role in this project.  Yes, that Gaudi guy once again.

It’s a little off the track from Barcelona, and it takes quite a bit to get there.  Also do plan to get tickets online or get it beforehand because otherwise if you arrive too late right before the closing times, you may miss out on getting the last batch of tickets.

I felt that this tourist attraction wasn’t particularly fascinating, so for those who are tight in time, I don’t think it’s necessary to make the extra trip to come here.

Barcelona GraffitiOn the way to Park Guell, saw some interesting graffiti

Guelly sandwichparkWe took not the best way to walk there, listening to Google Maps and going to a metro station close to the park, and then walking UPHILL for at least 15-20 mins.  In the middle of the walk, there was this Guelly sandwichpark so we sat down and took a rest here.

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park GüellDid we mention that we walked for about 20 mins to get to the top?  Yeah so we’re high up.  This is the view from Park Güell.  You can see La Sagrada Familia with those high cranes lol

Park GüellDid I also mention that someone tried to rob us?  There’s this area in Park Güell for people to see the scenery of Barcelona.  While we placed our bags nearby and started taking photos, apparently she noticed that someone was lurking around our belongings and so she quickly went to get back her belongings.  What I’m trying to say is.. people steal in Barcelona!  It has a bad reputation of stealing, and it’s happened twice so far so it’s true!  People have stolen passports in Barcelona before, so just be really aware of yourselves.

 

Picasso Museum (website)

Quite simply, this museum houses a lot of Picasso’s most earliest works all the way to his last works, so you get to not only see his evolution of his style, but also find out what inspired him to create these works.

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso MuseumThis photo Picasso was working on this project, Las Meninas, and he needed a break, so he constantly drew these paintings of these windows and the outside view for about a week.

Picasso MuseumThere you go

Picasso MuseumAnother one of those outside paintings

Picasso Museum

Picasso MuseumSmall boobgies

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Picasso MuseumThe roof for one of the rooms

 

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (website)

First thing I have to say about this place is… DO NOT GO.  I’m sure it’s because 1. we didn’t had a good featured exhibition at that time (we had Charlotte Posenenske), and the artworks weren’t that masterful or high quality in general.  Even though the exterior of this place looks interesting, I would recommend for those of you reading my blog to NOT go.  The place also charges a lot, similar to other museums.  But there isn’t as much artwork, you’d be just looking at many empty spaces, and the artwork just isn’t impressive enough.  Skip!

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary ArtA lot of people skateboard on the ledge, from day to night

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary ArtWartime

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary ArtAnother view of the exterior

 

Barceloneta Beach

For those of you who have read my previous blog posts, you will know that I love the Barceloneta Beach.  I love the light pink blue skies, the fabulous W hotel standing magnificently and alone at the end of the beach, the “people watching” aspect of seeing people jog or bike or whatever.  Must go!

Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta BeachThat at the right side that looks like the windsurfing sail is W Hotel!  BTW it was so cold, like 10-12 degrees Celsius.  How do people SURF in this weather?

Barceloneta Beach

Opium Nightclub BarcelonaOpium Nightclub Barcelona.  I really wanted to go!  Wanted to go so many times already…

Pacha Nightclub BarcelonaPacha Nightclub.  Also really want to go!

 

Poble Espanyol (website)

Found in a tour guide book, I thought that this place was going to be pretty shabby.  An empty village with some historical houses but not much to see or do.  But instead, it was actually pretty dope.  The village and historical architecture there were pretty interesting, there were a lot of craftsmanship, and most surprisingly, they housed the most impressive contemporary art museum!  Better than any of the other museums I’ve been to in the rest of Barcelona and Madrid.  Like a village and suddenly an art museum in it that’s actually amazing!?  It’s not just paintings in the museum, but all kinds of art.  Even if you just go for the contemporary museum, it’s so worth it.  By the way, I don’t have any photos from the museum because photo taking is forbidden.

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble EspanyolPretty empty, except for us and some little school kids

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol - Contemporary Art MuseumEntrance to Contemporary Art Museum.  As you can see it housed some famous artists’ works, such as Picasso, Miro and Dali

Poble Espanyol - Contemporary Art Museum

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble EspanyolLook at the back of the wall and the melted clocks Dali style 🙂

Poble Espanyol

Poble EspanyolHello there

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

Ventalls - Poble EspanyolA shop that sells fancy fans

Ventalls - Poble Espanyol

Babala - Poble Espanyol

Babala - Poble Espanyol

Babala - Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol

 

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (website)

This museum is gorgeous.  Climbing up the stairs, you will continue to marvel at the architecture of the museum, as well as the gigantic fountain that’s down below. as well as the cascading waterfalls that decorate the climb up.  With each block of stairs, you will be tempted to stand a bit not to rest, but to take selfies.  This museum houses many medieval collections as well as Renaissance and modern art.  Not my favorite works, just because I prefer modern and contemporary art, but this museum is definitely well worth visiting, just to even intake the breathtaking design of the museum.  I suggest at least 2 hours for a rushed visit, so 2.5-3 hours would be more comforting.  If you’re one of those people that need an audio guide, it may take even longer.

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Òleum Restaurant | Museu Nacional d'Art de CatalunyaOleum, the mediterranean restaurant inside the museum, the ratings seem to be soso

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de CatalunyaLove

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

 

La Rambla

The famous, and infamous shopping street of La Rambla, the street feels like a never ending line of shops, pavement cafés, entertainers, and souvenir kiosks.  Because of its high popularity with tourists, naturally there will be a lot of thieves as well, so be extra attentive with your expensive items when coming here.

La RamblaThe FC Barcelona store

 

Other random things to see or do

CiteeS BarcelonaA shop called CiteeS, sells cute t-shirts

Barcelona posters

Barcelona Posters

 

Nightlife, Bars and Clubs

City Hall (website)

Saw a poster advertising free entry for techno music.  Went and was not disappointed.  Great music, cool venue, and the visuals were amazing.  Sound system was good.  Not a lot of people though, probably because it was a Thursday night?  The place started getting packed only after 2am.  Drinks were not free.

City Hall - Barcelona nightclub

City Hall - Barcelona nightclub

 

I joined up with my friends who happened to be in Barcelona coincidentally during that time for one evening and met up with them at their hostel.  We left the hostel with the rest of their hostel mates at about 11:30p-12am, and started going to different places around Barcelona.  Here were a couple of them:

HOT BarHOT Bar (Facebook).  It was still pretty cold though in Barcelona even after being inside.

The Guateque BarThe Guateque Bar (website).  A little bit more classy inside, and we started doing cheap shots.  NOT STRONG ENOUGH.

The Guateque BarAlso part of the Guateque bar.  Hostel people being chitty chatty and open.

The Guateque Bar

TWENTIES, BarcelonaLast but not least, TWENTIES (website) Baller club, lots of young people (really living up to its name), lots of mainstream music, big club, come here to have a fun time with friends

TWENTIES, BarcelonaFRIENDS DON’T LIE also in TWENTIES

Sorry, most of my nightclub things were in videos >__< friends – message me if you want me to send.

 

Do you have anything else that is a MUST DO in Barcelona?  Share with us in the comments below!  For me, I felt that the Poble Espanyol, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and the Gaudi houses (not the Park!) were my top things to do in Barcelona!  Can’t wait to come back again.

 

Last updated: Feb. 18, 2020

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