Are you already familiar with Gaudi’s masterpieces and consider yourself one of his most devoted fans? Would you like to get a deeper understanding of his background and understand better his life, evolution and architecture philosophy? Are you curious to know what was he doing in town before building his top works?
Visiting Gaudi’s top sites is a must, but it will only give you a partial (and maybe even superficial) vision of who the architect was. You can’t really get a complete picture without seeing his early works and learning about his origins and youth. But where can you find such youth projects? And more important, where can you find enough information about them so just seeing them adds up to what you already know? Some of such works are not even open to the public, the guidebooks only dedicate them a few sentences and there are no audioguides available either… Let alone the need of going off the beaten path into areas of the city where tourists won’t usually go.
But we are true Gaudi fans, and we understand your eagerness to learn more about him. This is why we have created this tour that will give you the best background of where Gaudi comes from and how he evolved to be the great genious that was going to transform the city of Barcelona. Are you ready for that?
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (Torre Bellesguard tickets availability, your transportation means, location and pace, your main interests…)
Your guide and your driver will pick you up at your location and take you to the Eixample district where Gaudi built his first apartment building: Casa Calvet. His style wasn’t fully developped yet, and the outside doesn’t differ much from other surrounding modernist buildings… until your guide will start analyzing the details for you.
The building is a private property and they don’t admit visitors, except for the street level where there is a restaurant that preserves the original furniture Gaudi designed for the offices of the textile business of the Calvet family (however, it’s not likely to be open yet when we get there: booking a table for a special meal is highly recommended!)
Back to the car, and after an optional stop to see the outside of Casa Batlló on the way if you wish, you’ll leave behind the Eixample district to enter the neighborhood of Gracia where Gaudi built his first ever building: a private villa for the Vicenç family.
The use of ceramic tiles and wrought iron here are already a prelude of what was coming in the future. And the nature inspiration is also clearly visible.
This building has been recently acquired by a bank that is planning to open it as a museum in Autumn 2017. In the meantime, we’ll just be seeing it from outside.
Further on into the elegant uptown, Torre Bellesguard is a hidden gem that has been recently open to the public: a large villa partly still inhabited by the owners and partly available for visitors.
Its location, next to the remains of a fortress used by the Crown of Aragon in the Middle Ages, inspired Gaudi to include lots of details that express his Catalan pride and remind us of that period of history that was a Golden Age for our land.
Your guide will show you around the different spaces: the garden, the entrance hall, interiors, attic and rooftop terrace.
Time permitting, you’ll to take a little detour on your way to the Güell Pavilions to stop by two more little known Gaudi works: outside the Teresianes School and the Miralles Gate.
The Teresianes School is currently a private school and they don’t allow visitors in, but some of the building can be seen from the entrance gate while your guide fills you in about this particular early project of Antoni Gaudi.
The Miralles gate is the only thing that is left of a farming real-state designed by Gaudi in his youth. There’s a real-size sculpture of Gaudi next to it: a cool opportunity to take a picture with the master.
Meeting the Count Eusebi Guell was a turning point for Gaudi that opened up doors and connected him with inspiring people. One of them was the priest and poet Mossen Cinto Verdaguer, who wrote the poem Atlantis about the adventures of the Greek hero Heracles.
This fabulous wrought iron gate representing a dragon and the details of the pavilions in both sides of it, once the entrance to a real state owned by the Count Guell and now part of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Barcelona, are inspired in Mossen Cinto’s book.
While the pavilions are open to the public in the mornings, they can only be visited by joining one of their group tours that takes about one hour, which is why we’ll only be seeing it from outside.
Eusebi Guell offered part of his real state in Pedralbes to the Spanish monarchy, where they would build a private mansion (or “palace”) to use during their trips to Barcelona.
Previous to that, a very young Gaudi had designed a few elements that decorated the gardens of the real state. Follow your guide around this silent oasis of nature to find a shady bamboo pergola where Gaudi used already his later famous parabolic arches, and a humble wrought iron pergola with one of this favorite shapes… you guessed it right: a dragon.
Your guide and your driver will take you back to your location, or the city center, or somewhere for lunch. Or you might prefer to stay in the area and visit the FC Barcelona stadium nearby, on your own (if you are a sports person beside an architecture lover, that is).
This tour has been designed for adults with a strong interest in Gaudi’s architecture and background, beyond his famous masterpieces.
If your budget is not enough for a chauffeured tour, this itinerary can also be achieved by taxi although it is not as time-efficient and you’ll be spending less time at the sites, depending on how hard it is to find a cab at each new location (and having the taxi driver wait for us won’t make sense since the whole purpose of using taxis is to spare money).
If you are traveling with kids, this tour can be adapted for them although will be more academic and less fun than the Gaudi masterpieces.
If you have walking issues, this tour is OK because it doesn’t involve much walking, except the walk around the Royal Palace gardens (around 30 minutes total, with seating opportunities). However, you must be able to climb stairs to visit Torre Bellesguard.
If you are on a wheelchair, I’m afraid Torre Bellesguard is not adapted as the visit involves several sections of stairs to move from one floor to the next and there is no elevator. However, if you wish we can take you to Palau Güell instead which is mostly accessible by elevator except for the rooftop.
Want a longer tour? Add one to two extra hours to include Palau Güell in your itinerary.
If you want to delve deeper into the personality of the Count Guell and his relationship with Antoni Gaudi, don’t miss our tour of Palau Guell and Cripta Güell.
If you’d love to discover what else Gaudi built outside of Barcelona, check out our Gaudi day trips out of town.
* ATTENTION. Upon booking, you’ll also be charged for the tickets of Torre Bellesguard in advance, as we’ll need to book them in advance.
DURATION: 4 hours
Taxi rides not included.
Mercedes car or minivan upto 6 of you + guide & dedicated driver
PAID ON SITE skipping lines:
* Fees given as an orientation only. Sites might decide to change them without notice. Discounts might apply for students and/or seniors.
We can only secure a guide for you after full payment has been received. Don’t wait until last-minute: we often book out in high season, and Park Guell & Sagrada Familia tickets sell out, too.
This tour is:
|AVAILABLE||Tuesday through Sunday in the mornings|
|AFTERNOONS||Torre Bellesguard is closed, so if you can't tour any other time but the afternoons, this tour can still be done by visiting Palau Güell instead (the mansion Gaudi built for Eusebi Güell down la Rambla).|
Recommended starting times:
|Morning Tours Tours:||10AM (9AM if you are adding extra hours to visit Palau Güell as well)|
|Afternoon Tours:||Anytime between 1PM and 2PM (summertime until 4PM)|