Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 30, 2015

Alone in Park Guell

Like good tourists in Barcelona we got back on the open top tourist bus after our visit to the incredible Art Nouveau Hospital (see the previous post) and went to see Park Guell.  The park is actually quite a distance from the bus stop…all uphill.

When we arrived we stood in the queue for a while until a very nice attendant informed us that we would have to wait at least 2 hours to get into the park. It was hot standing in the blazing sun by this time, so we thought we might move on.

When pressed for more information the attendant told us that the park is open in the morning at 6.00am and there is free entry until 8.00am. The lack of a fee wasn’t as tempting as the thought there would be few people at that hour.

We arrived the next morning at 7.00am to a completely empty park. This is the people free entrance.

Park Guell


The lovely staircase with the dragon is usually swarming with people, but we had it entirely to ourselves.

Park Guell

Park Guell


Park Guell

Park Guell

Park Guell

Park Guell

Park Guell was originally meant to be a luxury housing estate. Eusebi Guell employed Antoni Gaudi to design an organised estate with 60 triangular lots where houses would be built. Only 2 were built and when they failed to sell Gaudi bought one and moved his family there in 1906. He lived there until 1926 and the house is now a museum.

The staircase leads to the Hypostyle Room, which was to be the market place in the estate.

Guell Park

Park Guell

Look up to see the beautiful Gaudi designed tiled ceiling.

Park Guell

Park Guell

The beautiful terrace in the middle of the site was planned for staging open air shows. It is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent.

Park Guell

Park Guell

Park Guell

There is an amazing colonnaded footpath under the roadway viaduct.

Park Guell


The gardens are beautifully maintained. We started to see a few Barcelona residents on their early morning runs as we walked along the paths.

Park Guell

We walked to the top of the park to the Turo de Tres Creus, Gaudi’s monument to the Cavalry for some great views of the city.

Park Guell

Thank you to the attendant who told us about the early opening. I recommend that you get up early and visit the park without other people…it will be worth it.

Park Guell is one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions and it is always busy in the middle of the day. Early in the morning you will have it to yourself and be able to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. I’m sure Gaudi would approve.



  1. Beautiful photos, Debra! Definitely worth getting up a bit early to have this wonderful place all to yourself. I think it would be a decidedly different feeling to hemmed in by dozens of tourists.

    • It is packed throughout the day. The morning is definitely the best time to visit.

  2. You are so clever with the camera, Debra. Those pictures of the park and its surroundings are amazing!

    • Gaudi makes a great subject.

  3. Hey clever to get back there so early for such people free photos – and no doubt a great private stroll in the park. Bet you are loving photographing and viewing all of the amazing architecture by Gaudi in this city in particular.

    • Gaudi’s work is a constant delight. What an amazing designer.

  4. What a shame the estate didn’t take on. Living there would have been magical! Great photos as usual Debra.

    • Perhaps it is lucky for us. The city bought the site and now we can all enjoy it.

  5. We did exactly that – the hop on hop off bus is great there as Barcelona is quite large – it is worth it to go early and it’s much cooler and empty – loved it too

    • We were very lucky the attendant told us about the early opening. It was a great experience to have the park to ourselves.

  6. Looks like the perfect time to visit…..the views are amazing.

    • It was a beautiful day, which always helps.

  7. Wonderful photos Debra! Will definitely put this on our list of things to do in Barcelona when we venture there…hopefully next year!

    • Allow lots of time for Barcelona, there is much to see.

  8. Such an amazing place, I never get tired of seeing pictures of it…one day maybe it will be in real life. Ahh, one day.

    • Gaudi did some amazing things, Park Guell included.

  9. How terrific that you found out about going there early – thanks for passing along such a valuable tip! Are the two houses with the scalloped, checker-board roofs the ones Gaude completed? They look like they would be very interesting places to live.

    • They certainly look like Gaudi. He didn’t design the 2 houses inside the park. Last time we went to Barcelona we visited the house where he lived. It was lovely inside, with some of the original furniture. It wasn’t open for an early morning visit.

  10. Good tip – I’ll try to be there by 6 am!

    • The best time to be there.

  11. Your early arrival back at the park certainly paid off with great photos.

  12. Fabulous photos, Debra. I would also have taken the opportunity to get there early. 🙂

  13. Beautiful place and wonderful suggestion. Sure seems a long way from center city.

  14. I wish I had known this tip before we went last summer. Arriving early in the afternoon, we too had a long wait to get it. We did enjoy seeing the park, homes and plaza, but yes, it would have even much nicer to see it without all the other people and long wait.

  15. Barcelona is next on my list to visit Deb. I’ve missed some of your previous posts – in the middle of a move. This one caught my eye because of Park Guell. Gaudi is a genius I think. La Sagrada Familia is something I cannot wait to see up close. Good on you for getting there early, tis definitely what I would do.

  16. How blissfully free of people your pictures are! It was overwhelmingly crowded when we went and we couldn’t wait to escape after less than a half hour battling the throngs there. Going (very) early is the key to avoiding crowds anywhere.

  17. I enjoyed your camera view of this lovely place! Thanks for the tour – brightens up my day.

  18. Yes, fantastic photos Debra! We also loved visiting a number of Gaudi sites while visiting Barcelona a few years ago! Fortunately we didn’t have to wait to get into the park, but there were definitely more people in our shots! Great tip!

  19. I love Park Guell too, Debra! It reminds me of Nek Chand’s gardens in Chandigarh. I am from India and I blog on Italy 🙂

    Ciao! My blog-

  20. Unmissable! And to think you had it all to yourselves. You are one clever tourist!!!

  21. Thanks Debra. Do you or anyone else know if Park Guell still opens at 6am? Their website obviously wouldn’t advertise that info…it still says 8am.

    • I can’t see why it would be different, I was there only a year ago. It is definitely the best time to be there.

  22. Thanks Debra. Do you or anyone else know if Park Guell still opens at 6am? Their website obviously wouldn’t advertise that info…it still says 8am.

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