Colorful. Lively. Beautiful. Three words that summarize most corners of Barcelona, Spain. The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is a magnificent location to study abroad in or visit – a fact that’s especially true for people who are inspired by stunning art and architecture. Famous artists have characterized Barcelona throughout the years, and today the city boasts some of the most incredible works of art and architecture in the world.
Here are 5 places that make Barcelona a dream destination for art and architecture.
1. La Sagrada Família
The most popular monument in Spain, La Sagrada Família (above) is an awe-inspiring masterpiece. Not only is it one of the most brilliant sights in the city, it literally towers over the rest. Designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, construction for La Sagrada Família began in 1882 and continues to this day. It’s estimated that construction for this masterpiece will finish in 2026 and that the central tower will be over 550 feet tall – making it the tallest religious building in Europe!
2. Museu Picasso
Established in 1963, the Picasso Museum of Barcelona showcases over 3,800 exhibits. Picasso, originally from Malaga and one of the most influential artists of all time, had a deep attachment to Barcelona over the course of his life. Today the museum features a variety of Picasso’s early and late works, including an entire series of Las Meninas – his interpretation of Velasquez’ world-famous creation.
3. Casa Batlló
Another one of Gaudí’s brainchildren, Casa Batlló is located in the heart of Barcelona and is one of the artist’s most astounding masterpieces. In 1904, Gaudí was hired to remodel the home into what it is today; a true wonder. Modeled as an underwater cavern, each room of Casa Batlló is fascinating and remarkably unique. In 2005, the architectural gem was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it continues to welcome close to a million visitors each year!
4. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Barcelona’s most important museum, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunyaholds an extensive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. It’s especially famous for its Romanesque collection, which is considered the most important concentration of early medieval art in the world. If the inside isn’t impressive enough, the building alone is a sight to behold from the outside.
5. Park Güell
Designed by Gaudí for his best friend and patron Eusebi Güell, Park Güell is now one of Barcelona’s most significant and beautiful sights. The park, resembling something out of a fairytale, contains iron gates designed as palm leaves, mosaic creatures, a magnificent terrace, and enchanting sights as far as the eye can see.
Tip: although entrance to most of the park is free, the monumental zone (home to the famous curved bench) requires tickets – and only admits a limited number of guests per hour. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance to see this part of the park!
Dreaming of exploring some of these magnificent works of art for yourself?