I’m sure you’d agree that when a wealthy industrialist employs the world’s greatest architect to construct paradise on earth it’s going to end up in tourist gold.
If you don’t there’s over 9 million tourists a year to back me up.
Yes, getting Park Guell tickets is about as standard as airport transport. Yet you wouldn’t know it. The complaints about lines from tourists range from whiny to hell-on-earth-like.
How can we avoid issues with the world’s most stunning urban park?
Reading my guide of course.
1 – Park Guell facts
2 – What to see
3 – Tickets
4 – Park Guell guided tour in English
5 – How to get to Park Guell
6 – Hours and best time to visit
7 – Park Guell hacks
8 – Park Guell map + app
9 – FAQ
Park Guell Facts
This 17 hectare park (about 13 city blocks) on a rocky hill is one of the most spectacular urban parks in the world. It keeps watch over Barcelona from the hills above the Gracia district.
Park Guell was conceived in 1900 by wealthy industrialist Eusebi Guell. His intention was to create a lavish, Utopian housing development in the middle of a park using the world’s most cutting edge architecture.
Cue Antoni Gaudi.
The legendary Catalan architect was put in charge of designing the more than 60 luxury homes of the planned community over looking the city, far away from smoky factories. All with latest technology and a touch of art.
In the end the men couldn’t even sell the show house and construction was halted in 1914.
Gaudi moved into one of the houses in 1906 and lived there until 1926: it’s now the Gaudi House Museum. Ultimately the area was turned into a municipal garden in 1926.
UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1984.
What to See at Park Guell
Park Guell is made up of two areas: The Monumental Zone and the Free Zone.
All of the most recognized portions of the park will be found in the Monumental Zone while the Free Zone is more of a backyard garden.
The Monumental Zone
At the south side entrance on Carrer d’Olot you’ll see the park hemmed in by a rustic stone wall with its emblematic ceramic medallions bearing the name Park Guell.
The two trencadís-speckled buildings on either side that look a lot like gingerbread houses from Hanzel and Gretel were once the porter’s lodge complete with waiting room and telephone booth.
The twin-flight dragon stairway entrance is flanked by two grotto terraces, one of which was used for keeping horses. A journey up the stairway is as capricious as it is magnificent: you’ll encounter goblin shapes, Catalonian symbols, and the famous tile-shard mosaic dragon: the most famous image of the park.
It’s actually a salamander 😛
Further up the staircase you’ll find the Doric Temple (a forest made of 86 columns) which was intended to be the market of the estate. Thanks to its twisted columns it gives the impression of being on a patio built on tree roots.
Keep walking and you’ll get to the Banc de Tracadis, a long bench covered in ceramics created by Josep Maria Jujol, one of Gaudi’s closest contemporaries.
Here is the massive tile-decorated esplanade and centre-piece of the park called Plaça de la Natura (Nature Square). The view of the city from there is amazing.
The Free Zone
The Free Zone takes up 92.1% of the park so you’ll have a ton of terrain to explore for free.
In general the space is much more wild and garden-like: you’ll find a seemingly endless stream of sculpture-adorned winding paths creeping uphill and offering spectacular views of the city.
You’ll also see some of the park’s original homes including the famous Gaudí House Museum: it was here that architect Antoni Gaudi lived from 1906-1925. In 1963 the house was turned into a museum about Gaudi and his life.
Careful: the Gaudi House Museum isn’t property of the park. You won’t be able to visit with a standard Park Guell ticket nor any Park Guell guided tour.
Tickets can be bought online via the official website.
Park Guell Tickets
On the 25th of October 2013 the price of Park Guell tickets went from zero to €7.00. The least picturesque part of the park remains free but the monumental part (described above) is not.
Online prices are listed in bold.
- General ticket:
- Kids (7-12):
- Disabled visitors + accompanying person:
- Kids under 7: €0.00
Careful: if you leave the paid area of the park you won’t be able to re-enter.
If you read my FAQ section you’ll see there are rumours about free entry to Park Guell if you’re really, really early around 7 am. Please take this advice with a grain of salt.
Buying Tickets Online
The advantages of buying your Park Guell tickets online are three-fold.
Firstly, you choose your own times. Buying tickets in advance online ensures you get the time slot you wish for which makes planning your day easier.
Secondly, it’s cheaper. When you buy your ticket online you save €1.00 per ticket.
Thirdly, there a no lines. Just print out your ticket or show your QR code on a smart phone at the access control point to get in.
Get your tickets online via the official Park Guell website by clicking the button below:
Using a Tourist Pass
If you’re going to visit both Park Guell and Sagrada Familia I suggest getting a discount tourist pass.
The best pass option including Park Guell tickets is the super-handy Barcelona City Pass. Not only do you get line-skipping entrance to Park Guell and Sagrada Familia but you also get a trip on the Bus Touristic.
With this digital discount card all is done from home and you’ll skip lines everywhere.
For more information check out my page on Barcelona City Pass options.
The logical and old school approach is to get your Park Guell tickets at ticket windows.
Be advised though: this is one of Barcelona’s biggest attractions and if you do this you’ll likely be waiting in line for upwards of an hour.
Also be advised that the maximum hourly visitor admittance is 400 people. This means that even after waiting in line you’ll like be assigned a time slot which could be anywhere from 1-4 hours later depending on crowds.
Whatever you do, book your Park Guell tickets online.
Park Guell Guided Tours in English
This fantastic Park Guell guided tour is offered exclusively by Barcelona tour legends Ticketbar: you won’t even find this on the official Park Guell website.
The tours here are in English with actual flesh and blood guides who are Gaudi experts.
This 90 minute tour runs from Thursday to Monday.
The meeting point is right outside the park at 41 Carrer de Larrard.
With this tour you’ll avoid lines at the entrance and have a great education on one of the world’s best parks.
Prices: adults €29.00, children 10-17 are €24.00.
After buying your Park Guell tour tickets you’ll receive a confirmation email from Ticketbar within 24 hours.
In the email you’ll have all instructions needed for attending the tour as well as your ticket which must be printed and presented at the tour start location.
How to Get to Park Guell
Since Park Guell is both out of the way and uphill this is a great chance to take advantage of a €6.00 discount on Spain’s car share program: Cabify. Update 21/10/17: Cabify has suspended this offer while they plan a new first rider discount, but I still suggest signing up for the convenience without the discount.
You’ll save so much time and end up paying only about €3.00 or €4.00 from anywhere central.
For more information see how to sign up with Cabify.
Here are your other transport options:
- Bus 24 from Passeig de Gracia or Placa Catalunya will get to you right to the gates.
- Bus 94 connects Park Guell to the sea and Sagrada Familia but expect a ten minute walk.
- Metro stops Lesseps or Vallcarca on the green line L3 (15 minute uphill walk).
- With the Bus Turistic. The bus leaves you a short walk from the park.
- Taking a regular taxi should be between €10-15 from anywhere central.
If you’re still a bit confused on directions drop me a line below with a departure point for some custom advice.
Park Guell Hours
As a rule you should leave an hour for the monumental part and another hour to see the free part.
- 1 Jan to 26 Mar 2017: from 8:30 to 18:15 (last entry at 17:30).
- 27 Mar to 1 May 2017: from 8:00 to 20:30 (last entry at 19:30).
- 2 May to 28 Aug 2017: from 8:00 to 21:30 (last entry at 20:30).
- 29 Aug to 29 Oct 2017: from 8:00 to 20:30 (last entry at 19:30).
- 29 Oct to 31 Dec 2017 : from 8:30 to 18:15 (last entry at 17:30).
What’s the Best Time to Visit Park Guell?
Park Guell can’t be beat with the morning light so I advise the earlier the better.
Your best bet is getting Monumental Zone entry before 9:00 am and showing up about 30 minutes before to walk the free zone. The crowds won’t be any thinner during the day.
After I suggest walking back into the city. It’s downhill. Get a feel for the way locals live by having a carajillo (a shot of espresso with chosen liquor) in a random cafe. Then head to the Gracia district for brunch. You’ll have the whole day ahead of you.
If you just can’t get up then I recommend the later time slots toward closing time.
In summer I would strongly advise going between 1 pm and 4 pm as the sun (and crowds) could take you out!
Park Guell Map
The city has outlined 3 different routes to explore the park depending on which entrance you use.
It’s recommended to download or print the park map from the official Park Guell website to avoid getting lost and maximise time. Here you’ll also be able to download a free app with audio, photos, and an interactive map to really enhance the experience.
The app is available in 7 languages including English and is available for Android and iPhone.
Park Guell Hacks
- Book Park Guell tickets online or you may be waiting hours.
- Leave at least 50 minutes to travel there from the city centre.
- Remember: there’s a 30 minute grace period for entry times (e.g 9:00 tickets admitted till 9:30).
- With pre-booked tickets try and avoid entering at the main entrance (the west is less crowded).
- Bring appropriate ID if you’ll be taking advantage of any discounts (senior, children etc.).
- Bring comfortable shoes if you’re looking to go all the way to the top.
- Visit in the evening for more comfortable temperatures and great sunset photos.
- Ameneties are overpriced and scarce: take your own food and water for a picnic.
- Shade is at a premium so bring sunscreen in summer.
- Those with limited mobility should arrive via taxi or Bus 24 to avoid uphill walks.
Park Guell FAQ
What time slots are available for the Monumental Zone?
You can select to enter at :00 or :30 every hour of the park’s opening hours (last entry 1 hour before close).
What happens if I’m late for my time slot?
You have 30 minutes courtesy to be admitted otherwise your tickets won’t be accepted – plan ahead!
Can I cancel or change my ticket booking?
No changes or refunds can be made with tickets bought at the official Park Guell website.
For guided tour tickets you may be able to contacting [email protected]
How will I receive my tickets?
For both general admission and guided tours you’ll receive your tickets via email.
I didn’t receive my tickets, what now?
First of all make sure your tickets haven’t been caught in any spam filters. If you still can’t locate the tickets then you can email [email protected]
Can I show my ticket on my smart phone or tablet?
I can’t print my ticket and I don’t have a smart phone, what now?
Bring a piece of ID (and preferably your reservation #) to the ticket windows to be given your passes.
How long should I leave for the visit?
Including 30-45 minutes return travel time plus an hour each for the Monumental Zone and free zone I would leave 3.5 hours minimum.
I heard there was free entry to the Monumental Zone, is this true?
The workers don’t arrive to set up ticket barriers at the Calle d’Olot entrance until about 7:45 am. I’ve heard this means people can go right through into the Monumental Zone without paying, but please don’t quote me on it.
If you really can’t handle paying I would risk trying to get the free entry at this time. Even if you’re turned away you can still have a great excursion to the free zone.
If I haven’t booked my tickets online will I get in?
Yes and no. After waiting in potentially long lines you may be assigned a much later time slot or in busy cases be told to come back the next day.
Your best bet for tickets in this case is to buy your Park Guell entrance at the machines at Lesseps or Vallcarca metro stations. Here there are shorter lines and you won’t risk walking uphill for nothing.
Is Park Guell OK for disabled visitors or those with limited mobility?
Disabled visitors may have problems navigating the Monumental Zone due to its many steps and uneven paths. Any special access requirements should be sent to [email protected]
Get at Me in the Comments Below
Yes, I’m going to (desperately) ask you to consider me your friend in Barcelona.
That means you can ask me any question, no matter how ridiculous, about your upcoming holiday and I’m going to answer it! So whether it’s Park Guell guided tour tickets or just a place to get a good cup of tea know because I’m here for you.
Fire away 😛