While staying in the center of Barcelona near Plaza Catalunya, we took Bus 22 from the plaza down Passeig De Gracia and all the way to the very entrance of Park Güell. The bus cost us €2.15 per person and only took about 20 minutes or so.
Once we arrived, the bus left us directly in front of the box office ticket entrance. Park Güell entrance tickets are €8 for each adult and allows you entrance to the center of the park at a specific time. It seems to be set in 30 minute intervals. Our slotted entrance time was between 1 and 1:30 in the afternoon.
With half hour before our slotted entrance time we were able to explore the outer parts of the park. There are lots of trails to explore - both up the slopes and down the hillside.
As our assigned entrance time approached we were already making our way back down from the highest point in the park. We stopped along the way to listen to a few local performers playing music at different points along our path. These are exceptionally talented people making a living playing music for the mass of visitors to Park Güell - most of them tourists.
Upon entering we immediately find ourselves located on a flat, though gigantic, area lined by the most beautifully decorated bench all along the edges. This edge isn't a straight line nor is it a circle, but is a series of rounded benches that form curves going one way, then the other, wrapping around the entire area. As you approach this continuous rounded bench all the colors come into clear focus and you realize that the entire thing is tiled ever so beautifully. The vibrantly colored design reminds you of the flavor and energy that Barcelona itself gives off during your visit.
There is a spot just on the far end, towards the East, where you can take in the most spectacular panoramic views of the city below. From La Sagrada Familia to the W Hotel and the Port of Barcelona in the distance, the view is stunning.
And that's only the top area of Park Güell. There's so much more to explore!
Take the stairs towards the west side of this area down to the next level of the park. You will have to decide which direction to explore first: hang a right and you'll find what looks like a tunnel lined by columns which aren't your typical columns. These slanted columns look like rock formations that are about to collapse on you as you walk down the tunnel. The truth is these columns were specifically designed by Antoni Gaudí in such a way that they draw your attention to them as you walk by.
Opposite the tunnel lined by those amazing slanted columns, making a left from the stairs, is a level just underneath the upper level which was lined by the rounded tile benches. This level of the park is a maze of gigantic tiled columns, perhaps two dozen or so, and an intricately tiled ceiling. The colorful tiles come together, similarly to the benches up above, in such a way that you will certainly have a bit of neck pain from staring up at the ceiling for too long.
Towards the east end of this level of the park is another set of stairs leading you towards a street exit. But the exploring doesn't end there. As you take the stairs you can't help but notice the gigantic tiled lizard set in the middle of the stairs. It's an iconic symbol for Park Güell - and a big Kodak-moment spot - so be prepared to bring some patience if you want your own photo with it.
While that's the photo everyone takes, I particularly enjoy the view from from the very bottom of the stairs looking back up. The view looking back towards the park shows the sheer size of Park Güell the park in comparison to all the little people in the frame.
From the tiled lizard on the stairs, to the gigantic columns holding up the top level of tiled benches with on-lookers gazing at the Barcelona skyline, Park Güell is one of my absolute favorites on this little blue planet.
On your next visit to Barcelona, especially if it's your very first visit, make sure to set aside some time to check out this gem of a park. I promise all of your senses will be mesmerized.
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