The view of the dragon fountains from the bench area
Barcelona is full of beauty and I really would describe it as a gold mine for tourists (yes I am a little bit in love with the city). What will stand out to you from the photos of Park Guell is the eccentric architectural work of Antoni Gaudi. Park Guell is often described as one of Barcelona's treasures, the main reason for this is the irony behind its existence. The construction began in 1900 and ended in 1914. Originally the park was meant to be a private housing development designed by Gaudi on instructions from Eusebi Guell. It wasn't as economically successful as hoped and the whole project was considered a failure, only 2 houses were built in the end. However, in 1984 Park Guell became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now it is buzzing with tourists.
Park Guell is located on the hill of El Carmel and the views of the city are spectacular. You can get to the park by bus, the metro or by walking. As Park Guell is on a hill top the walk can be long especially in summer. I would recommend preparing for the sun; take lots of water, sun protection, a sun hat and a fan. To avoid a lot of walking it is best to take the bus.
The view from El Carmel
Currently there is no official website* for the park but this website is very useful. This web page states the opening times in various seasons and it details all the different metro/bus routes required for this journey. Generally speaking the park opens at 10am. When planning your day I would recommend giving yourself at least 3 hours at the park. If you enjoy taking photos and like to sit down regularly to take in your surroundings then perhaps dedicate half a day to see this venue.
Tourists taking it in turns to touch the dragon fountain
The entrance to the park is free. There is a small entrance fee to visit Gaudi museum which is next to the park. Unfortunately I didn't get time to go inside but here is some information regarding the museum.
Inside the park there is plenty to look out for. Which order you decide to see the park in is entirely up to you, you might even decide to come back to some places. Near the main entrance are the stairs with the dragon fountain, this is a photo hot spot and is one of the most crowded places in the venue.
Tourists enjoying the shade
If you go up the stairs you will find an enclosed area with many pillars (a great place to take a breather in the shade). This space was originally hoped to be the marketplace of the residential area. The pillars actually support an open bench area. The benches are covered in multicoloured trencadis (a type of mosaic created by broken ceramics).
Some of the spectacular mosaic work can be seen on the ceiling
This is a very tourist friendly place that can be enjoyed by the whole family, as a group of friends and even when traveling alone. One final piece of quirkiness; dotted around the park you will find a few street artists/performers.
Belly dancer in Park Guell
*This website dedicated to tourism in Barcelona is very handy. Click here to go straight to the page on Park Guell, you can also learn how to see more of Gaudi's work on this same site.