architecture in barcelona, spain

One of the things I enjoyed most about Barcelona was the architecture. Well, that and the food because who can resist seafood paella? No one. When we traveled to Spain last year we explored Sagrada Familia, Torre Agbar Tower, Casa Amatller, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Hugo Boss building, Barcelona Cathedral, and Arc de Triomf.


Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia project was begun on March 19, 1882 and has been in construction ever since. Antoni Guadí was brought on board in 1883 and continued to work on the structure until his death in 1926. Because so many different architects have contributed to the church, you can see the difference in stone color and the fact that one side looks more modern than the other. Personally, that’s what makes it beautiful to me.


Jean Nouvel's Agbar Tower

The Toree Agbar tower was located next to our hotel and that made finding our way easy. It’s a 31-story skyscraper and almost has a rainbow look to it, plus it lights up at night! Since it was opened in 2005, it’s one of the newer structures in the city and is environmentally-friendly. Windows surround the entire structure and that provides a lot of natural light.

Don’t tell anyone this, but we called it “the suppository” while we were in Barcelona. Shhhh…


Gaudí's Casa Amatller and Casa Batlló

Casa Amatller is on the left and Casa Batlló is on the right. I think it’s great they’re located next to each other because the designs compliment one another. We did not take a tour but admired the modernesme style and vivid colors from the outside on Passeig de Gracia.


Casa Milà
Casa Milà Barcelona Spain

Casa Milà was another structure we didn’t go inside of but admired from afar. I’m pretty sure every tourist on Passeig de Gracia was on this block taking photos of the building; it was extremely crowded! It was designed by Antoni Gaudí and built between 1906-1912. The design is unusual and almost reminded me of waves in the ocean.


Huge Boss building Barcelona

We didn’t do much research before we traveled to Barcelona but that didn’t matter because we seemed to find eye-candy everywhere. As we were wandering around aimlessly, we stumbled across this modern building that’s known for the two-story Hugo Boss store inside. I wish all shops looked as neat as this building.


Cathedral of Barcelona

The Barcelona Cathedral was under construction while we were there and scaffolding covered the top, but we still couldn’t get over all of the detail. It was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries and the neo-Gothic façade was added in the late 19th century. My favorite part was the cathedral’s open space which housed 13 white geese.


Arc de Triomf Barcelona

The Arc de Triomf is interesting because it was originally built as a main access gate for World Expo of 1888. The arch is made of red bricks and the style is considered “Mudéjar”.

And those were my absolute favorite structures in Barcelona.

Have you explored the architecture in Barcelona, Spain?

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Filed Under: Spain, Travel25 Comments
  • Jenn

    The Gaudi architecture was one of my favorite things about Barcelona :)

  • KC Saling

    The Cathedral was my favorite. There’s just such a sense of presence there. I did enjoy Gaudi’s architecture, but there’s something viscerally disturbing about how almost organic the Sagrada Familia looks. Part of the reason it’s different colors, too, is that it’s also under restoration – to scrape off all the pollutants that have accumulated in the open unsealed stone!

  • Agness

    I know that most of travelers get so excited about Sagrada Familia, but I definitely like Casa Mila more – SO STUNNING!

  • Amy Ruffo

    Sangria and architecture, what else do you need on a trip? I think left part of my heart in Barcelona – thanks for sharing this beautiful photos!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe

    We didn’t make it to Barcelona while living in Spain. I was so sad about that! One day…… I do have to agree about the paella! Yum! I learned to make it and now I’m craving paella, thankyouverymuch! ;)

  • jenn griffin

    barcelona’s one of my favorite cities. and gaudi is probably my favorite architect. that cathedral is STUNNING, so glad i got to see it.

  • Brittany Ruth

    Awesome pictures! I’m going to Barcelona in June and can’t wait to see these churches and buildings!

  • Rachel Wright

    So lucky to live in this breathtaking city!

  • Annie Montgomery

    sheesh. gorgeous. can’t wait to check them out in a couple weeks on our trip (glad to hear you didn’t plan much….because I’m fairly certain that will be our case too!)

  • Jessica

    I went on a Gaudi architecture tour when I visited Barcelona last November and loved it!! I had no interest in Gaudi before the trip, but after spending a few days with his works in Barcelona I feel like I gained such an appreciation for his style and all the cool stories/visions behind his design.
    Did you get to see Palau Güell? That is my favorite of his buildings in Barcelona (after Sagrada Familia of course).

  • La Maman Heureuse

    I’ve been to Barcelona so many times and it never ceases to amaze me. It’s by far my favourite city and each time I set foot on its grounds I feel right at home. Seeing all this wonderful architecture made me want to jump on a plane and right back for some tapas and cava in the barri gotic!

  • Sammy Dorn

    I love Barcelona!! The architecture was so interesting and different to anything I have seen before. I can’t believe how long The Sagrada Familia project has been going on for – crayzeeee

  • Leah S.

    There is so much amazing architecture! It’s on my list of places to see for sure.

  • Annessa

    Wow, gorgeous photos, I really need to make it to this beautiful city!

  • Cece

    I saw that first pic in Spain. I was absolutely amazed. I couldn’t stop staring at it. The architecture is just so intricate and beautiful. It’s really amazing. When I came home all the buildings looked really boring and plain!!

  • Quyen Nguyen

    Great pictures. Parc Guell is also amazing! I also enjoy the architecture of the places that aren’t necessarily known for it such as the La Boqueria market. The details of the ceiling are amazing!

  • Ashley Angle

    Gorgeous pictures. I need to get there!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Jade Moat

    The closest I’ve been to Barcelona is Costa Brava (north of Barca), and I’ve been dying to actually get to the city but no luck in seven years! Maybe 2014 is my year to actually get to see these awesome buildings!

  • Keith

    Yes, I’ve been twice. A visit to Barcelona is a must for every architect! Apart from the buildings you mentioned I like Barcelonetta for it’s dense urban structure, Park Guell, an old water tower near the zoo, which has been converted into a university library and the art gallery by Richard Meier. Photo of workers on the Sagrada Familia when I was there:

  • Amanda

    I’ve wanted to visit spain so terribly bad for some time now….this definitely doesn’t help cure that! Gorgeous! That first photo of Sagrada Familia? amazing. If I saw that in real life, I could probably stop and stare for hours.

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  • Sarah // The Quixotic Chica

    I love BArcelona so much! So many beautiful buildings, and overall just a lovely place to be. ;)

  • Barbara Keene

    Great photos and good highlights. I hate to be picky, but Casa Amatller, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila are all on Passeig de Gracia. I hope you did get to Las Ramblas too.

  • Megan C. Stroup

    I definitely need to return to Spain to visit Barcelona! I’ve been to Madrid, Seville and Granada, but we didn’t have time for Barcelona. And I definitely cannot resist seafood paella!!

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