L'Eixample is the biggest and most populated quarter in Barcelona, spreading between Gran Vía and Avinguda Diagonal. Bisected by Passeig de Gracia, Catalans divided Eixample into the "Esquerra" and "Dreta" (literal meaning: left and right). The area is known for its traditional apartments decorated in Catalan bourgeoisie style, as well as for its elegant architectures. Stepping into Eixample, one is surrounded by luxury boutiques, exclusive restaurants, and coffee shops.
Next to the gastronomical adventure in Eixample, it is best known for its Modernista architecture, and home for many Gaudí buildings.
La Sagrada Familia
Illustration 1 Sagrada Familia by olivier bucholz | flickr
La Sagrada Familia, designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudí, is the most sought out monument in whole Spain, with 2.8 million visitors a year. The attraction to it is not unwarranted, since the basilica exudes a mystic aura. The construction of Sagrada Familia began in 1881, and has not been finished since. It is estimated that the giant basilica would be ready in 2026 – after 145 years of construction.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Nov – Feb 9am – 6pm
March 9am – 7pm
Apr – Sep 9am – 8pm
Oct 9am – 7pm
Dec (25/26) 9am – 2pm
Jan (1, 6) 9am – 2pm
Illustration 2 La Pedrera rooftop by -ted | flickr
La Pedrera, actually called Casa Milá after the businessman who commissioned it, got its name due to its uneven stone wall façade (the Stone Quarry).
Casa Milá has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
Visitors can admire the building during the day and night. During the day, one can visit the roof-terrace with its stairways and incredible chimneys, Espai Gaudí, the Pedrera apartment, the courtyards, and exhibition hall.
During summer, short concerts are being held on the rooftop, where you can also enjoy fascinating light shows at night.
Address: Provença 261-265, 08008 Barcelona
From Monday to Sunday, 9am – 6.30pm and 7pm – 9pm
Illustration 3 Casa Batlló by LIU JOEY | flickr
Built between 1904 and 1906, Casa Batlló is located in the heart of Barcelona, on Passeig de Gràcia. This building captivates every passer-by's attention with its original façade and exterior structure.
Using colourful glass and ceramic discs, he put together a mosaic design that resembles of flowers and water lilies. He ordered a re-construction of the outer wall, shaping it as waves. Another beautiful feature are the colourful chimneys on the rooftop.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (365 days a year)
Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona's avenue of luxury summarises this street perfectly. Linking Avenida Diagonal and Plaza de Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia is a wonderful combination of unique architecture and high-end luxury boutiques.
Back in the 19th century, wealthy businessmen migrated to this street due to its commercial importance. With time bourgeoisie families build more and more luxurious buildings on Passeig de Gràcia, trying to outdo each other.
The avenue houses a few of the most extraordinary Modernista architecture, such as Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, Casa Amatller, and Casa Lleó Morera.
Plaça de Catalunya
Illustration 4 Plaza Catalunya by Camilo S.B. | flickr
Plaza Catalunya is considered as the heart of Barcelona, connecting the old city (Ciutat Vella) and Eixample.
Surrounded by shopping boutiques, restaurants and cafés, it is still a buzzing meeting point for everyone. The square is comprised of two fountains, and six sculptural groups, representing the four Catalan capital cities, wisdom and labour.