Travel Blog: Barcelona Secret Walking Tour to Gaudi’s Park Guell
As we were sitting in our Barcelona apartment wondering about the best way to get from Barcelonetta beach to Park Guell, I found a GREAT write up that seemed at first intimidating , but was actually a fun adventure, and a great way to avoid the massive tourist crowds.
The blog is from Orange Monkey Tours, and the detailled instructions (which make much more sense when you get there) made it easy to find a “secret” back way into the park, and also allowed us to avoid the long and tedious uphill climb most tourists have to make to get to Gaudi’s famous urban greenspace. (Blog has been re-printed, The Photos are mine)
“During our walking and bicycle tours I often get the question: what is the best route to Park Güell? As often happens in Barcelona, there are several good answers, it only depends on the type of transport you prefer. Outside rush hour the easiest but also the most expensive way is by taxi. If you have spare time and do not mind standing in a crowded bus, bus 24 is a good option. For example, you can get on at Plaça Catalunya and get off at the side entrance of the park. However, most people go by subway. With line 3 you can go from downtown in less than 10 minutes to the subway stations of Lesseps or Vallcarca, then you either have to walk for more than one kilometer mostly upwards (Lesseps) or walk for 700 meters partly very steep upwards (Vallcarca), although this is partially made easier making use of the outdoor escalators. Recently, a new subway/walking option has been added, which requires the least climbing and therefore is a great outcome for many people. Moreover, you’ll pass by a piece of Barcelona where you can count the number of tourists on a handful, which makes it for those who like something different more fun.
This route to Park Guell from the subway station is about 700 meters. This still fairly secret option came about after the opening in 2010 of a new subway station of line 5 (blue one) called “El Coll La Teixonera”. El Coll is the hill located right next to El Caramel, where Park Guëll was built. La Teixonera is the working class neighbourhood on this hill. From the city centre you can best take the above mentioned (green) subway line 3. You get off at Vall d’Hebron and change to line 5, which starts at the same station. Then you get off at the next stop “El Coll La Teixonera” and you find yourself immediately in the deepest subway station in Barcelona and one of the deepest in Europe, despite being far above sea level. The exits of the subway station are located almost on top of the hill El Coll, while the subway line is 104 meters below ground, so you need to travel considerably by lift. First, follow exit Mare de Deu del Coll, step into the lift and leave direction exit Almato Beat. This will take you first through some science-fiction escalators and then you will see the light in the distance, i.e. the exit of Carrer Beat Almato.
Further directions shall be given hereafter. Click here to see the route on Google Maps. At the exit you turn around and take the escalator that goes up.
Now you have almost done all increases without really walking. After the escalator turn right into Carrer Santuari.
Pretty soon you come across a church on your right-hand side, walk past the church and turn right into Carrer Ceuta. You will see three small streets in front of you. Take the middle one, not the one left going down (Carrer Tirso), nor the extension of Carrer Ceuta which goes left upwards. On your right you will soon find some benches with a views of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest point. If you walk further you will get to Cami de Can Mora, although it is difficult to discern street signs here. After about a 5 minutes walk the road goes up a lot, turn right here, on the flat part. (If you would like to enjoy a beautiful view of Barcelona, just walk straight up and back again). After about 200 meters and a slight descent you pass through two open metal doors. Congratulations, you are in Park Güell!
Descend zigzagging further downwards along an impressive white house. This is Casa Trias, along with Gaudi’s house (which is by the way not designed by himself) the only house built for its original purpose, namely to build a neighbourhood for the wealthy. Luckily for us, this plan failed and the municipality has created a park. If all goes well, you hear the cacophony of all those below you having fun in the park and with 99% certainty have followed a different route. If you zigzag downwards, you will reach the main entrance as well as exit. Do not forget to take a look at the square with the snake bench, the lizard fountain and other fine buildings such as Gaudi’s house. If you stand outside of the park and follow the crowd to the bus or subway station, remember to watch a moment at the outside wall. Here you will see that Park Güell really is written with a “k” and not as “Parque” (Spanish) or “Parc” (Catalan). This is because the client had found inspiration in England and therefore using this name wanted to give an English twist to this project.”
Original Blog can be found here.