25 Barcelona Architecture Buildings You Must Visit

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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As a passionate traveler and lover of architecture, I’ve always been fascinated by the rich history and unique styles that can be found in different cities around the world. And one city that truly stands out in terms of its architectural beauty is Barcelona.

Known for its rich history, art, and culture, Barcelona is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. From the modernist movement to the innovative designs of the 21st century, Barcelona is home to some of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the world.

So if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona or want to admire its architectural wonders from afar, here are 25 Barcelona architecture buildings you must visit.

1. Barcelona Pavilion

Barcelona Pavilion

Image Source: artincontext.org

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Completed date: 1929

The Barcelona Pavilion, also referred to as the German Pavilion, is a modernist masterpiece designed by the popular architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This sleek and minimalist structure was built as the German Pavilion, mainly for the1929 International Exposition in Barcelona.

With its clean lines, simple geometric shapes, and use of industrial materials like steel and glass, the Barcelona Pavilion is considered a pioneer of the International Style. You can admire its stunning form, as well as its revolutionary design, which had a significant impact on 20th-century architecture.

2. La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Image Source: sagradafamilia.org

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: Not completed

Designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, this stunning church in Carrer de Mallorca is a masterpiece of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Its towering spires and intricate details are a testament to Gaudi’s artistic vision and masterful craftsmanship.

With its elaborate carvings, colorful mosaics, and breathtaking stained-glass windows, La Sagrada Familia is a feast for the eyes and a true symbol of the city’s rich architectural heritage. The building is mainly seen as a UNESCO world heritage.

Visitors can explore the church’s stunning naves and chapels, marvel at the intricate details and symbolism woven into every aspect of the building, and appreciate the beauty of this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

3. Dipòsit de les Aigües

Dipòsit de les Aigües

Image Source: archdaily.com

Architect: Josep Fontserè / Lluís Clotet and Ignacio Paricio

Completed date: 1874 / 1999

Dipòsit de les Aigües, also known as the Water Tower, is a magnificent example of industrial architecture in Barcelona. This towering structure was initially used to store and distribute water to the city.

The brick exterior and elegant curves are a testament to the importance of functional design. Its central location makes it a famous landmark for tourists and locals alike. A visit to Dipòsit de les Aigües is a must for anyone interested in the interplay between practicality and beauty in architecture.

4. Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Image Source: casabatllo.es

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1907

Casa Batlló is one of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings, renowned for its unusual and imaginative design. Completed in 1907, this masterpiece was created by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

The building’s curving façade is a testament to Gaudi’s unique vision, featuring a colorful mosaic of broken tiles, undulating stone, and intricate carvings. At the same time, its balconies resemble the jaws of a dragon.

The space is filled with light and air from the inside, as Gaudi’s trademark skylights and colorful stained glass illuminate the rooms. Every detail of Casa Batlló has been thoughtfully crafted, from the roof to the windows, to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

5. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Image Source: archdaily.com

Architect: Herzog & de Meuron

Completed date: 2004/2012

The Natural History Museum of Barcelona, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is a stunning example of contemporary architecture in Plaza Leonardo da Vinci. The museum’s design, featuring a steel and glass facade with geometric cut-outs, blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings in the city’s Parc de la Ciutadella.

The interior, with its high ceilings and spacious halls, showcases the museum’s vast collection of specimens. A visit to the museum is an opportunity to learn about the natural world’s wonders and experience the beauty of cutting-edge architecture.

6. Park Güell

Park Güell

Image Source: musement.com

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1914

Park Güell, designed by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, is a whimsical and colorful park located on a hill in the heart of Barcelona. This unique park perfectly blends Gaudi’s love for nature and his passion for artistic expression.

The park features several eccentric buildings, including mosaicked pillars, curvy benches, and a famous dragon staircase that leads to a terrace with breathtaking views of the city. Visitors can walk along the winding paths and explore this imaginative space’s hidden nooks and crannies.

Park Güell is a must-visit for anyone interested in the works of Gaudi and a testament to the architect’s ability to bring together form, function, and fantasy in one place.

7. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Image Source: lapedrera.com

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1910

Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera(the stone quarry), is a masterpiece of modern architecture with a whimsical building featuring undulating stone facades and curved balconies reminiscent of the waves of the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

La Pedrera was one of Gaudi’s last residential buildings and is considered one of his most innovative works, with its creative use of natural light and innovative design elements.

Visitors to La Pedrera can admire its unique design from the street or take a tour of the building to experience its full beauty, including a visit to the rooftop terrace with its spectacular views of the city.

8. Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana

Image Source: kevmrc.com

Architect: Lluís Domènech I Montaner

Completed date: 1908

Palau de la Música Catalana, designed by the renowned Catalan architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner, is a magnificent example of modernist architecture. This stunning concert hall is an iconic landmark in Barcelona and a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

With its ornate stained glass windows, intricate mosaic tiles, and breathtakingly beautiful dome, Palau de la Música Catalana is a true masterpiece of art and design.

You will be in awe of its incredible acoustics and stunning interior, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture or music. Whether you’re a Barcelona resident or just passing through, this incredible building will leave a lasting impression

9. Barcelona Cathedral and Gothic Quarter

Barcelona Cathedral and Gothic Quarter

Image Source: thetravelhack.com

Architect: Unknown

Completed date: 1448

The Barcelona Cathedral and Gothic Quarter are a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Built in the 14th century by unknown architects, this magnificent cathedral stands as a symbol of Barcelona’s rich architectural and religious heritage.

Its elaborate stone carvings, intricate stained glass windows, and towering Gothic spires make it one of the city’s most iconic structures. The Gothic Quarter surrounding the cathedral is a maze of narrow, winding streets lined with historic buildings and cobblestone plazas. It is the oldest part of the city and serves as a reminder of Barcelona’s medieval past.

10. Hospital de Sant Pau

Hospital de Sant Pau

Image Source: civitatis.com

Architect: Lluís Domènech I Montaner

Completed date: 1930

Hospital de Sant Pau is a stunning example of Catalan modernist architecture, designed by Lluís Domènech I Montaner and completed in 1930. This magnificent complex was initially built as a hospital.

The sprawling complex is adorned with colorful ceramic tiles, ornate sculptures, and intricate stained glass, showcasing the architect’s unique vision for a harmonious blend of form and function. Today, the Hospital de Sant Pau is open to the public as a museum and cultural center, offering visitors a chance to explore its magnificent architecture and rich history.

With its bright, pastel-colored facades and whimsical sculptures, the Hospital de Sant Pau is a true gem of Barcelona’s architectural landscape and a must-visit for any admirer of art nouveau design.

11. Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1888

Casa Vicens is a stunning example of the Catalan Modernista style of architecture. This whimsical and colorful building in Carrer de les Carolines is characterized by its eclectic use of colorful tiles, curved lines, and intricate details.

From its lush courtyard to its intricate facades, Casa Vicens is a feast for the eyes and a must-visit for anyone interested in Barcelona’s rich architectural heritage. With its vibrant colors, imaginative design, and intricate details, this building truly captures the spirit of the city and is a testament to the creativity and vision of Antoni Gaudi.

12. Casa Amatller

Casa Amatller

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Architect: Josep Puig I Cadafalch

Completed date: 1900

Casa Amatller is a stunning example of Catalan Modernist architecture. With its striking gables and ornate facade, the building stands out in the bustling Passeig de Gracia, a premier shopping district in Barcelona.

Its interior is equally impressive, with beautiful stained glass windows and intricate wooden details, making it a must-visit for any architecture enthusiast.

Be sure to check out the terrace, which offers amazing views of the city, and the chocolate shop located on the ground floor, which is said to be a sign to the building’s original owner, Antoni Amatller, who was a prominent chocolate manufacturer.

13. Colón Building

Colón Building

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Architect: Jaume Torres I Amat

Completed date: 1909

The Colón Building is a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture in Barcelona. Designed by architect Jaume Torres I Amat, this building features intricate details, including intricate sculptures and striking stained glass windows, making it a must-visit for any architecture lover.

You will be drawn in by the building’s bold façade, which boasts a mix of organic curves and geometric shapes. The Colón Building stands out as one of the city’s most iconic architectural treasures and is a testament to the creativity of its architect.

14. Casa de les Punxes (Casa Terrades)

Casa de les Punxes (Casa Terrades)

Image Source: civitatis.com

Architect: Josep Puig I Cadafalch

Completed date: 1905

Casa de les Punxes, also known as the “House of Spikes,” is a stunning modernist building located in the heart of Barcelona. This building stands out for its unique triangular shape and spiky towers, each with a pointed roof.

The building’s rich history and stunning architectural details make it a must-visit for any lover of architecture, design, and history. From its intricate stone carvings to its richly colored stained glass windows, Casa de les Punxes is a true masterpiece of Barcelona’s modernist movement.

15. Las Arenas

Las Arenas

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Completed date: 2011

Las Arenas by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is a modern shopping center located in the heart of Barcelona. This stunning building combines the city’s rich cultural heritage with contemporary design elements.

The building features a unique circular shape with a spacious central atrium, elegant glass facades, and a rooftop terrace giving panoramic views of the city. The interior is filled with natural light and various restaurants, shops, and leisure facilities.

16. Casa Calvet

Casa Calvet

Image Source: arch2o.com

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1899

Casa Calvet is a remarkable example of modernist architecture located in the heart of Barcelona. Designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the building is considered one of his earliest works.

With its elegant curves, intricate details, and bold use of color, Casa Calvet is a stunning example of Gaudi’s unique style and a must-visit for anyone interested in his work.

You can admire the building’s intricate façade, elaborate mosaics and sculptures, well-preserved interiors, beautiful staircases, balconies, and stained glass windows.

17. Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Els Encants

Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Els Encants

Image Source: archdaily.com

Architect: b720 Arquitectos

Completed date: 2013

Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Els Encants in Carrer de los Castillejos, also known as the Encants Flea Market, is a unique and dynamic marketplace located in the heart of Barcelona. This futuristic building is a fusion of old and new, blending traditional elements of the local market with modern design.

The undulating metal roof and bright, open interior make Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Els Encants a one-of-a-kind shopping destination, offering visitors a unique shopping experience in an architectural marvel.

18. Finca Guell

Finca Guell

Image Source: wikiarquitectura.com

Architect: Antoni Gaudi

Completed date: 1914

Finca Guell is a stunning estate located in the heart of Barcelona, designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi. This property is a prime example of Gaudi’s unique style, combining elements of Art Nouveau and Catalan modernism to create a truly one-of-a-kind building.

You can admire the intricate stone carvings, colorful mosaics, and whimsical curves that make this estate so distinctive. With its lush gardens, towering columns, and sweeping views of the city, Finca Guell is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty and imagination of one of the world’s greatest architects.

19. Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar

Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Architect: Berenguer de Montagut

Completed date: 1383

The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar is a magnificent example of Catalan Gothic architecture located in the heart of the El Born neighborhood of Barcelona. The church was designed by the architect Berenguer de Montagut, making it one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture in the city.

The basilica is renowned for its soaring columns, intricate stone carvings, and stunning stained glass windows. You can appreciate its magnificent nave, supported by a forest of slender columns, and its ribbed vaults that soar overhead, creating a sense of weightlessness and grandeur.

20. Colón Theatre

Colón Theatre

Image Source: rainforestcruises.com

Architect: Joan Martorell and Emilio David

Completed date: 1908

Colón Theatre, designed by architects Joan Martorell and Emilio David, is one of the most iconic buildings of Barcelona architecture. With its opulent decor and ornate features, Colón Theatre is a true gem of Spanish architectural heritage.

From the stunning marble facade to the gilded details and intricate sculptures, every inch of this building is a testament to the artistry of its creators. Visitors to the Colón Theatre can step back in time and marvel at the beauty of its past while enjoying a performance or concert.

21. Arc de Triomf

Arc de Triomf

Image Source: shbarcelona.com

Architect: Josep Vilaseca I Casanovas

Completed date: 1888

The Arc de Triomf, also known as the Triumphal Arch, is a magnificent structure located at the entrance of Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona. Designed by the architect Josep Vilaseca I Casanovas and completed in 1888, the Arc de Triomf is a stunning example of Catalan Modernism.

The arch is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from Catalonia’s history. It is painted in a warm, reddish hue that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding greenery of the park.

22. Palau de Congressos de Catalunya

Palau de Congressos de Catalunya

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Architect: Ricardo Bofill

Completed date: 2004

Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, also known as the Catalonia Palace of Congresses, is a stunning modernist building. Designed by the renowned architect Ricardo Bofill, this elegant structure is located in the heart of Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar neighborhood and serves as a major conference and exhibition center.

With its spacious interiors and clean lines, the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya is a prime example of contemporary Spanish architecture. From its grand atrium to its futuristic auditorium, this building is a must-visit for anyone looking to admire the beauty of modern architecture.

23. CaixaForum Barcelona Entrance

CaixaForum Barcelona Entrance

Image Source: archdaily.com

Architect: Arata Isozaki

Completed date: 2002

CaixaForum Barcelona’s entrance is a stunning example of contemporary architecture. This iconic building is a striking addition to the city’s cultural landscape. The new entrance, designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, features a modern glass facade that seamlessly blends with the city’s historic architecture and a spacious interior that showcases contemporary art exhibitions.

The entrance is also an engineering marvel, with its unique design incorporating an open-air courtyard, a water feature, and a lush garden. It is one of Barcelona’s most innovative and modern architectural wonders.

24. Torre Glòries (formerly Torre Agbar)

Torre Glòries (formerly Torre Agbar)

Image Source: swedishnomad.com

Architect: Jean Nouvel

Completed date: 2005

Torre Glòries, formerly Torre Agbar, is a contemporary skyscraper located in the heart of Barcelona’s innovation district. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this iconic building stands out as a symbol of the city’s modernity and forward-thinking spirit.

Torre Glòries boasts a sleek and futuristic design with a fluid and organic form that blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Its distinctive shape, inspired by geysers and water fountains, is illuminated at night by an array of colorful lights, making it one of the most recognizable landmarks in Barcelona.

25. Hospital Sant Pau

Hospital Sant Pau

Image Source: lionsinthepiazza.com

Architect: Lluis Domenech I Montaner

Completed date: 1930

Hospital Sant Pau is a stunning work of art located in the heart of Barcelona. Designed by the renowned architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner and completed in 1930, this magnificent structure is a prime example of Catalan Modernism.

From the intricate ceramic tiles adorning its facade to the beautiful stained glass windows and ornate carved stone details, every aspect of Hospital Sant Pau has been carefully crafted to create a truly unique and inspiring space. Today, the hospital serves as a museum and cultural center, showcasing the beauty of Catalan Modernism and offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Conclusion

Barcelona has a rich architectural heritage and an abundance of stunning buildings that will leave a lasting impression on any visitor. From the whimsical curves of Park Guell to the grand cathedrals of the Gothic Quarter, each of the 25 must-visit buildings has its unique story.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just passing through, these architectural wonders are a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. They offer a glimpse into the city’s past, present and future and serve as a source of inspiration for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the design.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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