Photo of Eixample, Barcelona

Visit Eixample, Barcelona

Barcelona is capital of the Barcelona province in the Catalonia region of Spain.

Whilst the old town, the Barri Gotic is one of the best examples of a medieval city in Europe it is probably Eixample which gives Barcelona its current fame and makes it one of the most visited cities in Europe.

Explore Eixample

Eixample has the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe (the Art Nouveau movement was called the Modernista movement in Catalonia) and contains numerous faboulous examples of Gaudi's work.

Eixample is also the main shopping and business district of Barcelona. One of the main streets in Eixample is the Passeig de Gracia. This is a beautiful shopping street full of beautiful, but very expensive shops. You will quickly be surrounded by lots of people walking by with Dolce and Gabanna belts, Armani handbags etc.

At the southern end of the Passeig de Gracia is the famous Illa de la Discordia. So called because in one small block four of Barcelona's Modernista architects each designed a very individual building.

Fundacio Tapies

The most famous, the Casa Batllo by Anton Gaudi, is largely covered in blue green mosaics and has balconies likened to malevelent eyes or bones. The nickname of the house is the house of bones. Queues can be long to get into the Casa Batllo but be assured it is worth the wait. It was not open to the public until 2002 but since undertaking a superb restoration it is now open and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next to the Casa Batllo is Casa Amatler by Puig i Cadafalch which has a very Moorish influence. Its has a stepped triangular roof.

Next along is Casa Ramon Mulleras which is relatively 'tame' in appearance compared with the other three modernista buildings on the Illa de la Discordia.

On the corner the Casa Lleo Morera, by Lluis Domenech i Montagner has an incredible Modernista interior which is open to the public. On the roof of the building is a very ornate tower.

In the next block is the Fundacio Antonie Tapies building. The building has one of Tapies' works mounted on the roof - an enormous wire cloud formation.  Very impressive! The building was built in 1879 by Domenech i Montaner. Inside is an excellent collection of Tapis work and also works by other contemporary artists.

Advertisement

Continuing northwards you will come to perhaps the most famous building on the Passeig de Gracia, and one of the most famous in Barcelona, Gaudi's  Casa Mila, known locally as La Pedrera (the stone quarry).

As with the Casa Batllo the queues can be long. Indeed there were even signs saying how long the wait would be at each point in the queue - like you find at Disneyland.  It is of course worth the wait. The inside of the building is very nice but it is the rooftop with its fabulous chimneys which is the main attraction.

After the Casa Mila take the Avinguda Diagonal to the Casa Terrades, a huge and extremely ornate apartment blocks. It has beautiful spires on its roof and is known as the 'House of the Points'. These spires are beautifully decorated.

The Casa Terrades was built by another Modernista architect - Puig i Cadafalch. The building is Cadafalch's largest project and is an intriguing mix of Gothic, Renaissance, medieval and Modernista architectural styles.

Casa Mila

Of course the main Modernista sight to see is Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece - the Sagrada Familia. This building is straight out of fairy tales and Gaudi devoted the latter part of his life to its construction. Indeed he spent his last 16 years living as a recluse on the site and is now buried in its crypt. The building is astounding and work continues today to finish it.

The Sagrada Familia was voted one of the top twelve 'Treasures of Spain' in a national TV and radio competition in 2007. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A little further away along the Avinguda de Gaudi to the north of the Sagrada Familia is the Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau which has attractive Mudejar-style pavilions decorated with ceramic tiled roofs and many ornate features. Surrounding them are attractive gardens where patients can relax and recover. The hospital complex is a UNESCO World Heritage building.

At the end of a long day's sightseeing for the chocoholics amongst you one of Barcelona's culinary treats is their hot chocolate. We ordered one but it wasn't hot chocolate it was real melted chocolate! Heaven! Modernista architecture and melted chocolate - what more can I say. The day became an instant success. Why on earth do they not sell these near us we would move into our local bar if they sold these delicious treats.

More places to visit in Barcelona

See: Barcelona old town / Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter.

See: Montjuic for beautiful views of the city.

The beautiful Monestir de Montserrat is an easy excursion from Barcelona.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Barcelona guide and the Catalonia guide.

See also: 

Photos of Eixample, Barcelona

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • casa-amatller
  • casa-batllo
  • casa-batllo2
  • casa-lleo-morera
  • casa-mila
  • casa-terrades
  • coliseum
  • eixample1
  • eixample2
  • eixample3
  • fundacio-tapies
  • sagrada-familia1

Map of Eixample, Barcelona and places to visit

 
Advertisement
 

Eixample, Barcelona places to visit

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona is a city with fabulous art museums, Gaudi architecture and lots more. It is one of our favourite cities.

Barcelona guide
Montjuic, Barcelona

Montjuic, Barcelona

From the Montjuic district of Barcelona you can get some great views over the city and also see some grat sights.

Montjuic, Barcelona guide
Gothic Quarter of Barcelona

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is at the heart of this beautiful city and has many historic buildings and a great atmosphere.

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona guide
Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

The Casa Batllo building in Barcelona is one of the iconic works of Anton Gaudi and is open for visits.

Casa Batllo guide
Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is the pinnacle of the work of Anton Gaudi. It is the iconic symbol of Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia guide
Sitges

Sitges

Sitges is a highlight of the coastal towns south of Barcelona. It has some excellent Modernist architecture.

Sitges guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Catalonia

 
Advertisement