Visit Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Gaudí’s enigmatic home

Casa Batlló, Barcelone

Visit Casa Batlló, a jewel of early 20th-century modernist architecture: everything you need to know about the Gaudi-designed building, the tour and its history!

Built between 1904 and 1906, Casa Batlló is one of the wonders designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), who spearheaded Catalan Modernism. Located on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia, visitors can’t wait to admire the façade and enter the interior of this must-see building in the Catalan capital. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casa Batlló attracts over 600,000 visitors every year.

Here is our guide to visiting Casa Batlló in Barcelona:

The context in which Casa Batlló was built

At the very beginning of the 20th century, the Catalan economy suffered a recession due to the loss of the Spanish kingdom’s colonies. Spain lost Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Intérieur de la Casa Batlló

Photo credit: Flickr – Kah-Wai Lin

The chemical, metallurgical, electrical and automotive industries expanded, and a very upper middle class rapidly grew rich during this new industrial revolution.

In 1900, Josep Batlló i Casanovas, a wealthy textile entrepreneur – married to the daughter of the Count of Godó, another powerful Barcelona family – acquired the building on Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s main boulevards. In 1904, the couple applied for planning permission to renovate the building. Josep Batlló called on Antoni Gaudí to transform the building’s façade.

Spaces, lighting, attics, terraces – everything was remodeled, making the old building unrecognizable. Antoni Gaudí added eleven meters of structure, giving the undulating façade and kaleidoscopic mosaics the sinuous shapes we know today.

Cour intérieure de la Casa Batlló

Photo credit: Flickr – Riccardo Meneghini

For the record, Casa Batlló was built illegally, since the municipal authorities didn’t issue a building permit until 1913!

Description of the building and tour of Casa Batlló

Antoni Gaudí used stone, wrought iron, glass trencadis and polychrome ceramics, as in Parc Güell. He is said to have been inspired by the marine world, hence the supremacy of blue hues symbolizing a calm sea draped in Mediterranean azure.

To visit Casa Batlló is to explore an architectural treasure inside which visitors have access to every nook and cranny of the building:

  • The noble floor, originally dedicated to the Batlló family,
  • The attic,
  • Terraces,
  • The characteristic Gaudí chimneys,
  • The majestic inner courtyard,
  • Entrance hall and main staircase.

A visit that certainly magnifies the visual, architectural art and extravagance typical of Gaudí’s creations.

Cheminée sur le toit de la Casa Batlló

Photo credit: Flickr – Andrew Booth

How to visit Casa Batlló Opening hours & prices

Casa Batlló is located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia. A visit to Casa Batlló takes about an hour and is possible from 9am to 9pm for 365 days of the year. Closing time is around 8pm. When it opens, this is when there are the fewest tourists, so it’s a good time to visit.

All year round, the reception staff make available to the public a SmartGuide, a digital audio and video box for visiting the house at your own pace. To visit Casa Batlló, it’s best to book your ticket in advance, as the queue can get long. You can book a queue-saver ticket online, so you don’t have to wait in line. On the official Casa Batlló website, you’ll find this ticket for €28.50, but it’s sold for €23.50 (via the button below).

Balcons de la Casa Batlló

Photo credit: Flickr – Pablo Cabezos

Visitors can choose from several pricing options:

  • Free for children under 7, guides for the blind, teachers accompanying groups (1 per 20 people) and tour guides accompanying groups,
  • One-way ticket: €23.50,
  • A Fast Pass to avoid queuing at the entrance: €28.50,
  • An « Open date » ticket, to visit whenever you like: €30.50,
  • A « Be the first » ticket (maximum 10 people) to visit before the doors officially open at 8:30 a.m. only: €36,
  • A « Dramatized visit » ticket for families, Sundays at 11am only: €36,
  • Opening in autumn 2017, a « Trinque au coucher de soleil » ticket to visit the building with a glass of cava on the chimneys at sunset: from 6pm to 8pm, for adults.

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, don’t hesitate: Casa Batlló is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside!

Main photo credit: Flickr – Moyan Brenn