Park Guell

High above the city of Barcelona sits the oddly inspired Park Guell. Antoni Gaudi's strangely psychedelic park is laid out on a hill above the Gracia district, and provides a relaxing escape from the bustle of Barcelona below. Park Guell Barcelona is the perfect setting to enjoy a cold drink, play a game of Frisbee, or simply take in the fabulous views of the city and harbor.

Park Guell was originally commissioned as a private housing estate of sixty dwelling for Gaudi's patron, Don Eusebio Guell. In the end, however, only two houses were ever built and the area was subsequently opened as a public park in 1922.

The serpentine bench at Guell Park that encircles the main ground is one of the most unique features of this Alice in Wonderland-like park. Set with mosaic tiles, the serpentine bench at Guell Park provides a resting place around the main ground where pick up soccer games and impromptu yoga sessions are held.

But the serpentine bench at Guell Park is among the milder features in an array of hallucinatory fixtures that includes gingerbread gatehouses topped with red and white wild mushrooms, pavilions of contorted stone, a vast hall of columns, and the coup de grace, a giant decorative lizard.

Plan on taking a half day to visit this Barcelona attraction, and remember if you take the metro to Park Guell, be ready to make the 20-minute hill climb to the entrance. (If you don't feel like huffing and puffing you can catch a cab to the summit.) Busses for this and other Barcelona attractions can be found at the tourist information office at Place de Catalunya.

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