Barcelona Beyond Gaudi

When we are planning a trip, one of the best ways to get information and tips about any given place, is to talk to people who’ve been there or who live in that place. Right? With that in mind, I asked my friend Cristina da Rosa, who writes the blog Sol de Barcelona, to give us some tips on the city she calls home. She came up with an insightful topic, Barcelona beyond Gaudi, which you can see below.

Architect Antoni Gaudí is a Barcelona icon. Besides the amazing works of this genius of modern architecture, Barcelona still has a lot to offer. Here I suggest a “Barcelona beyond Gaudí”, and you will discover some other cool places to visit. Shall we start?


Barcelona, just like many other European cities, was founded by the Romans. After over 2000 years of history, you can still see some marks they left in the city.

Plaza Madrid

This is the Romans’ “sepulchral road”, a roadside graveyard. The Romans used to bury their dead on the roads leading outside town, to make sure the dead would never be forgotten.

Barcelona Beyond Gaudi - Plaza Madrid

Temple of Augustus

Roman columns inlaid on a building wall? That’s true. In the 19th century, three columns were found inside the old Temple of Augustus, at the Barcelona Excursionist Centre.

Barcelona History Museum

This is the city’s best museum, in my opinion. You will take an elevator, go to the underground floor, and you’ll be able to explore the ruins of the Roman city of Barcino.


If you thought Gaudí was Barcelona’s only modernist architect, I’ve got some news. Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch were also very prominent Catalan architects. Just beside Casa Batllò, restored by Antoni Gaudí, we can find two of their houses.

Casa Amatller

Restored by Puig i Cadafalch, this house mixes neo-Gothic and flamenco styles. It belonged to a very famous Catalan chocolate maker.

Barcelona Beyond Gaudi - Casa Amatller

Casa Lleò i Morera

Lluís Domènech i Montaner was commissioned to redesign this building in 1902, and in 1906 the mayor chose it as the Barcelona’s most beautiful building.


Barcelona is home to several gorgeous churches! That comes as no surprise, considering that churches used to be the cities’ most important buildings in the Middle Ages. There are three churches in Barcelona that I highly recommend:

Santa Maria del Mar

Built in the 14th century with seafare workers money and labour, it’s located in the Born district.

Santa Maria del Pi

Located in the Gothic quarter and also built in the 14th century.

Barcelona Beyond Gaudi - Santa Maria del Pi

Barcelona Cathedral

Its early 20th century neo-Gothic façade shocked Gaudí, but tourists fell in love with it.

Barcelona Beyond Gaudi - Barcelona Cathedral


What about following on Picasso’s footsteps around Barcelona? It’s definitely worthwhile if you’re a fan of the arts and cubism works.

Bar 4 Gats: Carrer de Montsió, 3, Gothic quarter

Panel at the School of Architecture: Plaza Nova.

Barcelona Beyond Gaudi - Picasso

Photo by Cristina da Rosa

Picasso Museum: Carrer Montcada, 15-23, Born district.

Sala Parés: Carrer Petritxol, 5. This is where Picasso first exhibited his works, in 1901.

So, which one is your Barcelona?

Barcelona Beyond GaudiBrazilian-born Cristina da Rosa, has been living in Barcelona for over four years, and writes the blog Sol de Barcelona in Portuguese. She is a historian and also works as a Barcelona tour guide for Portuguese speakers.

Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



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17 Responses

  1. Chloe

    I cannot wait to visit Barcelona again, I didn’t have enough time last time I went to visit, lot’s of handy tips here.
    Chloe recently posted…Hello WorldMy Profile

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  3. kia

    Thanks for this great article. I lived in Barcelona too too and sometimes it can be so annoying that everyone recommends the same things over there 🙂

  4. Sarah Turner

    I spent a month working in Barcelona after visiting on holiday and falling in love a year earlier! This list has made me want to go back sooo much! Thanks for sharing.


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