Things to do in Barcelona

Your Guide To Discovering Gaudi’s Best Kept Secret – The Colonia Guell, Barcelona

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Barcelona embodies Antoni Gaudi’s artistic vision with his masterpieces dotting the whole city. But if you are looking for an extra dose of Gaudi’s unique take on architecture, head to the village of Santa Coloma de Cervello which is just 20 kms from the city center and is home to the magnificent Colonia Guell.

The colony is home to Gaudi's crypt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that was built in the early 1900’s to be a Church for the workers living in the industrial village. This hidden gem also happens to be a precursor to the architectural techniques Gaudi used in the building of La Sagrada Familia. Know all about visiting Colonia Guell Barcelona in our guide below and plan your visit efficiently!

Colonia Guell, Barcelona

colonia guell barcelona

Spain’s industrial revolution in the 19th century resulted in creation of worker colonies outside of the city on estates owned by industrialists. Colonia Guell was one such colony but it was different from the rest because of Eusebi Guell’s wish to improve the lives of people who worked for him.

The construction of Colonia Guell began in 1890 and on Guell’s request, Gaudi and his contemporaries were tasked with its construction. The colony had theatres, schools, gardens, and an Athenaeum that were meant for the residents and walking in the area will transport you to 19th Century Spain.

Why You Must Visit Colonia Guell Barcelona?

colonia guell barcelona
  • If you are a fan of history and architecture, a visit to Colonia Guell will give you a glimpse of art as it existed in the time of industrial revolution
  • Gaudi's Crypt at the Colonia Guell Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and bears Gaudi’s seal
  • Many of Barcelona’s structures are full of tourists and if you are looking to spend some quiet time admiring and keenly observing Gaudi’s work, there's no better place than Colonia Guell Barcelona.

Colonia Guell Tickets & Tour

A tour of Colonia Guell backed by Headout, comes with a to-and-fro train ticket from Barcelona to Colonia Guell and includes an audio guide.

After collecting the audio guide and a map from the Visitors’ Center, you will start walking through the colony’s streets that are lined with ancient stone structures. Some of Gaudi’s signature style will immediately pop out to you when you reach the Crypt that is covered in trencadis that makes it one with the green surroundings.

With the audio guide giving you a detailed history of the Church and the colony, you will notice the leaning pillars and catenary arches. The stained glass in the church and parabola shaped walls convey Gaudi’s work in all its beauty.

Once you have had your fill of history and Gaudi’s role in Spain’s modernism movement, you can walk back to the Visitors’ Center to return the audio guide before getting on the train back to Barcelona.

Fast Track Colonia Guell Tickets

  • Enjoy exclusive skip the line entry into Colònia Güell and skirt the lengthy queues
  • Tour Colònia Güell with an audioguide and experience a detailed overview of the history and culture surrounding it.
  • Discover the lesser know legendary treasure - Gaudí's crypt

Colonia Guell Tickets With Transportation to/from Barcelona

  • Witness the beauty and tranquility of Colònia Güell, nestled in the outskirts of Barcelona, a mere 20 kilometers from the city center.
  • Enjoy a hassle-free experience, with transportation from Barcelona to Colònia Güell and back by train.

The Colonia Guell Crypt - Gaudi’s Crypt

colonia guell barcelona

Gaudi envisaged the Church to include upper and lower naves that would be topped by towers and a 40-meter-high central dome. But Guell could no longer fund the construction after 1914. The single chamber that was built remains a great example of Gaudi’s design and has come to be known as Colonia Guell Crypt. A replica of the original design now sits at a pavilion near the construction site and bears resemblance to La Sagrada Familia.

The Colonia Guell Crypt sits in harmony with the nature with green trencadis covering the structure and curved pillars at the entrance. This is considered the highlight of Colonia Guell, so make sure you spend ample time exploring the intricasies of Colonia Guell's Crypt.

Know Before You Go To Colonia Guell

Opening Hours
  • During the summer months between May to October, Colonia Guell remains open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • On all weekends and during the winter months from November to April, Colonia Guell stays open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Colonia Guell remains closed on 25 and 26 December, 1 and 6 January, Palm Sunday and Holy Friday
Getting there

One of the best and economical ways to reach Gaudi’s Crypt from Barcelona is to take a bus or use the train service.

  • By Train : S4, S8, and S33 are the three train lines that run between Plaza Espana and Colonia Guell and take 30 minutes.
  • By Bus : If you opt to take the bus, hop on to L70 and L72 from Barcelona Pl. Espanya and settle down for a 40-minute ride to Frederic Mompou from where the Crypt is about a 15-minute walk
  • By Car : Driving to Colonia Guell from Barcelona takes about 30 minutes and the route being scenic, it makes for a great roadtrip.
  • Guided Tour : A guided tour of Colonia Guell includes a train ride from Barcelona, making this option a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about travelling
Colonia Guell Map

Tips For Your Colonia Guell Visit

  • Most Colonia Guell Tickets come free with an audio guide. Make sure to pick this up from the Visitor's center at the entrance as it is a great resource to help understand the history and architectural elements of the colony
  • After sunset, the beauty of Colonia Guell is enhanced all the more. If time permits, try staying longer to see the structure dimly lit in warm yellow light.
  • While there are around 13 to 15 points of interest in the colony, the Colonia Guell Crypt is the most famous. Most people come in to see this, hence visit right at the beginning to avoid crowds that come later in the day.
  • Remember to return the audio guide at the Visitors’ Center at least 10 minutes before the closing time.
  • You are required to deposit some form of identification (ID) as a deposit to rent the audioguide. Once you return the audio guide, you will recieve your ID back.
  • Purchasing Colonia Guell tickets that come inclusive of transport from Barcelona and back is a wise idea. That way, you can skip the hassle of standing in queues at the railway station.

Go Beyond Colonia Guell to Montserrat

colonia guell barcelona

If you start your day early, you can combine your trip to the historical Colonia Guell with a visit to Montserrat, a serene retreat on a mountain-top. Take the rack railway to the hilltop and walk to the Benedictine Monastery that was built in the 11th Century. The rack railway also goes to the top of the mountain where you will get a beautiful view of the countryside. The royal basilica in the monastery also houses a religious artefact celebrating the patron saint of Catalonia. Read our detaild guide on taking a Day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat and learn all that you can do in this hilly town for a day.

Montserrat Day Out - All Inclusive Pass

  • Track railway or cable car of Montserrat
  • Return train to Monistrol de Montserrat from Playa Espanya
  • Unlimited use of Santa Cova and Sant Joan funiculars
  • Entrance to Audio-Visual Gallery in Montserrat and Museu de Montserrat

Tickets to Montserrat Museum and Monastery with Audio Guide

  • Ticket to the Montserrat Museum and Monastery
  • Complimentary Audio Guide
  • Montserrat Map
  • Information Booklet

Ready to Visit Colonia Guell Barcelona?

Here's more of Gaudi's wonders that you can explore while in Barcelona

FAQs: Colonia Guell

Where is la Colonia Guell?

The Colònia Güell, one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century is located in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23 Km to the south-west of Barcelona.

When was Colonia Guell built?

Construction of the factory began in 1890. A mere year later the first building was completed and the steam machine dedicated to spinnin was started.

Why does the inside of a Gaudi church look like this the crypt at Colonia Guell )?

At the age of 73, while on his way to vespers, Antoni Gaudí was struck down by a trolley car, and he died from the injuries a few days later. After his death, Gaudí was buried in the Sagrada Família, where work continued into the 21st century.

Where is Gaudi buried?

The Colònia Güell, one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century is located in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23 Km to the south-west of Barcelona.