So you have one hour to burn in Barcelona, why not do a Gaudí tour? The outsides of his buildings alone are worth the effort, but popping by can give you a feel for which one you might want to return to explore. Also you don’t need special tickets or to wait in line. That said, for lots of these things in Barcelona, if you do want to go inside, it’s best to buy tickets online and avoid the queue. Many times, like at Sagrada Familia you choose the time specifically that you want to go to make it even more convenient.
For Gaudí, start south and head north. The southernmost point of interest is the Palau Guell just off Las Ramblas near the port and the Columbus statue. Built for his influential patrons of the same name, this mansion was the family residence for the early half of the 20th century.
From here jump in a taxi or take the Green line metro up to Passeig de Gracia and Casa Battló. Gaudí actually remolded this building for the family, redoing the façade and the main or principal floor. Here you see how Gaudí wanted to emulate nature, literally with bone like pillars, scales, and resplendent colors.
You can either take a quick walk north, the Green line again, or a very short taxi ride to Casa Mila, or what locals call La Pedrera, the quarry, for the idea that it fancifully resembles one. This is an apartment building, still in use, and an exhibition space (these are separate so be clear about which you want to see when you enter). It is also renown for its fantastic chimneys and views from the roof.
Again take a 10 minute walk down Provença street or another quick taxi ride to Sagrada Familia.
This basilica or temple is considered Gaudí’s masterpiece and will be finished sometime soon they say, maybe in the 2020s. The project was actually started by another architect, but Gaudí took over in 1883 and continued work on it until his untimely death in 1926. Famous architects have continued the process until today leaving their mark on his extraordinary designs. A tour inside is well worth it, but from outside right now you can see on the Western side the Nativity and on the Eastern side the Passion, the final hours of Christ’s life.