Barcelona’s oldest and most popular park, Parc de la Ciutadella is a picturesque expanse of greenery with several attractions. Its landmark Arc de Triomf, designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, serves as the monumental gateway to the park’s northern entrance, and the park is also home to a boating lake, the Barcelona Zoo, Catalan Parliament, two museums, and a much-celebrated series of sculptures.
Barcelona’s version of Central Park in New York ranks among the most popular attractions in the old city. Located just northeast of the city center, not far from the Barceloneta beach, the park is included in just about every small-group and private city tour. Options for tours that stop at Parc de la Ciutadella include walking, Segway, and cycling tours through the park and other points of interest, such as Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, and Port Olímpic.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The park is a must-see for first-time visitors.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on a variety of surfaces.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, as many areas of the park lack shade.
- See the park on a walking, cycling, or Segway tour.
How to Get There
Parc de la Ciutadella is accessible on foot from just about anywhere in the old city or Barceloneta. To get there by public transportation, take the metro (Line 1) to Arc de Triomf station and head toward the park along the car-free Passeig de Lluís Companys.
When to Get There
The park bustles with visitors and locals throughout the day, so there’s never a bad time to visit. Weekends offer the best people watching, as Barcelona residents often come here for picnics and exercise.
Gaudí at the Park
When architect Josep Fontserè i Mestre was commissioned to update the park in advance of the 1888 International Exhibition, a young Antoni Gaudí (an architecture student at the time) caught his eye. Gaudí is said to have designed some of the pipework and decorative medallions of the park’s monumental fountain.