Whenever I tell people about the hidden gems of Barcelona, I always tell them to look up. Especially now, in the winter, when the trees are leafless. This is the time to go ‘façade-hunting’.
In many Spanish cities the outside of the buildings are shaped with so much care, that buildings in other European cities tend to look dull compared to their Spanish brothers and sisters. One could also say: Spanish buildings are a bit over the top. But if you let go of that opinion, then you can truly enjoy the little details on the walls, the way the balconies are shaped, the use of colours…
I once met a woman from Greece who came to Barcelona to study architecture. I can’t think of a better city to do that (even though I’m from Amsterdam and I love the Amsterdam School).
Yes, of course: Barcelona is the city of Antoni Gaudí, but it doesn’t end with him.
In fact, there are many (Catalan) architects who have helped shape the appearance of the city Barcelona. Lluís Domènech i Montaner is one of them, with Hospital de Sant Pau and Palau de la Música as his most famous creations.
Another is Antoni Rovira i Trias, who designed the Mercat de Sant Antoni (now still being renovated, but you can already see it’s going to be incredible), amongst other buildings.
If you are able to visit these edifices: don’t hesitate, because it’s worth your time. But before you go inside… look up, and enjoy the view.