Built in 1869 on the grounds of the city's military citadel, Parc de la Ciutadella is the largest park in Barcelona and a really oasis of tranquility. With 18 hectares, the park houses the Barcelona Zoo, two museums, the Catalunya Parliament, lakes, fountains and beautiful lawns.
Designed to respond the needs of the Universal Exhibition that would took place in its grounds in 1888, the Parc maintains some of the features created for the world fair. Buildings like the Castell dels Tres Dragons (Castle of the three Dragons), site of the restaurant during the fair, that is today part of the Natural Sciences Museum. The greenhouses, Umbral and Hivernacle, are currently closed and under repair. There are many pieces of statuary and sculptures throughout the park. One of the most important is the replica of the sculpture "El Desconsol" by Josep Llimona, standing close to the Catalan Parliament.
The monumental cascade fountain, for which project the young architect Gaudì contributed, still remains one of the focal points of the park. Nearby there's a giant mammoth sculpture (in natural size) and a beautiful bandstand.
The Arc de Triomf, gateway to the world fair of 1888, is the most imposing entrance to the park and an iconic landmark of Barcelona. The large promenade ( Passeig Lluís Companys) connecting the gardens to the arch is always full of people and animation.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Passeig de Picasso, 21, Barcelona
Opening Hours and Ticket Prices:
Daily, 10:00 to 22:30
To get there walk from El Borne or Barceloneta. If you're at a distant part of the city, take the subway and exit at Station Arc de Triomf (L9) or Barceloneta (L4).