Lucky me. I received an email a while ago from a friend that said: Casa Batlló in Barcelona is selling tickets for 1€ to all residents!!! What??? A miracle just happened. I quickly went onto their website and there it was: BUY YOUR TICKET FOR 1€. I obviously had to give my contact details and documentation to prove that I am a Barcelona resident. Their tickets usually range from 25€ to 40€, so it was clearly a bargain. Not only I was about to re-visit one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona just for 1€ but I was also visiting the site during its restoration. Plus, I got to experience their augmented reality Smart Guide!
A little introduction to Casa Batllo
Casa Batlló is one of Gaudí’s masterpieces and it’s located in the Apple of Discord in Barcelona, on Passeig de Gràcia. The modernist house was built for the Batlló family, a wealthy family from Barcelona. Gaudí uses a variety of elements and unusual shapes. The colorful facade is a mosaic made with broken ceramic pieces called “trencadís”. The facade represents a bat, the roof is shaped into a dragon and other architectonic elements represent Saint George, the popular Catalan tradition.
Starting the Smart Guide
Once I step into Casa Batlló, I got a set of blue headphones and a phone to begin the Augmented Reality Smart Guide. The curved staircase, the blue and green sculptures and the round windows make me think of the sea. The first element that the Smart Guide shows on the phone is a bunch of turtles swimming along the wall, which were Gaudí’s inspiration to design them in the first place.
Casa Batllo in detail
The wooden floor and details along the staircase are amazing, just as if I was inside a Royal House. The first room that I go into is empty and there’s an enormous lit up window at the end of it. However, when I turn the Smart Guide on, the room is not empty anymore. I can now see all different furniture that used to be in the room back in the days, a sofa, a set of drawers and other elements that simply blend in the empty room.
I keep walking until I get to the next room and it’s also empty a part from this shiny, old fashioned, precious and enormous chandelier. Remember when I said “the Casa Batlló is undergoing some restoration”? Well, I can now see behind a glass window how a woman is carefully restoring the house’s walls with different tools and materials.
While walking inside the house I can appreciate all the arches forming the corridor as well as colorful floors, iron figures and detailed mosaics. I reach the interior patio, where I go out for some fresh air. The iron gate and the colorful mosaic stand out from all the patio which makes me think of romantic dinners and candles.
Smart Guide in Action
After being outside for a while, I step inside and into the next room which has a scaled model that represents the Casa Batlló itself. Now, I am not sure what am I suppose to do but I see this other visitor getting her Smart Guide out and placing it over the small architectural model. It’s my turn now and as I go over it, I can see all the rooms in the house such as the bathroom, the living room or the kitchen with all kinds of old fashioned furniture.
Exercise to reach the Terrace
It’s time to exercise a bit and walk a few floors up to get to the main terrace. The corridor is so narrow that people have to wait on one side of the stairs until the other visitors come down first. Not very practical but in the meantime, I can appreciate all the deco and architectural details along the corridor.
I finally reach the top and I am out of breath. However, I manage to take a few pictures of the terrace and appreciate the views of Barcelona at night. Gaudí was a big fan of weird shapes and colors, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that these chimneys just look wild and out of this world. There are a couple of accesses to the terrace, making it easier to reach the top in this enormous house.
The last stop of my visit is this little and magical room on the terrace where a weird shaped fountain is placed right in the middle. The sound of the water is very peaceful and you can also see its reflection on the walls, creating a magical and bohemian atmosphere. After being there for a bit, I decide to make my way down as I know it might take me a while to get to the bottom floor.
On my way down, I spot a mushroom shaped wall that leads to the chimney and again I think to myself “What in earth could Gaudí be thinking when he made that?”. The bronze chimney and orange walls add more color to the house as well as a rustic touch.
Your turn !
The restoration lasts until the end of January so if you’d like to experience this creative and innovative Smart Guide, go onto their website and book your tickets. However, as I previously mentioned the 1€ offer was only available for resident but you can still experience this great smart tour!
If you want to enjoy this “Blue Smart Guide Visit” you should click here for TICKETS!
If you like exclusivity and would like to experience Casa Batlló in a unique way, get the GOLD PRIORITY TICKET which includes VIP access, Skip-the-Line, the SmartGuide in 11 languages, access to the private hall and a free vintage picture of you dressed up in old fashioned clothes.