Parc de la Ciutadella - An Oasis Near the Old City


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Parc de la Ciutadella is an ideal space for leisure and cultural activities for the family. Traveling to Barcelona comes with a lot of Barcelona sightseeing options, and the city is packed with activities; one of the best jumping off points for those attractions is the beautiful and lively park. When you are seeking attractive places to visit in Barcelona, don't miss this locale.


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Getting the Most Out of the Parc de la Ciutadella

There is so much to do at this park that many visitors return for more than one day. In fact, many visitors feel as though a trip to the Barcelona Zoo alone is enough to make up the bulk of a busy day.

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Another option is to get a discounted ticket for the Barcelona Zoo when you buy the Barcelona Card.

With so much variety concentrated in one location, it is no wonder that this park continues to draw millions of visitors every year, including tourists from all around the world.

The park can be very crowded, but you will likely find that the appeal of this vibrant park more than makes up for the crowds. The crowds also make for some of Barcelona’s best people watching, so if you want to kick back, relax and soak in some of the daily life of Barcelona, then the Parc de la Ciutadella indeed is one of best Barcelona attractions you will find.

Parc de la Ciutadella - Monumental waterfall, by Josep Fontseré helped by Antoni Gaudi, 1875

Monumental waterfall, by Josep Fontseré helped by Antoni Gaudi, 1875

Different Activities at the Ciutadella Park

The Park is a real treat as it is Barcelona's most centrally located park and it also includes a range of different activities such as the Barcelona Zoo, the Parliament building, educational museums, a magnificent fountain called La Cascada, a lake and, of course, a great deal of greenery to enjoy.

Let's take a look at the numerous great options that are all available and within a relatively short distance from one another in the world famous and much loved Ciutadella Park.

Parc de la Ciutadella - The main entrance of the Barcelona Zoo inside the parc

The main entrance of the Barcelona Zoo inside the park

Barcelona Sightseeing - The Barcelona Zoo

Established in the mid-1800's, the Ciutadella Park is a whopping 70 acres (280,000 m2) in size, with much of that land being dedicated to the impressive Barcelona Zoo.

Opened in 1892 the zoo is a European and global treasure, as it houses thousands of animals and is one of the most important in both Europe and the world. The mission of the Barcelona Zoo is to educate its visitors and promote conservation.

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Parc de la Ciutadella - Boating at the parc and enjoying nature

Boating at the park and enjoying nature

Natural Beauty at the Ciutadella Park

While the zoo may take up a significant portion of the park, there is no shortage of other excellent activities. Jogging, walking, and biking are all enjoyed year round, and the fact that the park has a lake means that boating, in a charming setting, is also an option.


Parc de la Ciutadella - The popular mammoth statue in original size

The popular mammoth statue in original size

See the Numerous Statues

The diversity of places to visit in Barcelona is impressive and the Ciutadella Park features one of the city's highest concentrations of Barcelona attractions. There are several sculptures scattered throughout the park, and each is a revelation, especially for visitors making their first trip to the park.

One of the most beloved of these statues is a whimsical mammoth. This figure is a real treat for kids who enjoy climbing on its impressive trunk. Another highlight, called Monuments to the World Fair, is a modern sculpture crafted by Antoni Clavé.

Also not to be missed is La Cascada. This fountain is in the park's northern corner and was inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. There is a sculpture of Venus in an open clam in front of the fountain, and you will also see two welcoming gigantic crab pincers, which function as stairs.

Parc de la Ciutadella - The Castell Dels Tres Dragons, designed by Domenech i Muntaner, is house of the Laboratory of Nature (Zoology and Geology museums)

The Castell Dels Tres Dragons, designed by Domenech i Muntaner, is house of the Laboratory of Nature (Zoology and Geology museums)

Two Noteworthy Museums

In addition to the zoo and diverse outdoor activities, there are two important museums at the park. The Museum of Geology (known as Martorell Museum) was spearheaded by noted scientist Francisco Martorell i Peña who died in 1878. He donated significant scientific artifacts towards the creation of this museum. The geology collections have been transferred to the Laboratory of Nature, while the Martorell museum houses a permanent exhibition.

The other principal museum located in the Ciutadella Park is the Museum of Zoology, which is in the Laboratory of Nature housed in the Castell Dels Tres Dragons building, designed as a restaurant by Lluis Domenech i Montaner for the Universal Exposition of 1888. This museum is wildly popular, thanks to exhibits such as those featuring a full and massive skeleton of a whale.

Like the Barcelona Zoo, the Museum of Zoology is perfect for families. This institution has a keen focus on conservation and looks to increase awareness regarding crucial environmental issues.