The official name of La Pedrera, which is one of the most famous buildings in Barcelona and one of the most representative of Catalan modernism, is Casa Milà. This name comes from the surname of its former owner, Pere Milà i Camps, who was a well-known politician and businessman from Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century who, with his wife Rosa Segimon i Artells, commissioned the design of the building to the already well-known architect Antoni Gaudí.
The building is in the district of La Dreta de l’Eixample (the right hand side of l’Eixample), which is almost considered an open-air museum of Catalan modernism, thanks to the large number of modernist buildings that it contains, such as the nearby Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller and the Casa Lleó i Morera.
The Casa Milà Highlights
It took 4 years to build La Pedrera, starting in 1906 and finishing in 1910. In order to successfully manage a project of such importance, Antoni Gaudí enlisted the help of some of his usual collaborators, such as Josep Maria Jujol, Domènec Sugrañes i Gras and Joan Rubió, who were also respected modernist architects. Throughout the project Gaudí had complete freedom in his work, something that’s evident in the final result, which was a completely ground-breaking building for its time, and possibly too much so for some people. Although Gaudí had his supporters such as the artist Salvador Dalí, he also had many critics, and he was at the centre of much criticism from an important part of society, suffering the scathing comments of the satirical magazines of the time.
The nickname of La Pedrera (the Spanish word for quarry), by which Casa Milà is often known, came about from the pejorative way in which some of its biggest critics spoke about it, making reference to its exterior aspect, which they said resembled an open-air quarry.
Now run by the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera, Casa Milà was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984. Two years later it was acquired by the former Catalunya Caixa which, after having commissioned a series of renovations, opened its doors to visitors in 1987. From then on, conservation work has continuously taken place, as well as the raising of awareness of this important historical building, and improvements have been made to make the visit even more impressive.
Types of visit, tickets online and opening times
If you do decide to visit the Casa Milà, we recommend buying your tickets online in advance, as you’ll be able to elect the day and time slot in which you’d like to visit, whilst being spared of the long queues that can form at the ticket office itself. After buying your tickets online, you’ll need to print the confirmation of purchase that’s generated or that’s emailed to you, in order to show it when you arrive. If you don’t have chance to reserve your tickets in advance, the best thing to do is to arrive first thing in the morning, when the queues are usually shorter than at other times of the day.
The standard visit, known as ‘La Pedrera de dia’ (La Pedrera by day), is the standard daytime visit, but it’s not the only option available, as you can also opt for the evening visit, called ‘Gaudi’s Pedrera: The Origins’, or another visit, ‘L’Altra Pedrera’, which is a guided tour and is only available in Catalan. If you speak Catalan or have someone with you who can translate for you, this would be the perfect option for you to discover some of the lesser-known facts about the Casa Milà.
1. La Pedrera de día (Visit by day)
This is an essential visit for anyone visiting La Pedrera for the first time and wanting to find out more about it, because you’ll see all the public spaces, accompanied by the audioguide which is included in your ticket price, and it’s available in several languages.
General admission (box-office): €25
Premium (online) €29
Premium (box-office): €32
Children (7-12 years old): €11
Young residents (7-12 years old): 6,00€
Free of charge: Under-7s
2nd November – 28th February: daily from 09:00 to 18:30.
26th December – 3rd January: daily from 09:00 to 20:30.
Closed: 7-13 january and 25th December 2019.
Latest entry time: 30 minutes before the advertised closing time.
*The “Residents” ticket applies to people residing in Catalunya who are able to show proof of their address.
**Opening hours are subject to change, under exceptional circumstances.
2. Gaudí’s Pedrera: The Origins (Visit by night)
This night-time visit is more of an experience than a visit. We think it’s the best option for a second visit to La Pedrera, or even for a first visit if you can’t manage the daytime visit for whatever reason. The tour, which includes access to some of the most interesting areas of the building and to various informative film screenings, ends with an audiovisual display on the rooftop terrace, accompanied by a refreshing glass of cava.
General admission: €34.
Children (7-12 years old): €17.
Children who are residents (7-12 years old): €10
Free of charge: Under-7s
18th May – 1st November: 20:40h, 21:00h, 21:20h, 21:40h, 22:00h and 22:20h.
From 2nd November: 19:00h, 19:40h, 20:00h and 20:40h.
26th December – 3rd January: 21:00h, 21:40h, 22:20h and 23:00h.
Closed: From 7 to 13 january and 24, 25 and 31 december 2019.
*The tours take place in different languages, depending on the day and time.
3. L’Altra Pedrera
L’Altra Pedrera (“The Alternative La Pedrera”), as its name suggests, is quite a different type of tour. Only offered in Catalan, it allows visitors to see areas of the building that aren’t usually accessible to the public. Throughout the tour you’ll be treated to all sorts of stories and anecdotes about La Pedrera, and by the end you’ll be true experts on the building and its history.Schedule: the tours take place on Saturdays at 12:15.
Duration of the tour: 1 hour 30 minutes
Language: Catalan only
Visiting inside La Pedrera
The façade of the building, whose rippled features are clearly inspired by nature itself, is just a small hint at what’s hidden inside. The visit to the inside of the building is divided into five different spaces: the rooftop, the Espai Gaudí (the Gaudí Area), El Pis de La Pedrera (the apartment within La Pedrera), Els Patis (the courtyards) and the Exhibition Room. Each of these spaces offers its own information about specific parts of the project, which allows the visitor to find out detailed information about the building’s history and its creator, as well as getting a fairly good idea about what life was like inside it.
The Exhibition Space and the inside courtyard
Situated on the first floor of the building, this used to be the residence of the Milà – Segimon couple. Nowadays, since 1992, it’s the space that is used to house a series of temporary exhibitions which serve to introduce people to various artists and artistic movements that aim to give a new focus to the world of art and creativity, which can otherwise at times be slightly rigid. Architecturally speaking, the inside courtyard is absolutely a highlight, and the staircase of the hallway stands out, as do the paintings on the walls that decorate the area. Unfortunately there are few original decorative elements, because since Antoni Gaudí’s death, Roser Segimon made several major changes.
The apartment in La Pedrera
The fourth floor of Casa Milà, which is the only floor that can be visited by the public, is dedicated to giving you an idea of what the inside of a typical bourgeois family’s modernist house was like at the start of the 20th century. It helps that some of the Casa Milà’s original furniture remains throughout the apartment, from the dining room to the bedroom, including the bathroom. An audiovisual display is also projected, about Catalunya’s ‘Setmana Trágica’ (Tragic Week) of 1909 and the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition, which gives the visitor much more information about what Barcelona was like at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Gaudí Space
Situated in the loft area, where the area for drying clothes and washing facilities used to be, highlights of this area are the 270 catenary arches, which are so characteristic of Gaudí’s work, and here the show the discovery of brickwork. Nowadays, as the name suggests, it’s a space that is dedicated to Antoni Gaudí, both exploring his work and his personal life. There are models, designs and maps as well as some multimedia elements.
The Rooftop Terrace
Just as with many other works by Gaudí, the rooftop terrace is one of the most characteristic areas of the Casa Milà. The undulating forms of its towers, chimney pots and railings, all of which are full of astonishing architectural detail, offer the visitor a unique experience, which finishes off the trip to the Casa Milà perfectly. Also worth seeing are the views that you’ll enjoy of the Passeig de Gràcia from the rooftop, as well of as some of the most striking buildings in Barcelona’s skyline.
The El Café de La Pedrera is a bar and restaurant which offers high-quality food. Its real draw is that it’s situated in the basement of Casa Milà, in the area known as Sala Jujol. Although it does have a lovely outdoor terrace where you can eat or have a drink, the interior is more striking, as you’ll be surrounded by the building’s modernist architecture. You can find more information and make a reservation at cafedelapedrera.com.
The visit to La Pedrera ends with the compulsory walk through the souvenir shop, which offers all sorts of ideal gifts. Most of the items on sale have something to do with La Pedrera in particular, but some are related to Antoni Gaudí and Catalan modernism in general. When you leave, you can also stop for a drink in El Café de La Pedrera if you like.
c/ (street) Provença 261 – 265, Barcelona.
Full information is shown above.
Full information is shown above.
How to get there?
Metro: Diagonal (lines 3 and 5) and Passeig de Gràcia (lines 2, 3 and 4).
Buses: liines 6, 7, 20, 22, 24, 33, 34, 39, 45, V15, V17, H8, H10 and tourist bus.
Renfe: ‘Passeig de Gràcia’ station.
FGC: ‘Provença’ station.
By foot: we recommend walking to La Pedrera if you’re already in the city centre, as you’re likely to pass many places of interest on the way.