A huge former hospital complex and an icon of art nouveau design, Sant Pau Recinte Modernista (Hospital de Sant Pau) is a must-visit for architecture buffs. Located in Eixample, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is recognizable for its red bricks, colored tiles, stained glass, and whimsical design.
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is considered one of Barcelona Modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s masterpieces. With 27 different buildings, the site is among the largest examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. A functioning hospital until 2009, the landmark is now a cultural center and museum. Highlights include the Sant Salvador Pavilion exhibition space; the Sant Rafael Pavilion, which is dedicated to medical history, and the Administration Pavilion.
Admission to Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is covered by the Barcelona Pass, and can be glimpsed on hop-on hop-off bus tours. Architecture-themed tours provide an immersive way to see the site up close and it’s also possible to book tickets online before you visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Self-guided, audio-guide, and guided tours are all available for different rates at the landmark; audio guides are available in seven languages.
- Children under the age of 12 can visit the landmark for free.
- In addition to its exhibition spaces, the site also hosts a regular concert series.
- The landmark is barrier-free and fully accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. If using public transportation, take the Metro line 5 to Sant Pau / Dos de Maig. The landmark is also served by the H8, 19, 47, 117, and 192 buses, and can be reached by taxi.
When to Get There
The Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is open daily. From November-March, it’s open from morning until early evening Monday-Saturday, with earlier closing time on Sunday. Weekday hours in summer are slightly extended. Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing time.
Barcelona’s Modernisme Route
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is included on the Barcelona Modernisme Route (Ruta del Modernisme), alongside almost 30 other highlights. Other must-see landmarks include famous works by Gaudí—including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and La Pedrera—as well as Josep Vilaseca’s Arc de Triomf and Josep Fontserè’s Parc de la Ciutadella. Look for paving stones with a distinctive red-and-white emblem, which mark stops along the route.