In an attempt to make more money from tourists, the Spanish city of Barcelona will soon begin charging visitors £6.85 to enter Park Güell, Gaudi’s famous park in the city’s Gracia district which has previously always been free.
All good things come to an end, right? Starting October 25st, 2013 all foreign visitors will be required to pay €8 (£6.85) to enter Gaudi’s surreal space, Park Güell. The park has always been free to enter, a welcome green space in the middle of the city and one of the finest examples of modern mosaic craftsmanship in the world. Gaudi’s original image for the place was to create a “garden city,” where the workers could live. Today it’s one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions.
The new regulations at Park Güell will also see daily visitors regulated to a maximum of 400 every half hour. This move has been highly criticised by the local conservation group, Defensem el Parc Guell. They argue,
“Park Güell is a municipal facility and not a museum or a cathedral. Nobody should have to pay.”
It’s no surprise to anyone though that times are hard in Spain and the only industry that seems to make any measurable profit is tourism. Municipalities and authorities all over the country are putting their heads together to come up with ways to make more money from tourism and Barcelona isn’t the only city in Spain who needs to balance their books by taking tourists for every penny they have.
Bunol, home to the country’s famous La Tomatina festival has also made the festival a ticketed event for the first time ever. Participants will need to pay €10 to participate with a maximum of 20,000 tickets available. In previous years the event has attracted as many as 45,000.
What’s next, tickets to run with the bulls in Pamplona or attend the exquisite Semana Santa processions in Seville?
Don’t worry, there are still lots of free things to do in Barcelona, at least until they find a way to charge tourists a chunk of change to walk down La Rambla.