Barcelona is unmistakably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe both to visit and to live! We're fortunate enough to call this incredible place home, at least for now, thanks to my husband's job relocation.
Like Times Square in Manhattan or Big Ben in London, Barcelona has its iconic Basilica de Sagrada Familia drawing in millions of visitors per year. It's an awe-inspiring structure designed by the late Antonio Gaudi and whether or not you're into architecture - it's a must see!
When you have the chance to live in a foreign city, you quickly learn the "dos and don'ts", the "secrets and scams" of landmarks such as this. These tips will make your trip to Sagrada a delight instead of a mess, trust me.
Don't make the mistake of rolling up uninvited! Go online and buy your tickets in advance. You'll still spend 15-20 minutes waiting to get through security but at least you'll be guaranteed access at a certain time. The cost is 14.80euro (12.80euro for seniors and students) and you must choose a specific time when booking online as well. Sagrada does this to control the obvious flow of crowds.
While the exterior of Sagrada is amazing depicting Jesus's life before and after his crucifixion, don't sell yourself short and miss the inside. It's on another level! Designed to represent a forest, it is magical in a word. Every spire, window and column has meaning and is designed with purpose. This is like no other church interior on the planet.
Summertime from May through August is PACKED with tourists no matter what time of day you visit. Best to go in early Spring/late Fall. Also early in the morning when Sagrada first opens (9AM) or late in the evening before it closes (6PM/8PM depending on the month) is a nice time and not overly crowded. The last thing you want is a bunch of floating heads walking by in the middle of your pictures.
This is soo worth it! For the cost of 16.50euros, you can get a self-guided audio tour in your language of choice. It's not enough to see Sagrada Familia. To get the full experience and truly appreciate where you are, an audio tour is a must. I learned so much from it and can now explain tons to any friends visiting. This option is much better than a group tour, which feels more like a cattle drive and half the time you're straining to hear your guide.
Charge your camera phone to take lots of photos and videos. Visiting Sagrada Familia is an experience you won't forget!
Walk around the medieval Old Town and travel in time with the stories and legends from the past. See the most important monuments of the Gothic quarter. At the end of your trip, relax with a glass of Sangria in the Boqueria Market.