Visiting La Sagrada Familia was one of my dreams. I have seen numerous videos and read about Antoni Gaudí, the architect who envisioned and designed not only Sagrada Familia but also five other extraordinary buildings. What stroke me about him is his out-of-this-world way of design and thinking. I did not plan to go to Barcelona last year, it all happened by chance, and I visited Sagrada Familia on my birthday. It was meant to be!
Here are 5 tips that would make your visit more enjoyable:
1. Book your tickets as early as possible. I was there in November, and even outside the tourist season, it was quite crowded. You can get your tickets here. There is a discount for people under 30 in addition to the one for students. If you want to secure a fast-track entry, buy the Barcelona City Pass. It also provides you with a fast-track entry to Park Güell, an airport transfer, and the hop-on-hop-off bus tour. I did not choose this option, but it might be a good bargain depending on the length of your stay.
2. Visit Sagrada Familia before 10 am. Wake up early and seize the day! It guarantees a good start of your visit because you are avoiding the crowds.
Here are the opening times according to the official website:
November to February,
9 am to 6 pm
9 am to 7 pm
April to September,
9 am to 8 pm
9 am to 7 pm
December 25, 26, January 1 and 6,
9 am to 2 pm
3. If you visit in the morning, go there at least 15 minutes before opening time. Believe me, it would save you a lot of waiting and you would enjoy the place with fewer tourists inside.
4. Get to know the story behind Sagrada Familia. Gaudi’s work is impressive. The cathedral is still being built following Gaudí’s vision. The completion of the Sagrada Familia is planned for 2026, the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudí’s death.
5. Plan enough time for visiting Sagrada Familia. This tip might sound obvious, but I got so impressed by the architecture that I completely lost track of time. Planning 1 hour is a reasonable amount of time for the church and then probably around 30 minutes for the museum in the basement. Spending time outside just contemplating the basilica also took some time 🙂