Short trips on public holidays, family trips during school vacation, and friends or couples traveling together when they take a few days off. Many of these trips have a common destination: Barcelona!
And for good reason, too: mild temperatures, blue skies, and a way to escape everyday life for a while. If that’s not tempting, I don’t know what is!
But Barcelona is obviously much more than just a bit of nice weather – you’re likely to want to see a sight or two ;) That’s why I’d like to make a recommendation right away: the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s main attraction!
A couple of things you should know
After a cool and relatively calm winter, the Easter weekend will kick off Barcelona’s 2017 tourist season, which means tourists flocking towards Barcelona in droves.
Next are the summer months of June to September, and many tourists spend their fall holidays there, too.
Please be aware of this – you are not alone!
How does that affect a visit to the Sagrada Familia?
Spring is usually not quite as crowded as the middle of summer or October, but you should be prepared to spend some time waiting in line if you purchase your ticket on site.
How can I avoid waiting in line?
The Sagrada Familia uses timed tickets. This means that you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time and pick your preferred time of day. Once you have your tickets, all you have to do is show up in the right place at the right time.
Should you want to purchase your ticket on site, you’ll have to get in line at the ticket booth. And while that line doesn’t exactly take up a lot of time, you’ll end up with a timed ticket there, too. Depending on the crowds, your time of admission then might be half an hour away – or five hours. (When I went for a test visit last August, I got a ticket with a five hour wait…)
The Sagrada Familia towers are also open for tourists. However, as the tower capacities are limited, it can be difficult to get tickets.
With TicketBar and Barcelona-Museum you can purchase admission, tower access, and an audio guide for 34 Euro, reduced price 30 Euro.
Obviously, you can get tickets directly through the Sagrada Familia as well. Purchasing the ticket on-site will cost you 18 Euro, and the official website sells tickets for 15 Euro. However, by using TicketBar, you can support my work.
Is the cathedral closed on holidays?
For Easter (April 13th to April 17th) you are save! There are no special closing times. The Sagrada Familia will be open from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.!
More closing dates for holidays have not been released yet. Check back for more information later.
What are the opening hours?
The Sagrada Familia is open Mondays through Sundays.
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
April - September:
Monday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
November - February:
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
What else is good to know?
Another point of interest is Antoni Gaudí’s grave, which is located in the crypt below the Sagrada Familia. Whenever the gates are open, you can visit the grave at no additional cost. The entrance is located to the left of the ticket booth in the street Carrer de Sardenya.
Opening hours crypt:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Check out my main page for more information on the Sagrada Familia or
go to my description of all tickets of Sagrada Familia!
The Tale of Easter
In 1987, the Catalan sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs created the Sagrada Familia’s “Passion Façade”. It is located on the same side as the main ticket both and the entrance to the crypt.
This façade tells the tale of Easter in an unusual sequence – click on the image to see it in more detail.
The tale begins at the bottom left, depicting the Last Supper. Next is the scene in which Saint Peter attempts to prevent the arrest of Jesus Christ. After that, however, you’ve already moved on to Judas’s Betrayal, which includes the Magic Square, where the sum of every line equals 33 – horizontally, vertically, and diagonally – which, in turn, is the age at which Jesus Christ died.
Next up is the Flagellation of Christ. This sculpture is mounted right above the middle entrance portal, making it shockingly close for every visitor entering the Sagrada Familia.
On the right, there is a group of people consisting of Saint Peter and three women. Next to this scene, the last in the row, you can see Jesus, brought before Pontius Pilate, by two soldiers.
The sequence continues the next row up. The first scene shows the Way of the Cross and Jesus falling, followed by the very vivid central scene: Veronica stands in the middle, holding her veil in front of her. The face of Jesus Christ is clearly visible here.
But why does Veronica not have a face? Subirachs might not have included it because her name isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible. Another reason could be that Veronica shares her place in this row with three depictions of Jesus, and not giving her a face allows Jesus to stand out more clearly and to prevent her from getting too much attention.