Sagrada Familia is popular Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s Basilica in Barcelona.
La Sagrada Familia is the best attraction in Barcelona. This Basilica has been under construction since 1882 and will be ready by 2026 – a construction time of 144 years.
It attracts more than 5 million people every year. That is, more than twenty tourists enter the gates of Sagrada Familia every minute. With so many people streaming in, it can get very crowded in Sagrada Familia.
We recommend you brave the crowd and figure out ways to avoid it, rather than take Sagrada Familia out of your Barcelona itinerary.
How to skip the lines at Sagrada Familia
There are six ways to avoid the crowd at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
1. Buy your Sagrada Familia tickets online, in advance
There are two queues you stand in when you visit Sagrada Familia – first is when you stand to buy the tickets at the ticketing counter and the second line is at the gates to enter Sagrada Familia. If you buy Sagrada Familia tickets online, you can avoid standing in the crowded lines at the ticket counter.
On heavily crowded days (high season weekends, office holidays etc) there may be an extra waiting time as well. Since the entry to Sagrada Familia is restricted and based on time slots, you may end up getting a ticket with the entrance time 2 hours later.
Don’t worry. The easiest and best solution to this is to buy online tickets for Sagrada Familia. You can buy online tickets within 60 days of your planned visit.
You must choose the time slot and the type of online tickets you prefer. While buying your tickets, you can opt for an audio tour or an onsite guide. Keep an eye out for ticket discounts for students and elderly.
Once you buy the tickets online, they get emailed to you. On the day of your visit, you avoid all the crowd at the ticketing counter and just show your tickets at the entrance of the Basilica.
2. Get the time slot right
While booking Sagrada Familia tickets most tourists book for ‘round about’ timings – 10 am, 11 am etc. Thus, these slots are fully packed and around 200 tourists (the restricted number) land up at the Basilica entrance.
Most of the tourists ignore the in-between time slots such 9.15 am, 9.45 am, 11.15 am etc.
However, if you book your online tickets for Sagrada Familia for such slots, you will find a much smaller crowd ahead of you at the entrance queue.
2. Plan your visit on a Monday
Monday is not always bad news. If you are planning on beating the lines at Sagrada Familia, Mondays are the days to look out for.
Since most of the museums in Barcelona are not open on Mondays, tourists assume that Sagrada Familia won’t be open as well.
They don’t know that this Basilica stays open even when the whole of Spain closes down for celebrations – during Christmas and New Year.
Recommended Reading: Best things to do in Barcelona for families with kids
3. Visit Sagrada Familia during the lean period
The biggest crowds can be seen during the high season from April to September. If you can’t avoid these months, be aware that during these months the longest waiting lines are seen in the first half of the day.
Right after lunchtime the crowd becomes smaller and the queues become shorter. However, it becomes a little difficult to stand in the queue because of the hot sun.
If you can’t brave the Spanish sun, you can try being in the ticketing queue at 5 pm. However, there is a high possibility of the day’s tickets being sold off by 5 pm. We recommend this 5 pm option only if you are on a long holiday – if you miss getting in one day, you can try your luck the next day.
The best lean period at Sagrada Familia is early morning – get in the queue half hour before the Basilica opens for the public.
4. Book your Sagrada Familia tour with a travel agent
If you don’t want to book your Sagarda Familia tickets online, you can always leave all the headache to your travel agent and go for a planned itinerary.
Local travel agents in Barcelona such as Skip the Line Barcelona and Julia Travel provide exhaustive tours. These groups are usually led by experienced guides which makes your visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site easy.
If you go through such travel agents you may end up seeing the inside and outside of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona at a slightly higher cost.
5. Book a lunch at Hotel Ayre Rossellon
When it comes to patience not all us are equal. Some of us want to see Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia from outside, take a few snaps, check-in on Facebook and move on to the next Barcelona attraction. If you fall into this category, you can avoid the crowd at Sagrada Familia completely.
All you have to do is book a lunch at Hotel Ayre Rossellon, which is located right behind the Basilica. From within the hotel, you will be able to check out the upper parts of the facades.
**SAVE TIME & MONEY – Book Online Tickets**
If you prefer a local to be your guide as you explore Sagrada Familia and climb up the tower of your choice, we recommend this ticket –
If you have decided to NOT go up the tower, you can either book a regular Sagrada Familia ticket with no tower access or a guided tour of Sagrada Familia with no tower access.
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2. Are towers at Sagrada Familia worth it?
3. Best time to visit Sagrada Familia to avoid crowd
4. Facts about Sagrada Familia
5. Buy Sagrada Familia tickets online