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 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!
1. 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 prepare your Online-Tickets ahead of time! The best timeslots for you could be taken already… There is no possibility to purchase tickets on site at the moment.
2. 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 (That was before COVID). 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…)
3. Where can I purchase online tickets for the Sagrada Familia?
What kind of Tickets exists? I work with a provider called Tiqets. You can purchase online tickets + audio guidefor EUR 33.80, or EUR 31.20 (reduced price for people under the age of 30) or for EUR 27.30 (reduced price for people over the age of 65). A guided tour(in English, French, German, or Italian) can also be booked here: EUR 48 will get you a tour both inside and outside of the Sagrada Familia, lasting a grand total of 1.5 hours, and this includes the price of admission.
I’ve tested this personally, too: the Sagrada Familia tour was very entertaining and interesting. The façades and the interior were explained in great detail and covered Gaudí, his personal principles of architecture, and architecture in general. And once the tour is over, you can continue to check out the Sagrada Familia’s interior on your own.
The Sagrada Familia towers are also open for tourists (during COVID not possible). However, as the tower capacities are limited, it can be difficult to get tickets. With Tiqets and museos / Barcelona you can purchase admission, tower access, and an audio guide for EUR XX, reduced price EUR XX (Prices will follow as soon it is available again).
Obviously, you can get tickets directly through the Sagrada Familia as well. Purchasing the ticket from the official website will cost you EUR 26. However, by using Tiqets, you can support my work.
For Easter 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.
5. What are the opening hours?
The Sagrada Familia is open Mondays through Sundays. March: Monday through Sunday, 9.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m. April – September: Monday – Sunday, 9.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. October: Monday through Sunday, 9.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m. November – February: Monday through Sunday, 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.
6. 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 Passion Facade in the street Carrer de Sardenya.
Opening hours crypt (before COVID): 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.
And if you want to find out more about the situation on site and the different ticket options, then have a look here!
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.
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.
Sagrada Familia The Tale of Easter
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.
Next up are the scenes of a riding soldier, representing the Roman soldier Longinus piercing Jesus Christ with his spear. Above him are the Gambling Soldiers.
Finally, the main scene is the Crucifixion. The cross protrudes horizontally from the wall, presenting the tip of the cross to us, viewing it from below. Jesus is accompanied by the grieving Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.
The final scene is the Entombment of Christ. Jesus is wrapped in a burial shroud, and the grave is already open.
The individual scenes of the Passion façade are described in more detail in the main entry for the Sagrada Familia.
I hope you can enjoy your Easter visit to the Sagrada Familia with this information.