When looking at pretty photos of Barcelona, it is very easy to be deceived into thinking there are no crowds. There are hardly any people in the picture, right? Do not get tricked, the reality is a bit more harsh and chances are, many of the attractions will have a loooooong line! It can be especially hard if you are traveling with small kids, aged folks or it’s simply sizzling.
This is just not actually the way you imagined your dream trip, proper? Fear not! Read this text fastidiously and I’m positive it can enable you to save many hours of your valuable trip time and even some cash!
People who know me nicely, know very nicely how a lot I wholeheartedly hate queues and can do every little thing to keep away from the road!
So, once I lived in Barcelona, I made it my mission to determine all of the potential methods to keep away from the strains to all of the crowded sights, listed below are they:
1. Sagrada Familia
For many many years it was a tourists’ nightmare to manage to enter to Sagrada, no kidding! I myself, only managed to visit the interior of the basilica on my 4th(!) visit – the lines were hours and hours! Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet (it definitely took them some time to properly implement it) we are able to enter smoothly, just follow my tips below.
Solution 1: Buy tickets in advance online
Yes, my friend, this will be pretty much the theme of today’s post – the trick for all of them is to buy it online a bit in advance and I will tell you where and how.
As you can see, there are 4 different types of tickets (audioguide is included for all of them). There are also a couple of discounts, check them out here.
- easy entrance – 26€
- easy entrance with a guided tour – 30€
- entrance + towers go to – 36€
- entrance + towers go to guided tour – 40€
All you might want to do is go browsing on their official website (the most affordable tickets are at the moment there), select your ticket sort, your date and purchase it along with your bank card. Save it in your telephone and don’t be late! If you miss your time slot (you might be allowed 15-20 minutes as a grace interval), you’ll not be allowed inside.
PRO TIP: I’ve really written an article about Dos and Don’ts for Sagrada Familia so as so that you can have an incredible time there, test it out!
PRO TIP 2: If tickets on your dates are already offered out on the official web site, do this Skip-The-Line Tour; chances are high it’s nonetheless out there on the re-seller – it is a little more costly, however hey, it’s nonetheless higher than not going in any respect!
PRICE: 26€ and 36€ with the tower entry
Solution 2: Get a Barcelona City Pass
Now, the subject of the vacationers passes was talked over quite a bit – are they value it or are they not? We have an entire put up on this and it was fairly exhausting to calculate all the costs and evaluate it with passes which have all these phrases and circumstances in fantastic print, examine the put up out here.
But should you don’t wish to get into all the small print, I’m going to let you know now – if you’re going to go to 2 or extra sights within the metropolis, get a cross I’m going to advocate right here, it can prevent fairly some cash!!
The Barcelona City Explorer Pass is limiting not you within the quantity of days – you may have 60 days after the cross activation to make use of it, you don’t need to go anyplace to select it up (nice!) and there’s no want to decide on upfront, you may resolve on the attraction on the go!
Sample calculation on how a lot you’ll save:
2 sights Explorer cross is at the moment 44 EUR, let’s say you’d go to Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila with that. Let’s evaluate the value individually and within the cross:
Sagrada Guided tour (30€) + Casa Mila entrance (25€) =55€ (10 eur save)
YOU SAVE: 55-44=11€
What about should you select 3 sights, the cross goes to be 62€ in that case? Let’s say you go to the identical locations + Park Guell (you may select one thing else in fact, the checklist is fairly lengthy, I’m simply selecting the preferred ones from the checklist):
Sagrada Guided tour (30€) + Casa Mila entrance (25€) + Park Guell Guided tour (23€) =78€
YOU SAVE: 78-62=16€
NOTE: Please notice that I’m evaluating pears with pears right here – because the cross provides guided excursions, that’s the value I calculate with. If you’d take simply an entrance ticket, it might be barely cheaper to go individually, however I HIGHLY advocate taking a guided tour, you’d miss out on SO MUCH data!
PRICE: from 44€ relying on the quantity of the sights
2. Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo is a modernist constructing designed by… you guessed it – Antonio Gaudi!
Visiting the Batlló House is like coming into a fairy story! It is among the most uncommon and peculiar homes I’ve ever been to. People nonetheless reside on this architectural marvel, do you know that?
The ticket value is dear, true, however in case you have an opportunity you need to go for it because the place is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
And my tips about skipping the road in Casa Batllo will make the go to extra pleasing. There are many ticket buy choices as you may see:
Solution 1: Buy your tickets on-line
As usual, buying online is one of the simplest ways to get in, and this time it’s even cheaper, 4€ to be actual! So, don’t repeat my errors and get your ticket on-line even if you’re actually standing in entrance of the doorway.
The man on the entrance informed me that I can purchase tickets each on-line or simply go on the money register in entrance, however he did not warn me that the tickets are costlier there. Anyway, it’s my fault for not doing my homework however you might be right here, so your homework is completed! If you do not need an area sim-card I feel they need to have wi-fi proper there, simply ask the particular person on the entrance (the one actually holding the signal that claims “Ask me”).
Casa Battlo lately elevated their ticket pricing and broke it right down to completely different classes. They additionally added a few fairly good immersive exhibitions, Harry Potter-style footage on the wall so in case you have visited 3 or extra years in the past, you would possibly wish to re-visit! The pricing seems like this now:
As you may see, for further 8€ you’re going to get a pill that might be a bit extra interactive and you’re going to go to a few extra rooms. For 10€ further you’re going to get all the above plus a particular line and 1 extra room to go to.
In my opinion, you don’t actually need the AR pill except you might be touring with youngsters, it can undoubtedly be far more enjoyable for them on this case!
PRO TIP: If the tickets are offered out on your dates on the official web site, try this link, it’s the similar value.
PRICE: 35€ as an alternative of 39€ within the ticket workplace plus your time spent ready in line.
Solution 2: Visit earlier than it opens
You can take a morning tour with nobody round. I solely found this selection once I was researching data for this weblog put up and I feel it’s fairly cool! If I had identified about it earlier than, I might undoubtedly have gone for this selection! You can solely purchase the tickets online.
ATTENTION: it is just out there on Fri, Sat and Sunday
Solution 3: Magic nights
From the 1st of June to the 1st of October, every night at 8 pm, Casa Batllo hosts awesome music concerts. Enjoy the music and the drinks on the rooftop at dusk. For 59€ you will be able to enjoy Casa Batllo after the doors are closed to the general public, get a drink at the Dragon Roof terrace and listen to live music performances while enjoying the Barcelona sky. Book your ticket here.
NOTE: I can’t discover the data on dates anymore, however the live shows was out there from May to October. You can guide your tickets about 2 month upfront.
Solution 4: Look at this masterpiece from the skin
If you simply wish to see the outside of the constructing (though you can be lacking quite a bit by not coming into) you may arrive late within the night, say 10 p.m., when there aren’t any vacationers, and you may freely admire the facade and take some implausible pictures like this
3. Park Guell
FUN FACT: This Gaudi work was actually a financial fiasco. This ambitious housing project for the elite financed by Gaudi’s friends did not find any buyers and served as a public park afterward.
The entrance to the park used to be free of charge the first time I visited, but I guess it became overly crowded over time and now the government charges people to enter the park.
Solution 1: Get your tickets online
As always, I recommend booking tickets online which might be for the morning or nearer to daybreak when there appears to be much less folks and you may take some good pictures with out folks in them.
You will save 1 eur by pre reserving on-line (and many your time)!
PRO TIP: If you might be versatile with the time of your go to, select green time slots when the variety of remaining tickets is the best, thus, fewer crowds. It is statistics, child! 🙂
PRICE: 10€ on the official web site or 13€ via a reseller with audioguide (any form of information is very really useful within the park!)
Solution 2: Get a guided tour
A information who will clarify all of the hidden secrets and techniques and significance of the small print is very really useful (like anyplace else for Gaudi structure). Duration is about 1.5 hours.
Marvel at multicolored mosaics, colonnades, and Doric columns with informative commentary out of your licensed information. It goes with out saying that you’ll, in fact, skip the road. Arrive a few minutes upfront on your tour!
Solution 3: Take a non-public tour
If you need an unique tour within the park, I discovered the most affordable out there value on this website – they supply a resort decide up as nicely!
PRICE: €69 per particular person
Solution 4: Get within the park without spending a dime in the course of the after hours
Here is a small trick to get in without spending a dime even within the paid a part of the park. Just get there earlier than 8 am as a result of the guards should not there but to examine your ticket!
You are literally not tricking anybody this manner as this info is on the official web site and you might be allowed to do it.
The park is open at 9 30 am every single day, it closes at 7 30 pm in the summertime time and 5 30 pm within the winter time. Outside of those hours entry is free, though visibility can’t be assured as a result of lack of synthetic lighting within the Monumental Zone.
Solution 5: Buy tickets on the sales space, however from the key entrance
Well, it isn’t actually a secret, you may see the doorway on the map beneath, however many vacationers have no idea about it they usually line up on the first entrance.
Even if this would possibly prevent time within the line, I nonetheless don’t advocate shopping for a ticket on the park. Why?
Chances are, the one subsequent out there time might be 1.5 hours after you may have arrived and even later. The park sells a restricted variety of tickets per time slot – they solely enable 400 guests per half-hour and there are numerous faculty teams. Again, why wait should you can care for it upfront (answer 1)?
Solution 6: Walk across the free a part of the park
Part of the park is definitely open to the general public freed from cost. The Monumental Zone requires the acquisition of a ticket. (see the image above)
While the free half is, in fact, not that spectacular, it’s nonetheless an possibility should you got here with out a ticket and haven’t any time to attend for the subsequent out there time slot. In my humble opinion it makes little sense to go all the best way there simply to see the little bits of Gaudi structure; you may higher spend your vacation time someplace else.
NOTE: The tickets for visiting the Monumental Zone don’t embrace the Gaudí House Museum. There is a separate ticket (no line) if you wish to go to.
TIP: After your go to, stroll up for about 15 minutes to achieve an impressive (and free) viewpoint known as The Bunker. Even now, not that many individuals find out about it and the views are breathtaking! I clarify learn how to get there in this post.
4. Picasso Museum
The most popular museum of Barcelona and one of the most visited in Spain, the Picasso Museum houses extensive collections of artwork by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Just like Sagrada Familia, I did not manage to visit it during my first visits because I was not prepared and I did not want to wait in those crazy queues.
During high season, the waiting lines to the Picasso Museum can easily take 1.5 hours of your time, sometimes even more.
Here is what you should do in order to avoid the queues:
Solution 1: Online ticket bought in advance
When I came to the museum for the first time, I saw a queue and I thought I would be a smart ass by buying the tickets online right in the queue. Guess what? It never happened. I mean, I could buy the tickets, but the next available time was only for the next day so I had to leave defeated; I certainly did not want to stay in an hour-long line under the hot sun.
Anyway, learn from my mistake and book your tickets in advance on the official website. There is a time slot, although it isn’t as strict as in Sagrada Familia, however it’s nonetheless advisable to not be late. Just skip the road and present your ticket to the controller on the entrance; it may be achieved out of your smartphone as nicely.
NOTE: Do not overlook to purchase the audio information as nicely should you want it. Otherwise, you will have to face in yet one more (shorter) queue for it.
If tickets are already offered out on the principle web site, you may at all times purchase a Skip–the-Line ticket here.
PRICE: 17€ eur
Solution 2: Get in without spending a dime on Thursday night (have to guide on-line)
Did you already know which you can get within the museum freed from cost each Thursday from 5pm to 9:30 pm?
You can solely guide that ticket on the official website 4 days upfront (so, on Monday). The tickets are restricted, so do it as early as you may. I used that possibility and every little thing went easily.
PRO TIP: The museum can be free for everyone on the primary Sunday of every month, on the twelfth of February, the 18th of May and the twenty fourth of September.
NOTE: I don’t perceive learn how to additionally guide an audio information on the positioning (further cost, however I like to recommend it). If you may have troubles with it, too, simply ask on the entrance learn how to get an audio information; there’s a particular ticket sales space for it with no line.
Solution 3: Get a gaggle tour
Taking a tour led by an expert information is a good suggestion if you wish to perceive and discover out concerning the artist’s childhood and growth. The information will stroll you thru his life not solely within the museum but additionally within the surrounding space.
You will even have an opportunity to stroll into some key locations the place Picasso lived and spent his time within the historic neighborhood of El Born. Book your tour here.
Solution 4: Get a non-public tour
If you might be on the lookout for an unique service with resort decide up and a private tour explaining Picasso’s biggest works, you may study concerning the artist’s connection to Barcelona on this 4-hour non-public tour, which is a great tour for you!
PRICE: from 225€
Solution 5: Get there within the morning
If you completely can not plan and guide something, even a day upfront, you may go to the museum entrance earlier than it opens (half-hour or much more).
The least crowded time is, as traditional, within the morning when many of the vacationers are nonetheless asleep. Try to get there a bit bit earlier than it opens (which is 9:00 am) and your wait time might be decreased to a minimal.
Solution 6: Go to a secret counter
WARNING: this info was discovered on one of many journey boards I discovered and it hasn’t been checked by me personally. If you utilize this tip, please tell us within the feedback if it really works. I’m copying the textual content right here:
Go to a counter signed “Carnets” about 30 yards to the precise of the conventional ticket workplace. The traditional entry value is €17. At this counter, after presenting an ID and giving your e-mail deal with, you may get a photographed card permitting limitless entry for a yr AND you get to stroll straight in, all for €18. Even should you can’t come once more, that €1 further to keep away from an hour’s wait is a no brainer for me.
5. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera (the stone quarry) is the last Gaudi masterpiece in our list. This modernist building’s facade is an ironic allusion with its resemblance to an open quarry. La Pedrera includes two distinct museum spaces: The Espai Gaudí and the La Pedrera Apartment.
Solution 1: Buy tickets online
The easiest way to avoid the line and extra charges is to buy your tickets online. No have to print them, simply present the QR-code out of your smartphone. The value is 25€ for a traditional ticket. You may also purchase a ticket with an open date and time, (select Premium sort) for five eur further. Both are skip the road tickets.
If the tickets are offered out on the official web site, that is a great website to book them on for a similar value.
PRO TIP: should you get an early morning ticket, and go straight to the roof (you may come again and begin the tour from the start after) you’ll have the roof all to your self for five to 10 minutes!
NOTE: Just like in Casa Battlo, should you purchase your tickets on the ticket workplace you will have to pay an extra price of €3/ticket.
PRICE: 25€ (audio information is included)
Solution 2: Get there within the morning
Again, in the course of the morning (8am) you’ll have virtually nooone round so it is possible for you to to benefit from the place just about all by your self (it’s known as “La Pedrera Exclusive). The tickets can be found on Thursday and Fridays in the mean time, please examine in the event that they modified something in the meantime here. The value is larger, however there might be a reside information explaining every little thing too!
Solution 3: La Pedrera Night Experience
After the doorways are closed to most of the people, it is possible for you to to benefit from the place with out the crowds throughout “La Pedrera Night Experience”! The timing is from 9pm to 11pm and it’s out there virtually on any day (there are some random exceptions, examine the schedule here)
Skip the strains to certainly one of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings and watch an incredible audiovisual show on the roof terrace. Get a brief introduction to Gaudi’s revolutionary constructing on the Passeig de Gracia, and see a present on the rooftop with a glass of cava (included).
Other crowded locations in Barcelona
There are a couple more crowded places –walking streets, squares etc. As there are no lines to enter, there is nothing to skip. I am listing them here, nevertheless, so you know you can avoid the busiest period by visiting in the early morning.
La Rambla is always very crowded, but there is not even a line that you can skip, it is just crowds rambling around (hence the name). I recommend visiting in the morning, then you will be able to enjoy the market (La Boqueria)
TIP: Whatever you do, do not eat in one of those restaurants in the alley. The number of tourists is so high that the owners do not cook fresh food any more. All the food is pre-cooked, frozen, low quality and very expensive. If you are feeling exhausted and hungry, better to go to Boqueria Market-you can find some delicious local delights there!
Barceloneta Beach and Tibidabo
Barceloneta (popular beach) and Tibidabo (amusement park on a hill) are also quite popular, but at least you do not need to waste your time in endless queues, it is just busy with people. Beware of pickpockets in that area and in the metro – so many of my friends got robbed that way in Barcelona!
UPDATE: If you don’t mind spending some time in transport and you really want to get away from the crowds, I highly recommend going to Castelldefels – it is a 25 min train ride from Barcelona and it has this charming quite beach with no tourists, great alternative!
Where to stay in Barcelona
Here are the suggestions I have carefully crafted for you. All of them are located in the city center and all have fabulous reviews. They are sorted by price category for your convenience. Click the link to check the rates for your dates.
Luxury (US $300 and up):
If you are a football fan, Hotel Sofia, which is a 5 star resort, is the proper alternative for you as it’s situated 5 minutes away from the well-known Camp Nou stadium. It provides great rooms designed with a eager eye for particulars in a contemporary method which is able to make you’re feeling proper at residence. Another 5 star resort is Alma Barcelona GL, which options elegant decorations, a spa with an indoor swimming pool, a hamam, a sauna and a fitness center. A pleasant characteristic of this resort is the indoor terrace, good for relaxation and rest after a tough day of sightseeing.
Middle (US $100 – $150):
Vasanta Hostal Boutique is a superb institution which options properly designed rooms in impartial tones and has a shared lounge. Coffee outlets, eating places and quite a lot of pubs may be discovered inside strolling distance of this lodging possibility. Another center priced possibility is Hostalin Barcelona Passeig de Gracia which has been reviewed by its previous visitors as clear and an total good alternative. If you fancy wines, you can be delighted to listen to that it’s located proper above Vinoteca Torres!
Budget (as much as US $100):
Rodamon Barcelona Hostel is located proper subsequent to the Palau Robert Gardens, so should you fancy nature and visiting the environment, that is the proper finances alternative. Another nice finances alternative is Ten To Go Hostel, which provides a shared daytime space and even a pool. La Pedrera is situated 2.8 km from the property and if you’re touring by train, Ten To Go Hostel is ideal, as it’s situated very near the principle practice station.
READ MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT SECRET TRICKS OF AVOIDING LINES:
Oh boy, those were a lot of choices for just 5 attractions, weren’t they?
Before you go, I would like to remind you that these are just 5 things you REALLY need to book ahead. If you do that, your vacation will go flawlessly!
When you go to Barcelona, before leaving home, beyond hotels and flights, you should book as many things as you can. If you leave it until the last minute, many of the places you want to visit will not have availability and you will not be able to choose your preferred time. Following these tips will make your visit so much more enjoyable, trust me!
You have to be very careful, especially during the high season (from June to September), as this is when lines are crazy long. It is the least busy in January and February.
I hope these tips helped you save some time so you can spend it more valuably elsewhere and actually enjoy your precious vacation time!
And remember, do not avoid the place, avoid the queue! 😉
Do you want me to add something to this list? What else is crowded in Barcelona?
Let me know in the comments!
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