The Sagrada Familia has been a work in progress for more than one hundred years, and began as a project by the architectural genius, Antoni Gaudi. This incredible church is arguably one of the most beautiful religious structures in all of Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this building to be a minor basilica.
Whether you are a student, or just a traveler looking for a good deal, a visit to the Sagrada Familia doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five things to keep in mind when visiting the famous Sagrada Familia on a budget.
1. Do Your Homework
There are many great resources out there on this beautiful building. Read up with a book from your local library or see if ‘Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation’ (2012) is still airing on Netflix. Antoni Gaudi’s work has had such a huge presence in Spain, especially in Barcelona, and there are so many fun facts to learn about his motivations for building this church and his personal history. Whether this interests you or not, there is simply too much information to take in while you are visiting, and too many tiny details to look for in the stunning structure. Try to be prepared.
2. Plan Ahead And Make This Visit Count
Be sure to book ahead for your tickets on the Sagrada Familia’s official website. Guests cannot enter with booking a ticket, and if you can do it ahead of time, it will save you a long wait in the line. Check on Google for the peak visit times and book your entry time around this. It’s worth it to try to have a quiet moment alone in the sanctuary. Allow at least three hours to visit everything! Walk around the entire block and take this church in from every angle. Check out the parks on either side to get a beautiful view of the church with a water feature. Don’t miss out on the museum on Gaudi’s life in the basement of the church.
3. Climb Up One Of The Towers
When booking your ticket, there is an option (for an additional fee) to climb up one of the facades. It is worth every penny to see the incredible views from the top of this historical building. This was one of my favourite parts of the experience, as it was so much fun to climb up and down the towers. It was incredible to see the rooftops and an up close view of so much detail that can’t be seen from the ground. Please note: for elderly travelers, there is a lift that takes guests up to to the highest point. Though it is quite narrow when walking on the stairs. Be careful!
4. Use Public Transit
The public transit system in Barcelona is very good. You can take the underground metro to reach this destination on the purple line. Buy a T-10 ticket (from a teller or an automatic machine) to have ten rides anywhere on the Zone 1 metro line for under 10 euros.
5. Visit By Night For Extra Bonus Points
Want to get away from hundreds of tourists and their smartphones? There will be hardly anyone around by night except for a few lone security guards. Even after hours, the Sagrada Familia is lit up from different angles. It looks absolutely incredible, and chances are you will be completely alone on the streets. The best part about this view? Oh yeah, it’s free!