“INVESTMENT IN TRAVEL IS INVESTMENT IN YOURSELF” – MATTHEW KARSTEN
I’m very fortunate to have been able to travel to Barcelona during my first visit to Europe three years ago. We only had two nights in Barcelona, so we made the most of our time there, planning our time around a visit to the world famous, Sagrada Familia. I am beyond grateful that my sister dragged me out of bed (I had been out the night before and had only had an hours sleep), and made me go – it was spectacular!
I found Barcelona to be a very quirky city which is prominently displayed in it’s beautiful architecture, imaginative food and it’s vibrant people and street life. I wish I had more time in Barcelona to see more of this magnificent city, and the rest of Spain for that matter, so I will definitely be revisiting some time in the not too distant future.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a big sucker for churches, especially historic, Gothic style types, so for me, Sagrada Familia was like Christmas morning! For anyone looking to visit, you can be looking at a 2 hour wait or longer to get in (if you haven’t already pre-purchased tickets), particularly in the summer time – but don’t worry, I’ve got the BEST TIP to make sure you skip that line!
When you are looking directly at the main entrance to Sagrada Familia, turn left and keep following the road until the end of the block. You will need to cross the road here and on the corner of the next street, there may be a few people lined up at an ATM. They could simply just be getting money out, but in most cases, these travelers are tuned in and are buying their ticket to Sagrada Familia from the ATM! Sneaky right? It is a little complex, but you can select the language you need and just follow the prompts to purchase your tickets. Once they print them for you, you can walk back down to the main entrance for ticket holders and walk straight in!
For all of you who like to be exceptionally organised, you can purchase tickets online before you go, and I would recommend it because ain’t nobody want to be standing out in the hot Barcelona sun for over 2 hours waiting to get in!
From memory, the ticket from the ATM includes an audio tour, so pick up your gear near the entrance gate and head inside. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND! At one stage I ended up taking a seat inside the church and just listened to the audio tour for a while. It was really interesting and was a good opportunity to take in the extravagant interior. The audio tour takes you outside of the church and describes in detail almost each of the sculptures that make up the building as well. All in all, a fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone! If you aren’t big on audio tours, you can opt for a ticket of lesser value which just grants you admission into the church and you can do it all yourself.
A few other places we visited during our time in Barcelona included:
The Gothic Quarter:
Take some time to walk through this beautiful part of the city, there is a lot of history behind it with many of the buildings having been built in medieval times.
There are fantastic panoramic views from the city here
Plaza de España:
This was actually the view from our hotel room window at the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza. There is also an awesome shopping mall to the left of this photo that we spent the afternoon exploring.
Magic Fountain of Montjuic
There are light and music performances from October – April taking place on Fridays and Saturdays every half hour from 7:00pm – 8:30pm and from May to September they run Thursday through to Sunday from 9:00pm – 11:00pm. It gets very busy, but it’s worth checking out!
We also enjoyed a Flamenco dinner show with traditional Spanish cuisine as jugs of delicious Sangria!
Where are your favourite spots in Barcelona? Any more places I should add to my list for my next visit?