how to avoid long queues to sagrada familia and barcelona's top attractions, skip the line in barcelona
Destination & countries, Spain, Travel Tips & Tricks, Travelling with kids

Skip The Line Barcelona: How to avoid the queues at Sagrada Familia and other top attractions

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Spain is one of the most widely visited countries, whereas Barcelona is considered to be one of the most tourist places in the entire Europe. Around 9 million tourists visit Barcelona each year compared to 1.6 million residents. Barcelona is also a much more touristy city than Madrid, therefore, prices for accommodation, tour sights and food are far more expensive.

Barcelona is also a home to the most popular European sights, such as Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Casa Battlo and many more.

Did you notice that the top attractions were designed by Antoni Gaudi? Check this blog to visit all the houses of Gaudi, their location, design features, entrance fees and discounts.

Sometimes the queue may take you a couple of hours before you can get in and enjoy the place. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, tickets are sold out before you reach the cashier. So, the best way to enjoy your trip to Barcelona and enjoy everything you have planned is simply to book online tickets in advance. Particularly, with Barcelona adding an extra $ for skipping the line is highly recommended even for budget travellers.

So, let’s find out how exactly to avoid the longest queues to the top five Barcelona’s attractions:

  • Sagrada Familia
  • Park Güell
  • Casa Batlló
  • Casa Mila
  • Picasso Museum

Sagrada Familia

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia is one of the most magnificent architectural designs to be implemented in real life.

The building is crowned by 18 towers reaching between 100 and 170 metres high: twelve towers represent the apostles, four the Evangelists and two, the highest of all, are planned to be dedicated to Mary and Jesus.

There is so much information about the church that there are books (not tiny pamphlets) devoted to this topic.

Of course, the last thing you want to do is not to be able to get inside on your visit to Barcelona. You still can stand in the long queue and get lucky. There are lots of visitors standing every day in the queue as long as it surrounds the entire basilica. Also, every ticket has a time slot, so be prepared to wait another couple of hours to get to the Basilica.

TIP: If you, for some reason, didn’t get a ticket online, please get to a ticket counter of Sagrada Familia as early as possible. It usually opens at 9 am, and it is highly recommended to come one hour earlier to form the queue.

What is the best time to visit Sagrada Familia?

The best time to visit Sagrada Familia is morning. The earlier you have a slot the better it is for you. Why?

  • It is the quietest and less crowded time.
  • Enjoy staying inside for half a day.
  • You have another half to visit other major Barcelona’s attractions.

If you have a pre-booked ticket to Sagrada Familia, you must remember a few important things:

  • Do not be late for your slot time. You have a 15 minutes window to enter. If you are late, you won’t be allowed to enter.
  • You will see a massive queue, usually surrounding the entire basilica. You should go right to the entrance which is on the right side of the main building as shown in the picture.
  • You will still be in a queue with all visitors that have the same slot as you, but this queue will take up to 15 minutes and you are in.
  • I recommend taking an early slot, you will have less people and the entire day for yourself.
  • Take earphones with you to keep your hands free and enjoy wandering in church and taking images.
  • If you didn’t book the ticket online, you may stay in a queue, but it may take at least few hours before you get in. Even when you purchase the ticket, you will be given a time slot and normally it takes two hours before you can enter. Also, there are a certain amount of tickets that can be sold per day, so make sure to come as early as possible to be the first in the queue.

How to avoid the queue to the Towers of Sagrada Familia

Based on what the workers of Sagrada Familia told us, there is no chance you can get a ticket to Sagrada Familia’s Towers on the day of purchase standing in the queue, unless there are cancellations.

I personally was unable to get an online ticket to the Towers purchasing one week in advance. Not to mention that I was visiting Barcelona in the low season in mid-October. So, prepare for your trip and get it online here. This includes the entrance to Sagrada Familia and Towers.

In case you missed out, try this guided tour.

Park Güell

Address: Carrer d’Olot, s/n, Barcelona

park guell

Park Güell is only 25 minutes’ walk from Sagrada Familia, so we were not bothered to take any transport. It was a perfect solution to start our day early with Sagrada Familia and then head to Park Güell. Sagrada Familia and Park Güell are the most visited places in Barcelona, this is why it makes a lot of sense to save some money and get one single ticket to both Barcelona’s attractions.

Park Güell is an extremely relaxing place. It is a huge park.

Trick and Tip: If you go from Sagrada Familia, you will be entering from the other side. This is where you can find another secret entrance to the premises of Park Güell.

Normally, queues are way shorter there and you have a better chance to get in once you purchase the ticket. However, when we got there, tickets were sold out. So, even during the low season, booking your ticket online might save you the hustle.

Fancy cycling around Barcelona? Get the private bike tour with a local who will get you to the major Gaudi’s houses and tell you a story from the local’s perspective.

Finally, nowadays there are lots of couples interested in a photoshoot. Book your photoshoot in Park Güell here.

If nothing works and you can’t get the ticket to Park Güell, don’t worry! I will share two more absolutely amazing and FREE OF CHARGE tricks.

Enjoy free part of the Park Güell.

The reality is that there is only a tiny part of the park that needs a ticket. The rest is totally free of charge. We took at least three hours walking around. First, we climbed up all the way to La Casa Trias and Mirador de Joan Sales/ Mirador del Virolai viewpoints. It is not that far, but probably in this case, you will need a carrier instead of a buggy if you travel with a baby. By the way, all buggies can be left in the storage room when entering the park. These viewpoints have amazing views of Barcelona.

There are various Gaudi’s houses, columns, gardens, and street musicians. It is also a great place to have a picnic.

Get in the Park Güell for free during the after hours.

The trick is that if you get to the park before the guards (who obviously are the ones to check your ticket), just enter it and enjoy. This has to happen before 8 am!

This is absolutely allowed, based on the information of the official website and also the guards themselves who gave us such amazing advice.

Opening hours of the park:

  • During the low season the access to the Monumental Zone is watched from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm at most.
  • During the mid-season the regular schedule is from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.
  • During the high season the regular schedule is from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm.

Outside of these hours access is free, although visibility cannot be guaranteed due to the lack of artificial lighting in the Monumental Zone.

TIP: The park is also free after 6 pm, and it is free on Sundays during the winter schedule.

Casa Batlló

Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, Barcelona

Casa Battló is considered one of the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi. It was first redesigned in 1904 and then refurbished several times.

At present, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an icon in Barcelona, a must see for those who want to discover Gaudí’s work and modernism at its finest. It is also one of the most highly rated cultural and tourist attractions, welcoming one million visitors every year.

It works every day from 9 am to 8 pm with last admission at 7 pm. You will need at least an hour to visit the house.

Save up to €2 booking your ticket online. Kids under 7 years old enter for free.

Also, do not miss your Flamenco Night right after visiting Casa Battló.

Casa Mila/ La Pedrera

Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, Barcelona

casa mila

Casa Mila/ La Pedrera is the most innovative building of Gaudi, both for structural design and for decorative elements.

At the moment, the writer Ana Viladomiu is the only resident living in La Pedrera. The rest of the house is open to million tourists. House hosts numerous activities and workshops. It works every day from 9 am to 8:30 pm and starts its night tours from 9 pm to 11 pm.

There are two fantastic options with no queues for both, early birds and night owls:

Experience the Night Tour

Picasso Museum

Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona

Ten minutes of walk from Ciutadella Park and you have reached Picasso Museum. It is rather a small house, but this museum owns over 4,250 works presented by Pablo Picasso and is considered to be one of the most complete permanent collections of artworks. It is also one of the most popular museums in Barcelona and the most visited in Spain.

Just like with Sagrada Familia, I hadn’t even thought to pre-book the ticket to the museum on my first visit to Barcelona. So, this time I have done my homework and avoided 2-hour crazy long queues.

There are quite a few handy tricks and tips on how to access Picasso Museum with no queues at all.

The simplest way is to book your ticket online. You can do it by visiting this link. It also includes skipping the line.

Tip: Make sure you ask for the audio guide in case you need it, otherwise, you will end up standing in a shorter but still a queue. The link below already includes the live guide.

In case if the option above is no longer available and all tickets are sold out, no worries! Take this guided tour of Picasso Museum. The price difference is not that big, you will skip the line and have an opportunity to ask your guide everything you want regarding the tour.

Taking a tour led by a professional guide is a good idea if you want to understand and find out about the artist’s formative years and development. The guide will walk you through his life not only in the museum but also in the surrounding area.

You will also have a chance to walk into some key places where Picasso lived and spent his time in the historical neighbourhood of El Born.

Get in Picasso Museum for Free

Trick: Every Thursday Picasso Museum is free for its visitors from 6 pm to 9:30 pm.


You must book the free ticket on the official website and you can do it only on Monday of the same week. Of course, these tickets are limited, so the system works on a first come first served basis. You can always get an audio guide at the counter.

Do not travel on Thursday? How about Sunday then?

Another trick: Picasso Museum also welcomes everyone to visit its premises on the first Sunday of each month free of charge.

None of the options worked for you?

Then come to the door at least half an hour before its opening. The museum opens at 9 am. Like with Sagrada Familia, you will be in a shorter queue and get a better chance to get a ticket on the same day of the tour.

Last, but not least.

Purchase your ticket at the Secret Counter.

Note: This information was found on one of the different forums I found and it hasn’t been checked by me personally. If you use this tip, please let us know in the comments if it works.

I am copying the text here:

Go to a counter signed “Carnets” about 30 yards to the right of the normal ticket office. The usual entry price is €11. At this counter, after presenting an ID and giving your email address, you can get a photograph card allowing unlimited entry for a year AND you get to walk straight in, all for €13. Even if you can’t come again, that €1 extra to avoid an hour’s wait is a no-brainer for me.

Other Crowded Places in Barcelona

Crowded Places in Barcelona for kids and family vacation

Enjoy Your Stay in Barcelona!

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  1. […] Check the article on how to avoid the crowds and skip the line to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. […]

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