The Holy Family or Sagrada Familia is a real must-see and one of Barcelona’s “Oh-My-Gawd” sites. It’s wacky, impressive and was Gaudí’s last project. It has now transformed a basilica, thanks to the Pope. Make sure to see this monument if you don’t plan to see any other Gaudí buildings in Barcelona.

Here are some tips to get to the Sacred Family and see it without losing your mind…

Go at off times or early in the morning

In the summer months, Barcelona is packed with tourists. People come here in droves from May to late August, popping off cheap flights and filing off cruise ships from northern Europe. These months are always pretty crowded at the Sagrada Familia. If you arrive here early like most monuments, you can beat the rush as not too many people get up at 9 AM to go sightseeing. You won’t have to deal with long lines to get tickets and there will be no pushing and shoving inside.

Consider an official tour in English language

There are tours available in English language every day at respective timings of 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. If you want to go on the tour, you’ll have to buy a more expensive ticket. You can either get an audio guide for €16.50 and take yourself on a self-guided tour, or hop on a group tour and have a real person tell you why the façade has turtles on it.

Stay away from tour groups

You’ll see a lot of tour groups when you are inside the Sagrada Familia. Make sure you don’t follow them by any chance. You go right if they go left. Stay clear of them for a chance to take nicer photos and to have a better experience.

Pay to go inside Sagrada Familia

For students and seniors, a normal ticket will cost you €14.80 and €12.80 to get in to the basilica. You can get into the Sagrada Familia and the Park Güell for €18.30. This is the one I’ll recommend. As you would’ve made out by now, catching a glimpse at the awesomeness of the Holy Family is not cheap, but I think it’s worth throwing in a few bucks in order to get in.  Although you can easily appreciate the building from the outside, the main nave would be like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s sort of a grove of massive trees inside a church.

Notice the nature around you

Like many others who grow up around nature’s bounty, Gaudí too grew up in southern Catalonia’s countryside. He was always impressed by Nature and so throughout his life he used it as his muse. Make sure to look for nature’s mark in forms of plants, animals and minerals throughout the Sagrada Familia. Although the trees in the nave are clearly a good example, make sure to also notice the mineral forms on the capitals that crown the temple, vines on the Nativity Façade, spirals like snail shells, and amphibians, reptiles on the neo-Gothic apse from the Mediterranean, and gargoyles.

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