SECRET TIPS TO SKIP THE LINES IN BARCELONA
Standing in line to enter a monument is the most common way to waste precious time when you are traveling. Places such as the Picasso Museum and Casa Milà/Pedrera standout for their long queues to go in, but the impressive Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi beats them all with lines that are never less than 60 minutes long.
Here is how to skip the queues in Barcelona top sites:
Buy tickets in advance
Most monuments offer now the possibility of buying tickets in advance and skip the line. The downside is that you will have to prepay them and you will be committed to arriving at a certain time.
Don’t even think of showing up at Sagrada Familia or Park Guell without tickets: they are always sold out for the same day. Some sites like La Pedrera and Casa Batllo offer premium tickets that aren’t timed but… you might not really need them if you can use me next ideas below!
That goes without saying: if you are traveling during the high season, it is going to be much harder to skip the line. But if you can choose what time of the year you can come to Barcelona, then it’s always a good idea to come during the low season: January, February and March, as well as November and the two first weeks of December.
April is busy because people travels not just for Easter but also the weeks before and after. And in May the cruise season is already in full swing, meaning crowds.
The middle of the day is when the lines tend to be the longest: check out the opening hours and plan to arrive early. There are early birds that show up in Park Guell before the “paying time” starts. They get to enter for free from the side accesses (that on Olot street remains closed, but there are other gates into to the park – check GoogleMaps to find them! Also sites opening at 9AM like Casa Batllo, La Pedrera and the Picasso Museum don’t usually start getting lines until after 10AM.
Visit in the afternoon
If getting up early is not your thing, then consider moving your sightseeing to the afternoon. Most people do their top sightseeing in the morning, then save the afternoons for leisure activities or shopping. What means the sites are less crowded.
A good time to arrive at your chosen site is 4PM, so you still have plenty of time to walk around. If you have to go later, check their opening hours specially in the winter time when some sites close earlier. You want to have at least 2 hours before they quick you out.
Avoid open doors
Many local museums will have free access on the first monday of the month, and the Picasso museum also on Thursdays after 6PM. The perspective of entering a site for free is enticing… but there is a catch! The lines are huge! And the interiors are crowded… It’s totally worth to pay their entrance fee to ensure a pleasant experience.
AND BONUS! Skip lines in style!
Get a private tour
Licensed tour guides have priority access to all the top tourist sites in Barcelona. Even in Park Guell and Sagrada Familia where tickets in advance are required (and that doesn’t mean not waiting in line, but guaranteeing your access), there private guides have a separate fast track access.
If you book a private tour your guide will take care of getting all the necessary tickets in advance, get you on the fast track access and give you the best experience at the site or sites of your choice, adapting her speech to your interests and level and dribbling large groups to minimize crowded times. If your budget allows, pack as many top sites in your tour as possible, and leave the less crowded sites for your time on your own. Or if your budget is limited, a private tour of one single favorite site will definitely be worth your money.
What are your tricks to get fast track entry and skip the line when you are traveling?
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