I have a 2011 Rick Steves guide that states one can visit the Cathedral for free during certain time periods. Can anyone update me on whether I can just show up without a ticket or reserving a time slot? This would be for this coming Thursday afternoon. Thanks!
The most recent RS Spain guidebook says there is a cost of 9 euros, and that it's open on weekdays from 10am to 6pm. This is the website given in the guidebook: www.catedralbcn.org
Thanks! This confirms what I saw on the Cathedral website!
If things haven't changed, a ticket is required Mon-Sat 1 pm-5:30 pm and Sun 2 pm-5 pm. Outside these, just walk in (free). If you happen to visit during these time bands, tickets are purchased at the booth at the entrance.
Now let's explain the info on their website:
In a very dishonest way -in my opinion-, the Archdiocese purposely confounds the reader by making one think one needs to purchase a ticket "to visit the Cathedral", which as such is not true -outside the time bands mentioned above. Purchasing a ticket gives you access to specific areas of the Cathedral which are not open to regular visitors, namely the chor entrance, the chapter hall, the rooftop or the museum among other places (different ticket prices give you access to different places).
Visiting the main hall, the adjacent chapel or the famous cloister where the legendary thirteen white geese are located, for example, does not require any ticket -outside the time bands, that is. These are, in fact, what most visitors are happy to visit when coming to the Cathedral.
So, unless you're very specifically interested in a "full visit" to the Cathedral, save your money and visit outside those time bands.
Hi from Wisconsin,
Just checking, you do mean the cathedral, not the basilica, Sagrada Familia.
Yes, this question is for the Cathedral, not the Sagrada Familia.
I opted to get the tickets for the Cathedral. They weren't terribly expensive and we do want to get onto the roof. On the other hand, we did get free tickets for the nearby Picasso Museum as it is some sort of free museum day this coming Thursday. I can imagine that the museum will be crowded. I am just going to accept it!
In my experience the Picasso Museum is likely to be monstrously crowded at any time, so it may not be worse for you than it was for me in 2016. Think cocktail-party-in-a-Manhattan-apartment crowded. If you're going to suffer those conditions, you may as well do it without paying for entry.
We should be thankful for the archdiocese permitting tourists to visit this magnificent place of worship for a mere 9 Euros. Visit outside the posted time means you are here to worship, as those are mass times. Quite fair to ask for a contribution to support the extraordinary maintenance expense of such a wonderful place and preserve it for future generations.
Don't get me started on how the Catholic Church continues to benefit from our taxes in a supposedly non-confessional country... but in any case, this was not the heart of the matter. The issue is whether misleading is or isn't ethical.