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Confusing ticket options for Casa Batllo in Barcelona?

I'm in the process of booking tickets for Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera) in Barcelona and noticed that only the Gold Priority ticket, which is a lot more expensive, says you get a Fast Pass (skip the line). This is confusing as I assumed that buying a ticket in advance online for a designated time slot meant you would get access during that time period without having to wait in line. I had planned to but the Blue ticket (entrance + smart guide) but don't want to have to stand in line. The tickets for Casa Mila also mention a different entry policy for the Premium ticket.

Can someone who has been there recently please clarify this for me?

We want to do Casa Batllo and then Casa Mila (La Pedrera), which are near each other (6 minute walk on Google maps) and am trying to decide how far apart to book these two. I've currently allowed two hours on my schedule but the Casa Batllo site suggests an hour is enough. Could I bump up the Casa Mila visit by a half hour, or will there be other interesting sitesd nearby (other than viewing the exterior of Casa Amatller, next door to Casa Battlo) if there is some free time after Casa Batllo?

Thanks for your help in sorting this out!

Posted by
19160 posts

Chris, I think this is what is going on, but I believe the premium-ticket category is new since I hit those sites in 2016. There is a line for people wanting to buy tickets; they will in most cases be buying for a time slot later in the day, or even for a future date, because the Gaudi Casas are wildly popular. You want to avoid that ticket-buying line at all costs. If you already have a ticket, you will be in a group of people who share your time slot. You will wait until the doorkeeper allows you in, probably not all in one big group. The best I could tell, they were counting the number of people exiting and only allowing that many in, perhaps due to fire regulations?

My assumption is that someone with a premium ticket goes to the front of the line of ticketholders for the current time period and thus has virtually no wait.

Especially without a premium ticket, you cannot assume that holding a 10:30 AM ticket guarantees that you can start your visit at 10:30 AM. Obviously, buying a ticket for the first entry period means there will be no need to meter people in based on the number exiting, but they might still use a trickle-in system to avoid crowding.

Time at each site will vary. You should expect heavy crowds, and they may well slow you down. Taking pictures (which will be very difficult) will also slow you down. I estimate that I spent at least 90 minutes at Casa Batllo and over 2 hours at Casa Mila. At the time of my visit, Casa Mila had a very interesting (to me) video exhibition on the top floor covering Gaudi buildings in other cities.

There are at least two other modernista buildings on the Block of Discord, not just one. The Eixample has other examples of modernista architecture, and they are often marked on local maps. I don't remember off the top of my head whether there's something that would be really convenient to look at between Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. You can explore the Ruta del Modernisme map here.

Posted by
4524 posts

I would guess that acraven is correct. You will be let in line at the beginning of your time slot, but may have to wait for others that get there before you do in your same time slot, and for those that have entered in earlier time slots to exit. If that is the case, I doubt the wait is long, especially if you arrive at the beginning of your time slot.

Only so many people can enter at any given time. The spaces are not large and there are stairs to navigate.

The Gold Priority ticket most likely allows one to go straight to the front of whatever line there is. I doubt it is worth the extra cost if that is all that it offers.

If someone knows different, please weigh in.

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks to both for such thoughtful responses. I guessed that's how it would work but it's helpful to have insight from those who have been there. I also appreciate knowing that it may take longer than suggested on the website to see the houses. I do take a LOT of photos. (My husband and I returned home with over 7000 from our most recent trip!) I wish we could g in the morning but have tickets for the earliest time slot at Sagrada Familia one day and Parc Guell the next, hoping to beat the crowds for a few minutes.

Have you been to Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Recinte Modernista Sant Pau)? It's free on Sunday and we plan to be there when it opens at 9:00 am but wonder how long it takes at the site as we would like to be at the Cathedral at 11:15 in hope that people will be dancing the Sardana.

Again, many thanks.

Posted by
19160 posts

You've run into one of the challenges of a short visit to Barcelona: the impossibility of scheduling more sights first thing in the morning than you have days in the city!

I've been to Sant Pau twice. It is lovely. Normally you can walk right up and buy a ticket with no delay. I hope the free day won't make for too much of a delay, because I think you're going to be tight on time. Being there a few minutes before the opening time would be a really smart strategy.

There are multiple buildings to see, and the nice grounds give you a good look at the exteriors. I spent more than 2 hours there on my second visit, and I ignored all the posted information about the medical side of things since I had read much of it on Visit #1. Monitor your time and be aware that the very last stop, upstairs in the main building, has some really lovely rooms. On my first visit I wasn't aware that area existed, and I didn't have enough time to see it.

You might check to see whether there's some historical information about the complex on the website. If so, reading it ahead of time might allow you to complete your visit a bit faster.

Posted by
2575 posts

just to cause more wreckage to this thread, LOL.....

Have you considered visiting Torre Bellesguard and Colònia Güell as well?... both are less-known masterpieces by Gaudí -much less crowded too!- that also deserve a visit. In these, you can experience his work in a less hectic 'environment' as there are far fewer visitors than in the 'houses' in Passeig de Gràcia.

Just sayin' :)

Posted by
19160 posts

That's just cruel, Enric! Those are very interesting places, but no one posting here ever seems to have enough time for them. Except me. Because I am obsessed. Colonia Guell in particular takes a good bit of time; first there's the train, then there's a bit of a walk, then the site itself is rather large. The audioguide is very helpful, but you need to manage your time to be sure you can return it to the ticket office before it closes.

Should we also mention Reus?

Posted by
315 posts

We arrived at Casa Mila with our ticket verification at early opening. With or without ticket everyone stood in the line, which was short. Organized to obtain audio and reach a small elevator that could only hold a few. We were let off at the roof others were let off on the floor below. Crowd control.

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks again to all! I wish we could visit more of the Gaudi sights but we're keeping this trip shorter than usual and just hitting the high points. Right now there is high availability for tickets at both Casa Batllo and Casa Mila so I plan to keep an eye on availability and wait to buy them right before the trip.