La Sagrada Familia

A Winter Weekend Break In Barcelona



Barcelona is a popular pre-Christmas break for Ibiza residents looking for a reprieve from islandittis and at the same time take advantage of its shopping and cultural attractions.

With such a big city to choose from we based our weekend around the Sagrada Familia which is in the city’s Eixample area. All of the accommodation chosen is in a few minutes of the Basilica.

Our examples are for the weekend Friday 4th to Monday 7th  December, and of course you may find better or much higher prices depending when you want to travel.

The Barcelona tourist association has details of the city’s shopping and many other attractions.


We went for comfortable flight times around hotel check in/out. Cheaper options were available at stupid o-clock in the morning.

We opted for no check in luggage outbound, but with the benefit of some lightweight holdalls, one check in bag coming back, so allowing for 23kg of shopping at a cost of 12€

  • Out: Ryanair: 10kg carry on. Friday 04/12/2015 departing 08:25 Ibiza and arriving 09:30 at Barcelona El Prat
  • Rtn: Vueling. 10kg carry on and 23kg checked. Monday 07/12/2015 at 14:10 from Barcelona El Prat arriving 15:00 in Ibiza.
  • Full price (not taking your resident discount into account) 78€ return per person.

Getting Around

Barcelona has an excellent public transport system including circular route ‘hop on hop off’ bus routes around most of the major sights.

  • 3 Day All Areas Public Transport Pass, 18.45€ per person, under 4’s travel free.



As with any big city the range of accommodation is quite literally from just a few euros, we came across decent looking hostals from 5€ per night, all the way to more than many of us earn in a month. We went for 3 price bands and an apartment.


  • Ayre Hotel Rosellón,
  • 4-star hotel,
  • 204€ for double room (68€ per night),
  • Rosselló, 390, Eixample.

Situated just 200 yards from the famous Sagrada Familia, this design hotel offers a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Gaudís famous basilica. (also pictured above)


  • Abril,
  • Bed and breakfast,
  • 75€ per double room inc breakfast, (25€ per night),
  • Valencia, 404 (piso 6, 2), Eixample.

Located just 200 yards from the Sagrada Familia, Abril Bed and Breakfast offers free WiFi, a shared kitchen and shared lounge with a TV. Modern rooms have parquet floors and guests have access to shared bathrooms.


  • B&C BCN
  • 3,star hotel,
  • 139€ for a Superior Double room, (47€ per night)
  • Corsega, 546, Entresuelo 2, Eixample

A 2-minute walk from Sagrada Familia basilica, B&C BCN offers free Wi-Fi, free coffee and hot drinks, and is 350 yards from Sagrada Familia Metro Station.


  • Two-Bedroom Apartment (up to 5 Adults)
  • 147€ (49€ per night).

There are many apartments available on the site, this is representative of those in the immediate area of Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familiasagradafamiliagaleria1

  • Open daily.
  • Hours November to February are 9 am to 6 pm.

Admittance is either 15€ or for a few euros more 19.50€ will get you a guided tour, or self guided audio tour, in English, Spanish Catalan and several other languages.



  • Port Vell – La Rambla – El Raval – La Ribera – Plaça de Catalunya – Barri Gòtic – Montjuïc.

This is Barcelona’s historic core, with La Rambla, the city’s busiest, most colourful boulevard (not to everybody’s taste and hugely overpriced in our opinion), the Raval and Ribera districts and the Gothic Quarter, where traditional and modern shops coexist with culture. Barnacentre, El Triangle, El Corte Inglés and Maremagnum have made the area a major retail hub. Nearby is Montjuïc, a hill steeped in history with its major crafts centre, the Poble Espanyol, or Spanish Village.

  • Eixample – Modernisme – Gaudí

Modernista Barcelona is one of the city’s landmark areas where you’ll find some of its most unusual shops. The Bulevard Rosa is the area’s most representative shopping mall, showcasing the retail offering of the Made in Barcelona brand.

La Sagrada Familia


The annual inspection of the Sagrada Familia – the Antoni Gaudí-designed church in Barcelona that’s still unfinished, more than a century after construction work began – is an eagerly anticipated event, providing a report on how much progress has been made toward completion of the project, and what can be expected next year.


Last week’s meeting was held some 70 meters above ground in the Crucero chamber, located where the two naves of the basilica meet, and which will be the base of the Torre de Jesús, a spire that will rise above the current four. The chamber is reached by crossing the central nave and then taking a futuristic lift next to the apse, the semicircular recess at the church’s eastern end, and then ascending a huge spiral staircase offering views across Barcelona.


Architect Jordi Faulí explained that everything is now ready to erect the six towers that are supposed to crown the building.

The new space is surrounded by columns located in the interior of an inverted cone that looks more like a spaceship than the inside of a church. Architect Jordi Faulí explains that everything is now ready to erect the six towers that are supposed to crown the building, although they won’t be finished until at least 2017. “A series of stone structures are being created that are six meters in circumference and five meters high, with steel braces inside them that keep them tense and help with wind resistance. When they are finished, they will be transferred to the church and will be installed like Mecano,” explains Faulí.


They will be the basis for six huge spires: four dedicated to each of the Evangelists, rising to 135 meters high, one to the Virgin Mary, at 140 meters, and the last, dedicated to Jesus, which will be 170 meters tall, making the church the tallest structure in the city.

These new pinnacles will add to the 12 towers, each 100 meters high, on the façades of the Birth and the Passion, each representing one of the 12 Apostles. The weight of the six towers will be around 23,000 tons.


By 2020, says Faulí, the main structure of the new spires will be ready, with their pinnacles to be finished “within another two or three years.”

The inspectors say that 70 percent of the church is now completed, and that the whole building should be finished by 2026, in time to celebrate the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

For the moment, all that can be seen of the new spires is a huge network of scaffolding, within which the Evangelists’ towers rise to 76 meters. The scaffolding is due to be removed shortly, allowing views of this next phase of the work.


Gaudí designed the roof of the sacristy, which has served as a model which was then recreated by computer for the rest of the towers”

Faulí added that the church’s eastern sacristy, located at the corner of Provença and Sardenya streets, should be completed by year’s end: “Gaudí designed the roof of the sacristy, which has served as a model which was then recreated by computer for the rest of the towers,” he says. All that remains is for bronze and enamel decorations to be put in place in the ceiling. Two pieces of furniture designed by Gaudi will be placed inside the sacristy.

Work has also proceeded apace over the last year on the upper portico of the Façade of the Passion. The eight columns on the left can already be seen, and those on the right are taking shape. “The two central ones are missing; the biggest two of them all. Then we have to place the crown that will sit atop the portal and the two angels,” says Faulí.


Inside, the choirs alongside the main nave are almost finished now that forged metal guardrails have been put in place, and the steps clad in stone, while the upper stained glass in the apse, which is yet to be installed, will help fill the interior of the church with colored light by the end of the year.

Faulí says the cost of the work is around €25 million a year, almost all of which is covered by ticket sales from some 3.2 million visitors annually. The church was opened free of charge this weekend, allowing some 30,000 visitors to see progress on the work.

The Numbers


  • Work on Barcelona’s breathtaking La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by visionary architect Antoni Gaudi, has entered its final phase of raising six immense towers that will make it Europe’s tallest religious building, surpassing Germany’s Ulm Minster.
  • Chief architect Jordi Fauli said the central “Tower of Jesus Christ,” the tallest of the six, will make the architectural marvel that draws millions of visitors each year one for the record books when it is finished in a little over a decade.
  • The Sagrada Familia, an emblematic fixture of the Barcelona skyline and a major tourist site, had its first stone laid in 1882. It is 70-percent complete and currently tops out at 112 meters (367 feet).
  • Fauli said the plan to have the towers and most of the church’s structure completed in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death is still on schedule. He said there will still be some elements left to finish, such as decorations.
  • The “Tower of Jesus Christ” will be crowned by a cross and tightly surrounded by five other towers, one dedicated to Mary and four slightly shorter ones for the four evangelists.
  • Fauli took over as the chief architect in 2012. He inherited the charge of carrying on the task of making Gaudi’s drawings, some of which were only rough sketches, into the massive monument that is now reaching its conclusion.
  • The monument received more than 3.2 million visits in 2014, making it one of the biggest tourist sites in Spain.

The Man

  • Gaudi won the patronage of some of Barcelona’s wealthiest industrialist and upper-crust families, who commissioned him to build gorgeous homes and other daring buildings and parks that have helped make Barcelona a leading tourist destination.
  • A fervent Catholic, Gaudi largely dedicated his life to the project, incorporating both Christian symbolism and organic forms into a unique aesthetic. Gaudi, who died in 1926 after being struck by a trolley, never expected the cathedral to be completed in his lifetime. Only one facade was finished when he died.