Even if you're looking to steer clear of the 'typical tourist traps' and experience Barcelona like a local, make one exception and delve into the 'cliche', even just from the outside and visit the Sagrada Familia. This Basillica and Church underwent construction in 1882 and became the focus of renowned architect, Antoni Gaudi, during the latter part of his life right up until his death in 1926.
It's hard to pinpoint what's so spectacular about the Sagrada Familia; whether it's the whimsical, fairly tale feel you're injected with while marveling at it from the streets, or the subtle and ironic mix of Star Wars meets Alice in Wonderland which exudes from the building's three facades, or if it’s simply just knowing that it will take more than 150 years for the Church to reach completion. Whatever the reason may be, there is something awe inspiring and invigorating about this Gothic and Art Nouveau masterpiece, which is set to be completed in 2046.
Today the Church relies on private donations and money from tourism to keep it going and even though it halted construction for a period of time (Spanish Civil War), today it’s moving full steam ahead.
Entrance to the Church is about 14 Euros and you can get an audio-guided tour for a bit extra or sign up for one of the Sagrada’s tours with an official guide. The best thing is to go early in the morning (8-9am) or get tickets online in order to avoid the very long lines, especially come summer.