The Sagrada Familia is the most visited attraction in Barcelona. I recommend that you plan your visit beforehand and here you will find my advice on how to visit this incredible monument:
What are you visiting?
The construction of the Basilica began in 1866 and it was in 1883 when the architect Antoni Gaudí, who at just 31 years old had already become one of the most sought-after architects, took over the project. In 1914 he decided to leave everything to focus solely on the project of the Sagrada Familia. Gaudí dedicated twelve years exclusively to this project, until the day of his death, June 10, 1926.
In the Temple of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) there are 3 facades.
They are all really impressive, although the most remarkable is the Nativity façade, the only one that Gaudí could see.
It is dedicated to the birth of Jesus and its decoration is spectacular with daily elements of Jesus’ human life such as animals.
The other 2 facades are: the Passion facade, in which it is intended to reflect the moment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Glory facade, which is not yet finished and in which the will represent Jesus in heaven. The Glory façade will be the main façade of the temple and through which the main nave will be accessed.
Gaudí’s idea was that the temple was visible from any point in the city and for this reason he designed it with a great height and with 18 towers (dedicated to the 12 apostles, the 4 evangelists, the Virgin Mary and Jesus).
The tallest, will be the one dedicated to Jesus, it will be 172 meters high.
It is possible to access the upper part of some of them obtaining wonderful views of Barcelona.
Inside the Temple
Gaudí was inspired by the forms of nature, creating columns in the shape of a tree trunk, creating a gigantic stone forest, that fascinate you as you enter the temple.
The crypt was the first place in the temple to be completed.
As its construction was already well advanced when Gaudí took over the project, he could only make some modifications, although there are still characteristic elements of it.
This is also where Gaudi’s tomb is located.
Book in advance
Many don’t bother to book at Sagrada Familia until they arrive at Barcelona. This is a fatal mistake, as in high season, tickets are usually sold out 2-3 days in advance. I would recommend booking your visit at least 5-7 days in advance in order to make sure your desired day and hour are available.
PRICE: €26, this price includes audioguide (phone app).
IMPORTANT!: You can only book your visit online, there is no physical ticketing office.
Don’t be late!
Arrive on time. It is the most important monument, and as it is always fully booked, if you are not on time it is impossible to reschedule. It would be a pity to miss the most important monument in Barcelona.
I recommended that you arrive 15 min before your time of entry, because there are usually queues to enter. Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in Spain with over 4, 5 million visits in 2019.
Get a guided experience
Sagrada familia has many little details that if you don’t have an expert with you, you’d miss out! It also has another perk; you will be able to skip the line! So, I would recommend that you book yourself a tour (private or groups) and combine the tour with your own discoveries.
By the way, friendly reminder here: I am an Official tour guide, so you may book with me here!
Lastly, if you find tours are not for you, it is also possible to book including an audio guide.
Choose a sunny day
Yes, Sagrada Familia is better with sunlight! It’s amazing glass windows create what is known as the live temple effect, changing the colors of the walls depending on the moment of the day. I’d recommend booking either when the sun is at its highest or at sunset, as these two moments are when the light reflections become mesmerizing!
Take your time
Visit the cathedral with a minimum of one hour or one and a half if you are visiting the towers. Why? To enjoy all of the little details that Gaudí left for us to discover.
As we are visiting a religious temple, you will need to be careful, as showing cleavage or wearing miniskirts will not be allowed and you will not be able to enter. Hats and sunglasses are not allowed to be worn in the interior either. You may wear shorts, T-shirts and dresses that are as low as your knee caps.
Visit for free
There is free entrance during mass. It is scheduled on Sundays at 9:00 am, at this time it is free to enter. I recommend that if you opt for this option you arrive at 8:30, because there is limited seating of people and you might be left out.
How to arrive?
- Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 3pm.
- The opening times and days may occasionally be modified by the management due to special events taking place inside the Basilica.
Public transport & Access:
- L2 and L5 Sagrada Familia
- 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24
- Individuals:use the general entrance on the Nativity façade, on c/ de la Marina.
- Groups: use the group entrance on c/ de la Marina.
- Schools: Enter through the group entrance on c/ de la Marina.