A Guide to Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

On your next trip to Spain, there are lots of things you might want to do. Something that you don’t want to miss is a visit to Sagrada Familia basilica. 

Whether you’re religious or not, it’s an architectural masterpiece and famous landmark in the heart of Barcelona that is visited by around 5 million tourists every year. 

But don’t let the prospect of large queues keep you from visiting! If you weren’t convinced before, here’s how why you need to visit Sagrada Familia on your next holiday to Spain.

See also: The Best Tourist Attractions in Barcelona

Sagrada Família, Barcelona Spain
Sagrada Família

The History of Sagrada Familia

While Gaudi is the most famous name behind the Sagrada Familia towers, nine architects have taken on the project since his death, and it’s still incomplete today. 

In case you didn’t know, Gaudi was a dedicated Catholic, and he was notably obsessed with both nature and religion. His plans for the Sagrada Familia towers involved representing the entirety of Catholic history. This project was to become his grandest legacy. 

Despite changing hands, every architect involved has remained true to Gaudi’s original plans from 1883. The original completion date was set for 2026. However, this has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 – with no new end date in sight.

Currently, all ticket sales are funding the completion of the project – churches or the government do not back it. So, when you visit Sagrada Familia, you’ll be financing the completion of Gaudi’s famous landmark. 

Private donations are also accepted to build the Sagrada Familia towers further. Whenever it is eventually completed, it will become the tallest church globally.  

Another of the fantastic Sagrada Familia tips is that Gaudi was buried there in 1926, located within the El Carmen Virgin chapel. Despite being incomplete, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – another amazing fact to tick off your bucket list!

Is visiting the Sagrada Familia towers worth it?

If you’re asking if visiting the Sagrada Familia towers is worth it during your next trip, the answer is a resounding yes!

That’s because the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia was built in 1882. It is a monumental church with ties to the Holy Family and was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

What’s even more amazing about the Sagrada Familia is that it features breathtaking architecture by Antoni Gaudi, one of the world’s most famous architects. He pioneered a new era of architecture called Catalan modernism, which features free-flowing curves and organic forms. 

You can find nine completed spires, of 18 in the original design, with plans for further completion in the coming years.

See also: Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide

Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia

As this monument is one of the most popular in Spain, and because it’s in the middle of the city of Barcelona, you can expect queues to be extremely long. The best time to visit Sagrada Familia is as early as possible in the morning. 

The Sagrada Familia opens at 9 am when queues are at their shortest. The period between 9 to 11 am is generally less crowded.

However, you may want to get inside the monument for the best photographic opportunities later in the day. For amazing pictures, the best time to visit Sagrada Familia is between 5-6 pm, when the sun sets. 

The sunlight shines through the colourful stained glass at this hour, producing dream-like sights and images. It’s also possible to attend evening Mass at 6 pm, which comes at no charge. Here, visitors must dress and act appropriately.

Some other things to consider include:

  • Length of visit. Most tourists want to know how long to visit Sagrada Familia towers to make the most of their trip. The recommended time is around 2 hours, but you can stay as long as intended. 
  • The price. Sagrada Familia ticket cost is between €33 and up to €99 for an 8-hour guided tour that includes Montserrat.
  • The best time to visit Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia hours of operation are from 9 am till 6 pm every day. Sagrada Familia’s hours of operation for Mass is 6 pm. 
  • Different kinds of tickets. You will need a special ticket to visit the Sagrada Familia towers that include tower access; this is not granted with a basic ticket. 
  • Ticket availability. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, as tickets can sometimes sell out by 5 pm. It’s also an option to buy online tickets to streamline the process. Look for availability and book your tickets below:
  • Extra packages. You may find a higher Sagrada Familia ticket cost for inclusive packages, such as a Sagrada Familia and Park Güell combination tour
  • Guided tours for foreign visitors. There are several guided group tours available in different languages. When you visit Sagrada Familia, the currently available options include English, German, Italian, French, and, of course, Spanish. 
  • Can I get a Sagrada Familia audio guide free? You can find free audio guides online, but these cannot compete with guided tours. 
  • Planning your arrival. You can find public transport links that will take you to visit Sagrada Familia – the L2 or L5 via the metro or one of many dedicated buses, including the 19, 33 and 34. 
  • What to wear. Remember that when you visit Sagrada Familia, it is a holy place of worship. Visitors need to dress appropriately, meaning that tops should cover their shoulders, and shorts/skirts should come mid-thigh. Hats are not allowed at the Sagrada Familia.
  • Navigating the Sagrada Familia. You should download the official app to manage tickets, find audiobooks and more. The app costs €26 from the official website. However, it is possible to visit without downloading the app, too.
Visiting inside Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Interior of Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain – depositphotos.com

Summary

We hope we’ve answered the question ‘is visiting the Sagrada Familia towers worth it?’ The answer is yes – it’s great to visit year-round!

You should add Sagrada Familia to your itinerary next time you go to Barcelona. 

Don’t miss out on your chance to visit Sagrada Familia and its massive cultural and historical significance. Whether planning how long to visit Sagrada Familia or finding the Sagrada Familia ticket cost price, we hope our Sagrada Familia tips have made planning much easier for you!

Looking for more things to do in Barcelona? Check out the below posts: