Barcelona is a true treasure trove of stunning architectural wonders by some of the world’s most renowned architects. Intricately designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudí, Sagrada Familia is a Barcelona landmark you just can’t afford to miss. Any trip to the Catalan would be incomplete without a visit to the world’s largest unfinished church. With over 3 million visitors every year, there are a plethora of Sagrada Familia tickets on offer and each of them gives you a unique perspective of the Roman Catholic basilica.
It is mindblowing to even imagine that Sagrada Familia Barcelona has been under construction for the last 136 years. This unique feature in itself is a testament to its grandeur and glory. This is our comprehensive guide to exploring Sagrada Familia ticket options, architecture, interiors, and other tips and hacks for your Sagrada Familia visit.
Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Things to know
Best time to visit - early mornings
Suggested duration - 2 Hours
Starting Sagrada Familia Guided Tour price - €49
Architecture Style - Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan
Modernism or Art Nouveau
Height - 172 meters
Monday to Thursday - 9 am to 6 pm
Fridays - 9 am to 2 pm
Weekends - 9 am to 3 pm
Sagrada Familia Sanctum
Carrer de Mallorca, 401,
08013 Barcelona, Spain
The ongoing history of Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Everything starts from humble beginnings. So was the ideation of Basílica de la Sagrada Família. It was the inspiration of a bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, who later became the founder of the Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph. On his return from the Vatican City in 1872, Joseph intended to build a church inspired by the basilica at Loreto. Little did he know that his humble idea would become something legendary.
He gathered donations not long after and appointed architect Francisco de Paula del Villar to take charge. Villar’s plan was to build a standard form of Gothic revival church. Following the resignation of Villar in 1883, Antoni Gaudi began to work on the project as chief architect. Gaudi’s desire was to raise the standard to grandeur. The construction of the church took an extremely long time to complete. Antoni Gaudi passed away in the year 1926, while the construction was only 15 - 25% complete. As a matter of fact, it was far from complete. Many parts of the unfinished basilica along with Gaudí's models were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Since, it took several great architects, time and persistence to get to the marvel of Sagrada today. As for the Sagrada Familia finish date, it was said that the construction would be complete by 2026, the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudi's death. Sadly, it is difficult to say for sure since the current pandemic has delayed development.
Safety Measures at the La Sagrada Familia Post COVID-19
Sagrada Familia History - A Timeline
1882: March 19, First stone was laid on Saint Joseph's Day based on designs drawn by Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano.
1884: Antoni Gaudí officially took over as the principal architect.
1892: Foundation of the Nativity façade was laid.
1925: November 30, The first bell tower in the Nativity façade, dedicated to St. Barnabas was completed.
1936: Original plans were lost and many parts of the structure were burned down due to military uprising and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
1955: Fundraising drive for the construction began and has continued ever since.
2000: Foundation of the Glory façade was laid to mark the new millennium.
2010: Sagrada Familia was consecrated as a place of worship by Pope Benedict XVI.
2018: Close to 70% of the Basilica has been constructed.
Sagrada Familia Architecture
What makes Gaudi's architectural wonder stand out?
Antoni Gaudí envisioned Sagrada Familia along the lines of Gothic and Byzantine places of worship with the motif of imparting the message of the Evangelists through architecture. Its planned 18 towers represent the Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the Gospels, and Jesus Christ, and symbolize an ascension towards God. The Basilica was planned by Gaudí so as the let the reflected sunlight illuminate various aspects of Christ's life.
Antoni Gaudí believed that man-made structures should never try to upstage God's creations. Consequently, Sagrada Familia is one meter shorter than Montjuïc Hill, the highest point in Barcelona. After his death, his plaster models have shown the way to craftsmen. The geometrical sense that has been imparted to the megastructure alludes to Cubist and Art Nouveau themes. There is an apparent influence of nature in the architecture of Sagrada Familia, in the complete absence of straight lines in the whole structure.
Interiors & Facades
The inside out of Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi envisioned Sagrada Familia along the lines of Gothic and Byzantine places of worship, with the important aim of imparting the message of the Evangelists through architecture.
Its initially planned 18 towers represent the Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the Gospels, and Jesus Christ, and symbolize an ascension towards God.
The Basilica was planned by Gaudí so as to let reflected sunlight illuminate various aspects of Christ's life inside the Sagrada Familia.
Compared to the Nativity facade, the Passion facade sports a rather unembellished look as Antoni Gaudi wanted to dedicate it to the suffering of Jesus during his crucifixion. To drive home this message, the facade is situated in the west and faces the sunset.
The bone-shaped columns symbolize the death of Christ and the sins of Mankind.
The scenes sculpted on this facade depict Christ's last night, the Calvary of Christ, and finally, the burial and resurrection of the savior Jesus. The Passion facade also has four towers that were completed in 1976.
The Glory facade is the largest and the most elaborate of the three façades. Antoni Gaudi intended the principal facade to symbolize the celestial glory of Christ.
The elements of Death, Final Judgement, Hell, and Glory can be found in the Glory facade. The columns in the portico depict The Seven Deadly Sins at its base and The Seven Heavenly Virtues at the top.
Construction of the Glory facade began in 2002, and it’s speculated that the demolition of the buildings in the adjacent block might be required for its completion.
Just like the facades, every part of the interiors of Sagrada Familia has its symbolic meaning. Sagrada Familia has five naves. The central nave rises above the others. Each nave has a door that leads to the Glory façade.
Antoni Gaudí's naturalistic influence is apparent in the inclined tree-like branched formation of the columns, which give the interiors a unique woodlands feel. The design enables each column to support multiple weight point and creates large vaults through which sunlight can stream in.
Shaped like a colossal Latin cross, Sagrada Familia measures 90 meters from the entrance to the apse. Immediately after finishing the crypt, Antoni Gaudí concentrated on the apse. Seven chapels and two staircases flank the apse. There is an elaborate organ, consisting of 8000 pipes, behind the altar.
The Crypt at Sagrada Familia is the oldest part of the Church constructed in Neo-Renaissance style with mosaic floors depicting luscious vines, columns that are richly decorated with roots, leaves, and branches. Antoni Gaudi is buried in the Crypt ( to the left of the main altar).
Sagrada Familia Museum
A treasure trove of Gaudi’s knowledge
The Museum is situated on the ground floor of the Sagrada Familia Church built by Gaudi. The now world-renowned museum was opened in 1961 at the location where the workshops used to be during the church’s construction.
Inception of the Museum
It has quite a history associated with it. The death of Gaudi was a blow to architecture as the world knew it. A number of Gaudi’s followers pointed out the need to create a place where his work would be conserved and disseminated. The immediate way to do so without disrupting anything was adapting the workroom located in the building site itself. This was because space played host to all of Gaudi’s manual craftwork, from the scale models of the church to the carvings.
However, the refurbishment work proved fruitless as the church was attacked during the Civil War. Most of the workroom, including the scale models, plans and drawings, were destroyed.
However, this opened the eyes of quite a few historians and architects and they understood why preserving Gaudi’s work was important. The workroom was soon reconstructed and displayed.
The First Museum was under Passion Facade
In 1961, when the museum first opened, it was the basement underneath the Facade of the Passion. It was later moved to its current location, which is a much larger and suitable space to accommodate the sea of visitors. The museum showcases drawings, period photographs, ceremonial furniture and a number of scale models that are copies of Gaudi’s originals. You will also be able to see the model workshop where Gaudi’s original models are being restored.
Sagrada Familia Tickets
Compare & choose the right Sagrada Familia tickets
When it comes to experiencing Sagrada Familia and its grandiose, there are quite a few types of Sagrada Familia tickets to choose from. From Skip The Line tickets and Sagrada Familia Tower Access to Park Guell combo packages and Sagrada Familia Guided Tours, you are guaranteed to find a carefully curated experience perfect for you.
There are 3 major types of Sagrada Familia Tickets - Skip The Line Tickets, Sagrada Familia Tower Access Tickets, and Sagrada Familia Guided Tours.
Visit Barcelona’s most sought-after attraction with fast track tickets that allow you seamless entry into the most breathtaking basilica in the Catalan city.
Save yourself up to 2 hours in ticket queues and explore Antoni Gaudi's prized creation for as long as you wish. You can admire the facades and towers from the outside, but access to the towers is optional.
With these tickets, you can climb to the top of either the Nativity or Passion facade tower, for a closer look at the intricacies of the facade and unparalleled views of the Catalan city.
You'll also get Skip the line entry to the Sagrada Familia. You can whizz past ticket queues and explore the grand Basilica with an audio-guided tour in your preferred language.
Explore the iconic Barcelona landmark on a 2-hour guided tour with an expert local guide. With an expert guide, you will not only be able to find and see the most beautiful sections of the church but also get context and insight into Gaudi’s creations.
Depending on your ticket, you can visit the Passion or Nativity Tower and end your tour with a visit to the Sagrada Familia Museum.
1. Sagrada Familia Skip The Line Tickets - Fast Track Access
Being one of the top attractions in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is usually swarming with visitors and ticket queues are often hours long. With Sagrada Familia Fast Track tickets, you can Skip the Line at the ticket counter and get priority access to the Basilica entrance.
Once at the entrance, you can zoom past waiting lines to the inner sanctum of the magnificent basilica and enjoy breathtaking views of the facades, interiors, and exterior walls, complete with eye-catching, complex designs by Gaudi. Though Sagrada Familia Tower Access is not included with these tickets, you can choose to upgrade your ticket to get access to either the Nativity or Passion facade tower.
2. Sagrada Familia Fast Track Tickets With Tower Access
The main highlight of Sagrada Familia Fast Track With Tower Access ticket option is that it gives you the option to scale one of the cathedral's sky-high spires - Nativity or Passion. After exploring the sanctum, you can choose to climb either one of the towers and soak in unparalleled views of the Barcelona skyline.
With fast-track tickets that you can book online, you don’t have to worry about long winding queues and get guaranteed access to an otherwise sold-out attraction. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the facades, interiors, and exterior walls.
You can choose to go up the spire on the Nativity Facade and get views over the east of Barcelona, or the tower of the Passion Facade that faces the city center. Lift access is also included with the tickets.
3. Guided Tours of Sagrada Familia with Tower Access
To truly enjoy the mesmerizing work of Gaudi, you need to learn about the symbolism embedded in each architectural piece. With a guided tour of Sagrada Familia with Tower Access, you will not only be able to find and see the most beautiful sections of the church but also get context and insight into Gaudi’s creations.
You can often get lost in the vast cathedral and miss out on the highly sought-after experience - Sagrada Familia Tower Access. Since the Nativity and the Passion Facades are not joined, the access points to these spires are different. With a guided tour, you will not have to wander around and search for access points as the guide will lead you to the most easily accessible tower lift.
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Sagrada Familia Guided Tours
Which La Sagrada Tour should you go for?
Due to the sheer number of visitors that it attracts, visiting the gargantuan basilica can be quite daunting, especially if it is your first time in the country. From waiting in line for hours to finding your way around the towers, it can become quite a time-consuming experience. An easy way to avoid this problem is to opt for a guided tour of the Sagrada Familia. Your expert guide will take care of everything, from finding a convenient time to planning the trip in detail. With Sagrada Familia guided tours are your best bet for an easy and hassle-free experience.
No more crowded ticket lines
Being one of the most visited attractions of the city, Sagrada Familia attracts hundreds of visitors every day. By choosing a Sagrada Familia guided tour, you can save a lot of time that can be spent in admiring the beauty of the Catalan city. Being part of a guided tour allows you to enter through a different gate (Group Entrance) with lesser waiting time than the standard one.
Sagrada Familia during sunset is a spectacular sight to behold. With the light from the setting sun reflecting across the numerous color-stained glass windows, the basilica is covered with a golden hue. It is interesting to note that Gaudi designed the basilica to let sunlight light up different aspects of Jesus Christ’s life. However, since this is the most popular time slot, you will have to deal with long queues and crowded ticket counters. By opting for a Sagrada Familia sunset guided tour, you can enjoy the golden hour to its fullest, without having to worry about crowded lines.
The best way to truly unveil the intricate features of the iconic landmark is by opting for a guided tour of the basilica. You will be able to see and understand the symbolism of nature and secret corners embedded in Sagrada Familia. Your professional guide will answer all your questions and make sure that you make the most of your visit.
Know more about the best Sagrada Familia Guided Tours
La Sagrada Familia Towers
Nativity Tower vs Passion Tower
Sagrada Familia towers are a spectacle to watch from the outside and offer a mesmerizing journey through history from the inside. While Sagrada Familia tickets with Tower Access are slightly more expensive, exploring the two Sagrada Familia towers open to the public is an experience that you just can’t forgo.
Waiting Times: Passion Tower is the lesser crowded of the two towers open to public. If you are on a time-bound trip and are just looking to experience Gaudi’s spell-binding work, Passion tower is your go-to option. However, if you’re looking to dive into the master crafter’s architectural prowess, you should not miss exploring the Nativity Facade.
Architectural Style: While the tower was designed by Gaudi, it wasn’t made by him. Nevertheless, Gaudi’s disciples and apprentices carried on his work and has done a brilliant job at actualizing Gaudi’s vision of the Passion Tower.
Bridges: None of the Passion Towers are connected by bridges yet.
Construction Status: Passion Towers will only offer you unobstructed views in the presence of construction equipment as it is still under construction. If you are a casual visitor looking to just experience one of the towers, Passion Tower is your go-to option.
Stairways: According to a majority of visitors, the stairs of Passion Towers are narrower than that of Nativity, Hence, it is not recommended for claustrophobic people and visitors scared of climbing down 504 narrow stairs.
Balcony Access: Though it does feature stairs, unfortunately, Passion Towers do not have this feature as of yet.
Photographs: If you’re a professional photographer looking to click marvelous pictures of Sagrada Familia or the Catalan city, Passion Towers is not for you. This is because the Passion Facade faces the City Centre and getting an unobstructed view of Barcelona is difficult.
Waiting Times: While a number of factors affect the crowd on any day, the Nativity tower sees a much larger crowd than the Passion tower. This, in turn, affects the waiting time to access the lifts that will take you to the top of the tower.
Architectural Style: The Nativity Facade has a rich history associated with it and was built by Antoni Gaudi himself when he was alive. Most visitors choose to watch the architect’s original work over those who followed the master architect’s set of instructions and designs.
Bridges: While only two towers are accessible at the Sagrada Familia, there is a bridge that connects 2 towers out of the 4 towers on the Nativity Facade.
Construction Status: Nativity Tower offers you beautiful vistas of the Catalan city as its construction is complete. If you are a visitor looking to experience one of the towers for academic purposes, Nativity Tower is your go-to option.
Stairways: According to a majority of visitors, the wider stairs of the Nativity Towers are slightly easier to access than that of Passion Tower. As you are required to climb down 504 stairs, the wider stairs of the Nativity Facade may help if you’re claustrophobic.
Balcony Access: You can stop by the balconies on the stairs for a detailed view of the Towers and peep out to get a bird’s eye view of Barcelona.
Photographs: Most photographers agree that the Nativity Facade offers much better vistas than that the Passion Facade. This is because Nativity Facade provides a brilliant view of the sea over the east of Barcelona, while Passion Facade faces the city center.
Nativity Facade vs Passion Tower
Visiting Sagrada Familia
March and October: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
April to September: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
November to February: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
December 25 and 26, January 1 and 6: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
After taxis, the Metro is your best option for reaching Sagrada Familia. If you catch a coach on Line 2 and Line 5, you can get down at the Sagrada Familia Station and walk into the top Catalan attraction.
There are quite a few buses which pass through Sagrada Familia. You can board any of the buses 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24 and get down at the Sagrada Familia bus stop to reach the landmark. It should be noted that the main access to the Sagrada Familia is on the Carrer de la Marina (C/Marina).
If you have pre-purchased a ticket and are seeking to enter Sagrada Familia, look for the Nativity facade entrance. Look for black umbrellas near the gate as these entrances are reserved for people with online tickets. If you want to purchase Sagrada Familia tickets, enter from the Carrer de Sardenya road and you'll find a ticket counter there.
If you're coming in a large group or have tickets for a group tour, then your entrance is on Carrer de la Marina. Walk to the ticket office for group visits only. It has to be noted that any party with 10 people or more is considered a group.
Sagrada Familia has a strict dress code that must be followed in its entirety. Since the Basilica is a religious site, make sure you respect Sagrada Familia's dress code.
For safety reasons, no hats are allowed within Sagrada Familia except for religious or health-related reasons. Visitors cannot enter the premises barefoot. Swimwear and skimpy clothes are not allowed. Clothes with plunging necklines, backlines, or exposed abdominal area are not allowed.
Special clothes to celebrate any occasion or for promotional purposes are not allowed. Shoulders must not be visible and shorts and skirts must at least come down to mid-thigh.
Sagrada Familia provides luggage and cloakroom services for free. Over 500 electronic lockers are installed in the left-luggage office, where one can leave their backpacks, bags or luggage safely. Access to your locker is restricted by a card that will only be given to the owner.
Sagrada Familia follows stringent security protocols and it is essential that you make sure to reach a few minutes before your slot. There are walk- through metal detectors and scanners, and you will have to put your bags through the belt as well.
Visitors’ bags, rucksacks, luggage, and personal effects will be inspected at the entrance.
- While there is an elevator to go up the Sagrada Familia Towers, you have to walk down a spiral flight of stairs. If you're claustrophobic or scared of heights, skip the towers. The tower elevators are stopped during adverse weather conditions, including strong winds.
- The towers cannot be accessed by children below the age of 6 years. All individuals between the age of 6 and 16 years must be accompanied by an adult to go up the towers.
- While choosing which tower to go up on, remember that the Nativity façade faces the East of Barcelona, while the Passion façade faces the city center.
- If you are picking an alternative language for your guided tour, remember to be sure of the timings as they differ from the English guided tours.
- Some tours do not provide audio-guide for children. Be informed about all the exclusions of the tours you pick one.
- Guided Tours of Sagrada Familia and Park Güell begins at Park Güell. If you've opted for this combo, make sure you reach the right meeting point.
- The Sagrada Familia Barcelona entry is free for those who have purchased the Barcelona Pass.
- Both tripod and flash photography are prohibited inside the church. However, with prior permissions and necessary documents, you can indulge in both.
- Hold on to your ticket at all times while you're in the Basilica. There can be random checks.
- Refrain from eating, drinking or smoking on site. They are strictly prohibited.
Why is the Sagrada Familia Barcelona so famous?
Sagrada Familia Barcelona has been under construction for the last 136 years. This unique feature in itself is a testament to its grandeur and glory. It is only one meter shorter than Montjuïc Hill, the highest point in Barcelona. The basilica's geometrical sense that has been imparted to the megastructure alludes to Cubist and Art Nouveau themes. There is an apparent influence of nature in the architecture of Sagrada Familia, in the complete absence of straight lines in the whole structure. These are some of the reasons why it is so famous.
What are the services available at Sagrada Familia?
Disabled people have a special entrance to the Basilica. Wheelchairs are available too.
How strict is the dress code at Sagrada Familia?
The dress code is not very strict at Sagrada Familia Barcelona. However, it is recommeded to wear modest clothing since it is a place of worship.
Can you take photos in Sagrada Familia?
Yes, you may take pitcures of Sagrada Familia Barcelona. Although, professional photo equipment is not allowed inside the Gaudí Museum.
Which is the best tower to climb?
People prefer Nativity Tower over Passion Tower. Nativity tower’s construction is complete whereas Passion tower is ongoing, hence there are obstructed views due to construction equipment.
Can I visit both the towers with a Sagrada Familia Tower ticket?
No, you can only visit one tower per ticket. If you wish to visit both the Nativity and Passion towers, you will have to purchase two tickets.
What year will the Sagrada Familia be finished?
As for the Sagrada Familia finish date, it was said that the construction would be complete by 2026, the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudi's death. Sadly, it is difficult to say for sure since the current pandemic has delayed development.
Can I purchase Sagrada Familia tickets online in advance?
Yes, you can purchase Sagrada Familia tickets online in advance. The most popular ticket options are Sagrada Familia Skip The Line tickets and Sagrada Familia Tickets with Tower Access.
Can you buy Sagrada Familia tickets on the day of your visit?
Yes. Tickets can be bought on the day at the ticket office. However, be prepared to stand in long waiting queues. Purchase the Sagrada Familia Tickets online to enjoy fast-track access!
Can I cancel my Sagrada Familia tickets?
Yes, you may cancel your tickets up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund.
Do I need to buy a separate ticket for the Sagrada Familia Towers?
Yes. Towers are not included in the standard admission ticket and must be bought separately.