Planning your Sagrada Familia Visit

Planning your Sagrada Familia Visit


    No trip to Barcelona would be complete without visiting the city’s top attraction, the Sagrada Familia. Visiting the Sagrada Familia is absolutely worth it. Here is everything you need to know about planning your visit plus a few insider tips to make the best out of your visit.

    Book your Ticket Online and in Advance!

    Buying your ticket online and in advance is highly recommended. Tickets sell out fast, especially in high season. Buying your ticket in advance guarantees you entry into the Basilica at the time and day you wish it. Online tickets not only give you fast track entry, they are also cheaper than tickets sold at Sagrada Familia at the door. If you are interested in more information regarding the different ticket options, what tickets include as well as ticket prices and discounts read our Ticket Guide.

    Best Time to Visit the Sagrada Familia

    Avoid weekends (if possible) as most people visit then. Go during the week. Go early in the morning around 9am. Alternatively go after 3pm but before sunset. An advantage of a late afternoon visit is that the church will get progressively quieter rather than busier, as is the case in the morning.

    One of the most beautiful features of the Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s use of light. The church has large stained-glass windows which bathe the naves with colour. The effect is most striking mid-morning and mid to late-afternoon when sunlight strikes the windows directly.
    However, we recommend visiting 2-3 hours before sunset, when the sun is shining directly through the stained glass on the West side of the church. This is when the lighting looks the most beautiful. You can also arrive early in the morning as the light spills through the blue/green glass but it doesn’t look as powerful.

    Avoid going there from 12pm to 3pm - it's when Sagrada Familia is very crowded.

    The busiest months are March/April (around easter), June - October (high season in Barcelona). November till February is a very nice time to see the Sagrada Familia without any stress....

    Visiting the Towers

    A common question is whether or not visiting the towers is worth it. Yes, it is! It’s absolutely worth it to do the complete tour of Sagrada Familia. One of the most visible and recognizable elements of Sagrada Familia are its towers. The towers will allow you to see some beautiful parts of the basilica that you really cannot see from below, as well as some construction and renovation work that is continually being done to this masterpiece. The views are incredible and it's a really great experience. The ticket which includes a tower visit is not much more expensive than the normal skip the line ticket. A small piece of advice: to avoid the crowds, go early in the morning and visit the tower you have chosen before you visit the main basilica.

    Visiting the Nativity or Passion Tower?

    Sagrada Familia has two facades with towers that you can go up to: the Nativity towers and the Passion towers. The two facades are very different from each other, but the Sagrada Familia top view is mesmerizing regardless of your choice! You will need to decide which of the two towers to visit, as your ticket with tower access allows you to visit only one of the two.
    Most people prefer the tower overlooking the Nativity Facade which is the oldest part of the Sagrada and also the only part that Gaudi actually worked on. Also, the tower of the Nativity Facade, unlike the passion facade, includes a small bridge that gives you better views and a close-up of parts of the façade.
    You will have access to a connecting bridge which joins 2 of the 4 towers of the Nativity Facade, from which you will be able to have a unique vantage point of the tower and of the surrounding views. You will also be able to access balconies to better enjoy the details of the facade. This facade tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.You will enjoy views of the city center and of the mountains behind Barcelona (the eastern part of Barcelona). The stairway (which you will need to take down) is slightly wider than those of the Passion Facade making it a bit less claustrophobic. (needs to be shorter)

    Passion Facade: This facade is dedicated to the death of Jesus. It represents the suffering during his crucifixion. It is a newer tower, built based on the sketches made by Gaudi. From the passion tower you will enjoy spectacular views of the mediterranean (views of the most central part of the city).

    Good to know:

    • Access to the towers is only permitted for children aged 6 and older, while children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
    • Tower access is not recommended for pregnant or claustrophobic people as there is no elevator going down, your only option will be to take the narrow “spiral” stairs.
    • You will go up by elevator but you will need to descend by stairs, thus it is not accessible by wheelchair.
    • If you suffer from other physical disabilities, such as a heart condition, visiting the towers is also not recommended.

    Dress Code

    you should adhere to the standard dress code for Roman Catholic churches which is the same for both men and women. No see-through clothing.
    Tops must cover the shoulders.
    Trousers and skirts must come down to at least mid-thigh.
    Visitors may not enter in swimwear.
    In reality, the dress code is not strictly enforced and it’s common to see people wearing singlets and shorts. Personally I think that it’s best to follow the rules and comply with the dress code rather than risk getting turned away.
    Exception, though: the crypt of Sagrada Familia can only be visited during Mass and only if you are dressed appropriately

    How to Get to the Sagrada Familia?

    It is very easy to get to Sagrada Familia which is located at "Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona". If you are planning on getting to the Sagrada Familia with public transport here are a few options:

    • By Metro: The easiest/best way to get there is by using the purple (L2) or blue (L5) line of the metro, exiting at “Sagrada Familia”.
    • By Bus:: 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.
    • By Barcelona Bus Turístic: Barcelona’s Hop-on Hop-off bus service. Ideal to get around Barcelona and to discover it’s top attraction at the same time. It stops right in front of the Sagrada Familia - the Sagrada Familia stop is on the blue route for more info: https://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/en/blue-route
    • From the Airport: take the Aerobes to Universitat or Plaza Catalunya and then switch to the metro o bus (follow the instructions explained in the section above).

    Sagrada Familia Opening Hours

    The Basilica is open all year around. The opening hours vary a bit depending on the month:

    • March: 9am - 7pm
    • April - September: 9am - 8pm
    • October: 9am - 7pm
    • November - February: 9am - 6 pm
    • 25 & 26 December, 1 & 6 January: 9 am to 2 pm.