Planning your Sagrada Familia Visit
Planning your Sagrada Familia Visit
- Access to the towers is permitted only for children aged 6 and above. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Visiting the towers is not recommended for pregnant women or people suffering from claustrophobia (the space in the staircase is very confined).
- An elevator is available but only for ascending the tower. To descend it is necessary to use the stairs. Thus, it is not accessible to people of reduced mobility and is not recommended for people with heart conditions or other physical disabilities.
If you are on vacation in Barcelona it’s definitely worth visiting the Sagrada Familia, the city’s top attraction. In this article we provide everything you need to know about planning your visit as well as some insider tips to help you enjoy your visit to the fullest!
Book your Ticket Online and in Advance!
Buying your ticket online in advance is highly recommended as they often sell out, especially in high season. Your online ticket purchase will guarantee entry into the Basilica at your desired visiting time. Online tickets are also cheaper than buying them at the door and provide fast track entry. For more information related to the available ticket options and prices read our Sagrada Familia Ticket Guide.
Best Time to Visit the Sagrada Familia
During the week is the best time to visit since it is less crowded than on weekends. The earlier you go the better. Gates open at 9am. Alternatively, go from 3pm onwards, as the church becomes progressively emptier.
One of the most fascinating aspects about Gaudi’s architecture is the way in which he uses natural light. Sagrada Familia has huge stained-glass windows which create incredible patterns of light within the church and are in themselves a work of art. The light inside the church is best in mid morning or mid afternoon when the sun pours in through the stained-glass windows. But our favorite time is 2-3 hours before sunset as the light comes streaming in from the West and the stained glass windows give a warm glow throughout the church. In the morning, the sun enters from the blue/greenish stained-glass windows infusing the space with a cold yet beautiful light.
Generally, it is advised to avoid going to the Sagrada Familia between 12pm and 3pm, which tends to be the most crowded time.
The busiest months are March/April (with a peak at Easter) and June through October, when high season is in full swing in Barcelona. November to February is a great time to visit the Sagrada Familia without stress.
Visiting the Towers
If you are wondering whether visiting the towers is worth it then our answer is a resounding yes! This will allow you to experience the full wonder of the Sagrada Familia. From the towers you can not only enjoy amazing views of the city but you can also see stunning parts of the basilica which are not visible from elsewhere.
You can also see up close the ongoing construction work which is continuously enhancing this masterpiece building. The ticket with tower access is slightly more expensive than the normal access skip the line ticket, but definitely worth it. One small piece of advice: make sure to go early in the morning and visit the tower immediately (before visiting the basilica) to avoid the crowds.
Nativity or Passion Tower?
The Sagrada Familia has two facades with towers that you can visit: the Nativity towers and the Passion tower. They are quite different from each other but both beautiful and mesmerizing in their own right. You will need to decide which tower to visit as the ticket only provides access to one of the two towers.
Most people choose to visit the tower which overlooks the Nativity Facade. It portrays the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and is the oldest part of the Sagrada Familia. Furthermore, it is the only part of the Sagrada Familia that Gaudi actually worked on. This tower has a bridge, which connects a network of smaller towers and balconies, and allows you to get a close up view of the Nativity facade. The surrounding views from the connecting bridge are spectacular, overlooking mainly the mountains and forests behind the city.
The Passion tower, on the other hand, does not have an observation bridge, making it slightly less appealing. But, on the positive side, it tends to be less crowded and the staircase to ascend and descend are wider, thus making the Passion tower more accessible than the Nativity tower. The artwork on the Passion facade portrays the crucifiction of Jesus Christ and is dedicated to the days before and after his death. It is a newer tower, built based on the sketches made by Gaudi. The Passion tower offers a stunning view of the mediterranean sea!
Good to know:
The Sagrada Familia has a dress code but it is not strictly enforced. That said, there is always a chance you will get turned away if you don’t adhere (and this is a near certainty for Sunday Mass). You should dress as if you are going to church. Thus, conservative attire for both men and women. Do not wear see-through clothing or sleeveless shirts. If you wear a skirt or shorts make sure they come down at least to mid thigh. Swimwear is not permitted.
How to Get to the Sagrada Familia?
The Sagrada Familia is located on Carrer de Mallorca, 401. It is very easy to get to both in private and public transport. Here are a few options:
By Metro: The most convenient way to get to the Sagrada Familia is by metro. You can get there with the purple (L2) or blue (L5) line of the metro, exiting at “Sagrada Familia” metro station.
By Bus: The bus lines which stop at the Sagrada Familia are 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.
By Barcelona Bus Turístic: Barcelona’s Hop-on Hop-off bus service is a great way to get around the city and to discover it’s top attractions at the same time. It stops right in front of the Sagrada Familia, which is on the blue route.
By Taxi: Barcelona Taxis are a great way to get around. Since the city is fairly small your travel time will generally be short and the taxi fare low.
From the Airport: take the Aerobus to Universitat or Plaza Catalunya and then switch to the metro or bus (follow the instructions as 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.