La Sagrada Familia is the best tourist attraction in Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and will be ready by 2026 – a construction time of 144 years.
Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia attracts more than 5 million people every year.
In this article, we try and explain everything you need to know before visiting Sagrada Familia.
1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Mass times
4. Best time to visit
5. Tour duration
6. Tips to avoid crowd
7. Sagrada Familia tickets
8. Tickets FAQs
9. Sagrada Familia towers
10. Are towers worth it?
11. Visiting at Night
12. Audio Guide
13. Dress Code
14. Church’s map
How to reach Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia is located on 401 Mallorca street, 08013 Barcelona.
Public transport is the best way to reach Sagrada Familia from any part of the city.
If Metro is your preferred option, get onto either Line 2 or Line 5 and get down at the Sagrada Familia Metro station.
If you prefer traveling by bus, we recommend the following bus numbers – 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.
Sagrada Familia hours
Sagrada Familia is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Year.
All through the year, this Basilica opens at 9 am.
However, its closing time keeps changing depending on the season.
November to February: 9 am to 6 pm
March: 9 am to 7 pm
April to September: 9 am to 8 pm
October: 9 am to 7 pm
December 25, 26, and January 1 and 6: 9 am to 2 pm
The ticketing counters close half hour before the closing time and entries are also stopped.
Sagrada Familia mass times
Sagrada Família church is a place of worship.
If you want to pray during your tour, you can visit the Chapel of the Eucharist, in the ambulatory.
Besides this, you can always attend the international and special masses conducted regularly.
These Masses are open to the public, and there is no need to buy any tickets.
The Archdiocese of Barcelona conducts the International Mass on every Sunday and other holy days of obligation.
The International mass begins at 9 am in several languages.
And you can start entering the place of worship from 8.30 am onwards.
To attend this mass, you need to enter the Cathedral from the Nativity facade on Carrer de la Marina.
At regular intervals, special Masses get conducted at Sagrada Familia Church.
Some of these special masses allow ticketed entry, and in some cases, attendance is by invitation only.
The best way to keep track of special masses at Sagrada Familia is by following this calendar.
Best time to visit Sagrada Familia
Tourists want to know the best time to visit Sagrada Familia for multiple reasons.
Best months to visit Sagrada Familia
The biggest crowds throng this place during the high season from April to September.
If you can’t avoid these months, be aware that during these months the longest waiting lines are seen in the first half of the day.
After lunchtime, the crowd becomes smaller, and the queues shorten.
However, it becomes a little difficult to stand in the queue because of the hot sun.
If you can’t brave the Spanish sun, you can try being in the ticketing queue at 5 pm.
However, there is a high possibility of the day’s tickets being sold off by 5 pm.
We recommend this 5 pm option only if you are on a long holiday – if you miss getting in one day, you can try your luck the next day.
Best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 9 am to 12 pm
On all days Sagrada Familia is open by 9 am.
You must reach the venue before the crowd starts trickling in and start by going up one of your preferred towers.
Do factor in 15 minutes for collecting the audio guide.
If you reach the elevator to go up the Nativity or Passion tower before 11 am, you will find a short queue.
Once you have gone up the elevator and seen the fantastic views from one of the towers, you must climb down 400 odd stairs.
Since before 11 am, this tourist attraction isn’t as crowded, you won’t take much time walking down the stairs.
With the light streaming in, this is the best time to see the stained-glass windows.
Second best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 3 pm to 6 pm
If for some reason you missed the best time to visit Sagrada Familia, delay your visit even further and land up at the attraction by 3 pm.
Once again start by going up the towers and enjoying the sunlit views of the city.
During this time there is a slightly longer queue for the elevators.
Even the climb down the stairs is a little slow because the crowd walking ahead of you decide your speed.
Ensure you are inside the Sagrada Familia cathedral by 5 pm for the best time to see the Basilica’s interiors is between 5 pm to 6 pm.
The evening light shines through the intricately stained glass, making it seem like a dream.
Once you have experienced the interiors, you can attend the mass at La Sagrada Familia. The crypt opens for Mass at 6 pm.
Third best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 12 pm to 3 pm
If your stay in Barcelona is long enough, we suggest you avoid this time slot.
Large groups from schools, cruise liners, and bus tours start arriving around this time.
The queue at the ticketing counters is long, which then translate to long lines for the elevators as well.
Quick Recommendation: The cheapest and most popular entry ticket at this attraction is the Sagrada Familia Fast Track ticket.
Two of the best and cheapest guided tours of Sagrada Familia are THIS and THIS (they don’t include access to the Towers).
If you want to go up the Towers, your only option is a Guided tour of the Towers (all self-guided Tower tickets are booked!).
Best time to visit for photography
Sagrada Familia is so beautiful that you can take photographs whenever you want.
However, some times are better than the rest.
There are two slots which are great for taking photos at Sagrada Familia.
First, from 10.30 to 11.30 am when the sunlight enters the Basilica at an angle.
Second, from 5 pm to 6 pm when the subdued rays of the sunlight stream in sheepishly. Many tourists consider the evening time better.
For photo shoots of the Basilica from outside, any time is a good time if you are a seasoned photographer.
If you plan to go up the Nativity facade towers and take lots of photos, we recommend the morning slot.
Morning is better because then the sun is behind you and helps take good pics.
Post noon the sun is in front of you making it impossible to snap good photos.
Duration of Sagrada Familia tour
There is no fixed time duration at Sagrada Familia.
Once you show your tickets at the entrance and get in, you don’t have to get out till the tourist attraction closes.
However, the duration of your trip to Sagrada Familia depends on what you do there.
For instance, if you decide to walk around the Basilica and then step out, you will be done in half an hour.
If you go around and also step inside Sagrada Familia to enjoy the intricate design of architect Gaudi, you the length of your tour will be one hour.
However, if you decide to climb up one of the towers – Nativity tower or Passion tower – you will need yet another half hour.
Summary: If you book your Sagrada Familia tickets in advance, you can explore everything in Sagrada Familia within 90 minutes.
Tips to avoid the crowd at Sagrada Familia
If you don’t like the crowd, there are three sure-shot ways to avoid them at this Barcelona attraction.
1. Buy your Sagrada Familia tickets online, in advance
There are two queues you stand in when you visit Sagrada Familia – first is when you stand to buy the tickets at the ticketing counter and the second line is at the gates to enter Sagrada Familia.
If you buy Sagrada Familia tickets online, you can avoid standing in these crowded lines.
During high season weekends, office holidays etc. this wait can even extend to an hour and a half.
Since the Sagrada Familia tickets have a time of entry mentioned on them, you can end up getting a ticket with the entrance time 2 hours later.
Don’t worry. The easiest and best solution to this is to buy online tickets for Sagrada Familia.
You can buy online tickets within 60 days of your planned visit.
Once you purchase the tickets online, they get emailed to you.
On the day of your visit, you avoid the crowd at the ticketing counter, open your smartphone and show the ticket in your email, and walk in.
2. Get the time slot right
While booking Sagrada Familia tickets most tourists book for ‘round about’ timings – 10 am, 11 am etc.
Thus, these slots get crowded and around 200 tourists (the maximum number) land up at the Basilica entrance.
Most of the tourists ignore the in-between time slots such 9.15 am, 9.45 am, 11.15 am etc.
When you book your online tickets for such slots, you will find a much smaller crowd ahead of you at the entrance queue.
3. Plan your visit on a Monday
Monday is not always bad news.
If you are planning on beating the lines at Sagrada Familia, Mondays are just perfect.
Since most of the museums in Barcelona are not open on Mondays, tourists assume that Sagrada Familia won’t be open as well.
They don’t know that this Basilica stays open even when the whole of Spain closes down for celebrations – during Christmas and New Year.
Note: If nothing else works, check out these Sagrada Familia facts even as you wait in the line.
Sagrada Familia tickets
There are three types of Sagrada Familia tickets you can choose from.
All of the three below given are ‘Skip The Line’ tickets.
If you buy your tickets online, you can skip the long queues at the ticketing counter and enter the Church right away, hence the name.
To help you decide, we have also provided our recommendation.
1. Basic Sagrada Familia entry tickets
These online tickets help you save up to two hours of waiting in the ticketing counter queues.
These are timed tickets – while booking these Sagrada Familia tickets, you get to choose the time of your visit.
With these tickets, you get to explore Sagrada Familia both inside and outside. You also get to see the Museum.
Audio guide is included for free with this ticket.
Our recommendation: These are the most popular tickets – nine out of ten visitors to Sagrada Familia opt for these, so you can’t go wrong.
Adult ticket (30 to 64 years): 30 Euros
Senior ticket (65+ years): 26 Euros
Youth ticket (11 to 29 years): 28 Euros
Student ticket (with ID): 28 Euros
Child ticket (10 years and less): Free entry
2. Guided tour of Sagrada Familia
With these tickets, a Gaudi expert takes you around Sagrada Familia.
Learning the rich history of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and its creator Antoni Gaudi with a local expert will make your trip even more exciting.
The duration of this guided tour is 1 hour and 30 minutes, after which you can continue to hang around for as long as you want.
Exclusions: While the guide shows and explains the Nativity facade and the Passion facade, with these guided tour tickets you can’t go up the Nativity or the Passion Towers.
Our recommendation: If you want to hear history, stories and anecdotes about Sagrada Familia and its creator Antonio Gaudi this ticket is just right for you.
Tourists who love to take photographs also opt for guided tours because the guides know the best photo spots.
Adult ticket (12 to 64 years): 38 Euros
Senior ticket (65+ years): 36 Euros
Child ticket (0 to 11 years): 19 Euros
Tip: If you don’t get your preferred time and date for the above given guided tour, check out this highly rated guided tour.
3. Guided tour with tower access
This is a highly rated tour, where a guide takes you through Sagrada Familia interiors and then also up one of the Towers.
After the guided tour is over, you can stay on for as long as you want.
The Sagrada Familia guided Tower experience comes in two flavors – the 120-minute tour and the 90-minute tour.
Exclusions: There are no exclusions to this ticket.
Our recommendation: This ticket is priced a bit higher. If money isn’t a concern, we recommend you go for these Tower tickets.
Tip: If you are a bigger group and would prefer your own private guide to take you around check out this Private Guided tour plus Tower access at Sagrada Familia.
FAQs on Sagrada Familia tickets
When it comes to Sagrada Familia tickets, visitors have lots of questions.
We try to answer a few of them –
You don’t need to contact anyone to book your trip to Sagrada Familia tickets.
Sitting at your home, you can buy Sagrada Familia tickets online and get them delivered to your smartphone.
Before booking Sagrada Familia’s tickets, most tourists wonder if there is any difference between tickets bought at the venue and those bought online.
The answer is “No!”. There is no difference between Sagrada Familia tickets bought online, and those purchased at the venue.
There are two massive advantages of buying Sagrada Familia tickets online –
1. You don’t pay the ‘ticketing window surcharge’ on online tickets, and hence they are cheaper
2. You save time because you don’t stand in line at the ticketing window. During peak hours, this wait can even go up to 90 minutes.
As a tourist trying to enter Sagrada Familia, you must stand in two queues – line at the ticketing counter to buy the tickets and the line at the Basilica’s entrance.
You can avoid the first queue if you buy Sagrada Familia tickets online and reach the entrance at the time provided on your ticket.
In fact, on heavily crowded days (high season weekends, office holidays etc.) there may be an extra waiting time as well.
Since only a fixed number of tourists are allowed to enter the premises every 15 minutes, the ticket obtained from the ticketing counter can have an entrance time that is a couple of hours later.
In such a case, you must wait your turn to enter the Basilica.
That’s why most tourists prefer to buy Sagrada Familia tickets online.
When you buy tickets online, you know what time you need to be at Sagrada Familia’s entrance, so there is hardly any wait.
Now you know why these online tickets are also known as Skip The Line tickets, Fast Track tickets, Priority Access tickets etc.
Some of the visitors do get Sagrada Familia tickets discount.
To encourage youngsters to appreciate culture, Sagrada Familia offers ticket discounts.
Every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday youngsters aged 11 to 30 can avail of these discounts, and the discounted price they have to pay is only 7 Euros.
These discount tickets are available from 4 pm to 6 pm, and you can buy them from Sagrada Familia’s ticketing counter.
Even better discounts are available on online tickets, which are a couple of Euros cheaper than buying at the venue. Buy Sagrada Familia tickets now!
Some tourists do get Sagrada Familia’s free ticket.
You don’t have to pay for your online tickets at Sagrada Familia if you meet one of the conditions below.
– You qualify for a Sagrada Familia free ticket if you are ten years old or below
– You qualify for a Sagrada Familia free ticket if you are an individual with +65% disability and can provide appropriate proof.
In such circumstances, the person accompanying you also gets a free ticket for Sagrada Familia.
Within five minutes of purchasing Sagrada Familia tickets online, they get delivered to your email.
You don’t need to take any printouts.
On the day of your visit, walk up to Sagrada Familia entrance, show your ticket in your email on your smartphone and step in.
Save money on your travel within Barcelona city. For unlimited free rides on public transport, Get Hola BCN card
Sagrada Familia towers
Gaudi planned Sagrada Familia with 18 towers.
Twelve of these 18 towers represent the Apostles, and four represent Evangelists.
The Sagrada Familia tower with a star on the top represents Virgin Mary, and the tallest tower of them all is for Jesus Christ.
As of year 2019, eight of the 18 planned towers are complete.
Of these eight constructed towers, four are part of the Nativity facade, and four are part of the Passion facade.
A facade is the view that a few of a building’s towers combine and create for the viewer.
Right now only the Nativity facade and Passion facade and complete.
Once Sagrada Familia’s construction ends in 2026, it will have three facades – the Nativity facade, the Passion facade and the Glory facade.
Sagrada Familia Nativity Facade
The four eastern towers in the front of Sagrada Família make up the Nativity Facade.
These towers represent the four Apostles Matthew, Barnabas, Jude, and Simon.
The Nativity facade view narrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
The iconography used on the Nativity towers relates to nature and life.
Nativity facade was completed under the supervision of Gaudi himself in 1935.
Sagrada Familia Passion Facade
The four towers towards the west of Sagrada Familia make up the Passion Facade.
These towers represent the four Apostles James, Thomas, Philip, and Bartholomew and together make up the Passion Facade view.
Completed in 1977, this facade facing the west represents the suffering of Christ during his crucifixion.
While the Nativity facade intricately designed and decorated, the Passion facade is austere, plain and simple.
Sagrada Familia Glory Facade
The rest of the towers in the South represent the Glory facade.
The construction for this facade began in 2002 and was paused after 8% of it was complete.
Work on the Glory facade is expected resume again by 2020.
Once completed, these will be the tallest of all Sagrada Familia towers.
This facade is dedicated to the Glory of Jesus.
It represents the road to God: Death, Final Judgment, and Glory.
Nativity facade or Passion facade?
A lot of tourists who have been up both the towers think that the Nativity facade is better than the Passion facade.
The guides who take the tourists to both the towers say they have seen a better sense of satisfaction in tourists who go up Nativity facade.
Follow the link for a detailed explanation of Nativity facade or Passion facade.
Are Sagrada Familia Towers worth it?
Should you buy the ticket that allows you to go up the towers in Sagrada Familia?
Our short answer is “yes, they are worth it”.
For a detailed answer, continue reading.
1. Going up the towers don’t cost much and is worth every Euro
For a normal adult, basic tickets to Sagrada Familia cost around 20 Euros. If you plan to take the audio guide, by adding 7 Euros extra your per head cost will come to 27 Euros.
By adding only 6 Euros more, you can go up on one of the towers – the Sagrada Familia tower tickets are worth 33 Euros.
For only six Euros more, a visit up the towers is worth it.
*All rates as seen on GetYourGuide.com
2. Going up the towers is effortless
You don’t have to climb up the towers. Each facade has an elevator which takes you right to the top.
Since these elevators can only take six people at a time, sometimes there is a bit of a queue. In short, going up the tower involves no effort – totally worth it.
3. Visiting the towers doesn’t take long and is worth the time
If you time it right, you can visit one of the towers in 30 minutes.
If you end up going up the towers during the peak time, you may have to wait in a queue at the elevators.
Even the climb down the stairs will be slow making it a 45-minute trip.
That’s not much.
4. The intricate details on towers make the trip up worth it
Many people think the Nativity and Passion towers tour are about seeing the views of Barcelona.
However, the climb up is also to see and appreciate the intricate sculptures which adorn both the facades.
5. Climbing down is an adventure and worth the physical exertion
To get down from the towers you must take the stairs. These stairs don’t have railings, and that is why kids below the age of 6 aren’t allowed.
The climb down the stairs is an adventure and worth your time and effort.
6. This bragging right is totally worth it
When fully built, Sagrada Familia will be 170 meters tall.
It will be behind Hassan II Mosque in Morocco (210 meters) and ahead of Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Ivory Coast (158 meters) in the world’s list of tallest religious structures.
Don’t you want this bragging right? That you once stood at the top of one of the World’s tallest religious structure?
Convinced about the Tower climb? Book Sagrada Familia entry ticket with Tower access
Sagrada Familia at night
Any time after 7 pm is a good time to see the Basilica in its night time glory.
This is also a good time to see the city of Barcelona from Nativity facade.
Some tourists prefer visiting Sagrada Familia in the evening hours.
While there is a certain amount of romance in it, we recommend you also visit it during the day so that you can see Antonio Gaudi’s intricate work on the exterior.
As the night falls, the Church gets lit up in all its grandiosity.
Sagrada Familia audio guide
If you love to explore at your own pace, you should go for Sagrada Familia’s audio guide.
The routes available in the audio guide explain the towers, the facades and the insides of the Basilica.
The 45-minute-long audio guide is available in Catalan, Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and Hungarian.
Kids below 12 years of age don’t get the audio guide.
Sagrada Familia dress code
Since it is a Catholic church, Sagrada Familia does have a strict dress code which gets enforced by its staff.
Men are expected to avoid hats unless they are wearing it for religious or health reasons.
While visiting the Sagrada Familia church both men and women are expected to avoid see-through clothing, swimwear etc.
The acceptable length for both shorts and skirts is till at least mid-thigh.
Tops must cover the shoulders. Women are also expected to avoid plunging necklines, exposed backs, and bellies.
Sagrada Familia map
There are two ways to ensure you don’t miss anything at Sagrada Familia – book a guided tour, or have a map of Sagrada Familia handy while exploring the Basilica.
You can either bookmark this page or print a copy of the map provided below and carry it along on the day of your visit.
Significance of the Cathedral’s Towers
Since architect Gaudi wanted it to be as grand as a Cathedral, he planned 18 towers for this religious building.
Of these 18 towers, only eight towers have been constructed till now – since work began in 1882.
Each of the 18 towers of Sagrada Familia represents someone.
12 of these 18 towers represent the apostles, and four represent the evangelists.
Tower of the Virgin Mary
Tower of Virgin Mary is located over the apse and stands 138 meters tall.
This central tower is hollow – a monumental space full of light.
Despite being under construction, tourists can still see it because there is no scaffolding.
Tower of Jesus Christ
Tower of Jesus Christ will be the tallest tower at the height of 172.5 meters.
When completed there will be four bridges which will connect the towers of the evangelists to the Tower of Jesus.
Interestingly, the route up to the tower of Jesus will pass through the evangelists’ tower. Another symbolic representation at the cathedral.
Towers of the evangelists
Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have a tower each. When completed by approximately 2022, they all will be 135 meters tall.