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Complete guide to Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Full day Guide

Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. In this post, we answer some common questions and share some tips that will help you make the most of your visit. Including how to avoid the queues!

The Sagrada Familia receives approximately 4.5 million visitors each year. To avoid overcrowding at peak times, the number of tickets is limited and they have fixed entry times.

The downside is that the queues to buy tickets can be extremely long. Worse still, after enduring the queue, you might find that there are no time slots available until the following day.

Some Sagrada Familia facts

  • The construction of Sagrada Familia started in 1882, but Antoni Gaudi didn’t become the director till 1884.
  • Gaudi lived in his house within Park Güell for 20 years, overlooking the building process of Sagrada Familia.
  • At the time of Gaudi’s death, only 20% of Sagrada Familia was done.
  • Many of the plans and designs Gaudi left after his death were lost in the fire during the Civil War.
  • Gaudi is buried in the Sagrada Familia crypt.
  • Sagrada Familia, along with other works of Gaudi, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
  • Pope Benedict dedicated Sagrada Familia as a Basilica in 2010.
  • The construction has been going on for over 100 years, and Sagrada Familia is currently 70% finished.
  • It’s estimated, that the construction will be done by 2026, which will be the 100th Anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

How can I avoid the queues at the Sagrada Familia?

In an attempt to reduce the queues, the basilica sells tickets online via its premiumbarcelona.tours The basic ticket price with Guided is currently €34. When booking online you download your tickets as a PDF file that you can print out or show on your smartphone.

Tickets are allocated based on a system of 15-minute time slots. Due to the popularity of the site and the high number of people who visit every day, it’s essential that you arrive on time.

Once inside the basilica, you can stay for as long as you like. You should allow approximately 2 hours for visiting the Sagrada Familia including the small museum in the basement.

What is the best time of day to visit the Sagrada Familia?

One of the most beautiful features of the Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s use of light. The church has large stained-glass windows that bathe the naves with color. The effect is most striking mid-morning and mid to late-afternoon when sunlight strikes the windows directly.

Is it worth paying extra to visit the towers?

The most memorable part of visiting the Sagrada Familia is, without a doubt, the view inside the naves. Looking up at the 45m high vaulted ceiling while surrounded by slender tree-like columns bathed in colored light from the basilica’s stained glass windows.

Tickets to visit the towers cost almost twice as much as the basic entrance ticket & Guided (€65 instead of €34) so, if you’re on a budget, I think that it’s better to spend the extra money on visiting another attraction.

Having said that, the tower’s ticket includes an audio-guide and, if you can afford it, lets you see parts of the church which aren’t visible from ground level as well as the ongoing construction work.

Is it worth paying extra for the audio-guide?

If this will be your first visit to the Sagrada Familia then the audio-guide is well worth the extra cost. It’s interesting and informative and explains Gaudí’s design and vision as well of the history of the building.

Alternatively, you could book a guide tour which includes entry to the Sagrada Família with an English speaking guide to tell you all about the basilica and answer your questions (other languages available).

How can I get there by public transport?

The easiest way to visit the Sagrada Familia from most parts of Barcelona is by the metro. The Sagrada Familia metro station is on the L2 (purple) and L5 (blue) metro lines.

There are pictograms on the platforms indicating which exit you should take for the basilica. In fact, both exits are approximately the same distance from the ticket holders entrance so I suggest that you use whichever is nearest when you alight the train.

Is the Sagrada Família accessible to wheelchair users?

Yes, the Sagrada Família is accessible in a wheelchair. The accessible entrance is in front of the Passion Façade (see map below) where there is a ramp leading up to the entrance to the nave. There is also a ramp down to the small museum in the basement of the church.4

The towers are not accessible in a wheelchair due to the short flight of stairs up to the lift.

Wheelchair users plus one companion are entitled to free entry which should be booked in advance on the Sagrada Familia

What are the Sagrada Familia opening times?

The basilica is open to the public 365 days of the year, times may vary.

March
09:00 – 19:00

April to September
09:00 – 20:00

October
09:00 – 19:00

November to February
09:00 – 18:00

25 Dec, 26 Dec, 01 Jan & 06 Jan
09:00 – 14:00

Where to eat and drink near the Sagrada Familia?

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the streets surrounding the Sagrada Familia.

If you just want a drink or snack I recommend that you head to Avinguda de Gaudí where there are bars and cafés with terraces outside and views of the basilica.

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