Sagrada Familia is a famous landmark in Barcelona, Spain. It’s one of the city’s most popular attractions to visit. The Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church that was designed by architect Antoni Gaudí.
The outside of the church is covered in ornate carvings, with towers reaching toward the sky. The interior is decorated with towering columns and stained glass and serves as an ode to the cycles of nature. The church is currently unfinished, but building is scheduled to be completed by 2026.
The Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona. As such, there’s plenty to know when you’re planning your visit.
Here’s your guide for how to visit the Sagrada Famlia.
Construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882. The original architect was Francisco de Paula del Villar. However, he resigned the following year, prompting Gaudí to take over as chief architect. Gaudí, who designed several other structures in Barcelona, brought a unique style of Gothic architecture to the project.
When Gaudí passed away in 1926, only about a quarter of the Sagrada Familia was finished. Construction has been slow since then. This is due to a variety of factors. Some reasons are that the project is funded only by private donations and that building was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. Reportedly, structural work on the church is scheduled to finish by 2026, with decorations and any other work fully completed by 2032.
About the Sagrada Familia
The full name of the church is Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, or “Expiatory Church of the Holy Family.” It is primarily referred to simply as the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia is an imposing structure. The church is more than 550 feet tall with several spires and ornate facades. The sight of it is awe-inspiring.
On the outside, there are three intricate facades — the Nativity façade, the Passion façade, and the Glory façade, which is still in progress — all dedicated to the life of Jesus. Inside the church, towering pillars reach the ceiling and yet more complex stone work. Around the interior, light streams through windows of different shapes and colors, illuminating the pillars, giving it a forest-like feeling.
Visitors to the Sagrada Familia generally have access to the nave, the crypt, and two of the towers. There is also a museum and gift shop. However, because the Sagrada Familia is still under construction, the towers or any other areas may be closed for building or maintenance.
Tickets and Hours
First of all, make sure to purchase tickets online before your visit. You will choose the date and time of your visit when you book the ticket. You can buy tickets for the Sagrada Familia about two months in advance. If you’re visiting when it’s busy, book them as far in advance as you can.
Ticket prices for the Sagrada Familia vary depending on whether you go individually, with a guide, or want to access the towers.
The price of a basic ticket is 17 euros. Admission increases from there if you add audio guides or tower access.
There are discounts available for students, young people, and seniors. Admission is free for children younger than 11 years old and people with disabilities, plus one companion.
When you arrive at the church, you can present your tickets printed or digitally. (For a trip like this, I’d print them out just to be safe.)
The Sagrada Familia is open daily and hours vary by season. The cathedral opens daily at 9:00 a.m. From November through February it closes at 6:00 p.m.; in March and October it closes at 7:00 p.m.; and from April through September it closes at 8:00 p.m. Hours of operation may vary on holidays or for special events.
The Sagrada Familia is a church, so it’s important to be respectful of the space. As such, there is a dress code to follow. You may not be allowed to enter if you don’t comply with the rules.
At the Sagrada Familia, no hats are allowed, except for religious or health reasons. Clothing must be conservative. For example, no exposed shoulders or plunging necklines, no exposed stomach or back, no see-through clothing. Additionally, shorts or skirts must reach mid-thigh. Finally, shoes are required and you can’t enter wearing a bathing suit (it’s a church, not the beach, y’all).
How to Get to the Sagrada Familia
The easiest way to get around Barcelona is on public transportation. The public transportation system in Barcelona includes buses, trams, and an underground metro.
There are a couple metro stations within walking distance of the Sagrada Familia. One is the Sagrada Familia station. This station is located just across the street from the cathedral, which is served by lines L2 and L5. Another is the Verdaguer station, which is about an eight-minute walk away. Lines L4 and L5 stop at the Verdaguer station.
There are also several bus stops near the Sagrada Familia. The closest is Mallorca – Marina. Many bus lines make stops there.
If you prefer not to use public transportation, you could also reach the Sagrada Familia by taxi or using a hop-on hop-off tour bus.
The Sagrada Familia is located at Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain.
Tips for Visiting the Sagrada Familia
- Book your ticket online. As mentioned before, you can book your ticket online around two months before your visit. Make sure to do this! The Sagrada Familia gets very crowded.
- Be ready to enter at your assigned time. When you purchase your ticket, you’ll choose which time you want to enter the church. You will not be allowed in early and you don’t want to be late, either. Make sure you’re there and ready to go inside when it’s your turn.
- Follow the dress code! Be respectful of the space and don’t make any other issues for yourself.
- Go early. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to visit the Sagrada Familia and it only gets more crowded as the day goes on. Make it your first stop of the day so you can move on afterward.
- There are no lockers for suitcases or large bags. The only bag storage available is meant for small bags and can only be used if you’re going up to the towers.
The Sagrada Familia is one of those attractions that is so much more incredible in person than it is in photos.
Pictures can’t capture all the ornate details, the way the sunlight illuminates the interior, or the sheer size of the cathedral. No matter how many photos you see before you visit, you will find yourself in awe once you’re at the Sagrada Familia.
Between its history, design, and spiritual significance, the Sagrada Familia is a landmark you must visit in Barcelona.