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Visit Sagrada Família

A tour of la Sagrada Família is a must-see and should be included in your to do list when you are in Barcelona, Spain. Whether you are a local or a tourist from out of town, you should make the time on your trip to the city to get to know up close this beautiful and magnificent church. Here you can find a few tips on how to best tour la Sagrada Família, the best time of the year and hours to admire it at its splendor.

Best Way to Visit Sagrada Família

Of course, when you are travelling you want to make the best use of your time on during the trip. That is why we went ahead and made you a list of some of the best tips to visit la Sagrada Família, the most optimum time of the year and hours to enjoy it a the fullest. 

Top Tips to Fully Enjoy La Sagrada Família

To begin, one of the best options to make the most of your tour is to book your tickets online in advance. This will save you precious time and long waiting queues at the ticket booths. There are several options to visit la Sagrada Família and you can view all the tickets available here.

aerial views of the top of sagrada familia

It is also very important to consider what to wear on your visit. Aside from being a highly visited tourist attraction, it is still a church, and so churchlike rules apply and there is a dress code to be able to enter, for men and women alike:

  • Avoid wearing flip flops. 
  • All caps, hats or head scarves should be removed before going inside the basilica (if you wear them for religious reasons, it is allowed, i. e., hijab or yarmulke).
  • T-shirts and blouses have to cover your shoulders.
  • Shorts and short skirts are not allowed.
  • See-through clothes and freely plunging necklines are not permitted.

Did you know you can visit the Crypt inside la Sagrada Família? Although it is open to visit during limited times you can enter it in the following schedule: 

  • Monday thru Friday between 9AM to 10AM and 6PM to 9PM
  • Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays between 9AM to 2PM and 6PM to 9PM

You should also consider to purchase the ticket option that includes the visit up the towers. It will give you a breathtaking and unique view of Barcelona that only a few choose to enjoy. An elevator takes you up the tower, but you can pick to climb down the spiraling staircase if you prefer to do so. 

And last but not least, it is not the same experience to go for the Basic Ticket that allows you entry to la Sagrada Família and you get to tour on your own, than for the audio guided tour, and different from the guided tour as well. Each one has its own charm and you can choose the best that works for you and your trip. 

Recommended Visit or Tour Duration 

There are several ticket options that you can choose from to learn and experience the breathtaking view of la Sagrada Família. For most of these options the approximate duration of tour is 45 minutes with audio guided tours, and if you are limited with time there is a 25-minute audio guide available as well. After the audio guide is completed, you are welcome to explore on your own but keep in mind that all not areas are available at all times, and that some restrictions may apply due to construction. 

Best Time of the Year and Hour to Visit 

When is the best time to visit La Sagrada Familia? La Sagrada Família has many features, and one of the most beautiful ones is the use of light that Gaudí gave it. The building has large stained-glass windows that showers the naves with different tones of colour. The “special effects” is most noticeable and striking mid-morning and mid to late afternoon when the sunlight hits the windows directly. 

Also when planning your trip, you should try to choose to go between early spring, fall or winter to visit Barcelona in general, during the summer the city is usually with high temperatures and fairly crowded. So keep this in mind for your trip plans.

sagrada familia entrance

Inside Sagrada Família

As you probably know by now, la Sagrada Família is Barcelona’s most iconic and famous symbol, and without a doubt, also one of the most impressive buildings as well. The church is quite massive in its dimensions and it is usually considered a cathedral, but since it does not have a seat for a bishop it is not officially one. It is one of Gaudí’s masterpieces, still under construction since 1882 so you may encounter areas that are not yet available to the public. 

The outside of la Sagrada Família is quite outstanding, and the interior is breathtaking. The unique design guides you to look up and admire beautiful and high ornate ceilings, and alongside the view, you get to admire the lighting. On the West side of the church – the Passion façade – you will find yellow, orange, and red stained glass decorations, and on the East side – the Nativity façade – you can enjoy the blue and green stained glass decorations. 

When you are inside at the right time that the sun hits the colored windows and the interior of the church is showered in a beautiful rainbow light, a magical sight to behold. 

Sagrada Família Façades

The first thing you can admire from la Sagrada Família is the outside structure and design of the building. It is a lot to take in as every side is different. The exterior has three façades; to the East there is the Nativity façade, to the West the Passion façade, and to the South the Glory façade with eighteen towers in total around the building. 

The Nativity façade was the first to be completed, and it has the most direct influence and style by Gaudí. This side is dedicated to the birth of Jesus, hence the name. It has four towers that represent 4 Apostles: Matthew, Barnabas, Jude, and Simon. 

The Passion façade is more severe and simple in comparison to the Nativity façade. This side reflects the suffering and pain endured by Jesus during his crucifixion. The four towers here are dedicated to four more Apostles: James, Thomas, Philip, and Bartholomew.

The Glory façade is the last side that has been under construction since 2002. It is dedicated to the Glory and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the largest façade of la Sagrada Família, and it reflects the road to God: Death, Final Judgment, Glory and Hell as well. 

sagrada familia history
close-up of the sagrada familia


La Sagrada Família has a total of eighteen spires, more commonly known and the towers. They are dedicated as follows: twelve to the Twelve Apostles and are situated on the three façades of the church; the other six spires represent the Four Evangelists, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. There are only eight completed towers from the total of eighteen spires. The ones that are finished correspond to the four Apostles on the Nativity Façade, and the ones on the Passion Façade. From the eighteen towers the tallest of them all will be the one that represents Jesus Christ, surmounted by an enormous cross with a height of 170 meters (560 ft).

To visit the Sagrada Família Towers there are some considerations you should know beforehand:

  • The standard ticket does not include access to the Towers. There is a ticket available with access to the Towers. 
  • The Nativity and the Passion façade are not joined together, so the access to the spires are in different places.
  • To get to the top of the towers it is only accessible via an elevator, one for each façade.
  • Visitors have to take the stairs down the spires, on both of the Nativity and Passion façade.