Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

tips to visit the sagrada familia in barcelona

Here are my tips to visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most incredible monuments not only of Spain, but of all Europe. Visiting the Sagrada Familia should be one of your priorities if you are planning a trip to Spain.

Because it’s one on Spain main highlights, you should also have a look at my article explaining how to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia.

Despite all the information provided in the article mentioned above, I am always receiving inquiries from readers like you, who plan to visit the Sagrada Familia and still have some questions about the monument and how to plan their time there.

So here are the answers to the most frequent questions that other travelers like you have asked along with all the practical information that you need to know.

Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia: location

1. Where is the Sagrada Familia?

The Sagrada Familia, though it’s full name is El Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family), is located in the Sagrada Familia neighborhood in the eastern area of the Eixample district, in the center of Barcelona.

2. How can you get to the Sagrada Familia?

The easiest way to get to the Sagrada Familia is by metro. The Sagrada Familia station, right next to the basilica, is served by lines 2 (purple) and 4 (blue).

Alternatively, you can get there by bus getting lines 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.

3. Can you combine the visit to the Sagrada Familia with some other place?

If you are staying three or more days in the city, you can combine the visit to the Sagrada Familia with a visit to the amazing Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a former hospital less than a 15-minute walk away. Our guidebook ‘Barcelona In 15 Walks’ includes a self-guided walk in which you’ll visit both attractions.

4. How do you go from the Sagrada Familia to Park Güell?

The easiest way to get between the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell is the bus number 92. You can take it  near the main gate of the Hospital de Sant Pau. The bus will drop you off at one of the park’s side accesses. The trip can take between 20 and 30 minutes.

5. Where can you eat near the Sagrada Familia?

The vast majority of the restaurants closest to the Sagrada Familia are tourist traps. However, our ‘Barcelona In 15 Walks’ guidebook includes a list of recommendations where you can eat before or after visiting the basilica.

Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia: tickets

6. Do you need to buy tickets in advance?

Yes, you do.

As we explain in the guide How to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, it’s essential to purchase your tickets to visit the Sagrada Familia in advance. If you get there without tickets you risk not entering the monument or standing up in line for several hours without knowing for sure if you’ll have access or not.

7. How far in advance do you need to buy the tickets?

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets! As soon as you have set the date of your visit to Barcelona, get your tickets. As a rule of thumb you can buy ticket up to 2 months in advance. Nevertheless, depending on the season and the demand, tickets can be sold out for certain dates or periods extremely fast.

8. Where can you buy tickets?

You should purchase your tickets online as soon as you know your travel dates. For more information, have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona where you can find more tips to help you with your ticket purchase.

If, for whatever reason, you are unable to buy your ticket online, the Barcelona tourism offices can buy the ticket for you, charging you a small service fee. If this choose this option, go to a tourist office to try to buy the ticket at a time that is convenient for you as soon as you arrive in Barcelona.

9. Can you buy tickets at the Sagrada Familia box office?

The Sagrada Familia box office only sells tickets for that specific dates. In other words, you can’t purchase tickets in advance at the box office. If you go to the box office, you may have to wait 4 or 5 hours until the next available entrance time…

10. What types of tickets are available?

Have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to know the different types of tickets available.

11. Is there any kind of discount?

Yes there is. There are discounts on full fare for children under 11, students (all valid national or international student cards accepted), disabled and senior citizens (65+ years old). Occasionally, the Sagrada Familia offers reduced fares for visitors under 30, with restrictions on visiting days and times.

Have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to know the different types of tickets available.

12. Is there any day or time with free visitation?

Not really. In September, during Mercé festivities, the Sagrada Familia usually offers free tickets, but they are usually sold out a few minutes after they are available online. That is, of course, as long as the site is not down because of high traffic…

13. What is the best time to visit the Sagrada Familia?

We usually say that any time with the sun outside is good for visiting the temple. The effects produced by the sun’s rays through the stained glass windows of the temple are very beautiful and change throughout the day.

14. You want to visit a tower. Which tower do you choose?

You can buy a ticket to climb the Torre de la Pasión or the Torre del Nacimiento.

The experience of visiting each of the towers of the Sagrada Familia is quite similar. The main difference is in the views you’ll get from each tower, as you’ll see different areas of Barcelona. Nevertheless, no views are better than others.

If I had to pick one, I would suggest you to climb to the tower of the Nativity Façade (Torre del Nacimiento), because it allows you to see closely the only façade of the temple designed entirely by Antoni Gaudí. The Nativity Façade is, together with the crypt, the only part of the temple declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

15. How do you buy tickets to visit a tower?

There is only one ticket that allows you to climb one of the towers (which you must choose during the purchasing process). It’s the Sagrada Familia & Towers ticket.

You can’t buy a ticket to climb the towers separately. You must purchase the ticket to the basilica and to one of the towers together. Actually, it’s a single ticket.

Have a look at the article on how to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to know the different types of tickets available.

16. You have mobility problems, can you climb the towers?

If you have mobility problems or you are not fit, please consider not climbing the towers of the Sagrada Familia. While the ascent is done with an elevator, the descent is made by a long and narrow spiral staircase. For safety reasons only children over 6 can visit the towers and until 16 years of age they must be accompanied by an adult.

17. Is it worth paying for the audioguide?

It’s really worth it, yes. You’ll enjoy the visit to the Sagrada Família much more with the audioguide. You can only get your audioguide if you book it when purchasing your tickets.

Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia: access

18. Where do you enter the monument?

The access point to the temple, both if you have bought tickets from the Sagrada Familia box office and if you have bought your tickets online, is at Carrer de la Marina, where the Nativity Façade is located. If you purchased your tickets online, you must go directly to the Carrer de la Marina’s entry point, without going through the temple’s box office.

19. Will you get in line to enter the monument?

The access schedule to the temple is under strict control. If your ticket grants you access to the temple at 10:00, for example, you will enter at 10:00. If you arrive much earlier, you will stand in line until your entrance time. Otherwise, you shouldn’t wait more than 10 minutes, because of the handbags and backpacks security checks.

20. What if you get there late?

If you miss your entrance time, your won’t be valid. Don’t show up late!

21. How can you access the tower you plan to visit?

To climb the tower of you selected when purchasing the tickets, you must first enter the temple, and then look for the elevator to climb the tower. You must climb the tower at the scheduled time, but you can walk freely through the temple as long as you like, before and after the visit to the tower.

Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia: visit

22. How long does it take to visit the Sagrada Familia?

It’s impossible to give an exact amount of time. Each traveler is different and has various interests to appreciate each part of the complex. The time spent may differ greatly from one person to another. An express visit will take you no less than an hour (without climbing the towers). If you enjoy savoring the extraordinary places, you will easily spend between 2 and 3 hours walking through (and photographing) each corner of the Sagrada Familia.

23. Is there any dress code to visit the Sagrada Familia?

As the Sagrada Familia is a Catholic church, you must dress appropriately, following these restrictions:

  • Don’t enter barefoot.
  • No see-through clothing.
  • Tops must cover the shoulders.
  • No plunging necklines or exposed backs or bellies.
  • Trousers and skirts must come down to at least mid-thigh.
  • Don’t enter in swimwear.
  • You won’t be allowed to enter wearing special clothing to celebrate any sort of festivities, nor with any decorations designed to distract or draw attention for artistic, religious, promotional or any other purposes.

24. Where do you get my audioguide?

If you have booked your audioguide (as I suggest!), you have to pick it up immediately after going through the temple access control. There is a booth on the right hand side, before entering the basilica.

25. What does the warning about prohibitions inside the temple mean?

The Sagrada Familia has not yet been completed. When visiting the temple you are going to admire a wonderful work, but you will actually be in a very active construction site.

Experts say that the temple will be completed in 2026. Until that time, you will see cranes, workers, helmets and scaffolding during your visit. Depending on the work progress, there may be safety prohibitions.

The interior of the temple has already been completed. However, because of the works going on in the upper part of the basilica, there is an interdiction around the altar. Nowadays, you can’t go near the altar.

Do you need more information on Barcelona?

This article is part of a complete guide about Barcelona where you can read all the information you need to plan your trip to this popular destination in Spain.

Here is a complete summary of all the guide:

1. When to visit Barcelona
2. How many days to spend in Barcelona
3. How to get to Barcelona
4. How to move around Barcelona
5. Barcelona hotels: where to stay in Barcelona
6. What to eat in Barcelona
7. What to do in Barcelona
8. Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
9. How to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
10. Tips to attend a FC Barcelona match
11. How to buy FC Barcelona tickets
12. Day trips from Barcelona

Find out more with ‘Barcelona In 15 Walks’

‘Barcelona In 15 Walks’ is a complete ​160+ pages guide featuring exclusive content, relevant websites, rich designed maps and dozens of photos, allowing you to explore ​Barcelona before you set a foot in Spain.

It contains a detailed step-by-step walkthrough of ​15 self-guided walks (and a bonus one!) with all the directions and practical information necessary to go from one highlight to the next.

All the content included in the travel guide is based on practical and organized Barcelona information. Every single self-guided walks has been personally tested to make sure that you can do it on your own. And the best part is that you can download it, and start reading immediately with one click.

Read more about ‘Barcelona In 15 Walks’ »


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