The ‘Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia’, also known as the ‘Basilica de la Sagrada Familia’ (in english Basilica of the Sagrada Familia) since it was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, is described in its full title as ‘expiatory’ because its construction has been carried out from the start thanks to donations. Despite the fact that its construction began in 1882, projecting itself as a basilica in the neo-Gothic style at the time, this changed radically when Antoni Gaudí became involved a year later, taking over the project and completely transforming it with his unique architectural style. Since Gaudí’s death in 1926 there have been many different architects brought in to oversee the Sagrada Familia’s construction, and this hasn’t come without criticism, especially due to the various interpretations of Gaudí’s designs.
The Sagrada Familia Today
Currently the Sagrada Familia is one of the best-known churches in the world, and even though it’s still under construction it remains every year the most visited place in Barcelona. Construction is expected to be complete in 2026, by which time the 8 existing towers will have become 18, 12 of which will be dedicated to each of the apostles, four to the evangelists, one to the Virgin Mary and one to Jesus.
Visiting the Sagrada Familia
Owing to the large number of people visiting the Sagrada Familia each day, long queues often form at the box office in order to buy tickets. The queues are at thei longest at peak times of the day, and also during the summer holiday periods, Christmas and Easter. In order to avoid these queues we recommend buying your ticket online in advance. You’ll be able to choose the date and time of your visit and go straight into the basilica upon presentation of your printed booking confirmation.
Book online and skip the line
Visit the Sagrada Familia with City pass Barcelona
Sagrada Familia + Park Güell + Hop on hop off bus + Airport Transfer
If you’d like to go on a guided tour that will allow you to discover what’s undoubtedly seen as Antoni Gaudí’s master work, from the first designs to the present day, we recommend booking yourself onto the guided tour. It lasts an hour and a half, and during this time you’ll walk round the inside as well as the outside of the basilica, accompanied at all times buy a professional tour guide who’s a specialist in the Sagrada Familia, and in Gaudí’s work in general. Your guide will give you all sorts of insightful information, and will answer any questions you may have. Another benefit of going on this tour is that you won’t need to queue at the entrance.
There are different types of tickets available, and depending on what you’d like to see while you’re at the Sagrada Familia, the price will vary between €30 for the basic ticket to €47. The options are to just visit the Basilica, to do so accompanied by a tour guide or an audio guide, or to include access to the top of one of two towers open to the public. These towers, the Passion Tower and the Nativity tower can be reached by elevator, but note that in the event of adverse weather conditions on the day of your visit, access could be restricted. Children under the age of 6 are not allowed to climb the towers, and children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
General admission: €30.
Concessions (1): €28 under 30s and students.
Free admission: children under 3.
€ Visit with audioguide
General admission: €41.
Concessions (1): €36 students and childrens under 12.
Free admission: children under 3.
€ Visit + access to the tower + audioguide
General admission: €47.
Concessions (1): €43 children under 12.
Free admission: children under 11.
From November to February: from 09:00 to 18:00.
March and October: from 09:00 to 19:00.
From April to September: from 09:00 to 20:00.
Special opening hours: from 09:00 to 14:00 (1 and 6 January and 25 and 26 December).
*The ticket offices and access to the Sagrada Familia close about 30 minutes before the indicated closing time.
Given the importance of the Sagrada Familia, we recommend that you either book on a guided visit or use the audio guide, as they will give you so much information and make the visit much more enriching and interesting; it’s really worth spending the extra money. The audioguide is available in 9 languages: English, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese. The guided visits, which last around 50 minutes, are in Spanish, Catalan and English. If you’d like to purchase any gifts you can do so in the souvenir shops, which you’ll find at the foot of the two facades, the Nativity facade and the Passion facade. There you’ll find all sorts of gifts, from the cheapest and most simple to more elaborate and expensive presents.
Attend Mass at the Sagrada Familia
Various church services are regularly held at the Sagrada Familia. Among many others that are done in Spanish and Catalan, it is possible to also go every Sunday (and other Holy days of obligation from the 9th July) to the International Mass which is done in various languages. For this, you should go half an hour before the mass starts, to the entrance that is on the Nativity’s facade.
Sundays: from 9:00 to 10:00.
Length: 1 hour.
Languages: English, Spanish, Catalan, French and Italian.
€ Price: free and without prior booking (except groups 25+ people).
Most interesting facts
In order for you to make the most of your visit, we would like to offer you a few tips, advices and further details about the Sagrada Familia itself, and about its surroundings.
The two facades of the Nativity (‘Nativitat’) and the Passion (‘Passió’) are illuminated every evening when it gets dark, and are kept lit up for a few hours.
How to get there
If you’re going on your own, the best way to get to the Sagrada Familia is by public transport or walk, as parking in the area is very complicated and you will have to pay. Another good option, if you are feeling brave, is to hire a moped, which will make parking much easier.
Bars and restaurants
With the huge influx of tourists that the Sagrada Familia brings, there are many restaurants and bars geared towards the tourist market. Our advice would be to avoid the places that are very close to the Sagrada Familia even though it might sound like the easiest option, as they are often expensive and of poor quality. If you walk a few minutes along the ‘Avinguda Gaudí’ you’re more likely to find somewhere better, and with a good view of the Sagrada Familia too.
If you’re looking for gifts, we would recommend that you look first in the official shops at the base of the two facades within the Sagrada Familia, as you’ll find a wide variety of products at better quality. Another option is the Ringels souvenir shop, on carrer (street) Mallorca 418, right in front of one of the side facades of the Sagrada Familia.
Tourist Information Office
In the square ‘plaça de la Sagrada Familia’, right in front of the facade of La Passion you will find a tourist information point, which will help you find out whatever you need to know about entry to the Sagrada Familia, or indeed about other tourist attractions in Barcelona.
The surroundings of the Sagrada Familia
At first sight you might not be drawn to many places near to the Sagrada Familia. That’s not to say that there aren’t places of interest nearby, just that they aren’t considered amongst Barcelona’s must-see attractions. However, we would very much recommend that you take the time to visit sights such as the ‘Palau Macaya’, which has been recently renovated and you will be able to see the courtyard, the ‘Casa Terrades’, as well as the ‘Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau’, or the more modern ‘Torre Agbar’.
carrer (street) de Mallorca 401, Barcelona.
Full information is given above.
The information can be found above.