La Sagrada Familia is an iconic basilica of Barcelona. The church is Antoni Gaudi’s most important, biggest and world famous surrealist masterpiece and his largest project. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city, with millions of visitors every year. A must see and one of the top 10 places to visit in Barcelona. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what to expect from your visit to the La Sagrada Familia Church and what to see, visiting tips, tickets and guided tours while you’re there.
- La Sagrada Familia was designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, and construction began in 1882.
- The basilica is still under construction and is expected to be completed in 2026, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
- La Sagrada Familia is known for its unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, with intricate facades and towering spires.
- The basilica has three facades, each depicting a different phase of Christ’s life: the Nativity facade, the Passion facade, and the Glory facade.
- Visitors can take a guided tour of the basilica’s interior, where they can see the stunning stained glass windows and towering columns.
- The idea for La Sagrada Familia was first proposed by a bookseller named Josep Maria Bocabella, who wanted to build a church that would be a symbol of Barcelona’s Catholic faith.
- In 1882, Gaudi took over the project and transformed it into the grand basilica that it is today.
- Gaudi devoted much of his life to the construction of La Sagrada Familia, and he died in 1926 before it could be completed.
- Despite the setback, construction continued over the years, and in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church as a minor basilica.
- Today, La Sagrada Familia is not only a symbol of Barcelona’s Catholic faith, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a masterpiece of architectural design.
What to See & Expect from Your Visit
La Sagrada Familia Church is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Barcelona and the most visited tourist attraction in the city.
This impressive basilica was designed by Antoni Gaudí and has been under construction for over 100 years. It is not yet complete, but visitors can still enjoy its beauty and architectural marvels.
The exterior of the basilica is a stunning display of Gaudí’s architectural genius. The spires are decorated with colorful mosaic tiles, and the entire building is covered in intricate carvings and sculptures. The facade is divided into three parts, each of which represents a different part of the Christian faith.
The Nativity Facade
The Nativity facade, facing east, is the oldest part of the basilica and is filled with intricate carvings of animals, plants, and people. It depicts the birth of Jesus Christ and the events leading up to his birth.
The Passion Facade
The Passion facade, facing west, is much simpler and more austere than the Nativity facade. It depicts the suffering of Christ in the last days of his life, including his crucifixion and death.
The Glory Facade
The Glory facade, facing south, is still under construction and will be the largest and most ornate of the three. It will depict the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead.
The interior of La Sagrada Familia Church is just as impressive as the exterior. The nave is vast and airy, with columns that resemble trees and branches. The stained glass windows create a breathtaking display of color and light, and the central apse is adorned with a massive sculpture of Christ.
Visitors can also climb up one of the towers for an incredible view of Barcelona. The tower climb is not for the faint of heart, but the view is worth it.
La Sagrada Familia is located in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona, about 2.5 km from the city center.
The basilica is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, with extended hours during peak season.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the ticket office on site. Prices vary depending on the type of ticket, but start at around 20 euros for a basic ticket. Audio guides are also available for an additional fee.
How to get there
La Sagrada Familia is easily accessible by public transportation. The nearest metro station is Sagrada Familia (lines 2 and 5), and there are also several bus lines that stop nearby. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also readily available.
La Sagrada Familia Visiting Tips
If you’re planning a visit to this stunning cathedral, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience.
- Book your tickets in advance: La Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona, and tickets can sell out quickly, especially during peak season. To avoid disappointment, be sure to book your tickets online in advance.
- Consider a guided tour: A guided tour can provide valuable insights into the history and design of La Sagrada Familia, as well as help you navigate the crowds and make the most of your time. There are several tour options available, from audio guides to private tours.
- Dress appropriately: La Sagrada Familia is a place of worship, so it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. This means no shorts, bare shoulders, or revealing clothing.
- Arrive early or late in the day: La Sagrada Familia can get very crowded, especially during peak hours. To avoid the crowds, consider arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
- Take your time: La Sagrada Familia is a work of art, and there are many intricate details to appreciate. Take your time and soak it all in, whether you’re admiring the stunning stained glass windows or marveling at the unique architecture.
- Explore the surroundings: La Sagrada Familia is located in the Eixample district, which is home to many other architectural gems, including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Consider taking a stroll around the neighborhood to appreciate the stunning Modernist buildings and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in one of the many cafes or restaurants.
Why Buy Guided Tours?
- Skip the Lines: With a guided tour, you can often skip the long lines that can form outside of La Sagrada Familia, allowing you to get inside and start exploring more quickly.
- Learn More: A knowledgeable tour guide can provide you with interesting information and insights about the history and architecture of the church. This can help you to better appreciate the intricate details and symbolism of Gaudi’s masterpiece.
- No Hassle: A guided tour can take the hassle out of navigating the large and complex structure. Your guide can lead you to the most important areas and provide you with helpful tips and tricks for exploring the church.
- Private Access: Some guided tours offer the opportunity to access areas of the church that are not open to the general public. This can provide a unique and memorable experience.
- Time-Saving: If you are short on time, a guided tour can help you to make the most of your visit, ensuring that you see the most important parts of the church without getting lost or missing anything.
When choosing a guided tour, be sure to read reviews and choose a reputable provider. It’s also a good idea to compare prices and select a tour that fits your schedule and interests.
Buy Your Guided Tour in advance Online
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund