Sagrada Familia - the most important information
It may be unfinished work, but the Basilica of the Holy Family stands as a symbol of Barcelona and is visited every year by millions of people. It is a prime example of esteemed architect Antoni Gaudi's work, and it houses a fascinating museum. Your visit to Barcelona won't be complete without a tour around Sagrada Familia.
About the Sagrada Familia
Basilica Sagrada Familia was originally designed by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, who envisioned it as a neo-Gothic place of worship. Construction began in 1882, but Gaudi took over a year later. The works are ongoing, and before his death in 1926, Gaudi got to see only the bell tower dedicated to the apostle Barnabas finished. His grave is located on the underground level of the basilica. But, did you also know that:
- The style of the cathedral, alongside gothic elements, combines the Art Nouveau forms that convey a beautiful picture of nature. Its interior pillars are heavily inspired by trees and their movement.
- Once it's finished, it will become the tallest religious building in Europe, which is projected to happen in 2026.
- Gaudi's construction plan was made in stages, and he wasn't in a rush to finish it during his lifetime. That is why his sketches are straightforward and organized so that whoever continues the work after him can understand them and add personal style to the finishing touches.
- Towers were made to represent Apostles, Evangelists, and Jesus, so they vary in size and placement.
- It isn't everyone's cup of tea, especially when it comes to George Orwell, who at one occasion said that it is "one of the most hideous buildings in the world".
What to see?
Even if you decide not to go inside, you'll have plenty of things to enjoy. We recommend you pay close attention to:
- Facades: One part of the facade is still under construction, but the most interesting one is the so-called Nativity facade. Using the death masks of the deceased people of Barcelona and face molds of workers, a scene of Christ's birth was created. The Passion facade, more simple in design, shows the death of Christ, and the Glory facade will be completed with decorations showing demons and false gods.
- Mosaic: Stained-glass windows let in natural light that creates a unique atmosphere. The mosaic on the roof reflects the moonlight in such a way that it resembles a lighthouse.
- Sagrada Familia museum: You'll learn more about the process of building and its impact on culture and history via saved historical pictures, drawings, and figures dating all the way to 1882, alongside interesting stories you'll hear from the tour guides.
- Towers: You can reach the top of the towers to get the best panoramic views of Barcelona.
Tickets and opening hours
- Open for visitation: Sagrada Familia opens its doors to visitors from 9 am to 6 pm every day. During that same period, you can call Visitor services to get any information needed. Opening hours are subject to change if a special event is held in the basilica or during religious holidays. That applies on December 25-26 and on January 1st and 6th when Sagrada Familia closes at 2 pm.
- Tickets: The best way to get your tickets is to book or buy online, especially because of the limitation on the crowd sizes that can enter it. Tickets can be bought on the official website or through the licensed vendor Clorian. They vary depending on the size of your group, and guided tours cost more; be prepared to spend around 27€.
To learn more about tickets, requirements, and eligibility for a discount or free admission, visit Sagrada Familia's official website
. How to get to the Sagrada Familia?
Sagrada Familia is situated in the easily accessible part of Barcelona, surrounded by other monuments, buildings, and institutions of importance, such as the Design Museum of Barcelona. You can walk to it from every part of the town and experience the city even more, or use any means of public transportation.
- By metro: Take either line L2 or L5 to the Sagrada Familia station
- By bus: Bus stops close to the Sagrada Familia are Mallorca Marina, Lepant - Mallorca, and Valencia - Lepant. You can take bus lines 19, 33, 34, D50, H10, or B24.
What should you know before visiting Sagrada Familia?
- Dress code: You should dress appropriately for church visitations. That excludes see-through clothing, visible shoulders, and clothes above mid-thigh length.
- Waiting in line: To avoid long queues, book your tickets online. The main entrance for general and group admissions is under the Nativity Facade, Carrer de la Marina. People with disabilities won't have to wait in line, the basilica is wheelchair friendly, and guide dogs can come inside with you.