Written by Ash

La Sagrada Familia Church: The Famous Cathedral in Barcelona


Sagrada Familia Church is a UNESCO Heritage Site, the most visited church in Europe behind the Vatican, and Spain’s biggest tourist attraction by numbers.

Yup, this famous church in Barcelona just might be the most beautiful ever – and it’s not even finished yet!

Let’s figure out how to visit La Sagrada Familia like it’s not our first time around the block.

La Sagrada Família: The Famous Church in Barcelona

This epic creation (and Barcelona architecture staple) started after a bookseller’s 1872 trip to Italy.

There, he saw a comparatively uninspiring minor basilica called the Basilica della Santa Casa.

After this spark of inspiration, Sagrada Familia construction began in Barcelona in 1882. The ball got rolling under Francisco de Paula del Villar as a standard Gothic revival church.

He resigned in 1883.

⚠️  2024 Warning ⚠️: It’s now mandatory to book your Sagrada Familia tickets in advance.

The only way to guarantee your spot is by booking Sagrada Familia tickets online:

Cue the arrival of the real architect: Antoni Gaudi.

It’s here that radical project changes begin. The famous church in Barcelona takes on a decidedly modernist look with nature as its inspiration.

Antoni Gaudi would die in 1926 with the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia only 20% complete.

Construction of this Gaudi church was later suspended during the Spanish Civil War, and his plans are burned by Anarchists. After the war, the construction is resumed by Gaudi’s contemporaries.

Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the Sagrada Familia church in 2010.

sagrada familia from outside the passion façade

What to See at La Sagrada Família Basilica

The Sagrada Familia Exterior

The outside of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is pure impact – only a madman would envision this.

Calling for 18 spires representing the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists, and Jesus Christ – the latter will rise to 172.5 meters above street level, one meter shorter than the highest point in the municipality of Barcelona: Montjuic.


Head architect Antoni Gaudi believed that his creation shouldn’t surpass one of God.

Recently, in December 2021, the Tower of the Virgin Mary was finally topped off with a placement of a massive, illuminated star – the first Sagrada Familia tower inaugurated since 1976.

At 137 meters, it’s the highest tower currently completed.

Like what you see above? That photo is a shot of the Passion Facade.

tree-shaped columns holding up a lighted ceiling at the sagrada familia in barcelona spain

Inside the Basilica de La Sagrada Familia

The interior is like stepping into the heart of a rainbow: the colour beaming in through the stained glass windows is other-worldly.

The light coming in from the Nativity Façade sparkles with ocean blues and forest greens while the Passion façade glows red and yellow. You’ll be able to tell the time of the day (blue/green in the morning and red/yellow in the afternoon) by which colours dominate.

The columns supporting the Sagrada Familia were built to mirror trees and branches, each spanning various geometric forms.

None of the interior surfaces are flat, and the level of detail to the ornamentation is something to behold.

Toward the front of La Sagrada Familia, you’ll also be able to peek down into a small chapel (the only one constantly in use) and see Antoni Gaudi’s tomb on the floor decorated with a series of burning candles.

Wanna see inside before going all in and getting tickets? Here’s a video preview of Sagrada Familia:

La Sagrada Familia Tickets

In the post-COVID world, to visit this Gaudi church it is now mandatory to buy your tickets online.

With the booking links below you can guarantee times, skip long lines, and go right in with smartphone tickets.

I strongly recommend purchasing them several weeks in advance because it’s the most visited monument in Spain.

In using the link below, you can lock in your spots with free cancellation tickets:

Lock in your timeslot now!

Also, upgrading to the English guided tour is strongly recommended as it unlocks the symbolism of this amazing church.

Here’s how to book yours:

Sagrada Familia English Guided Tours

Sagrada Familia guided tours are the best option for first-time visitors.

You get a 90-minute Sagrada Familia tour with an entertaining flesh-and-blood guide who knows this Antoni Gaudí church inside out.

English Sagrada Familia tour times are daily at 11:15 am and 1:30 pm.

Sagrada Familia Guided Tour PricesPrice
Kids (4-10)€30.00
Kids (0-13)Free
Lock in Your Spot: No Money Down

🧐  |  Curious yet? Read hundreds of Sagrada Familia English tour reviews now.

La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell Combo Tickets

Most tourists visit these 2 elite Barcelona attractions on the same day due to their proximity, and guaranteeing spots at both places with the same clicks is tidy business.

The famous Gaudi Bundle is the best way to do this, and even get a free city audio guide thrown in.

The ticket includes:

  • Skip the line access at La Sagrada Família with an official interior audio guide.
  • Skip the line access at Park Güell with an app self-guided tour audio guide.
  • Barcelona city audio guide with in-depth info on 100+ city sights.

The Gaudi Bundle prices are as follows:

  • Adults: €59.00
  • Young adults (13-29): €55.00 
  • Youth (11-12): €51.00 
  • Senior (65+): €47.00 
  • Kids (7-10): €14.00 
  • Kids (0-6): free.
Book my ticket now!

Sagrada Familia Fast Track Entrance + Audio Guide

The independent tour with audio guide is another great option, if basic.

This is the cheapest ticket, and you’ll get explanations of the architecture and history in English.

You’re free to stay at Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia as long as you want.

Audio guide ticket entrance slots run every 15 minutes from 9:00 am (last entrance 30 minutes before closing time) until closing.

Sagrada Familia + Audio GuidePrice
Students and young people (11-30)€31.20
Seniors (65+)€27.30
Kids (6-10) and disabled visitorsFree
Book my audio guide now!

*Barcelona visitors with a disability above 65% have the right to an accompanied companion at the same price. There is also a sign language video guide. To book this ticket write 24+ hours in advance to [email protected].

Looking to book group tickets for 10+ guests? You’ll need to do so using the Sagrada Familia group ticket form.

Related: Is Sagrada Familia Worth it to Go Inside?

stained glass windows inside the sagrada familia in barcelona spain

Sagrada Familia Opening Hours 2024

Again, as of January 2023, tickets are only available online, so it is mandatory to book a time slot in advance online.

This allows you at least one hour to visit the famous Barcelona church during the following hours:

Sagrada Familia HoursMonday to SaturdaySunday
November to February9:00 am to 6:00 pm10:30 am to 6:00 pm
March to October9:00 am to 7:00 pm10:30 am to 7:00 pm
April to September9:00 am to 8:00 pm10:30 am to 8:00 pm
25th and 26th of December9:00 am to 2:00 pm9:00 am to 2:00 pm
January 1st to 6th9:00 am to 2:00 pm9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Bookable time slots are every 15 minutes (:00, :15, :30, :45).

Sagrada Familia mass times for international visitors are Sundays at 9:00 am.

Related: When Will Sagrada Familia be Finished?

Related: How Long Does it Take to Visit Sagrada Familia?

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Get a Barcelona tourist discount pass and save money + time.

La Sagrada Família Location

La Sagrada Família Tips: Mastering the Big Church in Barcelona

Showing up without tickets for Sagrada Familia and buying at the window means waiting in lines.

After 30+ minutes of queuing, you’ll be booking a time slot that is crowd dependent, so a 4:00 pm arrival could mean a 6:45 pm entrance.

To avoid the hassle, buy your Sagrada Familia tickets online.

Some other visiting tips for visiting Sagrada Familia?

  • Go before 10 am for the best shot of avoiding crowds.
  • Set aside at least 90 minutes for the visit.
  • Get there well in advance of your time slot, as they can be sticklers.
  • Check my post on things to do after visiting Sagrada Familia to plan your next move.
  • The more natural light, the better (sunset is great, but nights should be avoided).
  • Print out your Sagrada Familia tickets if you can, as smartphone copies are hard to scan in the sun.
  • Sit in the pews for at least 15 minutes to see the colours change as the sun moves.
  • Keep an eye out for Barcelona pickpockets outside Gaudi’s cathedral.
  • If you need to go to the bathroom, go to the Mcdonald’s outside beforehand!
  • Avoid weekends if possible; the crowds at this church in Barcelona are a nightmare!
  • You can grab a perfect selfie angle on the escalator at the Calle Marina metro exit.
  • iPhone users: change to the ‘chrome’ photo filter to truly capture the colours of light.
  • You may seriously want to stretch your neck as you’ll spend a lot of time looking up.
  • Consider seeing the Recinto Modernista de Sant Pau (just 15 minutes away).
  • Can’t decide a day? Check the Barcelona weather forecast and opt for the sunniest day.

🧑‍🎨 Want more of Gaudi? Unlock his masterpieces with the top Gaudi tours in Barcelona.

Related: Best Time to Visit Sagrada Familia

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La Sagrada Familia Barcelona FAQ

  • Why is Sagrada Familia so special?

    The Sagrada Familia is special because of its breathtaking architecture, visionary design by Antoni Gaudí, and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, captivating visitors with its beauty and unique spiritual experience.

  • Who is paying for Sagrada Familia?

    The construction and ongoing maintenance of the Sagrada Familia are funded through a combination of private donations, ticket sales, and revenue generated from various sources, including souvenir sales and tourism.

  • How tall is the Sagrada Familia?

    The tallest part of Sagrada Familia is 115 meters (377 feet) tall – though the final tower will rise to 170 meters (560 feet) tall upon its completion in 2026 (estimated).

  • Can I take photos inside Sagrada Familia?

    Yes, you can take photos inside Sagrada Familia though be mindful of the other visitors – you likely won’t line up that perfect shot as there are many visitors around.

  • When is Sagrada Familia lit up at night?

    Sagrada Familia is lit up between Monday to Thursday between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am.

  • What does Sagrada Familia mean?

    Sagrada Familia means ‘holy family’ in Spanish.

  • Is Sagrada Família free?

    No, Sagrada Familia is not free – you’ll have to pay for tickets to see it from the inside. Tickets start at €33.80 for basic admission and €48.00 for a guided tour in English.

  • How far in advance can I buy Sagrada Familia tickets?

    Tickets for Sagrada Familia can be bought up to two months (60 days) in advance. It is recommended to buy tickets at least two weeks in advance in low season) or 30-60 days in advance in high season.

💸 Related: Are There Sagrada Familia Discounts?

Visiting the Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona?

Feel free to write me with any Sagrada Familia questions you didn’t get answered here.

And don’t be afraid to join the La Sagrada Família Church discussion by joining my group; I’m Off to Barcelona. Here, you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travellers.

Enjoy Barcelona’s famous church! ⛪

  • September 13, 2022 at 6:04 pm
    Milford Pendon
    A wonderful site that you have, we thank you for sharing it with us like minded people.
    • September 13, 2022 at 9:03 pm
      Team Member
      No problem at all, thank you :)
  • July 7, 2020 at 11:40 am
    I learned so much reading this. We visited Barcelona and of course Sagrada Familia last August. Barcelona has since become my favorite city! I would live a good biography about Gaudi. Can you please recommend one, and especially if it has photos. Thank you.
    • July 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Mary, Thanks for writing in :) You know, as much as it pains me to say I have never read a biography of the man so wouldn't know anything first hand.As such I'd just be telling you to pick among the best reviewed ones on Amazon or the like. That said, I did watch a really cool documentary about him on Youtube for free... you may want to check it out! Cheers, Ash
  • March 12, 2020 at 1:57 pm
    Regina Bash
    Although I have not received my confirmation email from you , I had purchased 4 tickets for a guided tour of Sagrada familia for April 30,2020. My tour to Barcelona has just been cancelled. Therefore , I am requesting a full refund. Please advise as to the process necessary to receive my refund. Thank you, Regina
    • March 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Regina, Thanks for writing and apologies for troubles you (and everybody now, unfortunately!) are going through. I don't sell the Sagrada guided tour tickets directly so it's not my place to issue refunds. Did you purchase using the link above? In this case you'll have to get in touch with Ticketbar at [email protected] for any refund inquiries. Thanks for your patience, Ash
      • March 12, 2020 at 3:01 pm
        Regina Bash
        Thank you for your prompt response! I will contact them immediately.
        • March 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm
          Regina Bash
          They will NOT issue a refund! I am not happy about this! Our tour was cancelled due to the current health situation. If anyone has any suggestions, I would really appreciate the help! I felt that you should know this since your sight directs us to them Thank you
          • March 12, 2020 at 4:49 pm
            Team Member
            Hi Regina, Are you sure this is with Ticketbar? Can you email me the purchase details at [email protected] ? I'll get in touch with my contact there and see what we can do. Cheers, Ash
          • March 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm
            Team Member
            Hi Regina, This is very unfortunate. I know this is also out of Ticketbar's hands as it's a tour they promote of a separate company... but I would hope that once the smoke clears they'll understand the gravity of this situation and reverse their policy. I've already had two other operators today change their policies to reflect what's happening and I hope in this case they will as well. If I hear anything I will get in touch. Ash
  • February 10, 2020 at 10:17 pm
    Tracey MacLeod
    LOVING your website - have been to many sites before stumbling on to yours. Can you use the Sagrada Familia ticket all day? I notice that the audio includes taking you outside? Does this mean, if, once we've viewed the tower at our designated time, we could leave and come another time without the audi guide, as long as it's on the same day?
    • February 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Tracey, The ticket includes just one entrance so you're not able to leave the grounds and come back later. That said, once you've seen the towers you're free to go down and spend as much time as you like looking around the church, until closing time if you need it ;) Cheers, Ash
  • February 10, 2020 at 3:59 am
    Hi Ash, Thank you so much for this informative website. I am planning to visit Sagrada Familia and Park Guell on April 1 2020. I have two kids and two parents with me so we take it slow and I intend one activity for the morning and the other after lunch. Would you recommend one over the other to do in the morning vs the afternoon? Much appreciated, Andrea
    • February 10, 2020 at 10:47 am
      Team Member
      Hi Andrea, No worries at all! :) If you guys are early risers I recommend going up to Park Guell earlier... the air is just fresher and there are less people and your photography conditions are better with the sun lower in the sky. If I were a tourist I would visit that in the morning and then head to Sagrada in the afternoon. Also, if you're getting general admission tickets (as opposed to guide tour or audio guide etc., explained above) you're forced to go between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm anyway so that makes the decision for you :) Cheers, Ash
  • December 15, 2019 at 8:17 pm
    Thanks Ash for the great tips re Sagrada Família. We booked the guided tour in English. Mireia was our guide who was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the basilica. We only had 4 people in our tour which was fantastic. The building is absolutely amazing. As the sun moves the light inside keeps changing. There is just so much to see and so much symbolism in every detail. It was the highlight of a wonderful week in Barcelona. Thanks too for the recommendation of Enrique Tomas. That worked really well for a delicious light lunch before our tour.
    • December 16, 2019 at 11:30 am
      Team Member
      Wow Margaret thanks so much for the review! I am happy you had a great experience :)
  • December 10, 2019 at 8:48 pm
    Hello! I was wondering- is there much of a difference between booking a guided tour directly through SF website versus doing a third party tour? The ones on the SF website are much cheaper, but we want the best experience. Thanks for your help!
    • December 11, 2019 at 11:18 am
      Team Member
      Hi Maureen, In my opinion ones at Sagrada Familia are about getting as many people as possible and offering the least info. The tour runs for 50 minutes and has way higher guest caps. The one I recommend above goes for 90 minutes and gives way more detail. Of course, you'll pay extra for the luxury but having taken both I can say that the one above is superior. Cheers, Ash
  • November 23, 2019 at 6:44 pm
    Hello, First, a MASSIVE thank you for the level of detail you have captured here. This is super useful. I do have a few quick questions. They are as follows: a. I have bought my ticket for 9:30 on Thursday (November 28, 2019). How long should I give myself to explore La Sagrada Familia? Is it realistic for me to be done by noon. b. You mentioned Cafe Parc Belmont. Is it a decent option for vegetarians? I am a vegetarian and this might be the only substantial meal I have that day since I headed to Montjuic followed by a concert right after. It would be great if you could respond to my questions above at your earliest convenience. Thank you. Thanks in advance!
    • November 24, 2019 at 1:08 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Pranav, Thanks so much for your very kind words :) For Sagrada Familia I'd leave 90 minutes for a standard visit, maybe a bit more or less depending on how well the site has captured your attention! You could easily be done by noon. As for the vegetarian stuff, it by no means caters to vegetarians but there should be a few options for you there. If you're in a bind you can also head to the nearby supermarket called Carrefour which has a lot of take away stuff there, things to make your own sandwiches etc... this could be a way to save money for a bigger meal later. I suggest checking out my list of best Barcelona vegetarian restaurants. Cheers, Ash
      • November 24, 2019 at 8:52 pm
        Pranav Chandrasekhar
        Hey Ash, Thank you for responding to multiple comments from me so quickly! I am going to try and find their menu online. If not, Carrefour it is. I would rather have a sumptuous lunch since I am going to have barely any time for dinner since I want to get in line for a concert at 6:30 that night (so that I can be as close to the stage as possible). Thank you once again - and seriously, this site is a dream come true for the trip planning process - and of course, I totally dig the site's tagline! Regards, Pranav
        • November 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm
          Team Member
          Thanks again for your very kind words :) Always keep in mind I've got a big list of the top vege restaurants in the city here: :) Ash
          • November 26, 2019 at 11:50 pm
            Pranav Chandrasekhar
            How did I NOT see this earlier? I am aware of a few of those restaurants. Planning on going to Sesamo on my final night but didn't realize it was a date spot.
  • November 18, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    Hi Ash, Thanks for the helpful article. The tickets online are actually more expensive than booking in person because they add large booking fees. I'm planning to go next week - so November 28th would be off-season I'm guessing? It's a Thursday, so if we show up at 8:30am do we have a chance of getting in by 9 or 9:30? I read somewhere that they don't allow you to purchase a basic entry ticket before 2pm - is this true or is that only for online tickets? Thanks very much, Emily
    • November 19, 2019 at 11:36 am
      Hola Emily, In the morning, the Sagrada Familia is dedicated to guided tours and tickets with audio guide. As you can see online, on November 28th, the basic tickets are available from 5pm. You can take the risk of buying your ticket at ticket windows but there are only 2 slots left for this day... Cheers, Lucile
  • October 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm
    Hi. I booked a ticket online yesterday from an operator called Tictocticket, and by mistake I selected the under 11 years category. The people at the entrance to the church said they can't help and that I'll have to contact the ticket seller on my own. I'm not able to reach this vendor on phone to get either a refund or a rescheduled date. I'll be grateful if you can offer any advice.
    • October 29, 2019 at 8:09 am
      Team Member
      Hi Asmita, I've never heard of Tictoticket so unfortunately my only advice would be to get in touch with them via phone or email, whatever they provided in the confirmation email, and they should be able to help. How did you get on? Ash
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