Before You Go: Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
If you are planning a first trip to Barcelona, I can bet that Sagrada Familia is on your list of sights to see, and for good reason. The works of renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí can be spotted all throughout Barcelona, but Sagrada Familia is truly the shining star.
Work began on the church in 1882, reaching the halfway completion mark in 2010, and continues today. It has been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. Construction is financed by admission fees to visit the church. Here are some tips to make your visit to Sagrada Familia memorable and stress-free.
4 Tips to Visit Sagrada Familia
1. Buy Sagrada Familia Tickets Online
The line at the gate to purchase tickets can be hours long. We purchased our tickets on the Sagrada Familia website to avoid the lines. We strolled past the ticket line to the check-in counter, collected our audio tour equipment, then headed for the church entrance at the time specified on our tickets, with no wait at all.
Children 11 and under are admitted for free, and those tickets can be acquired online too. The website notes that the audio tour is for children 12 and over, but there is a children’s audio tour that can be purchased when you arrive.
If you plan to tour one of the towers, make sure to purchase your tickets online at least a couple weeks before your visit. You need to choose a time for both the entrance time and the tower tour time, and if you wait too long, it will be difficult to get the two tours during the same time frame.
2. Tour the Sagrada Familia Towers!
The tower tour offers a close up view of the intricate and delicately sculpted shapes and textures comprising the facades of the church that are too high up to see from the street. You also get to enjoy the sweeping city views as you descend the spiral staircase.
The jury is out on which facade’s towers offers the better view, Passion Facade or Nativity Facade, but if you have the extra time, touring the Sagrada Familia towers is more than worth the small extra admission fee. Children must be 6 years old to go on the tower tour with an adult.
3. Allow Enough Time
During our tour, I found myself with mouth unintentionally agape at the spectacular beauty and design that is Sagrada Familia. It seemed to be a popular facial expression as everyone looked up at the ceiling and stained glass installations. It’s a very special place, and I dare say that we felt pretty enlightened after our visit.
We spent nearly three hours exploring the Basilica, taking the tower tour, and visiting the museum on site. If you have an engineer in your family, or someone who just enjoys seeing how things work, the museum is the place for you. It documents the construction plan and architectural style of the Basilica, so you can get an idea of how the plan for the church was executed.
Your Sagrada Familia tickets will have a specific entrance time, but you are welcome to take as much or little time as you need for your visit. Make sure that you plan around mealtimes and other activities so that you can see everything and not feel rushed.
4. Where to Stay in Barcelona
Hilton Barcelona is centrally located within walking distance of public transportation, shopping, and restaurants. If you’re in town before or after a cruise, or just exploring the city, Hilton Barcelona makes a great home base to return to each night.
You may also enjoy:
- Explore Barcelona with a Sidecar Tour
- 7 Places Our Family Loved in Barcelona
- Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Beaches & Pont del Diable
- Camp Nou, A Must-do for Soccer Fans Visiting Barcelona
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Rachel is from Peoria, Illinois. She works full-time as a software implementation consultant in the healthcare field. Her family includes her husband Justin, also an IT professional,…