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Top sights in Barcelona
Antoni Gaudí's most ambitious project is still unfinished almost a century after his death. Only 2 of the stunning Sagrada Família's trinity of towers are complete and open to the public ─ the Nativity façade and Passion façade. Which is most worth the visit?
Gaudí fans will find his influence most striking in the vibrant Nativity tower. The Passion tower is less ornate, possessing a more earnest Gothic charm.
As the names suggest, each tower is religiously symbolic. The joyous Nativity faces the sunrise away from the Passion's starving, skeletal form.
The Passion tower is the taller of the two. Unfortunately the Nativity tower opens too late to catch the sunrise, but its view is more diverse, if less spectacular.
Both towers have elevators to the top, if you don't have the legs for stairs, but be warned - only the Passion tower has an elevator back down again!
The Nativity tower is generally less busy as no groups are allowed up. However, if you really don't like crowds, stay outside and see the building illuminated at night instead!
The simplest way to get to the Sagrada Família is by metro. Hop off at the conveniently named Sagrada Família metro stop!
The Sagrada Família is always crowded, but the queues will be at their shortest in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sunlight's at its most magical anyway!
If you're not buying tickets in advance, then prepare to queue for hours! They're easily available online and prices differ depending on which parts you want to access and whether or not you want to include an audio guide or tour. Tickets have a 1-hour admission window, but once inside you can stay until closing time.
You could easily while away 3 or 4 hours at the Sagrada Família, although you can do it in half that if you have a busy itinerary. Just make sure you book tickets in advance!
- When should I visit?
- Open at 9:00 AM. Closing times are: November to February 6:00 PM, April to September 8:00 PM, March and October 7:00 PM.
- Is it expensive?
- Free to see from the outside, prices for a visit inside start at €15, with options to add guides or tower visits.
- Will I need a guide?
- It will definitely help. Guides and audio guides are available for an added cost when you buy your entrance ticket.
- How to get there
- Take the metro to the Sagrada Familia stop!
- Additional information
- Please remember that this is a basilica, and polite behavior and quiet voices are expected.
- Bags, backpacks and suitcases will be checked upon entering the basilica.
*Visitors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
What people are saying about Sagrada Familia
As stated in other reviews, the tour is in both English and Spanish. This was disturbing at first since there was not a lot to see or do while the information was presented in a second language (we were thinking the tour could be done in half the time) but as it progressed, we were able to see things in more detail as the second language was used so it actually was not a problem. The park and its history were interesting and the Sagrada Familia was breathtaking. The transportation between the two was comfortable and worthwhile.
We were happy to have a ticket because everything was sold out and we would have to wait until the next day to enter it. Luckily we bought it online. We didn't need to print out the voucher. We had an audio guide which was really good. Perfect to understand the work of Gaudí. But the time of our booking and the entering time wasn't the exact same. We could have entered the church 30min earlier. But the church is really worth a visit. I habe never seen anything like this.
We stopped to see Sagrada Família and all tickets were booked. All tickets were also booked online for the next 4 days. I was so lucky I found this deal. Their office is right across Sagrada Família. We got there at 9 am and shortly after our tour started. The tour guide was interesting and very knowledgeable. After the tour we could stay as long as we wanted. We stood many pictures and visited the museum.
Sagrada Familia is very crowded if you plan to tour with the general public. Its worth spending money to cut the very long lines at the entrance. The Basilica is very beautiful and unusual. The tour guide did a thorough job of explaining the historical facts about the architecture and details about Antonio Gaudi. It is one of Barcelona’s main attractions and you should try to visit.
Our guide was so full of knowledge and was so friendly and cheerful. The only thing I would do differently would be to shorten the tour. We met at 6 pm in the office and did not go into the church until almost 7. And security was not a problem. And we were inside for about 1/2 an hour. This is my only sort of negative comment.