Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

La visit to the Sagrada Familia (Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) is definitely a must for those who spend a few days in Barcelona, ​​one of the most visited cities in Europe.

The Sagrada Familia is without a doubt the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, the greatest exponent of Catalan modernism and it is no wonder that thousands of people want to visit it every day.


La Sagrada Familia REOPENS the doors to tourists every day from July 1st!

To buy tickets immediately click on the red buttons below:



Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

However I was the first to do it 6 simple mistakes which made the first of my visits to the Sagrada Familia less pleasant than the following ones and since I write this blog I have decided to list them so that you can get the most out of it.

In short, I have written them down here, so that you can not repeat them and you can get the best from one of the most unforgettable visits in Barcelona.

6 mistakes to avoid when visiting the Sagrada Familia

Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

1.DO NOT buy tickets first

As I said, the Sagrada Familia is by far the most visited attraction in the city and, without exaggeration, one of the most visited in the wholeEurope!

Thousands of people they queue every day to see the masterpiece of the interior of this exceptional work.

Sounds terrifying doesn't it?

Do not worry! Enough book tickets in advance online!

One of the most frequently asked questions is: how long before do you need to book tickets?

Well, in high season and on weekends it would be better to book at least a week earlier, if you do not want to risk no longer finding availability or not finding the times and days that are the best for you.

On the other hand, on midweek days it is sufficient to book them 5 to 3 days before.

NOTE: some Barcelona cards DO NOT allow you to skip the lines, it is a
misunderstanding in which we often fall. They give you free access to some attractions, but always to queue with all the others and you don't find them recommended in this post.

WARNING! With COVID rules and quota income, buying tickets online is (I would say) mandatory!


2. DO NOT book a guided tour

The Sagrada Familia is full of meanings and secrets and little details - it's really worth it book a tour with a guide to tell you everything.

I for one am one who often goes without a guided tour and then I regret it and especially here the first time I went there I realized what mistake I had made and pretending nothing happened I passed by the guides to steal as much information as possible. Visiting without a guide is a real shame!

If your budget doesn't allow you to take part in a tour with a real guide, there is theoption of the visit with audio guide which costs less and is still interesting even if you will not have the opportunity to ask questions.

Pure Genovese tip: bring a pair of your headphones and you can share the audio guide between two people but shhhhh I didn't tell you anything?

Below you will find 4 options of tickets and tours available:

  • ☞ Click to view Sagrada Familia Skip the line
  • ☞ Click to view Sagrada Familia with guide in ENGLISH!
  • ☞ Click to view Sagrada Familia tour with audioguide
  • ☞ Click to view Sagrada Familia with audio guide and access to the towers (Tower of the Passion)
  • ☞ Click to view Sagrada Família and Visit to the Towers from the official Barcelona Tourism website

Please note:: if you participate in a guided tour try to arrive at the appointment at least with 15 minutes early. The crowd is large and you will have time to find your guide without any problems. Remember that if you arrive late, tickets are non-refundable!

3. DO NOT visit the Sagrada Familia at sunset

Having said that the cathedral is fascinating at any time of the day, if you don't visit it at sunset you will miss a lot for the simple fact that the golden light that enters through the windows is reflected in a thousand flashes. In those moments the light is truly magical!

4. DO NOT give enough time to visit

Even if time is short and you have to run for all things to see in Barcelona, try to keep at least an hour and a half to visit the Sagrada Familia and add another half hour if you take the tour that allows you to climb its towers. So the duration of the visit goes from an hour and a half up to 2 hours or even more.

Apart from the complete tour that includes them in the visit, the towers are not visible with the standard ticket, but you'll have to add another ticket to it.

5. DO NOT bring your camera

You may not have noticed it but the photos of the Sagrada Familia in this post are not mine. This is because she is smart about myself and has decided to "travel light" and not bring a camera. The photos with the mobile phone turned out to be crap (also because my smartphone is certainly not the best)

I mean, who the hell can be so dumb (me) not to bring a camera when he goes to visit themain attraction of Barcelona?

So, make sure you grab your camera and charge your phone and don't make my stupid mistake that I'm still eating my hands for the photos I could have done!

6. DO NOT wear appropriate clothing

According to the official site of the Sagrada Familia the dress code for Catholic churches should be respected, which is the same for men and women:

Hats and caps should be removed before entering the basilica
(unless required for religious or medical reasons). You should wear an appropriate shirt, blouse, t-shirt or jacket that covers your shoulders and back and navel. Pants and skirts should cover below mid-thigh. Sheer clothing or plunging necklines are not allowed and you cannot go barefoot.

Actually the dress code it is not strictly enforced and it is common to see people wearing tank tops and shorts. The only exception is the crypt.

Personally I think it's best to follow the rules (always!) And respect the dress code rather than risk being turned away or disrespect to a religious place.

Useful tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia

Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

ok, i hate queues. So here I have suggested 4 ways to avoid stress based on my personal experience so you won't waste time getting frustrated standing in line with thousands of other people instead of enjoying the visit.

Online tickets and guided tours

Buy tickets for the Sagrada Familia before your visit, as I wrote to you before and remember to arrive on time (preferably 15 or 20 minutes early) because if you arrive late the tickets are non-refundable!

Bear in mind that even if you buy tickets earlier you will still have to queue up with everyone who bought tickets earlier like you. But don't panic, usually these queues are very fast (at most 15 minutes instead of the hours that await you if you buy tickets directly there).

Tickets online: If you buy your tickets online, you can enter the Sagrada Familia through an entrance on the Nativity Facade, the side of the church that faces the park with the pond. This entrance is in fact reserved to people with tickets online.

☞ Click to buy the ticket Sagrada familia Skip the line

I repeat don't be late because you risk not entering and not being refunded!

Guided tours: Here too you will have preferential entry and skip the line.

However, in addition to this, the best thing about a tour is that you will have a guide at your disposal who, in addition to telling you all the secrets of the cathedral, will be able to answer your questions.

☞ Click for buy the guided tour in English of the Sagrada familia in ENGLISH

Private tour: in addition to all the benefits of guided tours, it allows you to visit the Sagrada Familia without any rush as well as having the guide at your complete disposal instead of sharing it with other tourists.

In addition, this tour allows you to stay in the cathedral as long as you want and you will therefore be free to visit it at the speed you prefer and spend as long as you want inside.

If you still have doubts about what to choose, read on my post on which online ticket for the Sagrada Familia?

Purchase the Barcelona City Pass

Caution: there is a really CONVENIENT NEW PASS available!


Il Barcelona Pass combines in a single ticket (which you will not even have to print but you can have on your mobile phone) major attractions of Barcelona. You will also have to enter the period in which you want to make the visits, but then you will find everything booked for you and you will only have to show the ticket on your smartphone.

To find out if it suits you or not, I did the calculation.

Il Barcelona Pass include:

  1. Entrance to the Sagrada Familia with skip-the-line option and audio guide (otherwise the cost is 29 euros)
  2. Entrance to Parc Guell
  3. Barcelona cable car
  4. Bus Hop On Hop off
  5. a series of 10 discounts% on your next booking in Barcelona!

Is it worth climbing the towers?

Without a doubt the most memorable part of the visit to the Sagrada Familia is the visit inside the aisles, looking at the vaulted ceiling 45 meters high and surrounded by thin tree columns immersed in the colored light of the basilica's stained glass windows.
That said, a lot of people are wondering if it's worth a visit the towers of the Sagrada Familia. And you should ask yourself this too and for two very specific reasons:

  1. If you are afraid of heights like me and suffer from vertigo, you may not have an exciting time once you reach the walkway that connects the towers.
  2. La descent from the towers it can be a claustrophobic experience. There is no elevator that goes down from the towers, so you will have to go down a long, very narrow set of corkscrew stairs. In short, if you suffer from being in tight spaces, this solution may not be for you.

The views from the towers, however, are incredible and different from each other: the Towers of the Passion facade offer a better view of the ocean, those of the facade of the Nativity of the mountain range behind Barcelona.

Read my Complete Guide at Towers of the Sagrada Familia!

Also keep in mind that the tickets to visit the towers cost almost double the basic entrance ticket (€ 29 instead of € 15) so, if you are on a budget, think twice.

However, once the above is cleared up, the visit to the Sagrada Familia is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I would make the most of it by visiting the towers and taking a guided tour.

☞ Click to buy Sagrada familia with audio guide and access to the towers

Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

Is the Sagrada Familia wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the Sagrada Familia is wheelchair accessible. The accessible entrance is in front of the Tower of the Passion where there is a ramp leading to the entrance of the nave.

There is also a ramp to the small museum in the basement of the church.
Le towers are not accessible in a wheelchair due to the flight of stairs to the elevator.

Wheelchair users and a companion are entitled to free admission which must be booked in advance on the official website of the Sagrada Familia. Upon arrival, proof of disability may be required.

The Sagrada Familia metro station is also wheelchair accessible. When you get off the subway there are signs for lifting from the platform. There are two street level entrances, one of which has an elevator.

All the Barcelona's public buses are equipped with ramps for disabled access.

How to get there and timetables

How to reach us

Metro: Line II (purple line) and Line V (blue line) Sagrada Familia station

bus: the blue line of the Tourist Bus includes a stop near the basilica

Timetables 2021

On 1 July the Basilica will be open from Monday to Thursday from 9.00 to 15.00 and from Friday to Sunday from 9.00 to 18.00.

COVID-19 rules

Given the restrictions for COVID-19 contagion, the Sagrada Familia introduced the following rules:

  • All visitors must wear a mask
  • Visitors must keep a safety distance of 2 meters from others.
  • Visitors will be provided with hand sanitizers at various points on the tour. It is recommended to use it before and after passing security checks.
  • Visitors are asked not to bring bags or backpacks to speed up entry.
  • In order to guarantee the safety of visitors, some spaces will remain closed as it is not possible to guarantee the correct spacing: School building and towers.
  • Visits must follow the path in one direction only, entering Carrer de la Marina (facade of the Nativity) and exiting in Sardinia Street (Passion facade) or through the museum (facade of the Nativity).

Where to sleep near the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is located in theEixample, one of the most elegant in the city and one with the largest choice of hotels, tapas bars and restaurants.

  • Related articles: Where to stay in Barcelona, ​​guide to the best areas and hotels

Although it can be a bit busy during the day, at night it is very quiet and above all safe.

Best hotels near Sagrada Familia:

Hotel Sagrada Familia: a stone's throw from Gaudi's undisputed masterpiece, this 3-star hotel has an excellent quality / price ratio if you think about its proximity to the basilica. It has a beautiful terrace with a view and the rooms are modern.

If you prefer an apartment instead, the one I recommend for its proximity is the Lodging Apartments Sagrada Familia a great choice even for two people, cheap and spotless. almost always there is no availability as it is one of the top choices for sleeping near the Sagrada Familia.

Ayre Hotel Roussillon: With a magnificent terrace overlooking the Sagrada Familia, this high-end hotel offers first-rate services. Elegant and modern design and breakfast buffet.

Visit to the Sagrada Familia: 6 Mistakes to Avoid and Useful Tips

If you have any other advice on the visit to the Sagrada Familia, leave them in the comments, they will be useful for other travelers!

This post was updated on June 29, 2021

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