[VIDEO] Traveling Solo in Barcelona, Spain #1: The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Exploring Basilica De La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous landmark and most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona, Spain. It started construction in 1882 under the Temple’s first architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. It was then later on handed to Antoni Gaudí due to differences of opinion with the developers. Today, Sagrada Familia is well known and associated to Antoni Gaudí . To date, the hope was to finish the construction by 2026 which is about 144 years in the making.

General Information:

  • Website: https://sagradafamilia.org/en/home
  • Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
  • Opening Hours: Click HERE
    • November through February: 9 am to 6 pm
    • March and October: 9 am to 7 pm
    • April through September: 9 am to 8 pm. –
    • 25 and 26 December, 1 and 6 January: 9 am to 2 pm
  • With Entrance Fee: Yes;
    • 25€ Basic with Audio Guide, 17 € Basic NO Audio Guide
    • For other options, click (Ticket)

How Many Hours Do You Need to Visit Sagrada Familia?

I would say about 2 -3 hours if you really want to explore and stay longer inside. It may sound too long but when you are inside, you wouldn’t even feel the time pass. My schedule was at 4:00 pm, I left before 7:00 pm almost closing time. I did the Passion Tower which did not take that long, about 30 minutes maximum. Basically I spent most of my time inside the Cathedral. The Cathedral is not that big inside, and so you might be wondering why 2 hours? Every single corner of this church was uniquely designed, you will have a feast admiring the intricate carving and wall and ceiling design. I have to stress that 2 -3 hours includes a lot of photo and video taking, which means if you are not as obsessed with photo and video as me, you could probably do it 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

When is the Best Time to Visit Sagrada Familia?

Although Sagrada Familia is amazing anytime of the day, there is nothing like seeing it during a sunny day. Go there at the peak of the sunny day (around 1:00pm – 5:00pm), of course this will depend on the timing of your visit. I was there around 3:45 until the sunset so I was able to fully appreciate the reflecting colors of the stained glass windows which was the highlight of the Cathedral. Make sure to arrive few hours earlier to give yourself time to see the church before sunset so that you get to appreciate the difference.  The stronger the sun, the brighter and more vibrant the colors of the stained window glasses. As the sunset, I was able to see the transition of the vibrant colors as it soften. The sunset time when I visited was 7:06 pm, I went there about 3:45 pm and it was just perfect. The sun shining through the stained glass and the stained glass reflecting the light is an amazing sight to see. Something  that you will never see when you visit in the morning when the light is not as bright. I have initially planned my visit first thing in the morning, but when I read about how different it is during the sunset time, I knew immediately that I have to change my plan and I am so glad I did. It was an amazing extraordinary experience. But then again, this is just if you can make it in the afternoon visit, if you are restricted by time then I guess you just have to visit in the morning.

How to Buy Sagrada Familia Ticket?

It is recommended that you buy your ticket ahead of time. Tickets are available online, and can be bought as far as 1 month (or more) before your visit. I booked my ticket 1 month in advance. There are five (5) ticket types to choose from:

  1. Sagrada Familia Basic Ticket – Skip-the-line ticket. This is a ticket that allows you to go inside and explore on your own. You can ONLY visit after 2pm. This is an “okay” option as you don’t get the depth that you would with a tour guide or even an audio guide. 17€ for adults, 15€ for those under age 30.
  2. Sagrada Familia with Audioguide: 25€. The audio guide is about 45 minutes and well-explained. It’s not available for children under 11.
  3. Sagrada Familia with Guided Tour. This includes the entry ticket and a 50-minute guided tour offered in 5 languages. NO tower access and NO audio guide. You can be in a group to up to 30 people. Each person gets a headphone so they can hear their guide. 26€
  4. Sagrada Familia with Towers, also called Top View. It includes the entry ticket, tower access to one tower only, and audioguide. In this case, you get to choose exactly which towers you want to go up. 32€
  5. Sagrada Familia and Gaudí House Museum: Entry ticket, audio guide, and Gaudí House Museum, which is at Park Guell.

The prices were as of the date of this post writing, for updated pricing Click HERE in case there are any changes.

Can I Request a Refund for the Ticket if My Plan Change?

If  you already bought the ticket and your plan change,  you can still request for a refund for unused ticket provided it was purchased through Sagrada familia website, or any of their accredited ticket suppliers (from the official ticket supplier www.clorian.com or handled through the Booking Department reserves@sagradafamilia.org.) So I guess it is best to buy it only to any of the accredited sellers just to be safe. To request a refund, please contact customer@ext.sagradafamilia.org. Click HERE for more details.

If for some reason, they have to close the Cathedral, they will automatically refund the ticket. When I went there, the Cathedral was closed because of the general protest day. I got an email and an automatic refunds few weeks later. Luckily, I have one extra day where I was able to re-schedule my visit.

Can I Change the Date of the Purchased Ticket?

Good news, YES you can. provided it is unused and was was purchased through Sagrada familia website, or any of their accredited ticket suppliers (from the official ticket supplier http://www.clorian.com) . To request a change, please contact Clorian, our official ticket agent, at customer@sagradafamilia.org.

How to Get to the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is very accessible even more if you are staying within the downtown area. I stayed in Hotel Monegal which is in Plaza Catalunya, and from there this is how I went to Sagrada Familia.

  • By Metro: The metro station right across the street from the Basilica has stops for Line 2 (purple) and Line 5 (blue) metro lines.
  • By Bus: All of these buses halt at Sagrada Familia – 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.
  • HopOn/Hop Off Bus – There is a Hop On/Hop Off stop at Plaza Catalunya and it will take you to Sagrada Familia, like any other Hop On/Hop Off, you can hop on and off in any of the stop

Highlights of Visiting Sagrada Familia

Stained Glass Window: I’ll go straight to the point because I am pretty sure you will also agree that the stained glass in the Cathedral is so far the BEST sight inside. I was mesmerized the moment I stepped in and saw the vibrant colors of the stained glass. The way the colors bounce into the wall, and the way the colors mix together like a burning fire. The right side has the red, orange, yellow colors while the other side have the blue, yellow and green stained glasses and it was not a random choice of color. If you look closely from top to bottom, the upper section of the stained glass has a lighter softer color, this was intentionally designed to allow the light to come-in and illuminate the walls and isle of the church. The lower section of the stained glass have darker color, and if you again look closely, you will notice that there are texts and illustrations. At first, it was not that obvious to me, but after staring quite a long time on those stained glass window, I started to notice the text. The Tree Like Pillars Structure that support the ceiling looks like branches of trees. I did not noticed this immediately, until I was listening to the audio guide. When I looked slowly from the floor up to the ceiling, it indeed looked like huge trees, almost like a stone forest of pine trees. The Altar with the hanging cross with canopy floats almost like a parachute coming down from nowhere The Spiral Staircase even the staircases are designed in such a unique way, there is really no ordinary and simple design anywhere inside the church

Sagrada Familia is Not Like Any Other Cathedral

Sagrada Familia is not like any other Cathedral, and I say this after visiting major churches in major cities in Spain. From Granada, Cordoba, Malaga and Seville, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona top them all. Sagarada Familia is not the common Gothic style church that you will see in most cities of Spain. First thing I noticed, there was no small chapels inside the cathedral like most churches that I had visited. Most of the time, the church inside is surrounded by small chapels for different saint, which I did not find as much in Sagarada Familia. As I was listening to the audio guide, it was explained that it was intentional not to put chapels inside. Instead, the statue of saints were shown in the facade of the Chapel. I did no watched any video so I had no idea what to expect, I thought it will be just like the other cathedral that I had already seen. I am glad I decided to come back and visit it, because there is truly nothing like Sagrada Familia. Those stained glass windows is worth the visit. So if you are in Barcelona, make sure to visit Sagrada Familia among any other attractions. This will definitely complete your Barcelona experience.

Sagrada Familia Tour Map

Tips in Visiting Sagrada Familia

  1. Book in Advance – Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous landmark in Barcelona. As such, line-up is crazy almost any time of the day. It is best to buy the ticket in advance to maximize the time of your visit. You don’t want to spend hours just waiting in the line. But even with the online purchased tickets, please note that you still have to stay in a short line of travelers who have the same admission as yours, but at least the wait is shorter than lining up just to buy the ticket. Line is quite fast, about 2 – 15 minutes depending of course on how busy that day. But trust me, it is still a shorter wait.
  2. Do NOT be Late – Do not be late, make sure to be there at least 15 minutes before the time of your visit. If you miss your time slot, you will not be allowed to enter. Lost opportunity and lost money.
  3. Time Restriction to Basic Ticket (17€): Starting in January 2019, the general admission tickets can only be used after 2 PM. If you want to visit Sagrada Familia earlier,  then you have to book a guided tour.
  4. Wear Appropriate Clothes – Sagrada Familia is a church, so you should dress modestly and appropriately to avoid being turn away to enter the premise. No see-through clothing, plunging necklines or exposed backs or bellies, trousers and skirts must come down to at least mid-thigh. It  is always better safe than sorry, so reserve your “tiny” clothing for somewhere else. Click HERE for more details
  5. and as always, Beware of pickpockets. Have your bag in front of you and NEVER put it down. It is always advisable NOT to carry all your cash with you when you go to packed attraction areas. Better be safe than sorry.

My BEST of Barcelona Videos

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