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Sagrada Familia - Skip The Line Tickets

The emblem of Barcelona is undoubtedly more spectacular on the inside than on the outside. Don't miss the chance to visit it, I'll tell you how!

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

10 min read

Sagrada Familia - Skip The Line Tickets

The Holy Family | ©Sung Shin

The Sagrada Familia is Gaudi's masterpiece and the most recognizable element of the Barcelona skyline. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and it goes without saying that it is a must-see on your trip to Barcelona.

How to visit the Sagrada Familia

Wide angle of the Sagrada Familia
Wide angle of the Sagrada Familia

It is very easy to visit the Sagrada Familia as a tourist, but visiting it as a local has some tricks that I will detail in the following paragraphs. Keep reading and write down my recommendations, you'll thank me later!

2. Sagrada Familia tour in small group

Stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia| ©Ted & Dani Percival
Stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia| ©Ted & Dani Percival

This tour will give you access and guided tour of the Sagrada Familia without waiting in line in a small group and inside you will enjoy the narration of an expert guide on this iconic Basilica. You will learn about Gaudi' s architectural genius and the deep religious passion behind each piece that makes up the temple.

The great advantage of this tour is that your group is limited to a maximum of 15 people, which makes the tour more enjoyable and allows you to have a closer relationship with your guide. Of course, it includes the entrance tickets to the Sagrada Familia.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended: If you want to skip the queue for the Sagrada Familia and visit the highlights of its interior.

3. Sagrada Familia tour with access to the tower

Sagrada Familia Tower
Sagrada Familia Tower

If you want to extend your visit to the Sagrada Familia with an access to the tower, this is the tour for you. You will be able to visit all the accessible places inside the temple, and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Barcelona from the top of one of the towers open to the public of the Sagrada Familia.

On the other hand, the tour group is a bit larger, with a maximum of 30 people, although fortunately the visiting hours are specially chosen to access the Sagrada Familia when there are fewer tourists, around lunchtime.

As in the previous experience, you will have the narration of a guide who knows the Sagrada Familia from top to bottom and can tell you in detail the history of this impressive church. Entrance fees are included.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended: If you have already visited the Sagrada Familia on another occasion and want to extend the typical tour.

4. Tour of Barcelona by electric bike with entrance to the Sagrada Familia

Arc de Triomphe Barcelona| ©Juanedc
Arc de Triomphe Barcelona| ©Juanedc

The combination of activities of this bike tour is perfect for when you have just arrived in Barcelona and want to know how to find your way around the city. You will be taken by electric bike to visit the main points of interest of Barcelona and then you will discover the Sagrada Familia in the company of an expert guide with tickets included.

This has the great advantage of giving you an overview of Barcelona, so that later you can explore it at your own pace through the areas you are already familiar with.

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Recommended: If you are going to be in Barcelona for a short time or if you want to visit it in a comfortable way.

What you will see

  • Gothic Quarter
  • Barcelona Cathedral
  • Santa Caterina Market
  • El Born
  • Center of Culture and Memory of El Born
  • Citadel Park
  • Triumphal Arch
  • Monumental Bullring of Barcelona
  • Sagrada Familia
  • La Pedrera
  • Block of Discord
  • Batlló House
  • Amatller House
  • Lleó Morera House

5. Private tour of Barcelona with entrance to Sagrada Familia and Park Güell

Park Güell
Park Güell

This is the most complete tour of Barcelona, as it includes entrance to the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. You will pass through all the most interesting areas of the city, including Park Güell, along with a visit to its most important building, the Sagrada Familia.

In addition to the full attention of a local Barcelona guide for you and your group, this tour includes coffee at one of Picasso's favorite cafes, tapas at a restaurant on La Rambla, and transfer by private vehicle to Park Güell and Sagrada Familia. Entrance fees to both sites are included.

Duration: 6 hours
Recommended: If you are visiting Barcelona in a group or if you can't stand crowded tours for tourists.

What you will see

  • Güell Palace
  • Plaza Real
  • Boqueria Market
  • Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi
  • Els 4Gats
  • Passeig de Gracia
  • Batlló House
  • Rambla de Catalunya
  • La Pedrera
  • Park Güell
  • Sagrada Familia

6. Interesting details about the entrances to the Sagrada Familia

Detail of the roof of the Sagrada Familia| ©Vojtěch Bulant
Detail of the roof of the Sagrada Familia| ©Vojtěch Bulant

The Sagrada Familia receives more than 4 million visitors a year, so it's important to know a few things about its entrances so that your experience doesn't turn into chaos.

Types of entrances

To avoid crowds, all entrances have a fixed time, with a 15-minute interval between each distributed entrance. Once inside, you can stay in the Sagrada Familia for as long as you like.

  • Basic ticket: With this ticket you can access the interior of the Sagrada Familia and visit its floor. It is only available during the last two opening hours of the basilica, so if you visit at any other time of the day you will have to choose one of the other tickets.
  • Combined ticket: You can combine the entrance to the Sagrada Familia with an entrance to Park Güell, as you can do in one of the tours that I have recommended before.
  • Entrance with access to the tower: It allows you to enter the Sagrada Familia and access one of the towers of the church, which you can ascend to a small viewpoint from which you can see part of Barcelona.
  • Free entrance: There is no free entrance to the Sagrada Familia as such, but going to mass in the church does not require an entrance fee. It starts around 9 am on Sundays. Spaces are limited and entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to attend mass I recommend waiting at the entrance near the Nativity façade before 8:30 a.m. for the Sunday service.

The queue

The queue to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia at the ticket office is one of the most impressive I have ever seen at a tourist attraction. Admittedly, the last time I went to Barcelona it was in the middle of July and I passed by the church at noon, but even so the lines that form at almost any time of the day can easily wear on your patience.

Access to the Sagrada Familia is through the Nativity façade, on Carrer de la Marina. A small crowd forms to enter the temple, but it is not comparable to the queue to buy tickets.

Is it better to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia in advance?

In no way do you think of waiting to buy tickets to the Sagrada Familia at the box office: the queues are endless and being subject to a fixed time it is possible that once you go to buy them you find that there are no slots for the time you want and you have to buy them for the next day.

Tickets for a specific date are available online up to two months in advance, so my recommendation is that you book them as far in advance as possible. Since the only advantage of buying them at the moment would be the flexibility that would give you to choose at the moment, but in this case you lose all the guarantees to ensure your ticket for the day and time you want, buying in advance is the smartest option.

7. Organize your visit to the Sagrada Familia

Views of the Sagrada Familia
Views of the Sagrada Familia

How to get to the Sagrada Familia

It is best to go by metro to the Sagrada Familia stop (L2), but you can also take bus 50 if you are around Paseo de Gracia or several buses from Plaza Cataluña.

Other buses that take you to the Sagrada Familia are lines 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 51, B20 and B24. Not all of them leave you in a street adjacent to the temple, so check the route before you get on, look at Google Maps, or just ask the driver. In any case, most lines will get off at the Sagrada Familia stop, so you will know which one it is.

Days and hours of opening of the Sagrada Familia

The Basilica is open to the public 365 days a year, but opening hours vary depending on the time of year:

  • March: 09:00 - 19:00
  • April to September: 09:00 - 20:00
  • October: 09:00 - 19:00
  • November to February: 09:00 - 18:00
  • December 25th and 26th and January 1st and 6th: 09:00 - 14:00

Duration of the visit

It usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour to visit the interior of the Sagrada Familia, if you only visit the ground floor of the basilica. If you go up to the tower, it will take you longer because between the ascent, the descent, and the time you spend enjoying the views, you will be in the basilica for at least an hour and a half.

8. Where to eat near the Sagrada Familia

Paella in Barcelona| ©Mikael Leppä
Paella in Barcelona| ©Mikael Leppä

We assume that near the Sagrada Familia you will find mostly restaurants for tourists, but it is possible to find some gems in which some will end up by chance, but you can go because you know they are worth it. Here are three recommendations:

  • Casa Angela - The tapas are really good and they have croquettes of various types, perfect for ordering a selection. The rice dishes are homemade and with good products, hence the paellas taste like paella and not frozen. In addition, you can eat on the terrace overlooking the Sagrada Familia which is a privilege.
  • Can Pizza - Not everything in Barcelona is served in paella and although it is true that a pizza is far from being a local dish, in this restaurant they prepare them in luxury and that is why I recommend you try them.
  • Casa Mariol - Back to the product of the land in Casa Mariol, where you can get up to the top of typical tapas like cocas, olives, anchovies, sausages ... all accompanied by the best wines of the region.

Since this is such a touristy area, there are fast food restaurants of all kinds near the Sagrada Familia, so if you prefer them you have this option as well (which is not the same as my approval, it's criminal to eat at a McDonald's while on vacation in Barcelona!).

9. Tips for your visit to the Sagrada Familia

The Three Wise Men, detail of the Sagrada Familia| ©NH53
The Three Wise Men, detail of the Sagrada Familia| ©NH53

Dress code

There is a dress code for access to the Sagrada Familia, which requires you to remove any head covering (except for religious or medical reasons) and wear clothing that covers the shoulders, back and chest. Pants and skirts must cover up to the knee and no see-through clothing or cleavage is allowed, as well as no shoes.

Although dress codes are often not strictly enforced due to the high number of visitors to the Sagrada Familia, it is best to try to comply with etiquette so as not to risk being turned away.

Photographs inside

It is allowed to enter the Sagrada Familia with a camera and take pictures inside, so remember to take it with you if you want to have some souvenirs of the temple. And finally, my most important recommendation is that, although the interior is impressive and well worth staying a long time admiring it, the exterior facades of the Sagrada Familia are crazy.

Exterior details

The temple has three facades and each one represents a stage in the life of Jesus: Birth, Passion and Glory. The Nativity façade, in Catalan modernist style, has enough detail to get lost in for hours, while the Passion façade is almost the opposite, clean and minimalist but full of symbolism. The Glory façade is still unfinished, so it does not offer the interest of the other two.

Alex's Traveller Tip

The Sagrada Familia has two towers that you can climb. If you have a choice, climb the Nativity Tower as from the top you can get a close-up view of the façade.

10. Other attractions that may interest you

La Pedrera| ©Tokyographer
La Pedrera| ©Tokyographer

If we talk about Barcelona, it is almost essential to immerse yourself in the architecture and urbanism of Gaudí. One of his most outstanding works in the city is the Park Güell, and to visit it I recommend you to read our guide of Barcelona Park Güell Tickets and Tours where I tell you all the tricks to visit it.

Likewise, you don't want to miss the artist's most iconic buildings, so here you have my Barcelona La Pedrera Tickets and Tours guide and my Barcelona Casa Batlló Tickets and Tours guide, with the best tips to organize your visit.

For soccer fans, visiting the Camp Nou is an experience that can be very interesting because in the Camp Nou Experience you can explore the trophy gallery, a space dedicated to Messi, a very interesting audiovisual area and of course the stands, the locker rooms, and the press room. You have in this guide all the details: Camp Nou Experience Tickets.

And finally, you have my Barcelona Museums guide that will help you choose the most interesting collection for you and make sure you get the most out of your trip.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is there a dress code for the Sagrada Familia?

    Since it is a church, visitors are expected to dress appropriately, which in this case generally means covered shoulders, conservative necklines, and covered backs and bellies. Knees should also be covered, either with long pants or long skirts.

  • How far in advance can I book tickets for the Sagrada Familia?

    Officially, you can only buy tickets up to two months in advance, but many skip-the-line tickets allow you to buy tickets much earlier.

  • What is the difference between regular Sagrada Familia tickets and skip-the-line tickets?

    In most cases, avoiding the line means you won't wait to buy your tickets (which at certain monuments and points of interest can mean waiting 2 or more hours).