6 Mistakes To Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia In Barcelona

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona 4

Sagrada Familia is the most famous landmark in one of the most visited cities in Europe. Visiting Sagrada Familia is definitely worth it and it is no wonder that thousands of people choose to do so daily! It is truly one of the best Antoni Gaudi buildings out there!

However, I have also noticed that many tourists happen to make one or more of these 6 simple mistakes which can transform their visit into a less enjoyable one than it could have been!

In order to help you out, I have noted all the common mistakes that people do while visiting Sagrada Familia so that when you go, you will not repeat those mistakes. This way, you will be able to turn your experience into one of the most unforgettable impressions of the city!

At the end of the article I also have a very useful bonus for you – some Sagrada Familia tips on how to skip the line to Sagrada Familia!

Here we go, these are the main 6 mistakes to avoid before visiting Sagrada Familia:

1. Not booking in advance

1 Sagrada Familia queues Barcelona skip the line sagrada familia

As I said, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is by far the most visited attraction in the city and maybe in entire Europe!

Thousands of people queue there every day to see Gaudi’s masterpiece from the inside. Does that sound terrifying to you?

There is no need to worry! You just need to book Sagrada Familia tickets in advance online!

A very common question that I usually get is “How much in advance should I book my tickets for Sagrada Familia?”. While the tickets to Sagrada Familia can be bought online up to 2 months in advance, in high season, I would recommend booking your visit at least 5-7 days in advance in order to make sure your desired day and time are available.

Remember, it is best to visit Sagrada Familia inside during the sunset, because it is splendid!

NOTE: The Barcelona Pass will NOT give you a skip-the-line access to the basilica and this is a common misconception. This pass only gives you free access to some attractions, but you will need to stay in the queue with everyone else before you enter.

2. Not taking a guided tour

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona 6 sagrada familia towers

Sagrada Familia is full of secret meanings, tiny significant details, pieces of architecture inspired by nature – these are all reasons why it is really worth taking a guided tour with skip-the-line ticket here!

Another good option is to tour Sagrada Familia using this guided tour with tower access.

If your budget does not allow you to do this, I recommend at least getting an audio guide together with your Sagrada Familia ticket – I promise you will not regret it, as the information is very interesting!

PRO TIP: Take your own headphones with you and you will be able to share one audio guide with somebody else! 😉

NOTE: Make sure you come at least 15 minutes in advance if you get a guided tour! Keep in mind that the place is crowded so you will need time to find your guide. Usually, the tickets are not refundable if you are late.

3. Not visiting during the sunset

1 Sagrada Familia Barcelona sunset inside best time to visit sagrada familia

While the interior of the cathedral is mesmerizing any time of the day, the best time to visit Sagrada Familia is during sunset and I think you would regret it if you would miss the beautiful golden light reflecting from the countless stained glass windows!

This is actually the best feature of the Basilica and seeing it during Golden Hour when the sun reflects directly onto the stained glass is Antoni Gaudi’s exact reason for creating Sagrada Familia as it is. The entire process was created with great care and mathematical formulas in order to find the perfect arrangement for the colorful windows.

I loved the light and how the naves look during late afternoon, it was truly magical!

4. Not leaving enough time for the visit

This is a very common mistake that travelers make when they are in a rush to visit as much as possible!

I strongly recommend you leave at least one hour and a half for your Sagrada Familia visit if you want to discover the cathedral with no rush. You can add 30 more minutes if you want to go up to the Gaudi towers to see the view. Please note that the access to Sagrada towers is not included in your standard ticket, so make sure to book yours in advance here.

Why you should visit Sagrada Familia Towers too?

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona 5 sagrada familia towers

If you have more time for your Sagrada Familia church tour, I definitely recommend buying a complete ticket with Tower access included! The towers will allow you to see some beautiful parts of the basilica that you really cannot see from below, as well as some construction and progress work that is being done to this masterpiece constantly.

TIP: If you have a fear of heights, you might get really anxious while you are up there, especially if you go up the Nativity façade which has little connecting bridge that you will have to pass if you want to have a better view and a closer look on the façade’s beautiful details. Basilica Sagrada Familia is 172m high, so it will be easy to get scared if you are sensitive to heights! Please also note that if you are claustrophobic, you might as well think twice before going up the towers. As there is no elevator going down, your only option will be to take the narrow “spiral” stairs.

Nativity Tower or Passion Tower?

Sagrada Familia has two facades with towers that you can go up to: the Nativity towers and the Passion towers. The Nativity Towers are the oldest ones and the only ones Gaudi himself worked on; the Passion Towers are the new ones, made after his sketches. The two facades are very different from each other, but the Sagrada Familia top view is mesmerizing regardless of your choice!

PRO TIP: If you go up the Nativity Towers, you will get a mountain view of Barcelona, while the Passion Towers will offer you a view of the ocean.

5. Not taking your camera

Sagrada Familia architects history

I mean, who the hell forgets a camera when going to the main sight of Barcelona?

You will be surprised!

I strongly recommend you make sure to take your camera with you and charge your phone. You do not want to leave this majestic place without taking some shots of it or maybe even some selfies, right? 😉

Trust me, the photo opportunities will be endless and you will be snapping pictures continuously, especially if you visit this magical place in the late afternoon when the light keeps changing in the most beautiful way!

6. Not wearing appropriate clothes

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona 1 best time to visit sagrada familia

Finally, yet still important, even if the rules are not as strict as in Vatican, Sagrada Familia is a church after all and you should dress modestly when you decide to visit it. When you actually go there you will see many people dressed in shorts or skirts, but I suggest you avoid cleavages and mini-skirts, even if just to pay respect to this holy place!

There is an exception, though: the crypt of Sagrada Familia can only be visited during the mass and only if you are dressed appropriately.

In the end, it is always better to be safe than sorry and you may want to avoid not being allowed to enter in this majestical place!

BONUS 1 – 4 Painless Ways To Get In Sagrada Familia Fast

I usually hate queuing and, seeing how crowded and popular Sagrada Familia is every day, I have done all the homework for you so that you will not waste your precious vacation time staying in the long lines!

Here is some precious advice on how to get to Sagrada Familia with no stress and waiting involved:

Solution 1: Buy your tickets online in advance

Sagrada familia interior Barcelona skip the line sagrada familia

The easiest and safest way is to buy your Sagrada Familia online tickets in advance and to make sure you won’t be late. The tickets are reserved for a specific time with a 15-minutes corridor.

Even if you have the online pre-booked tickets, you will still need to stay in a short line made out of travelers who have the same admission time as yours. Don’t worry, you won’t waste a lot of time, as this queue can be anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes.

NOTE: Do not be late, if you miss your time slot you won’t be able to enter anymore!

PRO TIP: if you are younger than 30 years old or if you have a student ID, you will be entitled to a small discount (around 2€).

PRO TIP 2: If the online tickets for Sagrada Familia for your dates are already sold out on the official website, I suggest you try this Skip-The-Line Tour – chances are some tickets for your desired date will still be available at the reseller! It happened to some of my friends! 🙂

PRICES: The price for the basic ticket is 15€. If you want the audio guide too, it will be 22€.

Solution 2: Book a guided tour

Sagrada Familia Finish date

Taking a guided tour means that you will have to meet your guide at a different gate than the standard one and you will also benefit from skip-the-line access. The best part? You will be accompanied by a certified live guide who will tell you everything about Sagrada Familia Cathedral!

NOTE: Barcelona pass entitles you for a free entry, but it does not, however, give you a privilege, so you will need to wait in the line with everyone else.

As with the previous solution, you must arrive at the place 15 minutes in advance. Latecomers will not be granted the entry.

Price: ~30€ and 50€ if you want access to Sagrada Familia towers as well

Solution 3: Take a private tour of Sagrada Familia

Sagradafamilia buy tickets online

A private tour is a tour during which you will not be rushed, you will not be part of a large group of tourists and you will be able to ask all the questions you want. This tour is exclusive only for you, you will also be able to spend as much time as you want there.

Price: 209€ per person for a 2-hour private tour, or 360€ per person for a full day tour of Barcelona highlights with Sagrada Familia and other attractions included.

Solution 4: Get a Barcelona City Pass

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money barcelona city pass

Barcelona City Pass combines all the most popular attractions of the city in one. You will still need to choose your desired date and time, but they will book everything for you. You only have to show up at the place at the specific time with your card.

Here is the calculation:

This Barcelona pass is 69.5€ and it includes a Sagrada Familia fast-track ticket with Towers access and audio guide (worth 29 €) + Park Guell fast-track ticket (7€) + airport transfer round-trip (around 15€ depending on the airport you are arriving at/departing from) + Hop on hop off bus (25€) + 20% discount to multiple attractions including Casa Mila, Casa Battlo and many more.

You will probably save around 10€ per person if you will use all of the activities offered.

What is cool about this pass is that you do not need to pick it up, you will receive an email with all the tickets to the attractions, plus the code for your 20% discount.

Price: 69,5€ and it includes discounts to many attractions.

Solution 5: Buy your ticket at the place (not recommended)

Sagrada Familia price at the gate barcelona

This option is obvious and this is why I am mentioning it, but I have to warn you that it is far from painless.

If you really did not plan your visit in advance and you want to enter Sagrada Familia, you can buy tickets at the cash register right there. If you go there without a ticket, especially in high season, you might find out that the only available slot for your entry is in a few hours or even the next day. Do you want to waste your time coming back twice? I don’t think so!

PRO TIP: Sagrada Familia is open all year round. On Monday it might be a bit less crowded because some people will assume it is closed.

Price: 18€

BONUS 2 – How to get in Sagrada Familia for free!

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money barcelona 9 sagrada familia

Sagrada Familia is an extraordinary masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi that is definitely worth visiting while you are in Barcelona, but I must admit that the entrance price is not that “friendly”.

If you are traveling on a low budget but you still want to see this iconic building, you should know there is a way!

Sagrada Familia is not only a touristic place, but its true meaning is that of a church. Your chance to get in the basilica for free is to attend one of the weekly masses that are held there. There is a 1-hour long public mass every Sunday at 9 AM, in different languages. Sagrada Familia also holds Extraordinary Masses on certain days: the Palm Sunday Mass (in March), Closing mass of the International Congress of Pueri Cantores (in July) and the Thanksgiving Mass (in October). You can check the up-to-date mass calendar on their website here.

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona 7

Attending the public mass is a great way of getting into the church and admiring it in all its majesty, in the morning light.

Of course, this will not be a normal visit and you cannot take a Sagrada Familia tour or take pictures – be careful to pay respect to the people that are attending, as this is a religious occasion.

NOTE: Being a public worship, the places are limited and the first people in line have priority. Make sure to be at the Nativity Façade entrance at 8.30 AM in order to make sure you will attend the mass. If you are a group of 25 people or more, you must fill in a special form in order to secure your places at the mass.

Some other useful Information about Sagrada Familia

Except for the common mistakes that travelers make before going to the Cathedral, I decided to include some practical info about Sagrada Familia as well:

How can I get to Sagrada Familia?

Sagrada Familia is incredibly accessible from the all over the city, mostly. The best way to get to the basilica is by metro, using the lines L2 (purple) and L5 (blue).

You don’t need to stress about anything, as there is only one entrance and you will see clear writing and icons that will show you right away the exit for Sagrada Familia. There are two exits that you can take from the metro station to Sagrada Familia and both of them have almost the same distance (they’re basically across the street from the basilica and you will see it in all its majesty right away).

What are the working hours for the basilica?

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money sagrada familia 5

The basilica is open 365 days of the year. Sagrada Familia hours:

November-February: 9 AM to 6 PM

March: 9 AM to 7 PM

April-September: 9 AM to 8 PM

October: 9 AM to 7 PM

December 25, 26, January 1st and 6th: 9 AM to 2 PM.

Sometimes they do hold some private events and the Basilica, or the Towers access might be closed, but this does not happen often. If you bought your ticket online for a specific time slot, you can be sure you will get in with no problems.

TIP: The tickets will stop being sold at the place 30 minutes before closing time.

What is the Sagrada Familia ticket price?

The basic ticket is 15€, the ticket with the audio guide is 22€. The complete ticket to Sagrada Familia with Tower access and the audio guide included is 29€. There are some other types of tickets available too and you can check them out on the official website.

Alternatively, you can take a normal guided tour or a guided tour with tower access if you want to find out some unique information, fun facts and insights from Gaudi’s life and work!

Where to stay in Barcelona

6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona best hotels in Barcelona

Here are some accommodation recommendations and some of the best hotels in Barcelona that I have carefully chosen for you. All of them are located in the city center and they have fabulous reviews, sorted by price for your convenience. Click the link to check the rates for Barcelona accommodation during your dates.

Luxury (300€ and up): If you are a football fan, Hotel Sofia, a 5-star hotel and one of the best luxury hotels in Barcelona is the perfect choice for you as it is located 5 minutes away from the famous Camp Nou stadium. It offers wonderful rooms designed with a keen eye for details in a modern way which will make you feel right at home. One of the greatest hotels in Barcelona city centre is Alma Barcelona GL, which features elegant decorations, a spa with an indoor swimming pool, a hammam, a sauna, and a gym. A nice feature of this hotel is the indoor terrace, perfect for rest and relaxation after a long day of sightseeing.

Middle (100€ – 150€): Vasanta Hostal Boutique is a wonderful establishment which features nicely designed rooms, in neutral tones, and has a shared lounge. Coffee shops, restaurants and a lot of pubs can be found within walking distance of this accommodation option. Another middle priced option is Hostalin Barcelona Passeig de Gracia which has been reviewed by its past guests as clean and an overall perfect choice. If you fancy wines, you will be delighted to hear that it is situated right above Vinoteca Torres!

Budget (up to 100€): Rodamon Barcelona Hostel is situated right next to Palau Robert Gardens, so if you fancy nature and visiting the surroundings, this is the perfect budget choice. Another great budget choice is Ten To Go Hostel, one of the best cheap hotels in Barcelona which offers a shared daytime area and even a pool. La Pedrera is located 2.8 km from the property and if you are traveling by train, Ten To Go Hostel is perfect, as it is located very close to the main train station.


Conclusion

0 Barcelona Skip the line

I hope I have helped you save a couple of hours of your precious vacation time and a lot of stress and disappointment of getting to the Sagrada Familia entrance and not being let in!

In this post, I have told you how to avoid 6 most common mistakes that travelers make before visiting Sagrada Familia, as well as some precious tips on how to avoid the long lines and a secret way of getting in the Cathedral for free!

P.S.: I also have another article where I explain how to get around the queues for 5 most crowded places in Barcelona!

Sagrada Familia is definitely one of the top places to see in Barcelona and I hope this article will help you have a great vacation in Barcelona!

Let me know if you have any questions,

Have an amazing holiday!

 

Yulia


RELATED POSTS:

5 Places in Barcelona with the longest queue and how to skip the line

5 Best neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona (and best hotel recommendations for each of them!

6 places in Paris with the longest queues and how to skip the lines!

6 Most crowded attractions in Rome and how to avoid the long line


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6 mistakes to avoid when visiting Sagrada Familia Barcelona misstouristcom

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6 Mistakes to Avoid Before Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

By | 2018-12-06T12:47:11+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Barcelona, Europe, Spain|22 Comments

About the Author:

Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

22 Comments

  1. Jayden 16.01.2018 at 10:40 - Reply

    Its amazing!! I read all your blogs and that all are just fabulous. Although I dont travel much, but I love to read other people experience.

  2. Luana 17.01.2018 at 20:16 - Reply

    It really is an amazing place to visit in Barcelona and one of the mistakes I made at the time I visited the place was not to come with a guide to show all the details of the holy family. Very good post 🙂

  3. Mikkel 20.01.2018 at 01:18 - Reply

    I COMPLETELY agree about the audio tour. Worth every penny! And great tip to book in advance and go during sunset!

    • Yulia 20.01.2018 at 15:09 - Reply

      I think once you booked your ticket without the audioguide and entered the basilica, you cannot change your mind and pay extra for the audioguide inside, which is a pity!
      But yeah, it was great to get more information about this masterpiece!

  4. sam 22.01.2018 at 11:14 - Reply

    Thanks for these awesome tips, your post will gonna help many people and I will really gonna follow all these tips while on a visit to this place.

  5. Teresa 05.02.2018 at 13:42 - Reply

    Amazing place, great experience. We were in January 2018 – there are no big queues at this time – 20 minutes we waited for tickets. we were on a sunny day around 13 o’clock. – amazing light effects inside. The whole Barcelona beautiful 🙂

    • Yulia 05.02.2018 at 20:18 - Reply

      Thanks Teresa!
      Yes, i think Barcelona in January is the most empty tourists-wise! But it does get crazy during the season! I have been there so many times (in the summer) and never managed to visit for this reason.
      The light effect is gorgeous!

  6. Migdalia 16.04.2018 at 22:44 - Reply

    Hello! I’m going from April 26th to the 29th and from May 6th to May 9th. That’s a Thursday thru Sunday and Sunday Thru Wednesday. At what time should I go to catch the sunset this time of the year? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Yulia 18.04.2018 at 19:04 - Reply

      I usually just google “Sunset Barcelona” and it shows me he exact time the sunset is going to happen in that exact day. You can check a couple of days before your trip and that will be more or less the time for each of the days of your vacation.
      enjoy your stay!

  7. annie 27.04.2018 at 04:39 - Reply

    can you please explain the city pass?? round trip airport ride? I’m assuming that means to the hotel? Is it possible that we get picked up at the port to return to airport as we are taking a cruise. Also, it appears that we can only choose times to visit Sagrada Familia after we pay. is that the case? Thank you for your help

    • Yulia 06.05.2018 at 17:28 - Reply

      hello Annie,
      thank you for your question, it is indeed not clear from their website!
      I addressed the company with the questions and this is what they replied:

      1) The bus will take you from the airport to Barcelona City Centre. It makes 2 stops: plaza Espana first and then Plaza Catalunya. When you return to the airport, you can again go from Plaza Espana and Plaza Catalunya. The bus does not take you to your hotel.
      If you want to be picked up at the port to go to the airport, you would have to take a taxi or take the aerobus again.

      3) This is correct. You first order the Barcelona City Pass and make the payment. After that you will receive an email with a link, to choose your visiting hours for Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Once you have decided and confirmed your visiting times, you will receive all the tickets by email (aerobus, hop on hop off, sagrada, etc)

      Hope that helps,
      have an amazing trip!

  8. chika gujarathi 03.05.2018 at 23:52 - Reply

    What a great post Yulia! I stumbled on it on Pinterest and saving it for when our family vacation takes us to Barcelona. Hopefully soon.
    Best,
    Chika

    • Yulia 04.05.2018 at 12:10 - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Chika,
      I am sure your family will enjoy the vacation! 🙂

  9. Jacques (Jake) 23.05.2018 at 05:08 - Reply

    We completely agree with Yulia’s recommendations.

    We visited it last fall and coincidently did everything she mentionned.
    It was one of the best site & tour of our trip.

    We too highly recommend it. And using those tips.

    Great post. Cheers,

    • Yulia 23.05.2018 at 11:32 - Reply

      Happy you could get in without the hustle and enjoy this amazing sight, cheers!

  10. Gary 27.06.2018 at 23:47 - Reply

    Hi

    I was thinking of visiting the towers in the morning and then church afterwards. Should I pick up the audio guide upon arrival at the site and then visit the towers and then the church? Do you need the audio guide for the towers?

    • Yulia 28.06.2018 at 17:36 - Reply

      I used the audio guide and I think it was only talking about the Sagrada Familia itself, not about the towers.
      You can pick up the audioguide when you want because it is given after you enter the security (look on your right before entering Sagrada itself)

  11. Michelle 03.08.2018 at 20:53 - Reply

    Hello. My daughter is 10 and can get into sagrada familia for free but would be very sad to miss the audio guide. On the official site it says the audio guide is not for children under 11. Should I just take a spare set of headphones? You indicate a child guide is available…is that just purchased onsite?

    • Yulia 06.08.2018 at 10:31 - Reply

      Hello Michelle,
      not sure where I said about an audio guide for kids?
      P.S I think you can take the one for children over 11, and your daughter will be just fine (she is almost there in any way!)
      Hope this helps,
      have a great time in Barcelona!

  12. awaywithkatie 01.10.2018 at 01:36 - Reply

    This is so useful! I’m looking at visiting Barcelona in November, and this place is definitely on my list of things to see.

    • Yulia 03.10.2018 at 00:07 - Reply

      Have fun and yes, thats a must! 🙂

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