13 Feb Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Sagrada Familia
Ever since the 1992 Olympics showed off Barcelona to the world, it has been a top-tier tourist destination. Whilst this Catalan city has a lot going for it, few will dispute that the Sagrada Familia is its top attraction.
This Roman Catholic cathedral stands out from others in Europe. Given this continent’s wealth of cultural treasures, that says a lot. Unless churches don’t interest you in the slightest, you should prioritise a visit.
Unfortunately, just about every other visitor to Barcelona will have the same idea. As such, those who plan their visit will get more out of their experience than those who wing it.
In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia: Anton Gaudi’s Magnum Opus
Before we get into practicals, a few words on what the Sagrada Familia is. The Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic cathedral known for its unconventional design. However, it almost became just another Gothic cathedral – initially, its architect was Francisco de Paula del Villar.
He set out to recreate the cathedral that bookseller Joseph Maria Bocabella saw at The Vatican. As fate would have it, though, Francisco passed away the year after the project’s groundbreaking. Anton Gaudi, one of Barcelona’s most celebrated architects, took over as lead architect.
He made drastic modifications to the original blueprint, leading to the Modernist masterpiece that exists today. Sadly, due to this project’s intricate detail and inconsistent funding, Gaudi never saw its completion.
It has been under construction for 138 years
Construction crews broke ground on the Sagrada Familia in 1882. In 2020, 138 years later, work continues. Today, most of the structure is complete, save for a few steeples.
The lead firm projects completion of major construction in 2026 – the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. However, they might not get around to its finishing touches until 2032. As Gaudi once said, “my client is not in a hurry.”
The Sagrada Familia is centrally located in Barcelona. It sits three kilometres north of La Rambla, or within a 45-minute walk each way. If you don’t want to hoof it, Barcelona’s excellent public transit system will get you there.
From La Rambla, hop on Line 3 (direction: Trinitat Nova) and transfer to Line 5 at Diagonal (Direction: Vall d’ Hebron.) Take Line 5 to Sagrada Familia. Once above ground, walk 120 metres to the cathedral. If you want to skip the lines or learn more about the cathedral, musement.com offers a variety of guided Sagrada Familia tours. You can even book a tour with access to the Passion Facade, where you can take in the panoramic view of the city center at a height of 65 meters.
What not to miss + other tips
After paying admission (do so online to avoid long lines), make for the Nativity Facade. This part of the cathedral was built mostly under the direct guidance of Gaudi himself. Take your time wandering around the rest of the church – you’ll find little details everywhere.
Before you leave, though, head up one of the spires. From there, the view of Barcelona cannot be beaten.
Respect this holy site
Sadly, too many tourists treat the Sagrada Familia as if it were part of Disneyland. Remember: You are entering upon sacred ground. Even if you don’t believe, many locals and visitors do. Dress respectfully by covering your knees, shoulders, and torso. Keep your voice down. Walk – do not run.
Follow these simple rules, and you’ll help create a better atmosphere for all.