The last time Taylor and I were in Barcelona, Spain we did a tour of the La Sagrada Familia church, one of the most visited churches in all of Spain. It was absolutely worthwhile but we wish we did some research on the best way to see La Familia Sagrada. There are a few different options to see the church that have different price points and if we did a little research we could have saved time and money. So here’s a post so you can learn from our mistakes!
La Sagrada Familia Background
The church was designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, who started construction in the late 1800s (1882).
La Sagrada Familia is still unfinished with an expected completion date sometime in 2021. Funding for the build of the church is solely dependent on donations or visitor ticket purchases.
Although still unfinished it is still highly recommended to go visit the church. It is absolutely magnificent and a great way to appreciate the amazing design and architectural vision of Gaudi.
Where to Buy Tickets for La Sagrada Familia?
The cheapest tickets to see the La Sagrada Familia is through its own website, https://sagradafamilia.org. Be sure to purchase tickets on this site early since they sell out fast.
We made the mistake of going through a 3rd party website to buy our tickets and paid $45 instead of €27 Euros for our group tour.
|Sagrada Familia with Towers and Audio
|Sagrada Familia and Gaudi House Museum with Audio
|Sagrada Familia with Guided Tour with Audio
|Sagrada Familia with Audio
|Sagrada Familia Basic Ticket
Different Ways to See La Sagrada Familia
There are 3 different ways to see La Sagrada Familia and depending on your interests.
- Guided Tour
- Self-Guided Tour with Audio
- Self-Guided Tour no Audio
Below is a description of each tour type and what option is best for you.
When we visited the La Sagrada Familia, we booked tickets online and read that you should take a guided tour. We booked our tour via viator.com (which we do not recommend) and tickets were roughly $45 each. This ticket included the “Skip the line” feature, we weren’t the case for us. Instead, we waited over 45 minutes to get into the church, even though our tour was a 5:00 pm reservation.
The tour included about 15 tourists per guide and we met outside the La Sagrada Familia at Julia Travels office, located on the map below.
With the guide, we got audio equipment to listen to our guide while in the church as we walk by each section of the magnificent church.
Our guide educated us about the architect and his initial vision of the church. After going through the different sections he points out why things were crafted in a particular way and it is very informative.
Who should do a La Sagrada Familia Guided Tour?
If you are someone heavily interested in historical architecture and design as well as it’s correlated meaning to the Catholic faith then a guided tour is a great option.
The tour guides are very knowledgable about the church and history of it. They will point out additional information that is not provided in the self-guided tour and you can ask plenty of questions!
How long does a guided tour take of La Sagrada Familia?
Expect the tour to take around an hour and a half once inside the church. Our tour guide did offer information as we waited outside the church waiting in line to get in and as we walked from the tour office to the entrance line.
Here’s a quick video of our experience of our group tour.
Self-Guided Tour with Audio
The La Sagrada Familia Self Guided Tour includes a self-paced tour with audio information providing an educational experience about the history of the build and overall design of the church.
The audio version of the self-guided tour is operated through a portable audio phone, that is guided by different audio stations. You carry your portable phone and as you approach an audio station, select the audio number on the phone matching the station to listen.
Who should do a La Sagrada Familia self-guided tour?
The La Sagrada Familia is a great option for someone who is interested in learning the history of the church and the meaning behind some of its design, but wants to move at their own pace and not rely on a tour.
Self Guided Tour No Audio (Basic Ticket)
The basic ticket is just like it sounds, no fancy benefits, entrance to the church without the audio experience. Here you can still see everything others can, except for the towers if you decide to purchase that ticket. This is the option we wish we did as we were more interested in the visuals rather than the audio meaning behind some of the design.
Plus it is much cheaper to purchase the basic ticket than the 3rd party guided tour that we did!
Who should do a La Sagrada Familia tour with the basic ticket?
This option is the best for someone interested in seeing the church, but not necessarily interested in listening to the audio experience. This is often the fastest way to see the church as you do not feel obligated to listen to every audio station and can move at your own pace.
La Sagrada Familia Overall Experience
Overall this is definitely a must-do. There’s a reason why this is one of the most visited churches in Spain and it’s absolutely magnificent. You should block at least 2-3 hours worth of time (especially if you pay to park in a local parking garage as we did).
If you have the option, try and book a ticket during the golden hour (an hour or two before sunset). During this time the sunlight penetrates through the stain glass windows offering a natural color show inside the church.
If you have any questions about the best way to see La Sagrada Familia, drop a comment below!