Is it Worth Going Inside La Sagrada Familia? 

La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona - Is It worth going inside the Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is the most famous landmark in Barcelona and a must-see for any visitor to the city.  However, a ticket to go inside La Sagrada Familia isn’t cheap, so if you are wondering if the ticket price is worth it, I’ll show you a glimpse of what you can get for your money!

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What is La Sagrada Familia?

La Sagrada Familia is a cathedral that was designed by Antoní Gaudí, a modernist architect who left his mark all over Barcelona with designs that were inspired by nature.  As well as La Sagrada Familia his work includes Park Güell, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, among others.

Work began on the Sagrada Familia in 1882, and it was intended to be a temple dedicated to the Holy Family.  Originally, another architect Francisco de Paula del Villar was commissioned to head up the project, but Gaudí took over a year later and transformed the design from a Neo-Gothic style cathedral to a Modernist masterpiece, making it his own.

Gaudí dedicated his life to the construction of the cathedral and worked tirelessly for the next 43 years to realise his dream.  Unfortunately, he was killed by a tram in 1926 and never got to see his masterpiece completed.

Work has continued on the Sagrada Familia over the years, with interruptions due to Civil War and COVID among other delays.  The cathedral was due to be completed in 2026 on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death, but due to the pandemic that now seems unlikely.

La Sagrada Familia is probably the most famous building site in the world, and the money raised from entry tickets goes towards the construction of the cathedral.  While it is impressive from the outside, the inside is absolutely spectacular!

Admiring the Stained Glass Windows inside La Sagrada Familia
Admiring the Stained Glass Windows inside La Sagrada Familia

Is It Worth Going Inside La Sagrada Familia?

The short answer is YES it is definitely worth paying to go inside La Sagrada Familia!  What you can see from the outside, while quite wonderful, is a fraction of what you will see on the inside.  The Sagrada Familia interior is really where Gaudí shows his mastery in architecture, not just decorative designs.

Sagrada Familia Tickets

There are several ticket options that you can buy to go inside Sagrada Familia.  I’d highly recommend buying your tickets in advance as queues to get tickets on the day can be horrendous.

Fast-Track Skip the Line Entry Tickets & Audio Guide

Tickets are allocated for specific times, so book your tickets online to guarantee you can enter at the time you want.  Tickets include fast-track access to avoid the queues and an audio guide for your phone.  You can download the audio guide in advance for iPhone here and Android here.

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Guided Tour Including Skip the Line Tickets

Enjoy a comprehensive tour with an expert guide who will share more information about the Sagrada Familia than it is possible to get on your own.  Your guide will point out hidden gems and secrets of the basilica as you walk around the interior and exterior of the Sagrada Familia.

After the tour, you have as much time as you like inside to revisit areas of the basilica at your own pace.

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Sagrada Familia Free Tickets & Discounts

Children under 11 years old get free entry to La Sagrada Familia, and students and seniors get a discount with proof of status.  Disabled people can get a free ticket for them and for 1 companion – reserve your disabled access ticket here.

There are usually options to buy tickets that include access to the Sagrada Familia towers, but due to COVID, the towers are currently closed.  It is anticipated that the towers will re-open to visitors from 1st April 2022, although that isn’t confirmed.  Bear in mind that the towers are not accessible – there is a lift up to the towers, but the only option for coming down is to use the stairs so it is not recommended for people with disabilities or those who might struggle with enclosed spaces.

Access Rules & Requirements

Before going inside the Sagrada Familia, there are some rules and regulations in place that you must follow:

  • Current COVID regulations state that face masks must be worn to access La Sagrada Familia, unless exempt.
  • The Sagrada Familia is a construction site, so some areas may be closed or inaccessible.
  • Modest clothing is required: knees and shoulders must be covered at all times; no swimwear; no transparent clothing; no plunging necklines, exposed backs or stomachs
  • You must wear shoes to enter the Sagrada Familia
  • No hats are allowed inside the nave or the museum, except for religious or health-related reasons
  •  All visitors must go through a security check, which may take up to 25 minutes in high season.  Do not bring any pocket knives or weapons with you.
  • Bring a passport or ID with you
The Passion Facade of the Sagrada Familia
The Passion Facade of the Sagrada Familia

What Can You See for Free

First off, let’s start with what you can see of La Sagrada Familia from the outside, without having to buy tickets.  Currently, there are fences up around the cathedral which can restrict your view, but you can still see the beautiful façades and the Sagrada Familia towers from the outside.

Even if you can’t afford to buy Sagrada Familia tickets, don’t miss coming to see the exterior and admire the architecture and design of Barcelona’s most famous architect.

The best views of the cathedral are from across the pond in Plaça de Gaudí but you can also get nice views from the Plaça de la Sagrada Familia on the opposite side of the basilica, and right in front of the façades.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona from across the pond in Placa de Gaudi
La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona from across the pond in Placa de Gaudi

The Nativity Façade is one of the oldest parts of the cathedral, and follows the original designs that Gaudí made.  Here you can see the story of the birth of Christ through the different statues and sculptures on the outer walls of the cathedral.

The Passion Façade is in a notably different style to the Nativity Façade and is the work of another architect and sculptor.  The statues on this side are about the death of Christ, so the more austere style actually fits the theme of the façade very well.

The Sagrada Familia Interior

Tree-Like Columns Strech up to the Ceiling Inside La Sagrada Familia
Tree-Like Columns Strech up to the Ceiling Inside La Sagrada Familia

Columns and Height

When you first enter the Sagrada Familia, the first thing you are struck by is the height.

Gaudí designed the columns of the cathedral to be like tree trunks, with a wide base that divides into smaller supporting branches near the top.  Gaudí wanted people to feel like they were walking through a forest, not just a church.

Looking up to the ceiling is more like looking up through the dappled shade of giant trees, than at the ceiling of a normal cathedral.

The Stunning Ceiling of the Sagrada Famila Interior
The Stunning Ceiling of the Sagrada Famila Interior

Stained Glass Windows

The colourful stained glass windows flood the interior of La Sagrada Familia with light, creating patterns on the floors and walls as the light moves with the sun.  In the morning, the sun shines on the Nativity Façade, which has windows filled with blue and green windows, representing water and birth.

Patterns of Light from the Stained Glass Windows on the Nativity Facade
Patterns of Light from the Stained Glass Windows on the Nativity Facade

In the afternoon, the sun comes through the red, orange and yellow windows on the Passion Façade, representing the blood of Christ and his death in the most beautiful way.

Stained Glass Window on the Passion Facade
Stained Glass Window on the Passion Facade

When the Sagrada Familia is completed, the floor of the basilica will be made from marble, to illuminate even more of the inside with mirror-like reflections.

Crypt

Gaudí is buried in the Sagrada Familia, his resting place is in the Crypt Of The Expiatory Temple that had been under construction before he took over as head architect.  The crypt is constructed in Neo-Renaissance style, and while it currently closed due to COVID restrictions you can view it through small windows looking down from the main part of the cathedral.

The crypt is actually a similar size to a normal church, and can host ceremonies and mass in a more intimate setting than in the grand nave of La Sagrada Familia.

A Glimpse into the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia
A Glimpse into the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia Museum

As well as the magnificent basilica itself, inside La Sagrada Familia you will also find a museum dedicated to Gaudí and the plans and designs for his masterpiece.  You can see close-up images of all aspects of the designs, from the animal sculptures that Gaudí used instead of gargoyles to the bunches of fruit.

While the original model of the Sagrada Familia that Gaudí made was destroyed during the Civil War, the reconstructed model is in the museum.  You can also see through a window in the workshop where the current architects and sculptors use computers to construct the designs for the new parts of the cathedral.

The Workshop in La Sagrada Familia
The Workshop in La Sagrada Familia

The Towers

Under normal circumstances, you can purchase tickets that include access to one of the Sagrada Familia’s towers, but at the moment access is closed due to COVID restrictions.  While you can’t see the towers from inside the main part of the Sagrada Familia, if you are able to go up into the towers there are spectacular views of Barcelona.

Currently, the best views of the towers are from outside the cathedral, and you can see them from all over the city as they tower high above everything around them.

There are several towers that are still under construction, and when the Sagrada Familia is completed, the tallest tower, dedicated to Jesus Christ, will be topped with a huge cross that will have a viewing platform for up to 100 people.

I can’t wait to see what it will be like when it is finished, but we’ve got a few years to wait for that!  So, what do you think – is it worth paying to see inside the Sagrada Familia?  I hope these photos of the Sagrada Familia interior have shown you that it is – they really don’t do it justice.

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