La Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction started in 1882 and has been under construction since - albeit interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936 tip the 1950s. At present construction is 70 percent complete and has entered its final phase of raising six immense towers, completion is expected in 2026- the centennial of Gaudí's death. When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 percent complete.
We booked our tickets 3 weeks in advance online at http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/ There are 5 options to chose which tour best suits you, we chose "Top Views" at £24 pp. Which included tickets for La Sagrada Familia, an audio guide, and your pick of either the Nativity Facade or Passion Facade towers. When booking you pick from numerous time slots, we chose one of the earliest in the morning as we know from experience the earlier you go (anywhere) the less busy it is. We also had to pick the time for the tower, and once coming back down you could spend as long as you liked inside again.
We chose the Nativity Facade as this was the only tower completed under Gaudi's time. Both towers offer spectacular views over the city of Barcelona, I wouldn't recommend the towers if you suffer from vertigo or are scared of heights. A small lift fitting only 6 persons whizz you up the tower, then you are free to wander around, up and down the spiral staircases and out onto a balcony which surely looks unsafe- its only waist height and you can lean far over looking down below at the pin sized people, and views of the ground works of the newest spire.
Combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms Gaudi's ideas for this church is just spellbinding, you will never want to go inside another church again after seeing this! We could have stayed forever admiring the lighting- natural light pouring through the stain glassed windows, the shapes of the architecture and the sheer beauty of the place, it's hard to say what we were feeling, you just have to visit for yourself! It's awe-inspiring!
Getting to La Sagrada Família- As we had the car we parked nearby in a secure car park costing under €2 ph.
Booking tickets- I cannot say this loud enough- book in advance!! We booked 3 weeks in advance. Booking online at http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/ We seen people queue up for tickets at 8.30am to hear that tickets were sold out till 4pm, this would fill up soon after, don't risk leaving it until the day! Tickets can cost up to £24pp, or without audio guide and without towers only £15pp.
When to visit- We picked the earliest slot in the morning as it is most normally quieter early in the day
What to wear- Wearing appropriate clothing is recommended - i.e., shoulders and knees covered, especially if visiting the praying area. Also comfortable flat shoes if climbing the towers.