The Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most visited landmark and an icon of this Catalan city. Described as “sensual, spiritual, whimsical, exuberant” by the Time Magazine, the Sagrada Familia is a product of Antoni Gaudi’s imagination and a stunning example of Art Nouveau and Catalan Noucentisme architecture. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most emblematic symbols of Barcelona and is a monument that has spent over 100 years in the making. The Basilica is iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s magnum opus and has been under construction since 1882 when the first foundation block was laid.
No visit to Barcelona is complete without visiting this iconic monument. At first glance itself, it becomes easy to see why there is no building like the Sagrada Familia anywhere in the world. The heavily ornate exterior walls, the eye-catching and complex designs, the play of light and shadow on the wall reliefs and the magnitude of the construction is enough to overwhelm even the most ardent of architecture and design aficionados.
One of the reasons why the construction of the Basilica has been slow is the funding.With private donations and ticket sales being the only funding avenues for the Sagrada Familia, you will have played your part in the construction of this magnificent church should you decide to purchase tickets for the Sagrada Familia.
Sagrada Familia Towers
Antoni Gaudí envisioned the Sagrada Familia with 18 monumental spires. Twelve of them are dedicated to the Twelve Apostles and are placed on the three façades of the Sagrada Familia. The other six spires are dedicated to the Four Evangelists, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Of the 18 spires, eight are completed. These correspond to the four Apostles of the Nativity Façade and the four Apostles of the Passion Façade. The tallest of all the 18 spires will be the one dedicated to Jesus Christ. It will be surmounted by a giant cross and will have a height of 170 metres (560 ft).
Know Before You Go Up The Sagrada Familia Towers
- Access to the Towers are not included in the standard admission ticket and need to be bought separately.
- Since the Nativity and the Passion Façades are not joined, the access points to these spires are different.
- The top of these towers can only be accessed via an elevator, one for each façade.
- You can choose to go up the spire on the Nativity Façade and get sea views over the east of Barcelona, or the tower of the Passion Façade that face the city centre.
- Visitors must take the stairs down from the towers, both on the Passion Façade and the Nativity Façade.
Sagrada Familia Towers Tickets
Are the Sagrada Familia Towers Worth It?
The question whether visiting the Sagrada Familia Towers is worth it often strikes most tourists due to the prolonged ticket lines, additional costs and never ending crowds. Our answer to this is short and simple - It’s worth every penny! We have stitched up 3 solid reasons Why going up the Sagrada Familia Towers is Worth it, so read it for yourself and decide if you agree. If not these reasons, the video is sure to swoon you!
- Visiting the Sagrada Towers does not take too long and neither does it cost too much
- Going up the Sagrada Towers is effortless and coming down is an experience by itself
- The Sagrada Familia Experience is incomplete without climbing the Towers
You can have a sedate tour of the Tower in an hour’s time. During crowded hours and days, it may take slightly longer, but not more than 1.5 hours. Check the best time to visit Sagrada Familia in our detailed blog here. As for the cost, there is just about a 14 Euro difference between the ordinary admission tickets Tower Tickets. We think the Sagrada Towers do complete justice to those 14 euros, the view, the history seeped walls and the intricate details . See the reviews by others who have gone up and you’ll know that a majority find going up the Sagrada Towers worth it.
All you have to do to reach atop is hop on an elevator that will swoosh you all the way up. You don’t have to sweat the least bit! However, the queues to these elevators might sweat you a little as they have a capacity of only 6 at a time, hence it may take a few good minutes of waiting to reach your turn , especially during peak hours. Coming down is an adventure in itself as you have to come down spiral stairs without railings. Though it sounds scary, there have been no accidents and is completely safe. However, kids below the age of 6 are not allowed entry to the Towers because of this tiny adventure.
We say this because the Towers were an integral part of Gaudi’s design as he had 18 towers planned, out of which only 8 are complete. The very reason the Sagrada Familia is taking so long to near completion is the complex design of the Towers, so you can rightly call the Towers the highlight of his design. Moreover, Gaudi himself built the 4 Towers of the Nativity Facade, so visiting these come close to experiencing Gaudi’s Sagrada.
Nativity Tower or Passion Tower ?
While the views from both the Towers are splendid in their own rights, there are a few reasons we prefer the Nativity Tower over the Passion Tower.
- The Nativity Facade was built by Antoni Gaudi himself while he was alive and hence most people prefer watching the architect’s original work than the work of those who followed Gaudi’s instructions and designs.
- There is a bridge that connects 2 towers out of the 4 towers of the Nativity Facade. This bridge allows one to experience the more diverse details and consume photogenic views of Barcelona City. None of the Passion Towers are connected by bridges yet.
- While the Nativity Tower’s construction is complete, the Passion Tower is newer and is still under construction. This results in obstructed views due to the construction equipment. This is one of the main reasons people prefer the Nativity Tower over Passion Tower. Once the construction is complete, it is will be hard to choose between the 2!
- The stairs for Nativity Towers is said to be slightly wider than the stairs of Passion Tower. If you’re claustrophobic or sceptical about climbing down 504 narrow stairs, might as well choose the slightly wider one.
- While coming down the Nativity Tower, you can stop by the balconies for a detailed view of the Towers and peep out to see bird’s eye views of Barcelona city. This provision lacks for the Passion Towers as of now.
- Most photographers have said that they get better shots on the Nativity Facade than on the Passion Facade.
Sagrada Familia Towers View
View from Nativity Tower
Like we said before, there is no best view per se, as the views from the Nativity Tower and Passion Tower are starkly different from each other and beautiful in their own rights. The Nativity Tower flaunts views of Barcelona City and the mountains surrounding the city while the Passion Tower boasts views of the cool blue Mediterranean Sea. Depending on your appetite for an aerial view, you can choose either of them. Once again, both are equally great and like they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
View from Passion Tower
Sagrada Familia Stairs
Many people are sceptical about going up the Sagrada Familia Towers due to the mere thought of coming down winding stairs.The stairs coil around the tightly closed walls and they are railing free. There are 504 stairs and though climbing them might seem like a task, it is entirely safe and not physically tiring. These spiral stairs resemble a snail, in sync with Gaudi's meld of architecture and nature. However, children below the age of 6 are not allowed to access the Towers as it not considered safe for them. Also, those who suffer from physical disabilities, claustrophobia and heart conditions are requested to refrain from accessing the Towers as it can be a strain for them and others alighting.
Know Before You Visit the Sagrada Familia Towers
How to reach Sagrada Familia
Metro: The best way to reach the Sagrada Familia is to take the metro. The metro station right across the street from the Basilica has stops for Line 2 (purple) and Line 5 (blue) metro lines.
Bus: All of these buses halt at Sagrada Familia - 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.
Sagrada Familia Entrance
Buying tickets online means you can enter the Sagrada Familia through the reserved entrance of the Nativity façade on C/Marina. The metro station closest to the Basilica is also on C/Marina. This side of the Church faces the park which has a pond, and you can identify the gate by the black umbrellas in front of them.
Sagrada Familia Tower Opening Hours
Though the opening and closing hours of Sagrada Familia fluctuate through the year, here are the standard hours.
November to February | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
March | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
April to September | 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
October | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 25, 26 and January 1, 6 | 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sagrada Familia Towers Review
We were warned not to delay getting our tickets as the slots fill up quickly. I'm so glad we went online and booked the tickets on Headout. We got our desired time slot which included the tower access. The views of the ongoing work and up close, one-on-one time with elements of the facades (some of which are invisible from the ground) made the visit wonderful. The low, late afternoon sun enters the stained glass windows on a more direct line and fills the interior with amazing colors. The crowd was a bit overwhelming at times and some were sadly less than respectful of their fellow visitors or the greater purpose of the site.
Just as its amazing on the outside the inside is exceptional. The tower trip is worth doing great views of the city, the building work in progress and the ability to see the tower decoration close up. Although there is a lift up you take the stairs down and we came across a few elderly visitors who were struggling with the steps. We went up the passion tower which looks across the city so has the better views - so this gets booked up more - we booked online over a day ahead- but having the time slot.meant no real queuing. The audio tour is useful but we found it went into too much detail on some aspects eg the stone types used in the columns, whilst it would have been good to have more information on other aspects. Although you can see into the crypt from above it is not/was not open- which was disappointing. Just as you head towards the exit if you go towards the toilets and then right there is a display of architectural models etc which have been used in the construction which some may find interesting.
Read more Sagrada Familia Towers Reviews on TripAdvisor.
Visiting Sagrada Familia Tips
- Go on Mondays
While most of attractions in Barcelona are closed on a Monday, Sagrada Familia is open throughout the week. Since not many people know this, Sagrada Familia tends to be least crowded on Mondays.
- Ocean or the mountain views?
While buying a ticket to Sagrada Familia, you can choose between the Passion Towers and the Nativity Towers. If you intend to visit both the Towers, you need to buy 2 Tower Tickets. One Tower Ticket gives access only to either one of th Towers.
- Book tickets online and be there well in advance
It is always advisable to book a visit to the Basilica well in advance- it will save you from long ticket queues. Don’t forget to carry a printout of the ticket. Most importantly, reach there at least 15-30 minutes before the time you have booked.