Best time to visit Sagrada Familia
While booking tickets for La Sagrada Familia, you will be asked to pick TWO time slots
- time slot for entry into the cathedral
- time slot for your tower entry
Select 9am – 12pm time slot for your main entry.
If you make it to Sagrada Familia before 1030 AM, start with climb of your chosen Sagrada Familia Tower. Make sure you have 15 minutes to collect the audio guide. The lines to the elevator for the Sagrada Familia towers are short early in the morning. Also, since crowds are sparse, climbing down the towers is easier if you time your visit earlier.
Once you have done with climbing the towers, you can admire interiors of La Sagrada Familia at leisure. It is best to see the stained glass windows around noon when the lights bursts through them.
2nd best time to visit La Sagrada Familia is 3pm - 6pm
If you cannot make it to La Sagrada Familia in the morning time slot, opt for any time slot after 3 PM. Always start with climbing the towers first. In the evenings, the best time slot to capture the light stream shining through the beautiful stained glass is between 5-6 pm.
The other advantage of an evening visit to La Sagrada Familia is that you can also attend the mass, as the crypt opens at 6 PM for mass.
Avoid the 12pm - 3pm time slot
This is the time when Sagrada Familia is overflowing with tourists including day trippers from cruise liners stopping in Barcelona. So unless you have no choice, avoid this time day to visit Sagrada Familia.
Go back at night when La Sagrada Familia is lit up.
While the interior of Sagrada Familia is impressive, the exterior is also fabulous. Gaudi purposely made the exteriors of Sagrada Familia ornate as he wanted to attract people to visit his church.
The best time slot to capture the exteriors is during the setting sun, when yellow sunlight bathes La Sagrada Familia. Also, it looks bewitching at night when it is lit.
If you plan to visit Park Guell and Sagrada Familia on the same day, then book the post-lunch time slot at Sagrada Familia. Start with Park Guell in the morning and then walk down to Sagrada Familia.
Do NOT choose the afternoon slot for Sagrada Familia.
The crowds in the middle of the day can make the tower climb (especially time to come down) unpredictable. This might delay your plans for later.
Keep it simple and go in the early morning!
- Book in advance
- Get to the entry gate at 9am when the Sagrada Familia opens
- Climb the towers before the crowds (lift to go up, walk back down) come in
- Spend a leisurely hour or two to see the main Basilica
- Be done by 1230pm and move on.
La Sagrada Familia visit on a tight schedule in Barcelona
There is no need to obsess so much about the best time slot to see La Sagrada Familia, if you have a short visit to Barcelona.
Book your Sagrada Familia ticket in advance for any slot available during your trip. After all, it is equally fascinating at all times of the day.
Skip the Nativity and Passion Towers
Remember that it is more important to spend time on the stunning exterior and interior of the main basilica of Sagrada Familia.
Climbing the Sagrada Familia towers is great only if you are on a long trip with lots of time. For most visitors I would say skip the Sagrada Familia towers.
Go to Sant Pau
Instead, to go to the lesser known, yet fantastic Modernist building by Domenech i Montaner - Hospital de Santa Creu i de Sant Pau - nearby.