Whether you love the curvaceous, Art Nouveau architectural style of Antoni Gaudi or just scratch your head over what it all means, no Barcelona vacation is complete without a visit to the 18-spired Sagrada Familia. Technically it’s the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family). The shortened name is how just about everyone refers to Barcelona’s one-of-a-kind landmark. This masterpiece of Modernism is an architectural marvel and a top site for anyone traveling to Barcelona, offering a memorable and awe-inspiring experience.

La Sagrada Familia’s Century-Long Construction

From the time construction began in 1882, the first five or six generations of visitors were never really able to really see the interior. As the central vault rose to its dizzying height of almost 200 feet, scaffolding buttressed the whole construction project. It was interesting in its way to see this monumental project in progress. But the skyscraper-scale scaffolding just didn’t inspire the kind of awe you generally look for in a basilica or temple. (Sagrada Familia, by the way, is technically a “minor basilica,” not a cathedral. Cathedrals have bishops, and that was never the intention for this place of worship.)

Construction at La Sagrada Familia

But now, for the first time ever, the interior scaffolding is gone. No more chiseling and hammering and clanking. No rigid grid between you and the twisting, branching, eccentrically tree-like pillars. So if you had visited prior, prepare to be amazed by the sheer glory and grandeur that you couldn’t see the first time. We know any number of travelers who are building a vacation in Barcelona into an upcoming trip just to see the difference. If you have never made the visit, there has never been a better moment to experience the honest-to-goodness glory and grandeur of Sagrada Familia.

Visiting La Sagrada Familia

Join us on our Barcelona and Costa Brava walking tour which includes a privately guided tour of Sagrada Familia – no lines, no out-of-pocket ticket costs, with a fantastic guide who’ll take the time to give you a complete look inside and answer questions without rush.

On our small-group walking trip, you’ll also get a complete picture of the Catalan culture beyond the city. Explore the Costa Brava (where our local guides say the region is like Tuscany, only better). They may be prejudiced, but they may also just be right. The weeklong itinerary also includes walks to Ronda and Girona, remote medieval villages that are the country’s beautiful hidden gems. Enjoy walking on coastal paths and through olive groves for an upclose look at life in Spain with an expert local guide leading the way. It’s a fantastic way to stretch a Barcelona vacation into a richly memorable cultural experience.