The Nou Camp Stadium is one of the worlds most iconic stadiums and also one of the worlds largest. This open air stadium with a capacity of just under one hundred thousand, this stadium is home to FC Barcelona. I was lucky enough whilst living in Barcelona for one year, to get tickets for the biggest domestic match of the season, the game local calls El Clásico. This is the game when FC Barcelona face their arch rivals from the capital, Real Madrid. The game is more than football for many given the politcal undertones which pit the Catalans against the Spanish, as many fans from Barcelona see it.
Getting to the stadium is actually quite simple given that the city has an excellent transportation system, in particular, a very efficient subway train system which is very clean and has frequent trains. On match days simply find your way onto either Line 3 or Line 5 and get off at ‘Palau Reial’ or ‘Les Corts’ station (if on line 3) or ‘Collblanc’ or ‘Badal’ if you are on line 5. With so many people going to the match, you can pretty much just follow the crowds and then follow the gate signs towards your entrance gate.
On arriving at the stadium you can tell immediately that this is no ordinary stadium, but as much a modern day arena, a museum a centre of expertise. The weather in Spain certainly helps as you arrive in t-shirt rather than the heavy overcoat which is more the scenario when attending a Premiership game in England. I had been warned though (and it turned out to be good advice) that you have to take a warm top to wear because the upper areas of the stadium can get qute cold as the evening wears on, given that this open air stadium is on top of a hill and open to the elements.
I was not expecting my seat to be that close to the pitch having purchase one of the cheapest tickets bands, but then again, I was a little taken aback by just how far one can be from the pitch in a stadium like this, when you are still walking up to your seat up in the heavens. By the time the match had got started the players were hard to identify given how far I was from the pitch and I began to wonder if I should have brought a pair of binoculars. I also on the same trip went to see FC Barcelona’s arch rivals RCD Espanyol and if you want to see a game at which you can get much closer to the pitch and at which the atmosphere is much more like a Premiership game, I recommend to see RCD. A visit to the Nou Camp is the norm for many football fanatics who visit Barcelona and it is a shame I feel, that the RCD Espanyol games are so often overlooked.
The key if you really want to enjoy a game at the Nou Camp in my opinion is to try and get a medium priced ticket so that you are at least with a half decent view of the pitch and able just about to recognize the individual players. After the game we found it relatively easy to navigate back to the centre. We headed towards the Sagrada Familia for a few drinks in the Chill Bar in that are.
If you are visiting the city for a game, you will no doubt though also want to experience more sport in the city, if you are a sports fanatic. The great thing I found about Barcelona when I was there was that whether you someone who loves to participate in sport or simply watch it, you can often combine a trip in this city with the chance to try and do and watch a variety of sports. Some of the best options and all of which I have tried personally are:
If you cannot get a ticket for one of the games, I would highly recommend the stadium tour of the Nou Camp Stadium. The tour tends to take just over two hours and includes a visit to the club museum, a chance to walk out onto the pitch itself and take a photo, a visit to the players changing rooms and you get also to see other areas in the stadium such as the press room. If you can I would actually recommend to do both the tour and to see a game if you possibly can.