‘A tour of Barcelona’s football stadium, it’ll be fun’.
Those are the words I heard from my boyfriend during our trip to Barcelona, and those are the words I never thought would be true. I’ll lay it out for you now – I am not a football fan. In fact, I’d go as far to say I hate football, so the thought of spending anything more than 5 minutes traipsing around a football stadium didn’t fill me with joy. Surprisingly though (very surprisingly!) I actually enjoyed it.
We’d spent the morning at Sagrada Familia, and jumped back on the tour bus to get to Camp Nou. On first sight, it’s not all that impressive, so we made our way to the ticket office and bought our tickets with a nice discount voucher from the tour bus.
The first part of the tour is a museum. It’s self guided, so you can spend as much or as little time looking around as you like.
Football fans: There are lots of trophies here to take in, as well as a bit of history about the team.
Non-football fans: The trophies are pretty, and if you know of any famous footballers, they have some kinda cool trophies on display for them too. And the history is quite interesting. Bear with, it’ll get better!
From the museum, you can take a tour of the stadium. We had a little bit of trouble finding the start of the tour, and believing the museum was all there was to actually see, we were on our way out when we spotted the A4 piece of paper signalling the way. Thank goodness we hadn’t left then, or else we’d have missed the best part.
We made our way down some steps and through the heart of the stadium. I’ve never seen a part of any stadium that wasn’t the pitch before, so it was actually really interesting to see what’s down there. Aside from the obvious dressing rooms, there’s also a chapel, conference room and press area. We were able to go into the away team dressing room, and I was shocked to see that they had a couple of massage tables and a whirlpool bath in there! After visiting these rooms, we made our way out to the pitch.
Walking through the tunnel that the players go down, we came out at what I believe is called the dugout area(?), but what I like to call the bus shelters. From there, the size of the stadium is evident. Seating just over 96,000, Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe, and currently ranked at the 11th largest in the world. We looked out over the pitch, and I know my boyfriend loved being there after seeing it so many times on the TV. We took a couple of photos and made our way up to the press area.
There are a fair number of steps to overcome here, but once you’ve made it to the top of the lower seating level there is a lift up to the press area. I would definitely advise taking the lift – we lost count of how many sets of stairs we trekked up, and by the time we got to the top I felt like my legs had turned to stone. Thank goodness we were able to take a seat and pretend we were commentators. If you do choose to take the stairs, I’d recommend having something to drink at the top. Unless you’re a professional stair runner, you’ll need it!
Once we’d caught our breath and admired the views, we made our way back downstairs. There’s a more interactive museum part you walk through, with headphones so you can hear the fans singing the FC Barcelona song, and a row of ipods also playing the song. In the next room is a small cinema screen where you can watch a bit about the stadium, team and get a flavour of the atmosphere during games there. As much as I dislike football, I would actually love to go to a game there now.
After the tour, you’ll have a chance to visit the FC Barcelona gift shop, with all the usual things like football shirts, pens, mugs, etc on offer. My boyfriend had a look round; I was still recovering from all the stairs.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend taking a tour of this stadium. Although I only did it for my boyfriend, I actually really enjoyed it. Even the history part of the museum was interesting and the trophies were pretty to look at if nothing else.
- If you book on to the city bus tour through your hotel, you should get a discount booklet with a voucher for Camp Nou.
- The nearest metro station is Badal, but Collblanc and Les Corts are a good bet too.
- The whole tour will take about 90 minutes – 2 hours. But it’s self guided, so you can be as quick or as slow as you like.
- There are no tours when there’s a game on, but at least you’ll get to go to a game!