Barcelona is big on football. If there’s one thing that city knows how to do, it’s football. Not only does it have one of the best teams in the world (and the best player), but on match days the city comes alive with revelers sporting full-on kits and getting merry.
In the bars locals chink frothy glasses together, whilst chants can be heard ringing out around iconic landmarks.
If you’re not there during a match you can still get a taste of football life in Barcelona though.
Enter Camp Nou.
You can literally enter Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s home playing ground. Located on the way into the city, it is one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions. Holding almost 100,000 people, it’s also one of the largest football stadiums in the world.
For a brief moment you can pretend you’re one of the players and go behind-the-scenes at this sporting mecca. Inside, the Camp Nou museum offers a futuristic view of the club, boasting huge, high-tech touch-screens, interactive displays and sound installations.
As you weave your way around on a self-guided tour, you can explore the legend that is FC Barcelona, delve into the club’s history and its Catalan identity, and listen to the club’s anthem in numerous different languages – ever wondered what it sounds like in, say, Hindi?
Then you can get even closer to the players (in a semi-creepy way) by exploring the nooks and crannies of the dressing rooms. You can see the spot where Messi hangs his kit and sit on the benches where the team receive their pre-match pep talk.
When you’re ready, you can get your swagger on and stroll through the tunnel and onto the pitch where hundreds of league-table legends have walked before. As well as a quick peek at the presidential box, you can hotfoot it to the television studio, the press room, and the commentary boxes – this really is a comprehensive footie experience.
Back inside the museum there are hundreds of photos that document the evolution of FC Barcelona through the ages, creating snapshots of their best moments in history and immortalizing goals, players, and games for eternity.
Alongside these, there is a display of boots owned by great goal scorers, and biographies and stories relating to some of the better-known players – take Maradona and Ronaldhino, for example.
Perhaps the best part of the experience is gazing at the goals and the Camp Nou playing field itself. Without the chants from the crowd or the roar of a national anthem, it can seem eerie in its scale. But you only have to shut your eyes to reimagine great games from the past and picture decades of fans frolicking in the stands.
For every football fanatic, a tour of Camp Nou is an essential item on the to-do list. Even if you’re not so hot on the topic of football, you still might enjoy the team atmosphere and the jovial recreations of past games. Who knows, those two hours spent scrolling through the stories of FC Barcelona might just change your mind about the sport.